WooHoo, BooHoo and PooPoo!

I winged my way down to L.A. to spend a little “lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous” time with my daughter. Immediately upon my arrival the sewer backed up. BooHoo! In case you think there was a causal connection, there wasn’t; it was spontaneous eruption. The first hint of trouble came when I heard a suspicious gurgling noise , bloup, bloup, bloup and traced it to the loo. Large but innocuous bubbles were periodically bursting to the surface in a menacing fashion. The situation deteriorated in the course of the morning to a very slow flush. Sensing something unpleasant brewing I reported the matter to the courteous and friendly staff at the front desk and was told they would call the building maintenance man. “When is that likely to be?” I asked hoping to convey a sense of urgency. “Whenever he’s available” he answered in his courteous and friendly manner…..  “You on the ground floor?” he added. I nodded. “Uh-ah” he said. “You in the corner unit?”. I nodded. Another ”uh-ah”. “Yeah, this has happened before” he added, as if to comfort me. ” Whatever you do, don’t flush” he said and turned his back to me so I gathered our conversation was over.

My daughter arrived home a few hours later and the situation had grown steadily worse, at one stage a gushing over like Mount Vesuvius so that we were now toe deep in a brackish lake the colour of drinking water of the average third world child. We  went together to stir up some action. “We’re wading around in waste” she explained. “Oh, I didn’t realize it was that bad, we would have sent someone immediately. By the way, whatever you do don’t flush.” A few more hours went by and the situation was dire. We returned to “management” and requested meekly that at the very least, could they send someone to clean the bathroom lest we contract bubonic plague and sue their asses. Threat of litigation always seems to work in lawyer-land and an hour later a sweet little Mexican who spoke little English arrived at the door mop in hand. The first thing she did was flush. Seconds later she emerged from the bathroom ashen faced and fled back to Mexico.

We were now dealing with a quagmire and tried to shore up the dam with every towel or cloth at our disposal. This was the last straw. In desperation I decided if I ran through the building flailing my arms and shrieking, I may get some attention. It worked! The first person I came across was the the maintenance man – heading in the opposite direction. I knew it was him because he had “maintenance” embroidered on his shirt. ”Yeah, I heard there was a problem. I just called the plumber.” JUST called the plumber – JUST called the plumber – what could this possibly mean?   “Yeah, should be on his way soon.” SHOULD BE ON HIS WAY SOON?  I dragged the burly man by the scruff of the neck to see the devastation first hand. “Yeah it’s bad but I just called the plumber and he should be on his way soon.” A few hours later, around 6 that evening the plumber arrived and after another 3 hours he left. Welcome to La la land.

dsc_2319.jpg   I must explain where my daughter lives. Thanks to the benevolence of her room-mates well-heeled father she lives in a gated community called The Villas at Park La Brea complete with swimming pool surrounded by palm trees, a fountain and friendly and courteous staff. Described as “a tropical paradise in the heart of the city offering apartment homes of distinctive style” it has the look and feel of an all-inclusive in any one of the world’s playgrounds colonized by the U.S. of A.They failed to mention plumbing problems.

images.jpgThe place is close to fashion and acting schools and is populated mostly by disarmingly good-looking young co-eds, all on the family pay-roll while they attend school or hang around the pool waiting to be discovered. They all seem to be suffering from “affluenza”, a disease that attacks the central reality system and renders it’s victims completely devoid of charm or manners. They carry little rat dogs, even the guys, which is the accessory de rigeur down here and spend their days chewing gum, madly texting each other, reading “People” or “Star” magazines or having loud conversations with themselves (it turns out they are “conversing” on their cell phones via a “tooth”). They are demanding and whiney to the curteous and friendly staff. It would appear that affluenza is contagious and spreads to the people who work for people completely devoid of charm or manners so that they too become completely devoid of charm or manners. I guess they think it must be the way to be if you want to get ahead. 

balloondog390.jpgAfter several days of shoppng and listening to “Oh My God, that’s SO gross” around the pool, I needed a culture cleanse. I hooked up with an adorable (that’s L.A. lingo) friend who has similar interests to me – art, architecture and belly-laughs. For a few days in a row we hit the deck at 9 am and went on a kultcha krawl. We ranged all over town. We rode the little finicular up to The Getty Museum, we went to the newly opened Broad Contemporary Art Museum to see the sort of Art you can collect when your stinky rich – Rauschenberg,  Johns, Lichtenstein, Ruscha, Warhol,  Basquiat, Koons, Serra, Twombly, Hirst. It was vast and breathtaking, a major WooHoo! At LACMA we loved the revolutionary, experimental ”Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement” incorporating installation, conceptual art, performance and intermedia works that incorporate film, digital and sound art, all described as ”stealthy artistic interventions in urban spaces”. http://www.lacma.org/art/ExhibPhantom.aspx  Other than that we drove around looking at Architecture. We both LOVE this town. It’s hard not to love a town that is warm with seductively balmy breezes that caress your body, when you come from a place of bone-chillers that would freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Los Angeles gets 325 days of sunshine a year – they left the other 40 for us! The climate is dreamy, but most of all I love the architecture and the crazy, vibrating energy of a city of some 13 million people from all parts of the globe, where 224 different languages are spoken and the houses are often pink!   To be continued………..

2 Responses

  1. Liliana Says:

    We’ve just finished a tour on Harleys (Peter and clients), I following in our comfortable, A/C car, in Napa, Sonoma, down the Coast to Carmel and Pebble Beach resorts. No plumbing problems, just failed A/C systems, which in the Californian heat may be as bad as smelly toillets.

    Look forward for the continuation of your adventures in LA,

  2. Import from China Says:

    Nice post, you got some good points there – thank you.

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