Sunday, July 19, 2009
The Tacky Adventures of Mostly Sane People
Or "How I Learned That I Could Call Myself an Artist"
We have good friends named Judy and Glenn. We have known them for thirty-five years, so I guess you’d say we have things in common. We like to go on what we call Tacky Adventures. We take turns planning them.
In 1996, during winter break, we went to Brentwood, CA and took each other’s pictures in front of Nicole Simpson’s house, and another one under the street sign that said “Bundy Drive.” Then we went to the Mezzaluna Restaurant and took more pictures. After that, we searched out O.J.’s house on Rockingham Ave. There was still a stream of cars going by just for a look, and some paparazzi were staked out there still waiting for a new shot for the enquiring people, of course we stopped and took each other’s picture. We jumped back into the car just before his body guards ran us off! My sister, Barbie accompanied us on this adventure. She wore fake nose glasses. We named this Tacky Adventure the Bloody Glove Escapade.
Another year we went to the Hollywood Hills and got one of those cheesy maps of the stars homes and went around taking our photo in front of various star’s houses. We got a tennis ball out of Eddie Murphy’s gutter. We saw Neil Diamond drive by in one of his vintage cars. He slowed down to see what we might be up to, standing there in front of Lucille Ball’s house. We said “Hi, Neil” and waved to him and he drove off.
We chased Tom Snyder for a while, but didn’t really want to get arrested. So we backed off. Judy and I ran in Neiman’s to get a lipstick, and the guys waited out on the sidewalk. They said Ann Margaret came by and actually talked to them for a minute. We didn’t believe them, but they are sticking to their story, still, to this day. We had lunch at Wolfgang Pucks.
We went to Sunset Strip to the Fredrick’s of Hollywood Museum and took pictures of Marilyn Monroe’s bra, on another occasion. We also got a shot of Dennis Quaid’s underwear that he wore in The Big Easy. When we had exhausted all of the opportunities to be obnoxious in there, we went on up and down the Strip, trying on wild clothes and wigs and other items for men who wish to wear dresses, since they cater to them on that street.
Another memorable Tacky Adventure was a summer night when we went to be “Tree People” for a Neil Diamond concert at the Greek Theater. We had been to his concerts there before, but we paid for them and went in and sat down like normal people. He always talked to the Tree People and a huge roar would come from the trees that surrounded the amphitheater. We decided that sounded like an adventure so the next year we didn’t buy tickets. We drove up to the Greek, parked in the grass outside and headed into the trees. We climbed what seemed like a mountain and trudged through heavy underbrush and thick forests of trees. When we came out on the other side, it was another parking area. We could have walked around the forest. A well, it prepared us for what was ahead.
We met hippies who hitchhiked around the US, doing things like this. I was offered some dope, which I declined. I did take a drink out of a stranger’s wine jug that was passed around a circle. We climbed fences and trees and we would get caught and escorted back across the fence, only to return after the guards went on. We yelled whenever Neil talked to us Tree People, and just basically had a wild crazy night. We danced in the forest and met some interesting people. I tore my jeans, and got separated from my party and was lost, and I mean Lost in the forest for about an hour! Judy had a guard standing on her leg at one point. She finally couldn’t take the pain anymore and said, “Excuse me, If you’ll get off of my leg, I promise I’ll go back over the fence and stay.” He did. She didn’t.
On the way out of the parking stack Judy yelled out the window over and over, “Don’t blame me! I voted for McGovern!”(for some reason) When we finally made it to Hollywood and Vine, Glenn jumped out of the car, (an uninsured, red, Ford Fairlane Convertible) and stopped traffic so we could make a left turn against the red light. It is amazing that I have never been in jail.
The next day, our twenty-something bodies were battered and bruised, but I, personally thought it was worth it. I still do!
Although we have been on many Tacky Adventures, some of them are, well, we should just forget about some of them. One more comes to mind today.
We went to Los Angeles one rainy December day to explore the Museum of Contemporary Art. Now, I don’t recall this actually starting out to be a Tacky Adventure, but alas, it ended up to being one.
First, let me say that I fear no art. I understand all that art is.
I’ve been around the block, Kid! But this new MOCA building held some unusual stuff. The first thing I saw was an old weathered 4X4 piece of wood, standing on end, five-ish feet tall, with a bunch of old rusty nails hammered into the top of it. It had a serious looking card encased in plastic attached to it bearing the title of the piece, and the artist’s name.
The piece was called, (I swear!) “Old Piece Of Wood With 100 Nails In It.” I looked around to see if there was any evidence of a joke. Candid Camera? I was smiling, but trying not to break the somberness with one of my unlady-like guffaws. I moved on to a huge canvas on a wall. It was solid red. It too had a card attached to it giving the artist and the title. This one was called, “Canvas Painted Solid Red.” Yes. It certainly is. I looked around. No one was laughing. What is going on?
There was an old ironing board cover on the floor near-by, and I went over to check it out. It was one of the ART selections! It had three holes in it, and was scorched from use. I couldn’t wait to see what this art was called. “Old Fireproof Material With Holes The Size Of My Waist And Arms.” I began to giggle softly, my hand over my mouth. I looked around again. They had stern looking men dressed in tuxedos GUARDING this stuff! As if! I went to find Judy, all the while getting more hysterical at the stern looks I was getting from the guards. “You have GOT to come see this ironing board thing, and did you see the old wood thing?” The guard looked at me again, this time as if I were some Uncouth, Cretin Redneck.
What I found out, was those first three things were different from the others in that they were called what they were. The rest of the art seemed to be named by opening a book and randomly pointing to words on two or three different pages. For example, a chair with a robe on it might be called, “Meadow Metamorphosis.” There was even a room that was painted stark white, floor, walls, ceiling, All white. It was someone’s art project. I think it was called Battlefield Glory, or something like that.
Honestly, I haven’t had so much fun in ages! It’s the funniest show in town!
When I got home I took off my pants keeping the socks still stuck in them and hung them from a lamp. I called it, Gully Dancer In Palindrome. I took a photo of it and sent it to Judy. I was finally an artist.