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sacred cows make the best burgers - I am on a first name basis with Frank Chu
the journal of a cynical patriot
I am on a first name basis with Frank Chu
As many people who have been around me know, I live in San Francisco. I pretty much won't shut up about the place. I am tolerated in San Francisco because most obsessive freaks are tolerated in San Francisco, even if their obsessions make no sense whatsoever. I have told you all about Emperor Norton, but I haven't told you about Oofty Goofty (who used to let you punch him for a quarter or hit him with a baseball bat for a dollar), or the King of Pain (who didn't do anything Oofty Goofty did, contrary to his name), or any other of the numerous weird homeless denizens of old time San Francisco. This acceptance continues on today, and you can see it on the streets with people getting more and more clever ideas to panhandle. The best ones don't even panhandle though -- the weird guy with the "NO UNLAWFUL SEX" sign at the Powell Cable Car turnaround is a good example of this.

And then there's Frank Chu.

Frank is a fairly normal looking Asian guy. He doesn't tuck his shirt in. He wear dark wraparound sunglasses (I think he's actually a Terminator). He wears a sport coat sometimes. He carries a sign.

When I first saw him about 6 or 7 years ago, his sign said:


His sign is ever changing. His recent ones don't even have any sense to them. A recent photo of him and Prince Charles:

If you want to know more about him (and there's tons) all you have to do is read the Wikipedia entry on him.

At any rate, I have talked to this man before. He is mostly lucid, unless you ask him about Bill Clinton -- he really hates Clinton, because he stopped his payments (don't ask). I see him at least once or twice a week, walking through downtown. I always smile and wave and say "Hi Frank" to him.

Yesterday, I saw him at Lotta's Fountain. He was standing by the fountain holding his sign up at cars. I crossed the street and as I passed him, I said "Hi Frank!"

He took a look at me, broke into a big smile and said "Hi Darren!"

I nearly shit myself. He remembers my name. I think I've hit the bigtime now. I talked to him for about ten minutes, during which time he told me that he appreciated me always saying hi to him, and for the longest time was trying to remember my name. The last time I talked to him that long was about four years ago so color me impressed.

DUDE. I know Frank Chu.
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scanner_darkly From: scanner_darkly Date: December 6th, 2005 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember a Castro St. halloween night where I saw 20 Frank Chu-lookalikes parade in a long line of gray suits, wrap-around sunglasses, and cryptic signs.

Best. Costumes. Ever.

Of course, now I look at him and go, "Man! He's getting old!"
strontium90 From: strontium90 Date: December 6th, 2005 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
DUDE. I know Frank Chu.


Heh, I actually followed him around (covertly tailed him, actually) for a week or two once and got about two rolls of film of him walking around, sometimes in sunny weather, sometimes in pouring rain, through crowds, traffic and lonely streets... always in the same clothes - though they never seemed to get worn out - interacting with various people and things. He's got to have one of the most interesting jobs I know of.
megamassage From: megamassage Date: December 6th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see him almost everyday.
diorling From: diorling Date: December 6th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)


Last time I saw him was at the North Beach Festival. I snapped this one with my treo...near Gianni Russo's booth from the Godfather:

bifrosty2k From: bifrosty2k Date: December 6th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thats rad!
Ever once in a while I get to hear him yelling out things, but I see him every coupla days too.

I wonder what would happen if I asked him if he knew you :)
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