These are San Francisco's unsung heroes. All 12 of them.
A lot of people in SF get credit for being awesome (the people who organized Batkid, the Giants, Mayor Lee, Mayor Lee's mustache...), but there are still plenty of everyday heroes who do their day-to-day awesome without fanfare. Until now. Here are SF's 12 unsung heroes:
1. The person who left 30mins in the parking meter
You knew dropping off your dry-cleaning on Polk was going to take less time than 35mins, but you put those 35 quarters in anyway (it's a quarter a minute now, right?), and because of it, have let us keep our precious, precious George Washington coin-age for the next time we're trying to park anywhere that isn't the Outer Richmond.
2. The guy who doesn't decide to cross a Union Square crosswalk with only 2 seconds left on the blinking hand
You sir, are a true paragon among men. Not only are you subjecting yourself to Union Square for more time than any San Franciscan should legally be subjected to, but your time being jostled/trapped/harassed/asked-directions(-even-though-they-clearly-have-smartphones) by tourists hasn't depleted your generosity to your fellow man, specifically the one in the car who is trying not to accidentally run anyone over.
3. The people who actually run B2B
Kudos to you, you crazy people. And sorry in advance for the stumbling obstacles we're about to present to you while dressed as giant traffic cones (we're all about irony).
4. The bartender who actually pays attention to guys wanting to order in the Marina
Oh my God, I was fully expecting to be at this bar for the next 30mins waiting to order two beers and then re-order those two beers from a different bartender, when you disappeared from the face of the Earth. And here you are like some sort of guardian booze angel, already delivering me two Tecates despite the fact that a super-hot girl just walked up next to me. I will be leaving you a giant tip, not only for this bar-going miracle, but also from the schadenfreude I get from watching her face fall as you serve people based on the order they came to the bar, rather than how hot they are.
5. The one Uber driver that shows up in the middle of nowhere at 3am in SOMA
What are you doing here?! Wait, you have water bottles, too?? *Starts singing 'Wind Beneath My Wings'*
6. The person who implemented the built-in steps in the crazy-steep hills
It's hard to tell if you're really still an unsung hero considering, well, you might be dead. But we like to imagine you're not, and are instead alive and well, and happy to have made it a lot less likely we fall and roll all the way to Chestnut St.
7. The MUNI driver who doesn't give a crap/start something when you pretend to swipe your Clipper and there's no money
Thank you for understanding that either, 1) we haven't had the time to find a Clipper station to reload, or 2) it's the end of the month and we just paid our rent/bills, but haven't seen payday yet. You are the Mother Teresa of the bus line, and we are eternally grateful you haven't let money get in the way of us reaching Lightning Tavern's Taco Tuesdays.
8. The polite homeless guy
The fact that you haven't yelled at me, called me a horrible person, threatened to stab me with that rusty coat hanger, AND just told me to "have a nice day" is the reason I'm going to give you $20... which is a big deal. Just ask the Mother Teresa MUNI driver. They'll tell ya.
9. Any party bus driver to Napa
You knew what you were in for, but you came anyway. Thank you for taking our ADHD music requests, for dealing with that one girl who sat in the front seat and decided to flirt with you, and for ignoring whatever it is that went on in the bathroom. God, we hope the tip we left you was big enough.
10. The person on a bar crawl that is keeping theirs and everyone else's sh** together
Let's all face the fact that bar crawls are actually pretty much the worst, whether you're on them ("Shots at six different Polk St spots??? Um, yes!"), or just an innocent bystander who was already there ("Wait an extra 30mins for that whiskey ginger I just ordered at Tonic??? Um, yes!"). The one person who saves it, though, is the person in charge -- the saintly saint who makes sure everything keeps going and doesn't derail and totally screw over one bar with an influx of people inexplicably in golf attire.
11. The group that last-minute cancelled their reservation at State Bird Provisions, NOPA, or Rich Table
We cannot even imagine what cooler night you somehow seem to have planned, but you just made ours so much better by your sheer absence. Now, our extremely slim hope of showing up and praying for an empty walk-in table has just been realized, and us plebeians who don't know how to get reservations to these spots will actually get to see why everyone loves them so much. Basically, we heart you.
12. The guy who knows the password to the Wi-Fi
Thank you for not judging us for just wanting to get on the internet without ordering anything (we'll buy something to eat in a second, we've just got work to do).
Joe Starkey is Thrillist's San Francisco Editor, and would also like to personally thank any server/bartender who's greeted him with, "What can I get you, handsome?". He knows it's flattery, but it'll get you everywhere. Like following him on Twitter.