Max: I get a bit worried scooting around the house. I don’t know what my scooter wheels have been through in the city. I have to go through a pretty gritty part of town to get to school.
Gabriella: Pah! You should try Haight Ashbury. I do know what I’m walking through and I wish I didn’t. There are so many stoners in the Haight that I know I’m walking through human excrement. At any given time, half the pavements need power-washing.
Max: Well, at least you only have the people taking drugs in the Haight. I have to walk through the area where they sell drugs too. And after they’ve power-washed Market St, – with soap – there’s still questionable gunk on the pavements.
Gabriella: Yeah, well I frequently have to step over people who’ve passed out on the street.
Max: I often have to scoot around people who’ve passed out on the street.
Gabriella: Yesterday Jordan and I stepped over a naked man who’d passed out across the width of the pavement. But that’s not the weird part. The weird part is that we didn’t bat an eyelid as we did it. We slowed down to make sure we didn’t step on any part of his naked body, but we carried on talking because it wasn’t unusual. When I walked out later in the day, they’d power-washed that section of the pavement.
Max: With soap?
The conversation reminded me of the wonderful one-upmanship in Monty Pyton’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch, in which each man’s claims of childhood hardship become increasingly exaggerated.
But Gabriella and Max weren’t exaggerating.