I had very dear friends visiting here from New Jersey for a week. They had never been to Southern California before, so I spent a lot of time before they arrived thinking of places they’d like to visit. We pretty much had every day planned with some adventure…and some of them were even adventures to us, even though we didn’t plan them that way.
I took them to see LA. Some of my friends are boycotting LA because LA is boycotting Arizona, so I flew solo for this event. Among other things to do there, I’d booked an open-topped van ride to view movie stars’ homes (we did see several mansions, but more often than not we saw “celebrity gates.”) I’ve done this tour several times with east coast visitors and whenever they hold a contest among the bus riders, asking them to guess something about some particular property, I always win. I know what movie was filmed at the white (now blue) house (“Father of the Bride”) and where Jamie Curtis threw Michael Meyers off the balcony in Hallowe’en. The prize is generally a discount coupon for the tacky souvenir shop near the Chinese Theater. I now have six, all with no expiration date. I have yet to find anything there I cannot live without. If things don’t go well financially, I may apply with Starline to do the tour myself and then I can give out the discount coupons and they won’t be “wasted.”
I think that perhaps the highlight of their visit was going to the San Diego Zoo. Everyone always wants to see the Pandas and it really is a remarkable place. It was the middle of the week and yet there were tons of people there; lots of school trips and families getting an early jump on vacations.
Unbeknownst to me, it was also “National Don’t Look in the Mirror Day” … and a large contingent of people participating in the festivities were at the zoo.
Even though this “national holiday” was not on my calendar, I knew immediately this was the day when I began to look around at my fellow zoo visitors.
First, I saw three women, the smallest of which probably weighed in around 300 pounds. They obviously had called each other to see what the other was wearing, since all were dressed in “Day-glo” colored stretchy, scanty tank tops and flowered knit skirts. Knit doesn’t work on fat people. Flowers don’t work on fat people. I know from personal experience. One of the women had a wedgie the size of the Grand Canyon but didn’t care.It was almost scary. I was worried if she accidentally sat on some small person they would disappear into her great abyss.
Then I saw another woman, enormously wide across the rear, who for some reason decided to hang a big bucket from her belt, right over her butt. It wasn’t bad enough that she was wearing short shorts, she had to draw further attention to her more than ample rear end with the bucket. And what was the bucket for? I shudder to think.
Then there was the gentleman, somewhere in his 60′s, who had a brightly colored, super-flashy Hawaiian shirt with Corona beer bottles all over it. And a grey, long sleeved t-shirt underneath. And beige cargo shorts. And black socks and sandles, to complete the ensemble. Even the monkeys, who don’t really care about anything but eating fleas from each other, skittered up into the trees when they saw this guy.
I think the winners of the day, however, I opted to call “The Wide-end Family.” I believe those were characters created on Saturday Night Live. Anyway, the Wide-ends were on the top of the double decker bus with us. There was Grandma, Grandpa, Daughter, Granddaughter and I guess son-in-law. They were huge. They squeezed themselves into the double seats, body parts overflowing into the already narrow aisle. What drew my attention to them was not that, but the fact that every time the bus stopped so we could view one of the animals, they all stood up but their pants did not go with them. Every time there was something to see on the left side of the bus, all I saw were the cracks of several super-sized heinies. The phrase “Just say no to crack” was flashing over and over in my mind. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who noticed this; other tour-goers started snickering and upon hearing them I had a complete doubled-over laugh meltdown. I actually tried to get a photo of them but the jostling of the bus forced me to only get a belt and part of a pant leg.
All in all, I did see some wonderful things there. The baby Panda was absolutely adorable and very active. I love the elephants, but not their smell. The lion and lioness actually were awake for a few minutes and I really do love monkeys and could watch them for hours. They are like little people in hairy suits. I just hope that what I don’t remember most about that day are the things I wish I hadn’t seen.