In theory, I should have accomplished my goal. I simply needed from drive from work to Grauman’s Chinese Theater for a preview screening that I had to see for work in order to do additional work later, and yes, I realize I am used the word work four times in one sentence. Though I’ve made it from Santa Monica to Hollywood in ninety minutes before, such a feat is not always possible. I know this now because tonight it took two full hours to drive from my office to that theater, consequently making me late and unable to perform the work task that essentially amounted to “go and watch a movie.”
- Idiot tourists who don’t know better who stand around staring at garbage on the sidewalk because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do when they’re in Los Angeles.
- The weirdos who work on the street itself, which entails standing around and inviting the tourists to watch them, take photos of them and (for some inscrutable) reason) give them money. They’re dressed like characters from movies in the same way that a bloated corpse lying in the gutter is in a sense still a person. All of these people are on drugs. Don’t touch them.
- People like me, who are required by work to visit Hollywood Boulevard. They are not happy about this and are all suffering from rage blackouts. Don’t touch these people either.
At a loss and not wanting to waste this drive that I put a good two hours into, I started thumbing through my phone to determine who could possibly remedy this problem. (Of course, I was crazy person muttering as I did this.) While this was happening, a woman I can only describe as Peggy Hill-like approach the box office. “Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Jennifer Anniston’s star on the Walk of Fame?” (Guess which category of Hollywood Boulevard person she was! Go on, guess.) The girl behind the counter said no, so Peggy Hill turned to me. “Excuse me,” she began, “do you live here?” At this point, I wanted to live vomit blood rather than admit that yes, this was in fact the metropolitan area in which I had chosen to live. But I swallowed the blood-vomit and said that I did. And then she asked me the same question she’d asked the usherette.
Now, please keep in mind that at this point I was tired, hungry, annoyed and defeated and the pad in my left shoe had come loose and began moving all around like it owned the place. “No,” I said. “I don’t know. But I’m sure someone out on the street can tell you.” Peggy Hill made a Peggy Hill face. “I don’t even want to go see it. My husband wants to. You know, I don’t care for her.” Now this actually made me like this woman a little bit. She’s obviously from a far-off land, and for all she knows, I’m actually Jen Aniston’s hair’s publicist or her dog’s assistant or something, but she had the courage to admit — in Hollywood — that Ms. Aniston kind of sucks. This, then, is how my bad emotions expressed themselves: I said, “You know, you shouldn’t. She sells drugs to little kids.” Peggy Hill looked shocked. “She does?” I decided to go with it. “Yeah, the police have known about it for years, but they haven’t been able to catch her. But I hear they will soon. You should probably go see her star before they rip it out.”
Peggy Hill didn’t seem to be questioning this obviously ridiculous story. “How do you know that?” she asked me. The obvious answer: “Everyone in Hollywood knows that.” Whether or not she believed be, I can’t say, but she leaned toward me and with a half-smile ended our exchange with this: “I’m going to tell my husband.” I would like to think that she was just happy at having found a reason not to track down the star.
With that, I left the theater, walked back to my car and wondered how long I could prevent myself from walking on this godforsaken street again.
See you in hell, Hollywood Boulevard!
(Also, if someone wants to make a movie about Jen Aniston being a Hollywood drug lord, I would totally pay to see that. I’m thinking... Angelina Jolie for the lead.)