Crazy Roast "Duck" Man

Location: Chinatown (corner of Washington & Walter U. Lum)
Age: Approx. 35-40
Ethnicity: Indeterminate (possibly Asian or Hispanic)
Hygiene: Bedraggled, moderately unsanitary

Crazy Roast "Duck" Man will forever possess a fond place in my memories for being the first raving lunatic I encountered in San Francisco - on the first full day of my residence here, in fact. What possessed him to accost me and share with me his dietary creed will perhaps never be known, but nevertheless I consider myself a little more enlightened for having met him.

CRDM's driving belief in life, it appears, is the notion that roast duck over rice is the only truly healthy meal a man can eat. He spits disdainfully at the thought of "exercise people," callow humans who would subsist on sandwiches and other inferior foodstuffs. His uncanny ability to recognize exercise people is comparable to "gaydar" - he completely ignored my friend and espoused his beliefs to me alone, even when my friend offered him one of the Virgin Mary temporary tattoos she had just acquired from a nearby vending machine. How could he have known that she yogas regularly while I'm completely sedentary but through some innate sixth sense? (No, my flabby physique doesn't count.)

He appeared from nowhere as we rounded a corner on one of Chinatown's out-of-the-way streets and stopped directly in front of us. "This is good," he told me, digging his chopsticks into a wax carry-out box. Startled, we stopped in our tracks and watched with fascination as he continued.

"This roast duck over rice, this is real food." At this point, he grabbed a huge chunk of what was clearly roast pork and brandished it in my direction. His voice took on a hard edge. "Those exercise people, they eat sandwiches and other exercise food, but it's not good for you. This is real. This." He shook the pork at me.

"Um," I responded. My companion was a bit faster on her feet.

"Hey, would you like this tattoo?" She held her extra transfer out to him. He didn't even look in her direction, but instead continued talking, partly to me and partly to his slab of "duck."

"This is good," he reasserted and leaned his face toward mine. "Let me show you." He took a huge bite of pork about a foot from my face and ate it noisily. I was briefly terrified that he would try to stuff the meat into my mouth as well, but he lowered his food as he chewed.

"Yeah. This is way better than sandwiches. Those exercise people." His expression seemed genuinely angry for a moment.

We decided to take our leave. "Thanks for telling us," we said, and began to walk back toward the main drag. "We'll remember what you said." And we left him there, vigorously devouring his pork, or duck, or whatever.

Every time I've returned to Chinatown, I've looked for this man, but he's nowhere to be found. But I know someday we'll meet again, this enigmatic culinary expert, and he can regale me with more dietary tips. Unless he divines that I, too, have have taken up an exercise regimen and rebukes me as a traitor to the cause.


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