I went downtown with the Art Society of Marshall today, on a tour of “the LA skyline”:http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/tours_main.php4#broadway. We were accompanied, on the early part of our tour, by an escort of downtown’s finest; that is to say, an African-American homeless man pushing a shopping cart full of flattened cardboard boxes. This worthy was clearly trying to inform us of some of the more subtle things around us: “smells like poo!” he’d yell, at the top of his lungs. “Smells like poo?” “SMELLS like poo!” The inflection varied between outbursts, almost as if he was trying to say different things (just like Junior can mean three different things when he says “hello!”).
But we ignored the poor man, and finally he sat down on a bench in front of “The Standard”:http://www.standardhotel.com/ and played his harmonica. Well, the one note he knew how to hit on his harmonica he played for while. When that didn’t get our attention, he stormed up to the curb, kicked a McDonald’s bag into the street with much gusto, and yelled, at the top of his lungs, “that’s my black ass!”
Much more unnerving was the woman parked near me at night. I went to meet some friends for a bite to eat; we met in Beverly Hills. I found street parking on a dark street (Burton Way, actually a 4-lane thoroughfare, but pretty dark nonetheless) and, getting out of my car, walked up to the “No Parking” sign to discern exactly when there was No Parking. I was interrupted in the middle of the sign (“No Parking 6am to… wha?”) by a scream behind me, “get the hell out of here!” Turns out that there was a woman sitting in the darkened car next to the “No Parking” sign and this strange man standing outside her car freaked her out. I tried to explain that I was deciphering the “No Parking” sign but she just gave me the evil eye. Now, being nervous I can understand but, in Beverly Hills? Her scream was so bloodcurdling, my heart was pounding for minutes afterwards. Now _that_ smelled like poo!