Paintings that could
Links to Other
Have Your Own Banned Books
Aaron Waugh Draft-
Coins of Venice
Future of Venice?
Boardwalk Excerpts from
Call Someplace Paradise
by Pat Hartman
A young dude with rings through both nipples gave an erudite lecture about
piercing all kinds of body parts including ones I don't even want to think
about. He longed for a piercing for more than a year, then someone gave
him a gift certificate for it. In return, he gave the other person a tattoo.
Someone asked, what about clothes? He said the feel of the fabric against
the rings provides constant titillation, which is a lousy pun except he
didn't appear to realize it was one. "You always know your nipples
are there," he said. "In the supermarket or someplace, it's
a turn-on because it's like I know a secret nobody else knows." Now
a devotee of self-mutilation, he makes special jewelry for various anatomical
landmarks and pierces his customers for free.
The cops on the boardwalk are always in
pairs, and now even the pairs are coming in pairs. We saw two patrol cars
one right after the other.
A group with three guitars, a banjo and
a fiddle and spoons, did Charlie Daniels stuff. One musician announced
that two of the guitar players are getting married next week. Instead
of "Okie from Muskogee" they do a song that says "I'm proud
to be a derelict in Venice." One line goes, "They don't shave
their armpits, they don't use deodorant or Nair." There follows a
long list of things that derelicts in Venice don't worry about, "cause
worrying is the biggest sin of all."
In front of the Sidewalk Cafe was the most bizarre act I've ever seen.
Somebody was on stilts, totally covered with a long white dress. The person
wore a pink and white papier mache' mask and had long strands of silver
stuff for hair. He or she played a plywood violin with one string which
seemed to make a thin eerie sound. I think maybe the sound was actually
made with some kind of a mouth reed.
On the boardwalk a new (to me anyway) group showed up called Ecolibrium
Alliance, whose home ground is Big Sur or somewhere equally remote. They
travel with several animals in a large bus trimmed with purple and they
all wear purple. Their weird medieval-looking odd-shaped handmade instruments
were laid out on a carpet spread on the pavement. A banner said "Ecolibrium
Survival Show." A sixtyish man played a wind instrument with many
stops, and a dark-haired woman played a keyboard. Their music was eerie
and strange. The other instruments were not in use at the moment. There
was a blonde woman with glasses who wore a flowing purple top and jeans
with many velvet patches sewn on, and a cute little blonde girl two or
three years old. Another young woman with long blonde hair danced in an
Oriental mode and passed the hat.
The vendor next to them, who sold metal tit-covers shaped
like seashells, kept telling the listeners to move from in front of her
stand. I said "Do you have a lease on this land, or what?" A
young street musician with a guitar joined the crowd and played different
music just to be irritating. He hassled the hat-passer and said he had
been singing first on the other side of the boardwalk when the Ecolibriums
set up. I've seen this peacenik pass out anti-Diablo Canyon pamphlets,
but when it's a question of someone cutting in on his territory - hey,
that's business. I can see his point. On the other hand, there are only
certain places where an outfit the size of Ecolibrium can set up. It's
much easier for a single musician to relocate.
The newest cool thing on the boardwalk is to wear antennae. A hairband
clamps onto the top of the head and has springs or (in the economy model)
pipe-cleaners with glitter-encrusted styrofoam hearts or spheres on the
ends. Some people call them deeliebobbers. In other fashion news, many
of the trend-conscious wear metallic-threaded twisted cloth around their
foreheads, as modelled by Olivia Newton-John on the cover of People magazine.
Unlike Tonto, beach dwellers favor headbands with shiny gold or silver
braided in or pasted on. A gilded, sparkly thing on the head says, "I'm
royalty." Subliminally it's a coronet. It's very California, where
so many people feel the same sense of entitlement experienced by reigning
monarchs. Is that healthy or heinous?
In one of the empty lots someone had a big inflatable
lifeboat set up, with a tent in it. A punk-style teenager of indeterminate
sex sat on the sidewalk with a drum set made from pots and pans and a
bleach bottle and a bunch of other junk. Being not a good libertarian
but only a situational one, I signed an anti-handgun petition.