Sneak a peek inside my mental scrapbook from a week in L.A.
Sign Of The Times
Runner-up for the best sign I saw in So-Cal goes to a dry cleaner in West Covina, which had this on the marquee: "Come celebrate March Madness with our 'full coat press.'" The undisputed champion, though, has to be the "Adopt-a-Highway" marker along the 101 that was sponsored by a company called 1-800-FUNERAL. I'm not sure which angle fits more appropriately: the fact that so much of that organization's business comes from that stretch of the 101; or that if anyone actually attempted to pick up trash along that route, their loved ones would know whom to call.
Do We Really Need This Much Convenience?
A convenient store in Puente advertised "Barbecue, Video, Liquor, Realty." I'd love to hear the guy telling his wife when he gets home, "I stopped off for some beer and brisket, and they were offering a free movie rental with the purchase of a beachfront condo in Santa Monica. I thought you might be upset, so I got Prince of Tides."
Nominated For Best Performance In A Printing Store
Where else but Hollywood do you see soap stars in a Kinko's? I'm in the store on Hollywood and Vine last Friday when in walks Thaao Penghlis (pronounced "thaao penghlis"), the veteran soap actor who was involved in perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious subplot in television history. Penghlis not only played Tony Dimera on Days of Our Lives but also his identical twin cousin, Andre. Read that last sentence again. Maybe that's why he was at Kinko's. He was making a copy of himself...or was it Andre... (cue the diabolical laughter, the goth music hitting a crescendo, and CUT!)
Honesty Is The Best Policy...Nudity Is A Close Second
One of the strip clubs that litter Sunset Boulevard took any mystery out of the decision for the Christ-follower struggling with purity. On the sign above the buliding was a caricature of a seductive woman...with horns coming out of her head. In case you were debating whether to patronize such an establishment, invoking the highly-underrated "Jesus Hung Out With Sinners" clause; the answer is yes, Satan is in here.
Maybe It Was My Red Boots And Cape
Living the bulk of one's life in Nashville and Abilene doesn't adequately prepare one for the kinds of conversations one has in a place like Hollywood. After a Palm Sunday worship service at the Hollywood United Methodist Church (the one with the huge pink AIDS ribbon on the side of the building), I stepped into a market around the corner and had this checkout-line exchange with a young man who did not share my interest in the opposite sex:
GUY: "Are you Christopher Reeve?"
ME (slightly stunned): "He can't even walk yet, can he?"
GUY: "I don't know. I was just going to ask you for your autograph."
ME (to the cashier): "Can I get a receipt?"
L.A. was good for my anecdote reservoir, but it's good to see my family again. I hope they like the beach.