I can't believe I'm only putting this up now-- the fault is mine, really-- the topic is so amusing to me that I wanted to write a really good summary, and I just didn't have the time to sit down and do it justice. So, thank you (anonymous friend) for sending me this photo/ summary, and I'm only sorry that this took so long. These are the kinds of conversations I have over email sometimes, which (I think) are EXACTLY the types of conversations you would imagine me having. After all, if something weird happens to you, who are you going to tell, your co-worker? Your mom? Oh no no-- you're going to tell me, and I'm going to laugh, and it's all going to be worth it.
A couple of weeks ago I was commending a friend of mine for going alllllll the way over to see a friend's band play in Beverly Hills, especially on a weeknight, and especially after 10pm. If you don't live in Los Angeles and you never have, 1) good for you, and 2) it takes a God damned long time to get anywhere, even Beverly Hills when your map says you're theoretically only 3 miles from there, and 3) Beverly Hills is so lame, I don't care what anyone says, it kind of makes you die a little inside if you have to actually go there, park your car, and get out. It just is, and it's mostly because Beverly Hills, all of its inhabitants, and even all the real estate has this ethos of desperation that just makes you want to laugh all the time.
So there's that.
Anyhow, here is an excerpted email I got after my (sainted) friend went out of her way on a school night to drive across town to see one of her friends' bands:
I AM a good friend, because the show that was supposed to go on at 10, actually started at 11, and I got there at 9:30, and the other bands were bad, and the whole time there is this guy painting in the corner, and at first we were like, "Oh, he's painting a turtle floating in the sea." And then it was, "No, he's painting a sea turtle floating in the sky." And then he painted the turtle yellow, and I kept waiting for him to put the green coat on, and he never did. And then, like, 2 hours in, he added WINGS and a HALO to the turtle. Worst painting ever. I think it was some sort of Gulf commentary, but very poorly executed.
At which point, of course, I DEMANDED TO SEE A PHOTO OF THE TURTLE. Here it is. I don't know if you can tell, but she's labeled this photo "Stupid Jaundiced Dead Angel Turtle," which I think is either the greatest name for a painting in the history of art, or a wonderful name for your band, if you are in junior college.
Here is her further commentary regarding said turtle painting. Clearly she is now taking out her frustration at being in Beverly Hills at 11:30 on a Thursday night out on the painting, which makes the whole thing even funnier:
"The worst part was the format of the painting. He had this huge canvas, but the turtle was floating on the right, smushed over enough that he couldn't even fit his whole shell in the picture, and it was doing this karate chop thing with its flipper. Fin? Leg? Whatever the hell sea turtles have. I mean, if you're going to paint a turtle floating to heaven, at least put the whole turtle in the picture. Also, maybe make it smile? It's finally out of the oil and on its way to Jesus."
Then I ask her if this is really some sort of 1960's-inspired "happening" that she's talking about instead of just a band and a painting, and here is her reply. Notice she's getting herself even MORE incensed as she talks about the wasted evening, and this is making me laugh even more because now it sounds like really bad sketch comedy. This paragraph contains my favorite line of the week: "it was like a sad party in someone's basement."
I have no idea. Some sort of Beverly Hills crap. The place actually had a good idea, it just wasn't executed well. They were selling weird paintings in the back (including one of that cute Mogwai from Gremlins and some of Heath Ledger as The Joker, etc.) and there were cute tables to sit at and listen to the music, but the music was bad and all over the place and too loud and the people there were weird and the bartender was dumb, and there was that guy painting but no one introduced him or explained why he was there, and there weren't very many people there, so it was kind of like a sad party in someone's basement. Actually, I think it would have been fine if it weren't in Beverly Hills. It would have been artsy if it hadn't been in Beverly Hills.
In closing, if you go way out of your way to do a friend a favor, and the evening spirals in on itself and becomes some weird, David-Lynch like escapade with a random guy painting dead sea turtles in the corner, don't get mad.
Get out your camera, take a photo, and send it over here. Then the evening won't be wasted at all. It will be completely hilarious.