Monday, October 13, 2008

Episode 63: How to Select an Airplane Seat

Okay, so I just got back from a vacation in Palm Springs and other than riding on an airplane out there (and coincidentally on the way back as well), this fascinating anecdote has nothing to do with actual flight. But it's a good story and I don't really want to call a Psychopedia entry How to Be Racist because some people have found the Psychopedia through Googling and I'd hate that to show up at the top of a search result.

On the first day that I was in Palm Springs, I went on a tour of the stars' homes. I know, you're thinking this must have been the most glamorous thing imaginable but in actuality it turned out to be a cross between hilarious and appalling. First off, our tour guide Ed (his quotations will be in parentheses) was a hundred and eleventy years old and his idea of a movie star was Marie Dressler. Marie Dressler! ("Yes sir, here's where Tugboat Annie lived!") So I just went and looked up Marie Dressler and here's something: she was born in 1868 and Tugboat Annie was made in 1933, which was in fact the last year whoever the hell Marie Dressler is even MADE movies. Who exactly did Ed think was on this bus? Grandma Moses? Methuselah? Joan Rivers? Though I confess I would like to see her 1918 opus, Red Cross Nurse.

ANYWAY, that was Marie Dressler's house. We also saw a house Marilyn Monroe lived in for twenty minutes ("I used to come here and watch her get the mail. Or male. If you get my joke") and Madonna's Palm Springs cottage ("there goes the neighborhood") and also where Liberace died, which was just this funny little house with a GINORMOUS candelabra in the front and Elvis' honeymoon house ("I didn't get Elvis.") We drove by one of Paul Newman's places and everone on the fucking bus "awwwwww"ed like he was their freshly-dead uncle or something so then when we drove by Lucille Ball's house, I "waaaaahhhhh"ed appropriately, but no one laughed because people just don't get me.

We also visited some famous mid-century modern buildings ("I guess all I can say about modernism is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.... now, have I told you about Marie Dressler?") and sites of old hotels and racquet clubs that aren't there anymore - seriously, we were parked in front of a hospital for twenty minutes while Ed told us about how he and his friend the tennis pro used to "do the joints" and run into Eddie Cantor or somebody and it was all just insanely tedious in a smells-like-mothballs way.

But things got verrrry interesting when he started in on the Indians. And that's what he called them, Indians. Only he sped up the middle syllable so that it really did sound like "Injuns." Actually, he only called them Indians when he wasn't calling them "lowly savages," and no I am not making that up. But it turns out that this particular band of lowly savages is like the ONE band America didn't exactly get to cornhole ("all the other Indians are poor and alcoholic!"), because they ended up with a ton of land in the Palm Springs area and according to Ed, they have whitey by the shorthairs because they don't pay taxes or have to abide by building codes or even, I don't know, wear pants if they don't want to. Ed was quite worked up about them and really, he did go on quite a bit ("They're sitting pretty and don't pay taxes! And we GAVE THEM the land!") Which of course made me snort out loud since we took it from them in the goddamned first place. Ed must have had a particularly painful Indian-burn or Indian -giving-incident in his past.

Then Ed went on to tell us a "hilarious" joke about former Palm Springs mayor Sonny Bono that ended with "I've Got Jews Babe." The whole thing really made me want to go put on a headdress and some moccasins and hatchet Ed to death. Which if I had been on Indian land I probably could have gotten away with. I should have asked Ed.


Stoph said...

hell yeah, bulkhead. Nobody ever wants it, so you have the best chance of no neighbor...

Kitt said...

Tomato juice for me, please.

Anonymous said...

this is my favourite blog since fafblog!

Leah said...

Ginger ale, please?