Monday, May 28, 2007

Fattest Man on Melrose

Today being Memorial Day, and therefore a Holiday, we decided to drive into L.A. and do some shopping at trendy stores on Melrose and Robertson. The people who need the holdays the most, retail workers (slaves) all have to work on virtually every major holiday now. That means that those of us who can afford to take off time when we want to, will not be inconvenienced by the stores selling cheap Chinese clothing,with fantastic markups, being closed when we want to shop.This is especially ironic on Labor day, but worked O.K. today too, the day the nation has set aside to pay tribute to those who have died in the various wars we have participated in. It used to be that Americans were late for every war, Then for awhile we were mostly on time. Finally, we started coming ahead of everyone else and , of late, we are just about the only ones who show up at all, other than those we are shooting at.. This tends to make the number of Americans killed to be a rather high % of those of fight on our side, assuring generations of Memorial Days in years to come.

But back to L.A. L.A. makes me nervous. Unlike towns like say, Chicago, where I blend right in over at Mike Ditaks, I look rather out of place in L.A. Today, I was easily the fatest man on Melrose Blvd. This counts all men, not just customers of the stores or patrons at the restaraunts, but also the retail sales personel, the waiters and waitresses, the cops and security guards, even the cooks. I felt self conscious walking down the street with all of these thin people. I don't like to eat in the sidewalk cafes for fear that I won't fit. It does not help that L.A. has completely given itself over to health food. With what is served on the menu, there is n o way any person could gain weight here. At the restaraunt where we ate, they had a few non health items on the menu, but they were at the back under a section called "protein", and they were very expensive. A turkey sandwich was $17. It paid to eat healthy there, and indeed, I had a delicious veggie burger for only $11.50.

I have been coming to Southern California for about 25 years. L.A. has been the arbitrator of America culture for about 50 years. Roughly since television production moved here from New York. I did not say elite culture, although they are probably just about on top of that too by now. I'm talking about the culture of suburbia, the middle american, what used to be known as Main Street culture back in the days of Babbit. It still starts here, every new trend, every new idea, every quick fad, all start within a 50 mile radius of where I ate lunch. So it is damned inconvenient that the Californians get me, and the rest of the nation, to buy into a fad, like fast food, and then turn their backs on us when we partake of it. There must be a quarter of a million Jack in the Boxes out here. There is no way that even one person who lives here ever eats there.I bet there has not been one person from Southern California in a fast food place, other than In-Out Burger (which is more of a cult, than a restaraunt) since Lyndon Johnson was President.

Woody Allen once lampooned California by saying that the only cultural advantage to living here was being able to turn right on a red light. Well, all of America followed that trend too. So according to Woody, I guess there are no more cultural advantages to living out here at all. Which is fine by me. No great conversation ever started over a couple of fruit smoothies. It takes alcohol to bring out the best of Americans, and probably beef to. Meet you at Ditkas. I'll buy.

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