The Last Time I Had Fun

 

This past summer, my little town of Monrovia opened up for a few brief weeks. My daughter’s in-laws were in town and we all agreed to meet downtown for dinner.

For whatever reason, I drove with my friend Anthony and we had a several-block walk to the restaurant. We stopped off at a new small shop, where we admired a Route 66 clock that would look perfect in my backyard. (I love big clocks; a friend thinks I am trying to buy time). I demurred on the clock purchase; at 65 bucks it slightly exceeded an impulse buy and I didn’t want to lug it around for the night.

So my friend Anthony bought it for me and carried it to the restaurant. Where about 12 of us had a lovely time. The restaurant had gone to a lot of trouble fixing up their back patio and the staff was unbelievably accommodating.

We all spilled out onto the street – with JY carrying the clock – where was what could only be described as a street party was going on. People everywhere. JY stopped to admire a Harley, the owner was at hand and offered JY to have a seat and start her up. JY handed the clock to Anthony and happily gave the Harley a few revs.

Whereupon someone offered Anthony 250 bucks cash for the clock and Anthony accepted without batting an eye.

Our little downtown is now vacant and empty. I used to go out of my way to walk or drive through town, I avoid it now as it’s too depressing.

PS. Whenever I see Anthony, I ask him for the time.

PPS. The title is an exaggeration. We were blessed to have son #1 for an extended leave over Christmas; there were many great dinners and a road trip to Utah to see family. My daughter and her family live nearby and we see them often. But the night I’ve described is the last time I remember laughing so hard I thought I was going to puke.

PPS. If opening up Monrovia for a few brief weeks led to any “spike” in COVID cases I never heard about it.

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  1. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    I’ve been to Monrovia! I didn’t realize you were in the LA area. For some reason I thought you were in what people call “Northern California,” but more often than not should be called Central California. 

    I have no idea why I thought that, but anyway… I hope you have fun again soon. I was supposed to move your way in February. I’m lucky I suppose. I could be paying inordinately high rent with minuscule hopes for finding employment. 

    • #1
  2. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    I’ve been to Monrovia! I didn’t realize you were in the LA area. For some reason I thought you were in what people call “Northern California,” but more often than not should be called Central California.

    I have no idea why I thought that, but anyway… I hope you have fun again soon. I was supposed to move your way in February. I’m lucky I suppose. I could be paying inordinately high rent with minuscule hopes for finding employment.

    Well. The first time I heard of Monrovia was the day we put an offer on our old house 34 years ago. I was raised in the South Bay where “there was no intelligent life east of Sepulveda”.  

    I’ve since learned that one of Charles Mason’s minions was a homecoming princess at Monrovia High. And that Richard Ramirez was fairly active around these parts before we moved here. So we’ve got that going for us.

    But Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech a few blocks west  And the “Upton Sinclair” house is two blocks east. And our avocado tree is 100+ years old and makes us the most popular people in town. 

    But we’ve loved it.  My kids had a great childhood. Which I reminded them of nightly. 

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Well, for the first time in 8 weeks, Ray’s athletic club was open today, and he drove 25 miles each way to hit a squash ball on a court by himself.  No locker, no showers, no riding the exercise bike first.

    Last time I had fun was early November when I met my best friend from work for drinks.  The restaurant was open for two weeks before they shut them down again.  

    Jay Inslee is evil.

    • #3
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Hasn’t Governor Newsome forbidden anyone in California to use the word ‘fun’ yet?

    • #4
  5. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    After the 20th it will all open up.

    • #5
  6. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Hasn’t Governor Newsome forbidden anyone in California to use the word ‘fun’ yet?

    I yell at my neighbors whenever I hear them laughing 

    • #6
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    After the 20th it will all open up.

    Quite the contrary.  There will be a nation-wide mask mandate, and vaccination will be run from DC, with blacks prioritized over whites, and older whites left until the very last, so more of them die.

    • #7
  8. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Annefy: Our little downtown is now vacant and empty. I used to go out of my way to walk or drive through town, I avoid it now as it’s too depressing

    You & JY oughta make a sojourn to your old haunts in the South Bay, west of Sepulveda. The streets are not deserted though they are not as vibrant as before Newsom put his jackboot on the neck of the people. I hear things are even more open in the OC.

    There was a recall petition signing event near me on Sunday. They’re more than 2/3 of the way there and they’ve got till March to finish the job. Godspeed.

