Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mind Soup Sunday

There are places that people in LA will not leave their place in line for, for any reason. Pinks Hot Dogs is one of those places. Even when Brad Pitt staged his own kidnapping there for a prank. People screamed, but remained in line for their chili dogs or foot long spicy dogs with extra kraut. Driving up La Brea Avenue the other day after being pulled over for 2 fire trucks and 1 paramedic vehicle, I continued on my merry way after they had passed ahead of me, only to find as I caught up with them that apparently someone had collapsed, been murdered or simply choked and/or died perhaps, at Pinks Hotdogs. Pinks is a Hollywood tradition and diet staple, like grits in the south or pickled herring in parts of Wisconsin. The line for dogs is always a long one and this particular day was no different, though you’d think the scene would make one lose one’s appetite or at least say “gee, let’s go across the street to The Pig,” but no. The long lunch line and food service was still in motion, despite the drama occurring right there. Perhaps reality teeVee has desensitized even the most weak-of-stomach-type-person. Well, the dogs are really good – in fact, Manpants and I used to have an agreement that no matter what we were on our way to, if we drove by and there was no line, we would have to stop and get a dog. The only time THAT happened was on 9/11 – and we didn’t much feel like stopping that day.

I was seriously contemplating writing the long overdue conclusion of Courtesy Confidential that I started here a bazillion ages ago, but when last I visited my hack noir tale I had just tripped over a severed leg that I mistook for a tree root after finding the dead body of the Jiffy Lube guy in the bathroom at Starbucks while inappropriately flirting with the sissy-man who was the most likely murder suspect. Now that’s not necessarily all that disturbing in that particular context but for the fact that I finally saw the 1999 film TITUS over the weekend which was Julie Taymor’s brilliant take on Shakespeare’s TITUS ANDRONICUS. There’s a scene in the film that is particularly gruesome - okay, there are several and they keep topping each other, but this particular one is haunting and burned into my memory with no indication that it’s leaving anytime soon. So clumsiness with body parts will have to wait until another day. Meanwhile I’ll have to deal with the rest of the mess that's rattling around in my somewhat addled brain.

For example, I frequently wake up in the morning thinking of “What if I woke up this morning and..." scenarios to break up my routine: “What if I woke up one morning and dressed up in a clown costume for no reason, spending the day frightening perfectly innocent people...” “What if I woke up one morning, let myself into my friends houses while they weren't at home and reorganized their kitchen cupboards so that nothing was where it was supposed to be..." This morning I thought it would be a really great idea to go for an entire day as if I were Star Man. Like Jeff Bridges (a highly under-appreciated actor in my opinion) in the movie. If you are too young to know about the movie Star Man, as I've said before, go out and play, you shouldn't be on the computer. Anyway... if I were to truly do this experiment justice, it would mean I would have to approach everything as if I had never experienced it before. First I realized the supreme flaw of my brilliant idea when I went to get coffee. I, according to my brilliant role playing, didn’t know how to make coffee, let alone know what a coffee maker would even look like or for that matter, what coffee WAS. I can’t start my day without coffee and after much dilemma as to staying true to my Sunday LIFE EXERCISE I had a rather HUGE problem. I figured I could walk to the nearest Starbucks and order a coffee, but again, that would involve knowing intuitively that there was a substance that I could ingest that would wake me up AND get rid of the headache I was starting to develop from not having caffeine, and that I could walk to a building that had people in it who would GIVE me this headache curing elixir if I gave them objects of payment called “currency” in the denomination that they specified. Phew. I knew DRIVING there was completely out of the question. I also realized that there was nothing in my refrigerator that in its present state could be interpreted as being “food” or “drink” because I hadn’t done the grocery shopping yet and I was about to be in a very sorry state. All this took place in the 5 minutes from my waking to my scrapping the idea and making myself a delicious pot of French roast. I have been spending the rest of the day quite happy in my knowledge that I have numerous skills, accomplishments and information that heretofore I have been taking for granted, and that I really DO have a well-rounded collection of coping skills despite what it says on the prescription label.

Thank God the idea to play Star Man originally came to me AFTER I’d already used the toilet this morning.


Blogger PATCAM2005 said...

Did you say, Starbucks!!! They are few and far between here, and indeed the reason there are so many cranky people still lurking.

My sunday workout consists of disk cleanup, defragment, virus scan and ad-aware of course. But, oh do I miss being able to walk to a Starbuck-Heaven or for that matter have one close enough to the house to not waste half-a-tank of gas, I envy you...

13 February, 2005 15:39  
Blogger R said...

Seriously...get your ass over to my house pronto. You have way too much time on your hands and I have ways to fill it. Namely one named Grace-Elizabeth. Then I can go to Starbucks. I would rearrange your fantasy to "Star Man..the sequel..or how he discovered coffee" And live that out for a day. I'd give you the full report. I haven't seen the movie so, clearly you'd have to stay long enough for me to see it and THEN act out this brilliant plan. Oh, and I'd also have to check out that dog. (The best hot dog in Denver is the hot dog cart guy at Home Depot. Tells you all you need to know about where I live.) I'd come back. Eventually.

13 February, 2005 21:28  
Blogger Laura said...

Did you say...."what if I spent the day dressed as a clown?" That reminds me of a little story. Once upon a time there, in a galaxy far far away, were these two high school girls. They thought they were Da Bomb. They auctioned themselves off at a Slave Auction (this was pre-PC days), thinking that they would get bought for lots of money by the sexiest guys at school and would then be "forced" to wear slinky lingerie to school. Instead, they were bought by some freshman dorks for $17 whose brilliant ideas was that they would wear clown costumes to school...big, baggy extremely un-sexy clown suits, curly wigs, size 15 clown shoes, and full face point. And then they had to get up on stage and do something for the "talent show" but the memory gets way too painful, I can't go on.

14 February, 2005 05:37  
Anonymous frstlymil said...

OhmyGOD. I almost forgot about that most sexy day from senior year! And that horrible song was about a lollipop.

14 February, 2005 07:30  
Blogger Jet said...

I admire your onging honing of imagination. My daily routine is more of a twelve step program.

Arise. Make coffee. Be civil. Feed the masses. Organize chaos. More coffee. Be civil. Feed the masses. Organize chaos. Feed the masses. Drink cocktails. Fall into bed.

I need more imagination.

14 February, 2005 11:05  

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