n ancient Asian woman carrying a live chicken boards the 30 on Stockton Street in Chinatown and is told by the bus driver that she must pay an extra fare for her pet, so she steps back down to the sidewalk and wrings the chicken's neck and tosses its head to the curb and climbs back on the bus.

black kid in baggy denims and a windbreaker, fourteen or fifteen, waiting for the light on the corner of Pine and Hyde, says to me, "I wish I had a machine gun so I could . . ." and holds up an imaginary AK-57 and sprays all the cars in the intersection with invisible gunfire. I say, "That's kind of harsh, how about like a water cannon?" "Naw, man, a machine gun. With bullets." The light changes and he runs across the street and hops on the 27.

ike messengers sitting on the steps in front of the McKesson building on Market and a woman walks past holding the hand of her small son who points his finger at one after another and loudly intones, "Bike messenger, bike messenger, bike messenger, bike messenger . . ." A dreadlocked tattooed guy astride a Rock Hopper points at the child as his mother leads him away and announces to his friends, "Little boy."