Isn’t superstition such a second-millenium, High Middle Ages kind of thing, don’t you think? Isn’t superstition the reason our foreparents named l’avenue betwixt 12th and 14th after Frederick Funston? I mean, why else would they have done that?
Let’s meet Freddie Funston, 13th Avenue’s temporary namesake:
“I personally strung up thirty-five Filipinos without trial… Impromptu domestic hanging might also hasten the end of the war. For starters, all Americans who had recently petitioned Congress to sue for peace in the Philippines should be dragged out of their homes and lynched.”
O.K. then. (Make that Filipino-killing super-cracker.) Famous Mark Twain even penned a mock-defense of Freddie-boy in a sarcastic essay.
Cheek by jowl – one frees you, the other kills you:
Now, what about this? Did Freddie-boy represent the feds after the 1906 Earthquake the same way Michael “heckofajobBrownie” Brown represented the feds after Hurricane Katrina? Well, this bit in the San Francisco Chronicle from four years ago certainly makes the case.
But, You Make The Call. Here’s Funston taking charge of San Francisco during the Great Fire of 1906, as if martial law had been declared (it wasn’t, IRL):
“Gen. Funston sends in the first military demolition squad. The incompetence by which they dynamite buildings causes the outbreak of four new fires.
“General Funston now attempts to encircle the fire in the heart of the city with systematic destruction of buildings. A drugstore at Clay and Kearny is blown up with black powder. A flaming mattress from the flat above is launched across the street setting fire to Chinatown.
“At 5 pm the next morning, the order came down from Mayor Schmitz that the dynamiting should stop. But the order comes too late to stop the exploding of a building on Green Street. The explosion ignites a previously untouched area and this new fire spreads along Green Street aided by a gale-force wind. 5 pm that afternoonFunston gives the order to resume the shelling of Van Ness Avenue against the direct orders of Mayor Schmitz in what seems to many to be senseless destruction. There are mounting reports of the excesses of the troops, including rape, indecent assault and grievous bodily harm.”
Heck of a job, Freddie! Actually, he screwed up so bad he had to try to defend hisself in the pages of Comso (I’m seriously, freaking Cosmopoliton “77 Positions in 77 Days” Magazine.)
So, now you’re armed with two good arguments for changing the name of 13th Avenue back to 13th Avenue.* We’ll get the City take down the Funston signs post-haste and then we ought to let the residents continue to use the name Funston as long as they want. Somebody’ll even write a memo to the USPS to keep things straight with mail delivery.
*In the alternative, other substitute names like Genocide Avenue or Triskaidekaphobia Avenue could also be acceptable.