Foolin’ around with grandpa… nearly 90 years of age difference right here, but Scarlett is not fussy about minor details as such, certainly not when there is loadsa fun and play to be had.
“Yo gramps, let’s stand our heads!”
It might already be spring blooming into summer, but back then it was a cold winter day, the 12th of January, snow up to your nose outside. Yeah, that was the day Scarlett decided that crawling was tedious. So she got up. And just walked. Just like that. Like she had done it all her life (all 13 months of it…)
I almost felt as though I wasn’t ready for this… my tiny baby, a big girl, already. Come on Scarlett. Give dad a break. Don’t run so fast. Wait. Wait for me.
You know, Scarlett, before you came into our life, I used to think it was impossible for a person to be absolutely everywhere at once. Little whirlwind, how I was wrong.
They grow up so quickly, they say. Too quickly? Read my lips or listen to me shout, fall over from the wall of echo. Y-E-S!!!
And what happened then? We went to the city of angels, where, funnily enough, there are no angels. At least not the kind with wings and the ear of god. Then again, who needs angels in Beverly Hills?
Oh, how plush Los Angeles is. Completely delectable. So hot. Cool. Sexy. Unless you walk into the wrong neighbourhood. Suddenly you think you’re in Detroit. Or Addis Abeba. You turn around. Back. Retrace your steps. Rodeo Drive, Bugatti Veyron parked outside Louis Vuitton. Ah. That’s better. Did you know that Aaron Spelling’s mansion is up for grabs? 150 million dollars. We drove past it – they have a room which only exists for wrapping presents in. Fantastic audacity. I don’t know whether to scream in outrage, or whoopaloo in delight.
Ah, “to make it” – that’s what it is all about in America. Some make it, most die trying. Since no one has yet defined the reason of being, I’ll keep the judging to a minimum. Besides, those houses on stilts up on Mulholland Drive made me salivate. I think I might have a little of America in me. Always had. Always admired their aspiration, ambition, anti-irony. Come on. They even conquer age here. Only an American could take on such a thing, and win. Almost, anyway.
Yeah. I heart LA. And we saw it all. Chinese Theatre, Shirley Temple in cement, Kodak Theatre, Walk Of Fame, Hollywood, the sign that says Hollywood, the marina, Venice Beach (where I had an outburst of diarrea in junkies’ toilets for twentyfive uncomfortable minutes on a cold steel toilet without toilet seat), Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jim Morrison’s house, his other house, where he used to get packed, where he took his laundry, Santa Monica Pier, Bel-Air (best ever-isolation from all sorts of poverty, including poverty of reality), Chateau Marmont (first choice for glorious smack overdose), Sunset Strip, the Viper Room, the Standard, in fact, every club Paris Hilton goes to, the outside of Universal Studios, where Michael Jackson died, Crips, Bloods, Justin Timberlake’s house, Beverly Hills Hotel, the traffic (suicide sprung to mind), Mickey Mouse, a million billboards, the Playboy Mansion (restrain yourself), Victoria’s Secret shop, Hooters, Hollywood Boulevard, LA Country Club, Julia Robert’s house, all locations where they shot Pretty Woman, heck, many locations where they shot a lot of movies, and and and and and…
And and and and and.
I have a nose for bikes like Scrooge McDuck can find gold. And that’s how we ended up in the stands at a motocross race in Kauai… hey, works for me.
Motocross… I’ve been gone five years now, and there is no returning – but it still brings out the itch in the fingers. The sounds, the colors, the smells. Gawd damn. I’ve been here before. This place is familiar. I open the door, I come home, I step over the welcome mat, I am embraced.
Riding is the coolest expression of freedom and individualism, yet, this is a family sport. Boys and girls and grandpas, everybody rides in the USA. I just fall in love with humanity again.
This is most of what’s left of the famous Coco Palms Resort after mad hurricane Iniki came through in ’92. But, the memories of this legendary place remains. Any movie star worth their salt came here in the good old golden days, and none less than Elvis the king himself did Blue Hawaii here.
While on the topic of movies, Kauai is something of a mini-Hollywood. Whenever you watch your favorite actor getting killed in the jungle, the green stuff is all courtesy of Kauai magic. From King Kong to Indiana Jones, from Jurassic Park to Gilligan’s Island, from The Man With The Golden Gun to Tropic Thunder, this is where they come to shoot.
