You know, for someone who claims to know as much as I do, I am an extremely under-traveled person. I’ve sort of always just figured that people are the same sort of ignorant ass morons the world over. It’s an easy assumption to make when you’ve only left the time zone you were born in only a few times.In an attempt to make me more edumacated, my exceedingly lovely and generous girlfriend recently bought the two of us tickets to Los Angeles, to spend Memorial day weekend with our friends, Brad and Eleanor. Now, when traveling such a vaunted location, especially a location you’ve never been to, it’s important to gather all the kind of rumors, heresay and slander about said location from your friends before going there.
In just about two weeks of questioning my friends I had come up with the following list of things to expect upon my arrival at LAX:
* It’s not just sunny and beautiful all day, Los Angeles has this heretofore undocumented phenomenom called “Dry Heat.” Something that apparently makes ambient temperatures of up to 375 degrees farenheit feel like a series of warm flatulence being circulated around your face.
* Sure there’s no smoking, but that doesn’t matter, because since “Dry Heat” exists, everyone parties and hangs out outside, so phrenetic chain smokers like myself can go about their saddo masochistic lifestyles unfettered.
And of course:
* Celebrities grow on trees in LA, and they will either offer you drugs or try to get you to have sex with them.
I would just like to state for the record that the preceding points were compiled from a series of drunken, shouted conversations, the E! Channel and comic books.
Armed with this cache of useful knowledge, we made our trek westward, over a bridge, to Newark Airport… and then we got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles. I won’t bore you with the details of what has been decided to be one of the most ill prepared flights of all time, but I’ll offer you the following tidbit: No In Flight movie, stranded on the runway for an hour and some bitch stole my pillow. We spent somewhere in the vicinity of six hours watching the most mind numbingly idiotic CBS sitcoms money has to offer, I may be the one person on this planet who does not love Raymond.
Fast forward four days and we’re on our way back, again, I don’t want to bore you with all the details and all the kissy faced mushiness that was involved, suffice to say I had a most excellent time. Our hosts were gracious, the food excellent and the company unbeatable.
I did, however, come away with the following observations of the Left Coast:
* Pink is the national color of the country of Los Angeles. People have pink everything there. Since I had arrived with my standard New York black and denim wardrobe I was pretty much a fashion pariah the entire duration of the trip. It made me want to contract pink-eye just to fit in.
* Palm trees are fucking awesome. Until you’ve seen four million of them and realize, “Yep, that’s a fucking palm tree, alright.” And realize that it gives less shade than the contestants at a country fair pie eating contest. They also don’t have any coconuts, or monkeys, what the shit!? I want to cut down every single palm tree for fooling me thusly.
* Los Angeles is this amazing dichotomy. On one hand it’s beautiful: hillside houses, beaches and models. On the other, it’s dangerous: Brush fires, earth quakes and Kevin Spacey. Kind of like a prom queen hopped up on tina armed with a shiv fashioned out of her shoe-heel.
* Everywhere is thirty minutes away. Somehow, when leaving your apartment, you enter a vortex made up of traffic, hills and left turns. We traveled at least eight times this past weekend and EVERY WHERE we went took 30 minutes, not more, not less, thirty minutes. I want to rent a place in LA and then drive to Hong Kong.
* Everyone wears skirts. Teeny little tennis skirts that make you feel like you’re at the prom with a bunch of girls who had ridiculous growth spurts after they bought their dresses. I am not complaining.
Finally, I’d like address my findings on the three assumptions from the beginning of the column:
1) Dry heat does exist, and apparently exists year round. It’s perpetually room temperature in LA. Homeless people must absolutely love it there, in fact, I’d like to be homeless in LA. One shirt, one pair of pants that’s all you need to live there. Maybe this is a little Queer Eye of me, but I don’t see the point of living in a place where you don’t get to go winter clothes shopping.
b) Los Angelans hate smokers. They hate, hate, hate them. But they all smoke. Try that one on for size. You can’t smoke on the beach, in a lot of outdoor dining establishments, or in fucking Disneyland, for the love of Christ, YOU CANNOT SMOKE IN DISNEYLAND! I’m going to sue Disney for using the tagline “The Happiest Place on Earth.” How am I supposed to be happy if I’m not chainsmoking the duration of “Small World?” (Which, by the way is still in my head nearly a week later)
III) There are no celebrities in Los Angeles, and Jessica Alba did not offer to have sex with me. Granted, we spent only a few days there and didn’t go to any celebrity type places, but I had been led to believe that she was going to be waiting for me when I got off the plane, and all I had to do was to pick her out of one of those giant non-fruit and monkey bearing palm trees.