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The first stop was Harlow's on J Street.  There were just a few people outside, but after a little prodding, most were willing to try some of our watermelon.

Christopher and Melanie are in the center, Elise and Amy are on the right.

These two women bravely accepted our watermelon.

This homeless guy is a common fixture between Centro and Harlow's. He accepted our watermelon.

This guy in the blue shirt was not easy to convince, but finally he took a slice.

I made a little production out of slicing up the melon.

In Japan the foot can split a board, but it can't split a watermelon! I used the butcher's knife instead.

There are local and state laws about concealing a knife, so we kept the butcher's knife out and visible. I had no intention of becoming California's first watermelon felon.

Watermelon is not usually considered an aphrodisiac, but there was something in the air that night.

Look closely to find all the watermelon at this table outside of Centro.

These two gals didn't trust us. They asked both Chris and I to take a bite of watermelon before they agreed to try some. Once we had earned their trust, they thought it Free Watermelon Night was a wonderful idea.

Outside the Blue Cue, these fearless guys accepted our watermelon.

The girls declined, but they were also very nice.

We had been really pushing the watermelon on people, but only about a third were actually accepting the slices.

We walked over to the Monkey Bar and tried to temper our sales tactics a little. People were mighty suspicious of our motives.

Amy, Tom and Chris mingle and promote.

This is my second-favorite photo from the evening. If the evening had a soundtrack, this would definitely be the album cover.

As we prepared to leave the Monkey bar, Melanie shouted "last call!"

We circled back towards J Street, passing the St. Francis of Assisi church. Homeless people congregate and sleep on the steps here. These were some of the most grateful watermelon beneficiaries.

On the way past True Love Cafe, this tattooed skateboarder stopped for a slice.

Jane is in the center, I am in red, and Melanie is on the right.

This guy came dressed for the occasion.

Next we ran into Greg from Coffee Works. He was happy to take a little melon.

He also signed up for our calling plan. We beat bananaphone's rates by up to 65%.

The crowd sitting outside of the True Love Cafe was not impressed with our free melon offer. I think we only gave out two or three slices there.

We were all sure that Free Watermelon night would be a hit at the Depot and at Faces, but there weren't many people congregating outside.

We loitered there for a while, cutting melon and loading up the serving trays.

For every location, there were the same questions, "why are you giving away watermelon?" and  "is this spiked with liquid LSD or something?" 

People also made requests for other items we might give away, like pizza.

Left to right: Chris, Rob, Danny.

 

Next we went past Club 21 and The Distillery, where we gave away some more melon.

This guy was operating a rickshaw-style bicycle-chair. He was one of our best customers.

I was cutting most of the melon into 1/6th slice wedges, but when the security guard at the Distillery came over and requested a BIG slice of watermelon, I was happy to oblige!

We headed down 21st Street towards the Townhouse and ran into another skateboarder. He serenaded us with his watermelon song, similar to one Don McLean sings:

You can plant a watermelon over my grave
And let the juice (SLUURP) slip through!
You can plant a watermelon over my grave
And that's all you have to do (be do be do be do)
Chocolate chip cookies taste so fine
But there's nothing like the taste of a watermelon RIIIIIIND!
Oh, you can plant a watermelon over my grave
And let the juice (SLUUURP) slip through!

To protect and to serve.

Dan and Jane stand ready outside the Townhouse.

Gabe hooked up with us at the Press Club.

The batteries in my camera were running low, so we didn't get photos at the Press, Benny's, the Zebra Club or the Streets of London Pub.

Pictured L-R are Jane, Steven, Rob, Elise, Amy, Danny, Melanie and Tom. You have to really squint to see Elise, Amy and Melanie though.

 

Outside the Zebra club, Melanie began offering watermelon to cars stopped at the intersection. One car after another stopped to grab a slice or two. It was awesome! 

I was amazed when two guys in a spotless new Cadillac stopped and took a couple of slices.

It was almost two a.m. when our enthusiasm (and our melon supplies) began to wane. We had a beer at the Streets of London and pushed the remaining rinds and heels home.

We had given away (or eaten) about 75 pounds of watermelon (~250 wedges) over the course of three hours.

No one got into a fight, and no one accidentally cut any fingers off. Free Watermelon Night was a success!

 Thanks to Danny, Chris and Steven for shooting the photos.

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