Ungrateful Birthday Boy
October 18, 2011 § 4 Comments
My friend Mark Olmsted is the Trash Whisperer of West Hollywood. He walks around every day picking up trash around his neighborhood – nearly two tons of it after five years. (http://thetrashwhisperer.blogspot.com/) Mark wanted only one thing Saturday – to drive to Santa Barbara and spend his birthday with a famous author. But Sue Grafton blew him off, so it was up to me to show him a good time. I took him to a restaurant called The Shoreline right on the sand, which I thought he’d love, but he seemed distant as I smoked cigarette after cigarette and expertly flicked the butts into a group of harbor seals. I thought his mood would improve when we were back in the car and he unwrapped my thoughtful gift. Here, I said, let me get rid of that for you, and wadded up the wrapping paper and threw it out the window. But he only scowled and stared straight ahead. By the time I unveiled the highlight of the birthday celebration – the buzzing of the children’s park by a paid glider pilot who dropped a replica of a birthday cake made out of crushed Budweiser cans and used Band-aids, a bunch of flyers that spelled out HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARK, and two tons of confetti – it was apparent that Mark was determined to throw a big wet towel down on his on birthday, then pick up and put it in the trash, then blog about it. I stood on my front lawn and watched him drive away. Fine, Mark, I shouted at his retreating car as I gave myself a B-12 shot and gestured with the empty syringe before I let it fall into the grass. See if I ever invite you to Santa Barbara again.