Like Loaded Guns, These Cars

I get a little depressed just after Easter – happens every year. “Jesus is risen!” as they say in church, and I’m still stuck down here with a hundred gophers, in the little house that used to be a Wienerschnitzel (when it rains, you can still smell the chili fries).

About my yard: You know what a nice bowl of guac looks like after a bunch of teenagers are done with it? That’s my front yard – ravaged … excavated … with little flecks of broken chips.

Speaking of broken, I was walking across a busy intersection with White Fang the other morning, just trying to survive the experience. In LA, they drive cars like loaded guns, especially these alpha-commuters who like to get to their desks by 6:30.

Anyway, White Fang and I make it safety across, stutter-stepping for the cars that don’t see us as they roar by, shaving our shoes.

As I explain to White Fang, you have to cut these drivers some slack. They are probably just on their phones with some important call: “SO WE’RE PLAYING BEER PONG AND THIS DRUNK DUDE COMES UP TO ME…”

I look at White Fang: “The problems of two little pedestrians like us don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

We make our way to the closest church, where we stop to say a quick prayer.  I mean, we didn’t go in or anything, we just sat out on the bench in front and prayed that my cold would go away by this weekend, which is my grandbaby’s very first birthday.

Catty Cakes probably won’t remember whether I’m there or not. Still, I’d like to go. I suspect they’ll be serving cupcakes with a little too much frosting, which is how the lovely and patient older daughter serves everything – with a little too much. 

“Dear Lord, please FedEx me some antibiotics. And could you renew my Esquire subscription? Oh, and about the Chicago Bears…”

I suppose I should go see my internist, Dr. Steve. He’s less busy than God, and he takes any form of insurance. Last time, he took my AAA card.

To be honest, I’ve lost a little confidence in Dr. Steve. I had drinks with him last week, and he should have sensed I was sick. Already, my voice was a little husky, far too deep and resonant. Any sort of doctor would’ve diagnosed some sort of bronchial crud, as well as my post-Easter disenchantment.

“When’s my resurrection?” I whined at one point.

Dr. Steve didn’t even hear. He was more concerned with the fortune cookie that came with the check. “They’re not really fortunes anymore,” he noted. “They’re affirmations.

“Stuff like, ‘You are a good person,’” he explained.

Then he opened his cookie; it was empty – no fortune, no affirmation, no nothin’.

“I wouldn’t read too much into that,” I told him.

My other doctor is Dogpark Gary, who actually offers some pretty solid medical advice. When he heard my voice, deep and rich, Dogpark Gary advised me to see a doctor as soon as possible.

“You’re a very social person,” Dogpark Gary explained. “You meet a lot of people, and you don’t always wash your hands. In fact, you never do.”

My other doctor is this New Girl I’m seeing, who asked me to hang a shelf, a mirror and a painting in her home on Sunday, even though she knew I was obviously a little under the weather.

“You don’t have to do anything,” Dr. Suzanne insisted, but I’m the kind of guy who needs stuff to do, otherwise I’ll just sit around missing Easter and worrying about the Chicago Bears.

“Whatever,” she said, because Brian, Brooke and her brother were coming for dinner and she was a bit behind.

So, I hung the stuff she wanted. I’m a savant at hanging stuff. I use a portable drill and plastic anchors where others would just hammer in some silky little nails.

Basically, I over build, which you don’t see much in America anymore – real craftsman who care.

Listen, if you ever need anything hung, give me a holler. I charge $800 an hour, which is very reasonable these days (plus beer, plus barbecue).

But I guarantee I will hang stuff super straight. Your house may be crooked but your paintings will be straight, your TV will be straight, and all your mirrors.

“That picture doesn’t look straight,” Suzanne said when I was done.

“That’s this house,” I say. “It’s really the best I can do.”

Hear ye, hear ye! The Happy Hour Hiking Club (pictured above in El Segundo) has a hike coming up May 14. Please, no RSVPs till I set the time. It’ll be on the trails behind JPL, over Devil’s Gate Dam, which has a very interesting history. Also, anybody willing to host a backyard Gin & Tonic Society bash? Would love to get that going. If so, please email me at letters@chriserskineLA.com. Meanwhile, our website just topped 1 million views. Credit to all of you, and my lovely and patient older daughter, who set the whole thing up. For books, past columns, or to sign up for my free newsletter, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com. Love, Erskine.

7 thoughts on “Like Loaded Guns, These Cars

  1. Hope your cold is all better and you can enjoy those cupcakes with Catty Cakes at her very first birthday celebration. A momentous occasion for sure. Actually, we do need to hang about 20 pictures. We moved here in August last year and I have just been waiting for the right craftsman to come along. I will start saving up for your fee, although with inflation, I may never have enough to buy the meat for the barbecue. Happy First, Catty Cakes!

  2. I knew something was amiss; no Wednesday epistle. In the age of Covid, it might be a touch of that, but I hope not. Sleep a little later, with the usual flood of fluids to float the way. The dog can do the time. It builds character in them. Test yourself for the obvious, if you have not done so. And fixate on the granddaughter’s celebration. That should be a blowout, and hang out in the sun, instead of hanging pictures, this warm and breezy weekend, or hang with Suzanne in the moonlight, since whatever you have she surely has been exposed to. And bless it all.

  3. So nice to see you this morning. Hope the granddaughter’s birthday was memorable and the balloons didn’t continue to escape!

  4. 1,000,000 Website Views!!! Congratulations! That + Catty Cakes + White Fang + Suzanne = Plenty of great reasons to wake up each morning. #goodliving

  5. As always, lovely. Happy birthday, Catty Cakes! 👏🏽👏🏼👏🏽👏🏼🍰🍰🧁🍦‼️

  6. Hope you are feeling better and made it to Cattycake-a-palooza. First birthdays are quite the milestone. Can’t wait to see the pics. And I hope you’re flying the W 😉

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