I love my adopted city. I really do. Each city has its quirks – London’s cabbies who know the most obscure lanes, mews and cul de sacs and address you in a thick cockney accent, Bologna’s old men who stand around in small circles outside coffee shops or in the main square, hands clasped behind their backs, discussing sports and politics only, New York’s street vendors, Venice’s gondoliers and their embarrassing songs. But LA has an unusual amount of kooks who couldn’t feel at home anywhere else but here. Partly, because no other place on earth would be prepared to tolerate them.
I rushed into Petco a few days ago, to grab some food for the mighty Ottie. I was in a hurry and standing at the notoriously slow and unfriendly check-out with half a dozen cans perched on top of each other, and held by my hands at one hand and by my nose at the other. The lady in front of me, the one with very long and cellulite free legs under a frilly mini-skirt, turns around and, molding her pumped up lips into a smile, tells me “I am going to free them!”
“Free what?” I just want her to move and pay for whatever she is purchasing.
It turns out she has discovered fat bags of live crickets she is determined to buy and release in the wilderness.
“See, they sell them to feed them to snakes and I am going to free them. I am a vegan” she concludes, as if settling her argument (and what of the poor snakes? Are they supposed to convert to a vegan diet?)
“Well, you better free them on the corner of Hollywood and Cahuenga because if you release them in the wilderness, they will still be eaten by snakes.” I can be helpful when I set my mind to it.
The tire lips mouth a “o” that denotes uncertainty, not quite knowing if I am kidding. “You are right, I will let them go in my yard”.
I so wish I could have been at her house that night to see how she was enjoying the cricket concerto. She then proceeded to haggle over the individual cricket price with the cashier while my arms were about to buckle.
Somehow, the cashier kept her aplomb and even told her that some people buy crickets for pets (more kooks).
Only in LA such an exchange could have taken place and handled so matter of fact. Gotta love it.