During the half a year or so I lived in Burbank, I hooked up with a pop culture publication that covered mainly geek related stuff (comics, anime, etc.). I wrote a couple pieces for them but sadly they said my “style” didn’t fit. Last I checked even the couple pieces they did publish are no longer on the site. Sigh, oh well… Anyway, just now found some of those drafts while going through old files I had saved on a backup drive. In case you’re wondering, yes, while in Hollywood I went by my middle name though surprisingly few people picked up that I share a name with a classic silent film star. But enough with intros, here goes…
Author’s preliminary note: What follows is what will hopefully be the first segment in a continuing series presented by [redacted] wherein which your faithful (and social phobic) narrator braves the dangers of the high seas of high social anxiety to bring back the whole dish (you’ll have to bring your own spoon, then just scoop away).
(authors secondary preliminary note: It really helps if you read this piece in Robert Evans’ (RIP) voice in your head That’s what I do anyway, I can’t stand my own voice.)
Part I: Alfred Hitchcock/Twilight Zone art show opening night at the Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum
So here goes nothing, I guess. Or maybe not, maybe worse than nothing, maybe something that (to paraphrase Metallica by way of Lovecraft by way of Schopenhauer) “that should not be.” Here it is though, the premiere “episode” (oh, don’t worry, I have issues too!) of the tales of an awkward, hayseed rube with a (no longer) famous Hollywood star’s name. This is all by coincidence and on a technicality of course, but regardless, here we go… [redacted] proudly presents? No, that’s not right I don’t speak for [redacted] , I just write for them, ok fine then, “[redacted] presents: Douglas Fairbanks covers Hollywood (and region).”
Now we can begin at the beginning, but I think we should jump to the middle directly after. So to start where it starts: we pulled in, I noted to my sister Jane how the most unfortunate consequence and inconvenience of covering a show (even worse than digging the grime from under my guitar finger picking nails) is actually making a damn appearance at the thing. I couldn’t have known at the time the foreshadowing inherent in the story I’d relate as I was dropped at the curb under the flag in front of the Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum in the Magnolia district of the beautiful Burbanks of Hollywood.
I’m digressing already aren’t I… so backstory then story. I’m certain it was the first or second in the “I hate Bonnaroo” series of articles, my coverage of the Bonaroo music and arts festival for Ghettoblaster or Spacelab. Anyways, the story was of the “salem k for hire gig” that I managed to opt into (and as a result, out of, the show). Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t paying the salem k for hire. They got press passes and for that I got paid.
42 minutes though should be just enough time without being in any danger of being too near. Besides it’s the meaning of life, the universe and EVERYTHING according to Douglas Noel Adams and whenever I’m in Burbank or Hollywood I go by my middle name Douglas (making me the third Douglas Fairbanks in Hollywood on a technicality, despite the fact most people don’t remember the first and the ones that remember the first don’t remember the second and I’m no relation except in legal name to either) it seems to fit somehow.
There’s quite a line though and it’s crawling at a snail’s pace.
Time lapse: Ext: sitting across the street from the flag to wait out my ride and get at least a bit of distance between myself and “the madding crowd.” It’s 9:02, we’d scheduled our pickup for 9:09 at the flag in front of the Bearded Lady Mystic Museum, unfortunately (or fortunately rather, both for us, the museum and the story) the line was lengthy enough to preclude our entry by our aforementioned pickup time and leaving a shaggy dog story in place of my entry at opening night as sitting outside the show, as fate would have it, would be the show for us this night. Luckily however for any of us within the Magnolia district region for the next two months the Alfred Hitchcock and Twilight Zone art show is only OPENING this slightly chilly Saturday evening. The chill to the air opening night only added to the chilled backdrop as “the line procedure” enacted itself, slowly, horrifyingly in a vicious creep of humans huddled against the perfectly manicured, but still eerily gnarled trees.
Somewhere and somehow (and we can’t even blame our penmanship this time) we lost a Frank Zappa reference somewhere in between our equally anxious and excited head and my fumbling fingers. I’ll blame the balancing act I was forced into trying to maintain hold of my little, blue sketchbook and the laptop. The laptop was to keep time so I’d know when my ride was to arrive. More on why I didn’t just bring a cell phone like some kind of sane person in just a bit.
In between the precarious balancing act and the note taking I was able to get lost in myself somewhat at least but this far from elegant procedure was making me painfully aware of my none-too-swanlike carriage amidst “the beautiful people” of classy, but quaint Burbank.
After my phone’s Freudian crack (I Freudian dropped it a couple months ago and have Freudian “forgotten” to replace it since as I believe I get beeped and buzzed plenty by way of the laptoblet (it’s a 3 in one, I manage to put up with the top screen since it has a fold-away physical keyboard). If I might digress just a moment, (I know this makes my second major digression at this point, but the sooner I acclimate you to them, the sooner I can stop worrying about indulging myself in them) I personally fear that the touchscreen “technology” will fare us as well as broom technology has. Just think, brooms can’t be much newer than the wheel, but have you ever seen a dustpan that didn’t leave some line (however thin).
There it was, just the distraction I needed to get my mind off of the space I was taking up in the world (and the inevitable scene that follows) I found just the distraction I needed in the form of a pup sized pup tent outside of Pimp my Pooch (immediately upon seeing this name my mind jumps to Zappa’s live cover of “Call any vegetable” off of Billy the Mountain, specifically to the line in which the Mothers’ chorus queries: “Where can I go to get my poodle clipped in Burbank? At Ralphs vegetarian poodle clipping…” Well now I’ve seen one more thing…
And that was it for the night. Apart, of course, from receiving a pin, commemorative even, and free only to the first 100 to make it in to the show, or at least the first 99 and me. I entrusted my entry fare to some ladies in front of me in the line (specifically earmarked for purchase at the Mystic Museum, but they looked trustworthy). Ah, but the night was still young, even if I didn’t feel as young as I evidently look.
To be continued in part II