Encountered in Berkeley

Sort of like Overheard In New York, but with more sun and audience participation.
Scene: Saturday afternoon. I am walking on campus, on the path that runs along the south side of Strawberry Creek, near Haas Pavilion. I am accosted by a guy walking the other direction, who is not obviously a hobo.
Guy: Hey, do you know where I can find [unintelligible]?
AG: I’m sorry?
Guy: A gas station.
AG: There’s one on Oxford, by—
Guy: Which way?
AG: [gesturing] Over there, down the—
Guy: [indicating my shirt, which is partly obscured by my jacket] Does that say “Mardi Gras”?
AG: No, it—
Guy: Oh, “marathon”.
AG: Y—
Guy: Wanna go smoke a bowl?
AG: No—
Guy: Oh, you don’t smoke weed?
AG: No—
Guy: Mushrooms?
AG: No.
Guy: Can I borrow a couple of dollars?
AG: Sorry. The gas station’s that way.
Weird encounters are pretty common in this city, but this one was notable for combining nearly every weird aspect of Berkeley into a single (one-sided) conversation. I don’t know which of the proposed chemicals he had consumed already, but something was clearly affecting his attention span.

6 thoughts on “Encountered in Berkeley

  1. Mason

    Earlier today Lemming and I were waiting outside of Panda Express today (while Zifnab was waiting for his firecracker chicken). We were talking about grad schools a bit, and the people at the next table heard us and said something along the lines of:
    ‘Wow, you guys are smart!’
    Not really, we both answered—again, something like that.
    ‘Do you want some pot?’
    Anyway, it was a short snippet of something one might have heard at Berkeley.

  2. Lemming

    Ooh, yeah, I was about to mention that, but it looks like Mason beat me to it. Highly amusing–I was kinda flattered even, dude seemed nice enough, if not all there.

  3. Jolene

    This reminds me of an odd encounter that Kayte-with-cool-VW-bug once had while she was walking along Holliston. Two twentysomething guys pulled their car up next to her, and they had a conversation that went something like this:
    Guy sitting in passenger side of car, obviously stoned: Hey, can you tell us where the physics building is?
    Kayte: Um, there are a few physics buildings. Who are you looking for?
    Guy: Dude, like, I’m looking for some physicists to talk to. We have this idea about, like, this time machine, and…

  4. Mason

    CA is kind of in a superposition of stoners, scientists, and perhaps many others. The stoners seem to be finding our state and vice versa.
    Jolene: That’s a great story. And the many physics buildings comment was just too cool… yes, it’s true, but it’s still extremely amusing. After they gave more specific info, you should have sent them to Lauritsen to talk to the string theorists. :)

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