For years now — this year especially — our nation has been bombarded with stories of a massive suicide pandemic via San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Even if you missed Tad Friend's breathless New Yorker article or the numerous segments on NPR, you can Google “Golden Gate Bridge” + suicide and bring up more than 100,000 hits on the subject. It seems leaping off the Golden Gate is a morbid fascination for everyone. Everyone except the people who live here, of course. Because no true San Franciscan would make his final act, his last curtain call, so fucking clichéd. We are a people known for our creativity, eccentricity, and imagination. There are dozens of absolutely fabulous ways to kill yourself in our fair city. Here are just a few:
How glorious would it be to leap into the eternal void from the 48th floor of San Francisco's most internationally recognized landmark, the Transamerica Pyramid? A chair through the window oughta do it. Perhaps during a job interview. Q: Why do you want to work for our distinguished tobacco lobby? A: One word, Mr. Burns — synergy. (Hurl chair here.) Editor's note: You'll need a good run before jumping, or else you won't hit pavement. You'll just flop and tumble down the angled building's edge like your aunt falling down the stairs, and your death will look really stupid.
Rainbow Grocery Beating
Pull into the parking lot at Rainbow Grocery in your stretch limo Hummer. Strut through the store in your Armani business suit slapping “BUSH IS THE MESSIAH” stickers on everybody's forehead. Ask employees for help with your shopping list: hamburgers, veal, foie gras, etc. Your grand finale will be at the checkout line, where you'll insist on plastic instead of paper. With the help of your “pacifist” fellow shoppers, you'll be dead within seconds. (The S.F. Medical Examiner's Office has assured us that an act of such stupidity would be classified as a suicide, not a homicide.)
“Thelma & Louise” at the Cliff House
They don't call it the Cliff House for nothing. First you'll need a '66 Thunderbird convertible that can do about 180 mph. Then get into your cowboy boots and '80s sunglasses and hit the pedal. Suddenly you'll find your T-bird flying off the Great Highway, as you soar above the newly remodeled complex (two restaurants, a bar, and a gift shop!) and the almighty Pacific, exulting in the feeling of the wind in your hair as you give the oppressive global patriarchy the finger.
You've surely read those tales from the American heartland in which enormous pallets of merchandise fall from the shelves of Costco/Price Club/Wal-Mart and smoosh an unknowing shopper. Well, in San Francisco there's a similar phenomenon: giant dildos. Yes, here in Sin City, giant fake cocks plummeting from the upper shelves of Good Vibrations, Madame S, Frenchy's, et al. kill more people each year than car accidents and cancer combined. So if you really want to die, just visit one of our countless sex shops, where the precariously placed silicone wonders range from small (Burmese python) to medium (Lance Armstrong's thigh) to large (Sierra redwood).
Dress yourself from head to toe in purple, including a purple bandanna tied around your head. With megaphone in hand, climb to any rooftop at the intersection of 21st Street and Mission. Then make this announcement, right on the border between the red-wearing Norteños and the blue-wearing Sureños: “Attention Norteños and Sureños! My new gang, Los Amantes [“The Lovers”], is taking over your turf. We carry no weapons. This is a mission of love. We are all Amantes, and as such we must stop misdirecting our homoerotic urges into violence. Instead of stealing cars, try stealing hearts. Instead of malt liquor, try detox Darjeeling. Instead of shooting, try spooning.”
Why not jump in front of a cable car as it zips (at 6 mph) around the stunning landscape at Fisherman's Wharf? There'd be no wait, since the Muni's only late when you actually need to get somewhere. Besides, don't we have a moral obligation to show the tourists the real S.F.? “I killed myself in San Francisco and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!”