I had to drive to and through Laguna Beach today. While there, I saw no fewer than three Lamborghini’s and two Ferrari’s in the span of four blocks. The other predominant vehicle of choice there is Mercedes-Benz.
Why was I there? It’s a long, uninteresting story, but it involves ebay, Craigslist, and a complicated sale and swap of various vintage Alfa Romeo interior parts.
First stop: the OC.
Several aspects of the area made an immediate impression on my jaded Muggle self.
First, it’s sickeningly beautiful. Wonderful sunny weather, the smell of salt air, and beautiful wind-swept ocean vistas everywhere you care to look.
Both those positives are offset by heavy traffic, stop lights every fifty feet, and what I will simply refer to as moronic behavior everywhere, beginning with the drivers.
According to my observation, these folks come in two basic varieties: rich jerks who tailgate you, and rich jerks who meander obliviously down the Pacific Coast Highway, with nary a care in the world.
Clearly it was time to activate Zen-me — roll up the windows, turn on the a/c, and crank up some tasty tunes, which I did.
In other words, I wasn’t bothered too much.
As I chilled myself out, I had the opportunity to view some of the folks walking the sidewalks and holding up traffic in the crosswalks.
Basically, they all looked the same to me. (Note to self: I love make these kinds of broad generalizations. Keep it up, self!)
All the women were outfitted by Prada (is that right, or should I be referencing some other designer now?), and the men wore oversized shades and tried to look cool with their smokes.
Oh, right, a lot of the guys weren’t wearing shirts.
At least that part gave me some hope. It is a fervent desire of mine to live long enough to when I’m perfectly comfortable walking around in nothing more than my brown leathery skin and a two sizes too small pair of red Speedo swim trunks.
Are they even called swim trunks anymore? Seems very 1950s-ish.
Fortunately, the guy I was meeting lived well off the main thoroughfare, and he seemed normal enough. Plus, we shared the same (ridiculous) passion for kidding ourselves into thinking we’re actually restoring old Italian sports cars. For reference, old Italian sports cars are never completely restored. They always need something, no matter how much money you’ve
lost invested in them.
And the Italians are laughing all the way to the bank, but that’s the nature of the business.
After making our parts/money exchange, I returned to the Pacific Coast Highway, waded into the OC traffic going north, and got out of there as quickly and as sanely as I could.
The Garmin directed me to my second and final destination in LA, where I made my last parts deal with a vaguely Middle Eastern guy who had been out of work for a couple of years.
Interestingly enough, we each wished we were doing what the other person was occupied with. He wanted a steady job with a big company that provided benefits, and I wanted to work out of a scary industrial park in a warehouse space crammed with old Alfas, BMWs, and Mercedes.
He was certainly nice enough, and we spent a good hour examining his cars, his parts, and talking about deals we missed.
Soon enough I was on the way home, hopeful that a wildfire just off the Interstate wasn’t going to close it down.
It didn’t, and I arrived home to my humble San Diego Muggle abode, in our standard, sub-optimal subdivision.
About a block from the house, ambling down the sidewalk, was an older lady wearing snowboots, a hunting cap, and a crazy overcoat — all this on an 80 degree day here. No Prada here.