Friday, April 2, 2010
Do you ever look back and wonder how you made to the age you are now? How on earth can someone that dumb have made it? No?
Have you ever been stuck on the side of a freeway? When you suddenly realize just how fast 80 mph is and you hope you don't end up like the bugs on your front bumper?
I was listening to the radio and the guy was talking about the goings at Griffith Park. Some sort of shenanigans in the bushes. Now, I'm sure his shenanigans were different than the ones I experienced.
Picture it. Around Mother's Day...sometime in the early '80s. (My frontal lobes refuse to cough up the date.) We are taking my mom to a play in Los Angeles. I am following the crew in my 1984 Honda Accord, affectionately known as Suzie the Squirrel Killer. Headed east on the 134 getting ready to transition to the 5 southbound. Right there near Forest Lawn, the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park. It is Sunday morning so it is quiet. Hardly any traffic.
And Suzie decides to drop her nut basket. She just coughs and dies. I firmly believe that I have an overworked and underpaid guardian angel because I coast into a big dirt turn out with a Call Box phone right in front of me. It is almost comical to think how antiquated those seem now in the era of cell phones. I try to restart Suzie but she will have none of that and my family is oblivious to the fact that I am no longer behind them.
I am dressed in nice cream colored slacks and silky shirt and really nice shoes....totally different than my usual jeans and sneakers. I feel so stupid. I walk to the Call Box and try to figure out how it works. The nice lady who answers is pretty emphatic. Are you on the freeway or pulled over to the side? I tell her I am in a turn out and she sounds relieved. I am told to get back in my car and put on my seat belt and someone will be on their way.
Thank heaven it is a nice day. I get back in the car, put on my seat belt, roll down the windows and start to turn on the radio. D'oh! Car broken. Probably for the first time in my life my car is not littered with at least 5 books. (I used to think of my car as a giant purse back then.) This is going to be soooooooo borrrriiiinnnngggg.
As I sit there feeling sorry for myself, a car pulls into the turn out. It is a big area and the car is at least 100 feet away. Do you remember when cars were the size of aircraft carriers? With trunks that could easily fit a Mini Cooper? Well, that's what pulls in behind me. A big man gets out of his car. Hollywood could not have picked a more cheesy stereotype of scary guy.
Gulp. Trying not to look like I just had the shit scared out of me, I try to ever so casually roll up my windows. You know, I mean really ROLL up the windows, like in the olden days. I manage to do it and lock my doors and I start sweating like mad. I look in my rear view mirror. He is looking at me and smirking. He reaches back into his car, picks something up, and then closes his door.
He is putting on a pair of work gloves. ohmygod. ohmygod. ohmygod. I'm going to die and no one will ever know what happened to me!
Mr. Goon puts on his gloves, walks to the ginormous trunk and opens it up. Probably looking for rope and duct tape. He fiddles around a little while.
I on the other hand look like I have been hypnotized by a snake. I'm sure my mouth is hanging open but I can't move a muscle. When it comes to fight or flight, I chose the third option....pretend you're a statue.
He walks out from behind his car and walks toward the bushes. What??? He is digging around in there for a while. What is he doing? He walks back to his trunk carrying wrapped packages of something. He goes back and forth. Back and forth. Did UPS drop a load of his in the bushes? What is he doing and what are those packages?
He finishes his groping in the bushes and shuts the trunk. He takes off his gloves. Okay, maybe I'm going to live after all. He doesn't want fingerprints on my throat, right?
He gets in his car, starts his engine, adjusts his mirror to check himself out, and starts to drive away. As he passes me, he looks over at me. That sonofabitch actually looks like he is trying not to laugh.
Do you know how many years later did I realize just what the heck he was up to? Little packages of cocaine or heroin. (I don't think it was weed.) Can you imagine if I had had to take a whizz and went into the bushes and tinkled on their stuff? Light tan bricks of urine flavored coke? I still have a heart attack thinking about it.
I can only guess that I must have looked clueless, gullible, and oblivious enough to reality so he figured he had nothing to worry about.
Like I said, sometimes it pays to at least look stupid.
Posted by Happy Hour...Somewhere at 5:12 PM