Monday, August 22, 2005

Unbridled Narcissism


Well, this has indeed been a long day. I was up at 4:00 AM in order to be at the Concours d'Elegance, perhaps the world's premier classic car exposition, by 5:30. As volunteer experiences go, this is a good one: a minimum of heavy lifting, plenty of credulous people to have fun with, tickets redeemable for a spicy Bloody Mary, and of course many of the finest show cars you'll ever see. They're not just for show, though; driving is a prerequisite, and any car that isn't road-worthy is disqualified. Some of these delicate-looking Mr. Toad contraptions can really haul ass, too, even if there's a little guy inside shoveling coal as fast as he can. I mean, how else could the engine compartment be 12 feet long?

Some random thoughts from today:

1. Why is it that people with a lot of money tend to buy the smallest stuff they can find? Think about it: it's well known that the more expensive the restaurant, the smaller the portions. And it's no accident that one buys truffles by the ounce. I bet there's stuff so expensive that it's commonly sold by the gram, even.

The reason I ask is that I saw a lot of absurdly dressed women, presumably the car owners or their wives or family, standing about their cars with dogs that fit in their purses, dogs that could be mistaken for cats, or dogs that perched on their shoulder like a pirate's parrot. These animals are overbred, pathetic, and emit glass-breakingly high-pitched shrieks. On the other hand, the same probably goes for a lot of their masters.

2. What is it about these events that attracts every loafers-sans-socks-wearing guy with a bad ponytail in the entire nation? Is Steven Seagal making a big comeback? Also noticed: many Fabio-inspired quasi-mullets, about a dozen Randy Quaid-in-"Kingpin" haircuts, numerous guys with shitty ponytails who are half bald on top to boot, several Joan Rivers lookalikes, and every mustache known to man. These ran the gamut from works of art that effortlessly transported me back to the 1920s to the dangerously close-cropped suspected pervert hanging out next to my table.

3. In olden times, one often purchased a luxury car in the form of a wheelbase and engine, but the bodywork itself, not only the cabin, was entrusted to a master coach-builder and tailored to a customer's fondest specifications. Hence, styling as a whole, exterior as well as interior, was a custom affair in many early autos. This leads me to conclude one thing: that some people were really rich back in the day.

4. Pebble Beach may no longer exclude Jews officially, but it's definitely not bending over backwards to accomodate them. Viz. multiple mayonnaise-based salads, mortifying abundance of white bread, and pronounced absence of slivovitz from the drink stands. Shrimp, I love; ham, I can work around, but come on, people.

5. Being around all this wealth and power has cemented a goal that's been slowly creeping into the forefront of my consciousness as a result of repeated exhortations from the guys in my men's club. As soon as I am old and rich enough, I am running for Congress. The Democratic party needs someone who knows what he stands for, will be tough on terror, can appeal to everyday Americans, and looks fabulous in a suit. Actually, any one of those things on its own would be much better than they're doing now. Consider this an early announcement of candidacy. Also, I understand that Sam Farr holds District 17 for life, so if you belong to a district with shakier leadership, please let me know, and I could be coming to your town. And if you're a drug dealer, prostitute, transvestite, or otherwise incriminating personage, please start exercising your right to be heard by your representative. Preferably in an extremely personal manner and either on camera or via secret tape recording. I need all the help I can get, folks.


"A River Runs Through It" is quite possibly the single finest movie made during the 1990s. If you haven't seen it, rent immediately; if you have, relive the magic.


I got myself into a completely Larry David situation, and I actually have an idea for a quick fix that would make it astronomically worse if the truth were uncovered. Obviously, I can't provide details here, but if you get in touch with me individually we can probably work something out


On Saturday the 13th, for the first time ever, my home played host to all three (count 'em) of my honorary uncles at once. Charlie Franklin, Myles Williams, and Scott Nisbet, I salute you. Whether your influence was one of salutary neglect during my moments of indulgence, or involved active efforts to make me a less responsible citizen, it has been much appreciated. And to Miss Molly, my honorary niece, I may never get to teach you how to smoke cigars at the age of fourteen, as a certain uncle did for me, but you have an absurdly thick hair for a five-month-old baby, and in that respect, I have taught you well. Go get 'em, kid.


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