Cable Car Confessions #5: The Pick Up Artist
By lalaaston on December 04, 2008
ding all aboard. "Next stop Powell Street Chinatown. Tickets please
show me your tickets please." These sounds are very familiar to San
Francisco tourists and locals. What is the one thing that you have to
do when you come and visit San Francisco? Ride the cable car. What we
don't hear about are the stories from the cable car drivers. This is
their job. They ride in the fog, sun, rain, and in traffic jams. Here
is one of their stories.
Here is one of my own experiences, as
the last couple of chapters I have written have been about me people
watching on the cable car. I would consider myself pretty wise to the
pick up artist and yet sometimes I find myself twirling my hair around
my index finger or blushing when a guy tries to pick me up in a clever
way. And then the reality show became popular on VH1. Do these tricks
really work? Can a guy really get a woman to start opening up and
talking to him because of the way he touches her arm? I pride myself on
being able to recognize this kind of manipulation, but then I found
myself on the cable car recently being faced with a man staring at me.
It was a Thursday morning and I was taking the
8:24am cable car down California street to Market so I could walk to
work. The cable car was packed and I was carrying several things with
me. My oversized purse, my laptop bag and my lunch, so I could save for
my Toronto trip (I think it was left-over Shepard's pie from the recipe
I shared with you guys earlier). The weather was around 60 degrees and
the fog hadn't yet lifted within the city. (The fog usually lifts in
San Francisco later in the morning.) There were no seats available
inside the cable car so I stood beside the cable car driver with all of
my bags at the window and held onto the metal bar on the door for
Now this might sound easy, but it's really not. You
have to balance all of your weight, with all of your bags and ride the
cable car. Imagine being on a boat and having to balance. First the
cable car climbs up the hill on California street and then dives down
the crazy hill all while I am trying not to drop anything or fall.
the years, I have watched to see how well other riders balance
themselves. I thought that because of my dancer background I was able
to balance until this man, let's call him "mystery" (the pick up
artist), told me otherwise.
After a couple of stops people got
off of the cable car and I saw that there was a free seat inside the
car. This is perfect. I can get off my feet and get some warmth away
from the fog. "Mystery" sat down next to me. At first I didn't notice
him and was deep in my thoughts of what I needed to do for my meeting
in a half an hour. "Mystery" then smiled at me. I was startled - is he
smiling at me?
"Mystery" had dark hair and lighter eyes and was
wearing a light blue shirt. I could see no eye liner or huge fluffy
hat, but maybe that was because it was the daytime!
"Mystery" asked me "I have a theory that maybe you can help me with?"
this is a typical pick up line that is shown on the show. I recognized
it right away and thought I really want to see this master in action so
I said. "Oh really."
"Yes, can I ask you if you are a skier?"
"A skier?" I replied "Why?"
Mystery said "I was watching you standing and riding down on the cable
car and my theory is that you were a skier which is why you kept your
I replied "Well, I was a skier and I was actually born in Canada."
"Mystery" seemed pleased that I was talking and offering more information.
Mystery: "A Canadian, but I don't hear that you have an accent."
Me: "I moved to California when I was a teenager, hehe."
"I am a snowboarder and my theory is if people stand like a snowboarder
on the cable car and ride it down sideways then they understand the
mechanics of snowboarding. You were standing there and took the ups and
downs of the hill and to me you looked like a skier."
I giggled, "Yes, I use to down hill ski a lot."
And then Mystery ruined it all by asking, "Do you work around here and ride this cable car at the same time every day?"
I was snapped from his grasp and replied to him "Yes, my honey and I do."
Stay tuned for the next chapter for cable car confessions will be Chapter #6: New Year's
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