Friday, March 29, 2013

Upon Possibly Seeing Patty Hearst in Line at the Coffee Shop

Why does that lady behind me look familiar? She was dressed really nicely. Maybe she’s someone’s mom? No, I know her from somewhere else. Somewhere… Veronica Mars-y. Oh shit. Is that Patty Hearst? No. No. Why should Patty Hearst be at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Los Feliz. Well, now that I think about it, why shouldn’t Patty Hearst be at the Coffee Bean in Los Feliz. This is a nice enough area. She is a woman of means. She can certainly afford an iced coffee. Oh shit — is she going to shoot people? No, wait — she doesn’t do that anymore. She’s normal now. She’s now a rich lady who doesn’t shoot people. Maybe it’s not her. She was standing with somebody else. Maybe it’s her daughter? Maybe it’s her granddaughter? Maybe if I just casually turn around…

(Drew turns around behind him but lingers long enough to capture Possible Patty’s attention. She makes direct eye contact and says “Hello” in a manner that clearly means “Please do not look at us.” Drew, dumbly responds with “Oh hi!” Drew feels he his reconnaissance mission has failed.)

Well that solved nothing. Would Patty Hearst call me out on staring? Or would she be all meek? Or would she just never go out in public without a bodyguard in case the SLA comes back? Did they all die except her? Wait — maybe that lady just didn’t want me staring at her because she thought I was leering at the younger girl… which I wasn’t. But that girl didn’t look like Patty Hearst. Did “Patty Hearst” look like Patty Hearst? It’s so hard to tell. Wait, if you were Patty Hearst — and you never will be at this rate — wouldn’t you just play with your pile of money and send out false Pattys to do all your errands and take the brunt of the gunfire? I would never leave the pool. Should I Google her? No, if it is Patty Hearst, she could totally see what I’m looking at on her phone. And then she might shoot me. Does Patty Hearst have a Twitter? No, of course not. Famous kidnapping victims can’t have Twitters. I wonder if —

(Suddenly, Drew is at the front of the line, and the girl at the register has raised her eyebrows in expectation of his order. After a few beats, “Do you know what you want?” Drew, again dumbly: “Oh, not at all. I haven’t even thought about it.”)

patty, “tania” & selma rose

Conclusion: No conclusion. I will never know if that was Patty Hearst or not. Either way, at least this woman chose not to shoot me.


  1. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Interesting story. I thought I ran into her back in the Fall of 1974. It wasn't until a book written by Jack Scott (the former AD at Oberlin College in Ohio) was serialized in one of the Chicago papers around 1980 (My memory escapes me)that I made the connection.
    It recounts a journey from Ohio back West. It mentions Scott (with passenger Patti Hearst) getting stopped for speeding in Iowa but he talked his way out of a ticket by saying he was just excited because Iowa had just beaten Penn State. The trooper, let him go but warned him to slow down in Nebraska because they had just been upset by Wisconsin.
    The route he mentioned in the book took them past DeKalb, Illinois, a college town. That same weekend I met a chick in a bar and told her she looked like Patti Hearst and the next thing I knew, she disappeared into thin air.
    The next day Iowa beat Penn State and Wisconsin beat Nebraska and I jokingly mentioned to my friends that I ran into Patti Hearst.
    We all got a good laugh out of that. Maybe it did happen. She would have blended in perfect in a college town but why would she show up in a college bar. Guess I'll never know unless I write her a letter. Makes for an interesting story on the cocktail circuit.

    1. That is indeed also an interesting story. I think I like yours better.