"You'd have to drive a long time to see a Wal-Mart in this neck of the woods," I told him, taking the middle ground. "Wal-Mart is the Gordon Biersch of power retailing — big, corporate, and not to be trusted around here."

He looked puzzled. It was like he was in a horror movie, and had just gotten into town. He had stopped at the local tavern and told me he was staying at the Old Abandoned Johnson Farm. The music stops, and everyone turns and looks at him with foreboding.

"They are the only place that carries my medication," he admitted, and I suddenly felt sort of bad for the guy. I told him I thought there was one in the East Bay. "Google it," I said (the universal answer for everything).

My fries were finally plonked in front of me, and they were as good as I had hoped. More and more people began piling in, which maybe was because there had been some sort of local sporting event. Either that or this was the last stop on the Bay Quackers tour. I paid and left and began the long tootle back to downtown. I passed myriad people with maps, all looking up into the sky, as they tend to do. Having exhausted all of my chitchat and assistance at Biersch, I had already decided what I would say if anyone needed help: Google it.

No one asked.

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