Just finished a wonderful breakfast, thinking about the last time I was here. It was 1980.
I was standing in the San Francisco sun, near Fisherman's Wharf, waiting for Mac to catch up. A young man nearby seemed to take interest in my presence. Our eyes met and he stepped up. "Are you from Germany?" He asked. "No...but why do you ask." "Oh...you just look like your from Germany, thats all." I pictured myself: Blonde hair, Blue eyes, the beginings of a beard, backpack, tee shirt, shorts and boots. Hmmmm.
"This is my friend Lisa" he continued, "and we'd like to invite you to dinner tonight.....Do you think you might be able to make it???" This was a strange one. Two people introduce themselves to me and without provication or hesitation invite me to thier house for dinner. I probably should have had bells and whistles going full blast in my head but there was only one word that appeared: FOOD. "Sure, that'd be great!" I responded immediatly: There was nothing to consider. We hadn't been eating very much at the time, mostly Corn-nuts, Milkyway and the like.
Mac had joined our friendly treo and was under the impression that we were old friends. We talked briefly, got the address and time: Bush St. 6 pm. Four hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds until we would be eating!!
Back to the Horn of Zeese:
Mac reads his horoscope aloud to me from the newspaper: "If you decide to take a bargain vacation, invite an old friend to accompany you". Hmmmmm.
Mac reads my horoscope to me: "Let go of a relatinship that is no longer rewarding. Although parting may be painful, at first, the regrets will be short lived. Hmmmmm.
Anyway, Mac and I arrived a little early to the address written down on a Milkyway wrapper...the day had passed painfully slowly. The house was an immaculate Victorian with a front door as large as a billboard. It opened up to a view of lush red carpeting, with tastefully (I'm guessing) funished rooms filled with a mingiling crowd. Our host was beaming with a smile that could have resulted from a nitrous oxide atmoshere or recent shock therapy. "Hiiieee, I'm Steve; Nebraska" Mac and I looked at each other quizically. I jumped in. " Hi, I'm Jon; New Hampshire" then I looked at Mac, knowing he didn't want to play this or any other game. " Hi, I'm Mac; New Hampshire." His quick capitulation to this new code of introduction revealed to me just how hungry he was. "Have you guys met Jim?? He's from New Hampshire! We entered.
Everyone was smiling as broadly as our host- I mean really just estatic. I casually searched the walls for a vent that would be capable of emitting Nitrous oxide. Every eye that I met was followed by an extended hand. "Hiiieeee, I'm Lester; North Dakota...hieee, I'm Paul, Florida...Hieeee, I'm Sally, Alabama....." This dance went on and on until Mac and I had met each of the near fifty smiling people. To each we responded " Hi, I'm Jon/Mac, New Hampshire. With out a single exception, all of them followed with "have you met Jim??? He's is from New Hampshire!!!
We never did meet Jim. I'm not convinced he really exists.
If you can imagine 40 or 50 clones of Mr. Rogers at a party talking about how special the, world and everything is, I think you get the picture. Everthing was nice and special and wonderful. Mac was beside himself in a fit of pent up cynicism: He hadn't gone this long without a negative remark to offer in a long time and I was worried. I tried to get us away from the crowd so he could spout off on the pretentiousness of the people and how contrived the whole situation seemed to him but as we soon learned, We would not be left alone together for as long as we ate thier food.
These were the Moonies.
As the evening progressed, slides of thier farm, up north, were shown, a wonderful meal was served and I was having a great time with all these friendly people...Mac was sitting next to me in an upright fetal position, trembling but only slightly. We had been invited to go up to thier farm in Boonville and spend "as much time as we wanted...with all the food we could eat ...and everything taken care of..."
Wow, where do I sign!
Mac wanted out (after we ate, of course) but I felt like we had hit the jackpot. We were looking for an adventure and here it was. I'm not sure how I convinced Mac to go but I think I had to go as far as to call him a "chickshit"...that always worked with him.
They wanted some money but we got around that one, somehow, hopped on thier bus and we were off into the night. It was dark-really dark that night; No Moon, just a bus full of Moonies and thier guests. Mac was more on edge than I had ever seen. I knew he needed some conforting and, so, seeing my opportunity and in my best zombie voice I said to him:
"Maaaaaac...lets never leeeeeeave....I don't ever want to leeeeeeeeeave" Oh Jesus, did that ever do the trick. Mac lost it. Grabbing me by the throat, he shook me around violently....this was great-I'd really scared the "chicken shit" out of him. There aren't to many things that are more gratifying than scaring the living Hell out of someone close to you. It passes.
We arrived to the farm in the deepest part of the darkest night that I had ever seen. Directed to a converted chicken coop, We were directed to lay out our bags and go to sleep-there were about 15 of us laying about in the chicken coop as the door closed for the night...did I hear a lock??? The last thing I remember before dozing off was Macs frightened face and wide eyes lit by a stray beam of light from outside.
"Morning has broken, like the first springtime, like the first sunshine lighting the day..." If you can imagine Mr. Rogers singing a rendition of Cat Stevens "Morning has Broken" then you know what our eyes and ears opened up to the first morning, on the Moonie Farm. His name was Theo and he was walking about with his six-string playing a sweet song. It really was a nice way to wake up but what was better was looking a Macs face. I was really worried that if this stuff kept coming-this sacarine sweet stuff-I might have to bring him home in a doggy bag. Theo continued singing his happy songs for a bit and then directed us to the dinning area where, again, a wonderful meal awaited us.
Well, Mac wants to get moving...more on the Moonie farm later...theres more, lots more...what a trip...