Just Above Sunset
January 23, 2005 - May I borrow your Ford Cobra for two weeks?

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World’s Laziest Journalist

Sunday, January 23, 2005

By Bob Patterson


We were sitting around the splendid Finca La Vigia West wondering what brilliant idea we would get for this week’s column, when a topic appeared to us in a flash of insight into world affairs.  We stopped to think: If this is such a perceptive bit of commentary; why don’t we just type it up and send it off to the guy who reads the unsolicited submissions for the Op-Ed page of the New York Times?


That way, if they use it, the regular readers of this column (AKA the Loyal Dozen) will be duly informed of the accomplishment, and thus be impressed with the quality of the World’s Laziest Journalist’s perspicacity regarding such matters.  If the 43rd Street junta doesn’t use it, then in two weeks it will be recycled for use in the WLJ column for the February 13, 2005 issue of Just Above Sunset online magazine - and all my regulars will realize that the big media is missing some great material by not giving the “over the transom” material a closer look.  One of the really enjoyable benefits of doing the work to produce a weekly column is this bit of fail-safe insurance for the best of ideas that present themselves from time to time.


So that maneuver brings up another bothersome question: What will we write about for this week’s column?


Last week, Los Angeles was celebrating Australia Week and we missed the big press bash.


For the week, the local weatherman tried to recreate their weather.  On Wednesday January 19, 2004, the high for the day in LA was in the mid 80’s and the surf was up!  The folks who couldn’t go to Surfer’s Paradise got a close approximation of what they were missing by staying here.  If the folks in LA want to read about surfing in Australia, they can try Stab magazine.


Happy Australia Day to our Aussie Posse among the regular readers.  We wish we could be there for the Woggan-ma-gule Ceremony.


On Wednesday, January 19, 2005, this columnist went over to Beverly Hills to pick up some money.  (What is it with them?  If they drop money on the sidewalk they can’t lower themselves to picking it up?) 


While there we visited the Exoticar Museum and worked ourselves into a frenzy over all the cars we couldn’t afford.  They have a splendid assortment model cars, most of them are of 1/18th size.  If you can’t have a real one why not have a miniature at least?  The selection includes a ’48 Chevy Woodie, a Porsche 550A Spyder (are any James Dean fans reading this?), a 1937 Lincoln Model K, and (my favorite) a Shelby Cobra 427S/C.


Recently we fumbled our chance to ask a well-known late night talk show host, if we could borrow his Ford Cobra for two weeks to drive it to New York and back to Los Angeles.  (It would sorta be like a mini attempt to emulate the guys who are driving around the world and chronicling the trip online.)


On the way to Beverly Hills, we had noticed a car showroom and thought we saw a Ford Cobra in there.  On the way back, we stopped at Meridian Automotive Design and went in.  It was a real Shelby Ford Cobra 289 just oozing with power and raring to be turned loose on a real highway.  We didn’t check the odometer, but it was in what coin collectors would call BU (Brilliant Uncirculated) condition.  We sought out the highest company official there, introduced ourself and politely asked if we could borrow the car for our two-week journey to New York City and back.  The man (who was an American) gave a sterling example of British understatement when he gave his response: “No.”

(Talk about incentive to do more work on our spec movie script project, seeing that car is all the motivation we needed this week.)


Speaking of the open road, when we took a look at the LA Observed website we leaned about a new website that fit perfectly into our file of recurring items titled “On the Road.”  The site, called Highways West, has interesting feature stories from “off the beaten path” locations.  This site will delight the legions of AARP aged Don Quixote’s with mobile homes just itching to find a new and interesting places to go.


When we walked past the Baskin-Robbins store in Beverly Hills, the thought occurred to us that if Albert Einstein were still alive, his agent would probably be trying to land him a gig as that firm’s advertising spokesperson. 


In this age of the Internet, we had to read a Paris based web site to learn that a German Zeppelin had arrived in Japan.


We had not been able to borrow a Cobra, so, we wondered, what will we write about for this week’s column?


Well, when in doubt, columnists can always comment (especially if they are lazy) on someone else’s hard journalism work, so we trotted off to our local newsstand, which happens to be one of the best in LA [for the fact checker, LA Weekly said it.] and picked up a copy of Esquire’s latest “Dubious Achievements” awards issue.


The cover heralded the information that this was the “Dubiousest” year ever for their annual issue honoring absurdity in action during 2004.  They handed out their kudos, including their traditional “Why Is This Man Laughing?” item about Richard M. Nixon. 


They had a great many worthy items, but if they thought last year was rife with crazy stuff, their motto for this year ought to be the old Al Jolsen line: “You ain’t heard nothin’, yet.”


Esquire’s last page was devoted to new urban legends.  Do they want more?  Here’s one for ya: Didn’t some devious member of the liberal left media throw the wrong switch at an LA radio station that was carrying the Inauguration live, so that when the President was about to start his speech, they played a commercial for a new movie that features one of the stars saying: “There’s magic in fighting for a dream that nobody sees but you.”?


We missed the Inauguration speech Thursday.  We listened to the music on KXLU.


In the movie “The Caine Mutiny” Captain Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) says:  “Ah, but the strawberries!  That’s – that’s where I had them.  They laughed and made jokes, but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, and with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist.  And I’d have produced the key if they hadn’t have pulled the Caine out of action.  I know now they were out to protect some fellow officer.”  Captain Queeg probably also believed that there was magic in searching for the weapons of mass destruction that nobody else saw.


Now, if the disk jockey will play the 1966 hit by Napoleon XIV, “There’re Coming To Take Me Away,” – let’s all sing along – we’ll be back next week, if we can get out of this straight jacket.  Until then, have a totally crazy week, man.






Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
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