Share this information at a cocktail party.
You all know how fond I am of walking, right? Like every step is akin to getting cut with a rusty blade, yeah? So for our next trick, we went for a massive hike out to Hanakapiai beach far faraway from any sort of civilization, even the lost ones.
Well, what do you do? In the name of fuck-if-I-should-miss-out-on-any-sensational-sights, you sacrifice your wellbeing. Decked out in my Aircast ankle braces and my spiffy new Hugo Boss sports jacket, we started climbing the mountains. Suitably steep, suitably rough. Slip on a wet rock, and tumble to your death way down below. But oh lord, the view from above was sueeet.
Obviously, it started raining. A lot. We got jungle wet. And so did the red earth, quickly turning into the slipperiest slopes since the dawn of silicone spray. You can imagine the unhappy state of my Fred Perrys… this stuff does not come off very easily. People were falling like dominoes – most everyone had a big red butt or thigh or even a full facial. By the power of some strange god, I actually managed to keep the bold side up. Hell, I was wearing Hugo, and I had decided not to fall! Not a spot on it!
It actually rained so much that crazy rivers were formed. Eventually, just before the elusive beach, we came upon one that almost stopped us.
Nah… screw that. I always liked a wet crotch. Besides, what do we have to lose other than life and camera and car keys? Full steam ahead!
Wooee, we reached the hidden cove! High fives and sandwiches with Taro hummus all around!
Of course, when the excitment finally clears, you realize that you are only halfway. You have to walk back the very same devil’s rut you fought on the way here. I have to admit, I nearly broke down. There were times when I was sure one of the feet had come off completely – or the very least, facing backwards. Man, that hurts like nothing you could imagine.
If you gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough, Roger Alan sings. Can’t argue. But I went there, I saw it all, and I came back. To me, I conquered as big as Gaius Julius Ceasar ever did.
Sure, we’ve been home long enough for the Hawaiian tan to have faded – but I still can’t help but look back at our holiday of holidays…
Oh, that’s me. Holding a body board. Intending to take on the ocean. Looking cool. Pretending to look cool, anyway…
And there I return, on top of a mighty wave… yeah!
Well, another day, another beach. The waves are coming in like tall buildings and foaming like they have rabies. Me and my sissy body board would drown in five seconds. While I sit and draw pictures in the sand, the real surfers come out.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those guys are more seals – very slim and tanned and good-looking seals – than human, anyway…
We never left house without our rental PT Cruiser, which thrilled us to bits at first. Then it was quickly named the Gay Cruiser by the locals, who we met at infamous waterhole Tahiti Nui.
By the by, did you know that Jackie Kennedy the ultimate icon herself went to Tahiti Nui back in the day? We thought that was way cool, so we also went. Many many times. The bands were a’shaking, the rum and cokes abundant, and the action sweaty, sweet and sour.
In any case, the Gay Cruiser was a Mexican dog. The lights kept flashing on the dashboard, it kept cutting out, and a couple of times it stalled in the middle of very narrow mountain roads. Usually at the moments when a jacked-up Chevy rode our tail, and barely managed to brake before it would have plunged us off a very steep cliff. So, after coming close to death on too many an occasion, we took it back to Thrifty. They gave us a new one – in burgundy…
Well, in its defense, Gay Cruiser number 2 got on with the business of working properly. And if you pressed the pedal hard, it made a lot of noise, which is better than quiet. It didn’t go, though.
Obviously, we didn’t ride in style in comparison with the locals. Look at that evil ol’ Blazer in the back… creepiest thing I ever saw. Confusingly, sort of cool at the same time.
Of coz, that’s just something the cat dragged in. You ain’t nuttin’ on Kauai, unless you have a flippin’ big blacked-out pimped-out latest Silverado, jacked-up beyond belief, running treads the size that would shame a Massey-Ferguson, couple of surfboards in da back, V8 rumbling impossibly loud. Holy haole, get the hell out of their way. You thought surfers were nice laid-back dudes, right? Pah. Local surfers are angry animals, always looking to bite the hands that feeds.