barbizon, eat your heart out.

"EXCUSE ME!" yelled the bedraggled, yet glamourous tranny as she ran up to me on Castro Street. "EXCUSE ME!"

Now, I'm no Castro bunny, but I find myself there running errands or doing photo shoots. Plus, I get my hair cut at Louie's Barber Shop and buy all my skin products at Body Time in the space once occupied by Harvey Milk's camera shop. I also have been known to go visit the ever-dreamy Drew (the blond one from Wisconsin) at Badlands during happy hour for a few cocktails...he's a bartender there, and always takes good care of me. I swear to god, that boy is sexier every time I see him. I have a weakness for Midwestern boys...what can I say? Yum.

"Hi," I replied, turning around.

"Can you spare $1.25?" she wheezed.

"Hmmm...you must want to get on MUNI." That may sound like a strange amount of money for someone to solicit, but actually it's the exact one-way fare for the MUNI metro, trolly, streetcar, or bus.

"Oh god yes, get me OUT of this neighborhood already!" The irony was killing me.

"Where are you headed?" I asked, suspecting the Tenderloin.

"The Tenderloin."

I laughed, but only on the inside. I can call 'em when I see 'em. Besides, I didn't want to seem rude to a lady, especially one from a neighborhood as exotic as hers.

"Tell you what," I said, "I'll give you MUNI fare, but only if you make love to my camera first."

"Honey, I'll fuck your camera. Just help me get the hell out of here."

"Deal." Grinning with anticipation, I pulled my camera out of my bag and started snapping away. She struck dramatic, animated poses, and we attracted a small crowd; everyone was quite spellbound at the sheer magic, albeit tragic magic, unfolding in front of my lens.

Behold...the next supermodel hailing from San Francisco's Tenderloin:

After a few minutes, I put my camera back in the bag, and fished $1.25 out of my pocket.

"Here," I said. "You've earned it."

"Oh, THANK YOU!" she replied, beaming. "You're a doll!"

"Now, don't go spending this on anything other than MUNI fare," I sternly told her. "Crack is wack. Just ask Whitney."

"Oh honey," she replied, laughing, "Crack is so 1986."

I doubled over, laughing. You can't write stuff like this. That's totally what I would have said.

I leaned over and gently air-kissed her hand.

"MWAH!" She blew me a huge air kiss (I ducked in the nick of time...it hit an unsuspecting passerby instead), and flounced up the street, eventually disappearing down the staircase into the MUNI station at the corner of Castro and Market.

It was the best $1.25 I've ever spent.

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Chad Fox. All rights reserved.