Where's Batman When You Need Him?

The bachelor party has been as much fun as one could hope - a good group of guys, good food, plenty of alcohol, and, of course, a fair amount of, ahem, "gentlemen's entertainment." At the conclusion of the festivities, myself, my brother and Simon are getting into Simon's car, parked a few blocks up Montgomery from the, ahem, "gentlemen's entertainment" district of North Beach. While Simon is putting some things into the back to make room in the back seat, my brother and I are climbing into the car. I hear a noise and sense a presence on the sidewalk behind us. Thinking it's the usual city nuisance of a bum asking for change, I turn to shoo him away.

And rather than the extended and upturned palm I expect to see, there's a gun pointing at me. If I was a gun person, I might be able to tell you what kind of gun it is, but I'm not. So what kind of gun is it? It's the silver kind, and the kind with a hole in the business end where a bullet comes out. Most importantly, it's the kind of gun that is pointed at me.

"Aright, get on th' ground and gimme the money," says he.

"Oh, holy shit," says I, sitting down involuntarily in the front seat of the car.

"Get on th' ground and gimme your wallets!" says he.

"Okay," says my brother, handing his over. I follow suit. As we're both basically in the car, we don't actually get on the ground, but Guy With Gun doesn't seem to mind. Fortunately, my wallet contains only about $25 in cash, plus debit card, driver's license and school ID. My brother and Simon, who had been taking care of the Guest of Honor (that's me) had substantially more.

"What else you got?" he says. "Empty your pockets!" I've got a handful of change in my pocket, but nothing else. I attempt to hand over the change - knowing it's absurd but also not wanting to get shot for holding out on Guy With Gun - and he says, "I don't want that shit," dropping coins all over the sidewalk. In a flash, he's gone, along with another who had been emptying the cash from Simon's wallet. Amazingly, he takes the cash but drops the wallet, making Simon the lucky one who doesn't have to replace his ID and cancel his credit cards.

The whole thing takes thirty seconds, maybe as much as sixty.

Driving across the Bay Bridge, we agree that we're lucky that none of us was actually shot or pistol-whipped, that they didn't decide they wanted the car (wide open and with keys in Simon's hand at the time), that they didn't take our phones (so my brother was able to call his wife so she could cancel his cards right away), that I had the debit card for my personal account in my wallet but not the one for the joint account that has all the wedding money in it, but we all still kind of feel like shit.

Simon queues up the "Raiders March" on his iPod (also, remarkably, unstolen) and I briefly imagine punching the guy in the jaw and deftly taking the gun from him, as the good Dr. Jones surely would have.

Later, at Simon's house, my brother and Simon seem to have shaken off the experience, sitting in the hot tub, drinking martinis. I still feel like shit. My brother now has a date with the DMV all afternoon the next day in order to get the paperwork he needs so he can get on a plane without photo ID a couple of days later. Both of them are out a substantial chunk of change. And why? Because they'd taken me out, wanting to show me a good time.

Well, I don't think either of them is really pissed off at me about the matter, and it really can't possibly be construed as my fault...but I still feel like shit about it.

Y'know how on cop shows like CSI and Law & Order, or the old classics like Dragnet, they bring in the victim, show him a lineup and he's always like, "Yes, number three, that's the guy!" Pure fantasy. I may or may not have lost my faith in humanity, but I've certainly lost my faith in the reliability of eyewitnesses. All three of us agreed that we wouldn't have a hope of identifying either of the muggers in a lineup, or describing them to a sketch artist or any of that other bullshit you see on TV. I don't think Simon ever saw the face of the guy who took his money, and my brother and I agreed that the only description Guy With Gun we could possibly provide is, "He was black, and he had gold grill, and a Pittsburgh Pirates hat." Not exactly a lot for the cops to go on.

Even so, I console myself with the fantasy that CSI: San Francisco (theme song: "Magic Bus") is on the case, using all their high-tech "SCIENCE!" gizmos and bad techno music to track down the perps. And as we all know, CSI always gets their man.