There are many lovely things about L.A.: the weather; the proximity to desert, mountains and breathtaking coastline; the nutty people who tend to congregate out here. Oh, wait, that one works both ways. One of the other great/not-so-great things about L.A. is the highly transient nature of the place. The good news is there's a constant influx of cool, interesting people coming to town, infusing life and energy into the scene.
The bad news is that no sooner do you make a friend, or worse, hook up with a compatible writing partner, than they turn around and ditch you for some burg with shittier climes and killer real estate prices.
The other day, the wife of one of my old writing partners (I've got many) sent out a group email to their far-flung friends sharing my old writing partner's observations on a photo session that was probably pretty nasty in and of itself, but hilarious in hindsight. The occasion was one of Ye Olde Faux Photo Ops (oh god, am I glad I never had a family) where everyone dresses up in Ye Olde Phony Costumes and poses sternfacedly for Ye Olde Time posterity.
Rick's take on the proceedings, as relayed in an email to his friend, David, and forwarded by his wife, Sharon, was, as usual, hilarious:
RICK (to David): .... Oh, and don't think for a second that that coat didn't smell like the pissy sweat of every white trash chain smoker in Massachusetts...
The coat was on me for about 30 seconds when I politely asked the teenage girl who worked there...
RICK: How often do you, um, wash these?
Teenage girl: I don't wash them.
RICK: Does somebody else? And if so, how often does that person wash these? Better, yet. Does he ever wash these?
Teenage Girl: The manage-ah washed them last year.
RICK: This year?
Teenage Girl: We just stah-ted this year.
RICK: You just started this year? Right. So, this probably hasn't been washed since mid-last season?
Teenage Girl: Yeah.
RICK: Sha, can you hurry up in the dressing room, please?!?
Sha: Hold on. I want to look perfect.
RICK: Yeah. Why don't you hurry up?
Then my wife proceeds to want every angle and prop. Shayna is even commenting on the STANK of the costume and wants it the fuck OFF. Sha is like...
Sha: Oh. Let's all hold guns in the next one.
RICK: Sha, it's hot in this thing, it fucking stinks and it's starting to soak into my skin.
Sha: Oh, let's all hold liquor bottles, too. Even Shay.
Shayna: Mommy, I want to take this off. It's stinky.
Sha: One more pose.
RICK: Sha, she's done and I'm done.
Rick spent the rest of the day scratching the itchy stink off of his arms.
RIDE ON, UNION SOLDIERS!!!!!
Rick always, but ALWAYS made me laugh, when we wrote, when we were supposed to be writing but didn't write, when I got my sorry ass booted from the Sunday Company and thought my life was over. I hadn't found my voice yet when we were working together and Rick definitely had, but he was cool about that, too, and always encouraged my ideas and goofy tangetial wanderings.
We thought that we'd keep writing via phone and IRC but of course, we didn't. Life intervened. 3000 miles intervened (Rick's family was in Boston, so he and Sharon returned there to put down roots and spawn and such).
But I saved all of our old emails and writings and sometimes, when I'm glum and need help snapping out of it, I'll pull up some hilarious exchange and laugh till I cry.
Rick, he really should be writing still.
And Colleen, you really should be telling Rick this. On the telephone.