Judging by the quality of responses to my ad on Craigslist, if San Francisco built a prison, called itself “up-and-coming,” and had installed cute Victorian windows, people would commit felonies to live there. And it would be a lively, crazy madhouse.

The Kinks play “Holloway Jail”

You’ve already met Jo the Merman. Now meet Mick the Laugher. This is how Mick described himself in the email he sent me:

“I photograph
I sell
I have a 20 pound terrier called pupi
i enjoy 420 on a daily basis(not cigarettes)
I consider myself a good cook(iraised 2 daughters)
i like privacy and am single straight and 53  years young
i love to laugh and make people laugh i am laughing now thinkin about it”

Mick then thanked me for my inspiration and translated his phone number into his name (as in ‘call me at 555-555-MICK’), which makes him an awesome combination of guru and Oldsmobile salesmen.

Next was a Native American Obama campaigner and “All-Star Sommelier”  who’s subject line was “EQUALITY FOR ALL.” This hit a little too close to home, because Native Ameroican activists actually occupied Alcatraz for over a year in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s to draw attention to the fact that they had been treated like prisoners pretty much ever since John Smith laid his pervy little eyes on Pocahontas. So when he asked me to call him “Chief,” I think I would have done just that.

Creative Prince eyes the stewardess

But “Creative Prince,” on the other hand, was a bit of a stretch for our next contender, who also sent a copy of his latest work. I really hope Pat just used the copywrite symbol in Word and didn’t actually go to the patent office with this doozy of an opening paragraph:

“He looks out the window again. The flight attendant
smiles at him. Third time today he thought, she must be desperate. Sex at the moment was the
last thing on his mind. Not bad though he thought, good legs, fine hair and as for the ass…”

That’s about when Craigslist decided to cut off my muse and delete my posting. But I still had their email addresses–it was time for some follow-up questions, sent to every one of the candidates who’d responded. Here was the email I sent:

Before continuing in the application process, please answer these 5 questions:

1. Do you have a criminal record? If not, do you have an interest in developing one?
2. Please indicate digging, chipping, and tunneling ability.
3. List one instance where you escaped from an uncomfortable situation.
4. Top or bottom (bunk)?
5. When you play hide and go seek, and you’re the hider, do you usually win?

I got three responses.

The first was from the dad of the art student–the one who described his son as a “good kid–no record.” He completely ignored all of my questions except for the first one: “NOT interested in developing skills for jewel-thefts, major tax-evasion activity, or candy-bar smuggling–haha! Then he went offf on a tangent that included two pleas for grand kids.

Mick told me had no criminal record–“in this reality, at least”–and that he never plays hide and seek. No dice.

Then there was Creative Prince, our artistic muse, who probably was the most qualified respondent. He was “good on all counts” at digging, chipping, and tunneling, a good hider, and had once escaped a man sticking a blade to his throat.  That, my friends, is precisely the kind of man you want on the bottom bunk.