The Bay Area press has been following a mildly amusing story about a taxi cab driver who claims his vehicle's medallion number—666—is unlucky. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, the cabbie petitioned the San Francisco Taxi Commission for a less diabolical number.
[Michael] Byrne, a 30-year veteran driver, was assigned No. 666 only last August, [assistant commission executive director Jordanna] Thigpen said, after another applicant refused to accept the number. Since then, sources said, Byrne has been involved in at least one accident—even after taking the precaution of having the cab blessed at Mission Dolores.The commission eventually rejected the cab driver's petition. He's stuck with the Number of the Beast.
“Do I believe in the Mark of the Beast myself?” Thigpen said in an interview. “No. But there is a lot of negative energy around that cab. If we can help somebody out, why not do it? If something's a nuisance, it's our duty to get rid of it, right?”
Others in San Francisco are less concerned about associations with the biblical “six hundred three score and six.” Some of these serene people are Catholic priests! Jon Carroll took note of this in his column in today's Chronicle:
Praise the Lord: Finally, on the troubling matter of 666, there's this note from the Rev. John Itzaina. “I'm pastor of SS Peter and Paul's in North Beach, you know, the church with its own park in front, Washington Square. I always thought it was ours.It's nice to read about people who aren't superstitious. I wonder: Do they thank God that they don't believe in such foolishness?
“Just for the record, the rectory of the Salesians of Don Bosco at SS Peter and Paul's is 666 Filbert St. The cable-car tour goes by and points out the ominous address. Visitors take their pictures with the rectory sign. Despite its address, the Salesians and SS Peter and Paul's have ministered in San Francisco since 1897 through the earthquake, anarchist bombers in the '20s, two world wars, the flower generation and the mayoralties of Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom. And we still believe our address has nothing to do with world or local conflicts.”
Saved from the Beast!