More LA Talk

what makes me laugh

It occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned that I got to meet and hang out with stee’s sister recently. She is very much the coolest. I wish she didn’t live so far away. I think if The Coffee Bean ever wanted to start a cult I’d make a damn fine recruiter.

Well, I’ve been driving around lately thinking about the things that make me laugh about this new city.

First, it fills me with great joy to see my local Blockbuster. They paint names on all of the parking spaces, and it’s just like when we lived in Austin and called the area closest to our apartment “Rock Star Parking.” We called the closest spot to our apartment “Jim Carrey Parking” and the further you went away the lower the star. Woe to the person parked in “Steve Guttenberg Parking.”

Anyway, the place nearest the door in this particular Blockbuster is “Brad Pitt.” But the further you go back in this lot, the stranger the names become. “Eric LaSalle?” Really. Really. How is he anything close to a movie star?

But here: my point. Way in the corner, right before you’re out of the lot is David Arquette. Next to him? “Courtney Cox-Arguette.” I didn’t make a typo there. They’ve got her name spelled with a “G.” I love it. I can imagine she called up Blockbuster and said, “Um, hi. Look. If you’re going to put my name right next to his in the back of the fucking lot, then I want you to spell it with a ‘G.’ Why? Because I’m way too good to be in the back of the fucking parking lot, that’s why. And if you just want to place me next to the worth of my husband, then you must be thinking of Courtney Cox-Arguette, because Courtney Cox-Arquette would tell you to put my ass next to Brad Fucking Pitt, do you understand me?”

My second favorite thing about driving in LA is the street “De Longpre.” Good Lord, this street sends me into hysterics. I imagine this little girl standing and holding her bicycle at the end of a dead end street, just as the sun is starting to set and she’s calling out to her brother. “Deeeee Lonnnnnngpreeeeee! Mama says come home! Deeeeeeeee Lonnnnnnnngpreeeeeeeeee! Where are you? Deeeeeeee Lonnnnnnnnnnnngpreeeeeeeeee! I’m gonna tell if you don’t stop hiding! You better come home! Mama says come home! Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngpreeeeeeeeee!”

Try it. Man, it’s so much damn fun. The first time I started shouting out De Longpre in the car I thought Eric was going to drive us into the construction on Santa Monica just to shut me up. This afternoon, however, I heard him checking Yahoo! Maps for directions to an interview mumbling “Deeeeeee Lonnnnnnnngpreeeeee!”

You can’t stop once you start.

Okay, and the third thing. I think I have the wrong voice for this town. My voice is low. It’s always been low. When I was a kid and people called the house asking for my parents they’d always say, “Little boy, is your mommy home?” I used to hate it. As I got older I started thinking it was possibly considered sexy, especially when Demi Moore was making lots of money. Now I don’t even really think about it anymore. I watched a tape recently of myself in high school and was shocked to hear how little my voice has changed since I was fifteen.

But here in this city girls have that high squeaky voice. Man, it’s everywhere. It’s so high and so baby-talk that it sounds incredibly fake. No one can grow up sounding like Cindy Brady without getting teased, right? I don’t know. The higher the voice, the lispier the sentence, the higher the celebrity I see these girls with. And the sound of their voices just makes me giggle. It’s like listening to anime at the table next to me. I know they don’t know that their voices are sending me into fits of laughter, and I’m trying not to be rude, but really, it’s absurd.

Do they know that they sound like that? Is that just the voice to have this year? What’s with the baby talk?

Maybe it’s just the “cute voice” and I’m hearing all of these girls out on dates using the “cute voice” and it’s the voice that gets them free food and clothes and girlie things. Maybe it makes them seem like they need a provider or something. Maybe it’s all a trap. And since I’m a woman I can see right through that trap and hear the real woman underneath. Maybe since I’ve got enough estrogen I can hear that when she says, “I don’t know! What kind of car do YOU think I’d look good in?” she’s really saying, “I have a fucking MFA and I shouldn’t have to sit here and dumb myself up for your ugly ass just because you know a producer that I would really like to meet.”

But part of me wants to try that voice for a week. Just see how I’d do. Find out if that gets my bill lowered in restaurants or something. Maybe women would want to help me out when I walk into clothing stores instead of just letting me mill around for half an hour. Maybe I could find some magical secret girl place where they tell me how to keep my nails nice and how to wear a ponytail without these flyaways that make me look like a crazy person. Maybe they could teach me how to cross my legs at the ankles and look comfortable, or how to put on nylons without ripping a hole in the thigh. Maybe they can teach me what drink to order, what food to eat and how to pee without anyone hearing me.

But is it worth going through the cute-voice for a week? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I might do some permanent damage to my larynx.

If you want more cute, though, my recaps for the two-part episode of Gilmore Girls is up.

Oh, and Athena wrote about delivering Eric’s Playstation. She did a much better job of describing it than I did.

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