    • #8
  9. Shauna Hunt Coolidge
    Shauna Hunt
    @ShaunaHunt

    Where in Utah? 

    • #9
  10. DWard Coolidge
    DWard
    @DWard

    All you fellow So Cal people are making me feel at home here.  Yes, South Bay eating and drinking fun are nonexistent right now and Del Amo Mall is a shell of itself, but the surfers, cyclists and hikers are everywhere! 

    We will have real fun again.  I know it.  

    • #10
  11. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    “Whereupon someone offered Anthony 250 bucks cash for the clock and Anthony accepted without batting an eye.

    Our little downtown is now vacant and empty. I used to go out of my way to walk or drive through town, I avoid it now as it’s too depressing.

    PS. Whenever I see Anthony, I ask him for the time.”

    Beautifully written and almost painfully poignant. I sincerely hope that is not the last time you had fun.

    • #11
  12. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Shauna Hunt (View Comment):

    Where in Utah?

    Hurricane, outside of St George. My brother and his wife moved there about five years ago. We’ve grown quite fond of the area 

    • #12
  13. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    “Whereupon someone offered Anthony 250 bucks cash for the clock and Anthony accepted without batting an eye.

    Our little downtown is now vacant and empty. I used to go out of my way to walk or drive through town, I avoid it now as it’s too depressing.

    PS. Whenever I see Anthony, I ask him for the time.”

    Beautifully written and almost painfully poignant. I sincerely hope that is not the last time you had fun.

    Thank you @southernpessimist. I was feeling rather … pessimistic when I wrote it. But I have a very fun family and I enjoy the heck out of all of them. I am way too blessed to complain. 

    • #13
  14. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Annefy: Our little downtown is now vacant and empty. I used to go out of my way to walk or drive through town, I avoid it now as it’s too depressing

    You & JY oughta make a sojourn to your old haunts in the South Bay, west of Sepulveda. The streets are not deserted though they are not as vibrant as before Newsom put his jackboot on the neck of the people. I hear things are even more open in the OC.

    There was a recall petition signing event near me on Sunday. They’re more than 2/3 of the way there and they’ve got till March to finish the job. Godspeed.

    I am way overdue. Maybe we could sneak a couple of growlers of microbrew down to the beach ..

    • #14
  15. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Annefy: Our little downtown is now vacant and empty. I used to go out of my way to walk or drive through town, I avoid it now as it’s too depressing

    You & JY oughta make a sojourn to your old haunts in the South Bay, west of Sepulveda. The streets are not deserted though they are not as vibrant as before Newsom put his jackboot on the neck of the people. I hear things are even more open in the OC.

    There was a recall petition signing event near me on Sunday. They’re more than 2/3 of the way there and they’ve got till March to finish the job. Godspeed.

    Parts of Sepulveda have weekly street racing these days.

    • #15
  16. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker
    @CarolJoy

    I last had fun on Sunday.

    We celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary over the weekend. Our favorite sports bar and grill was open.

    We had to eat outside, although the veranda provided an overhang to prevent us from a small  bit of mist coming down. (After all, according to Gov Newsom science: you won’t catch the COVID infection if you are outside in the rain, the way you would if you were eating a meal in a nice warm indoors area.)

    We had a table for 8 all to ourselves, due to travel restrictions in other parts of the country. Plus strangers cannot sit at another couple’s table.

    But a couple came in and asked in a whisper if they could sit with us. I whispered back they definitely should, as they were now  family. I asked they consider  peppering any conversation we had with asking about mutual friends and family, and not to be surprised if  I complimented them on the lovely anniversary card they sent. (Keep in mind – we had never met these people before.) I did not want our waitress to think she was violating state policy by our all sitting together at this one table.

    So we had this elaborate charade going on. It all felt reminiscent of ditching high school study hall with a group of friends and sitting in the woods near the school sharing a forbidden Marlboro cigarette. So now I wish we had exchanged phone numbers as well.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):

    I last had fun on Sunday.

    We celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary over the weekend.

    Congratulations!

    • #17
  18. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):

    I last had fun on Sunday.

    We celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary over the weekend. Our favorite sports bar and grill was open.

    We had to eat outside, although the veranda provided an overhang to prevent us from a small bit of mist coming down. (After all, according to Gov Newsom science: you won’t catch the COVID infection if you are outside in the rain, the way you would if you were eating a meal in a nice warm indoors area.)

    We had a table for 8 all to ourselves, due to travel restrictions in other parts of the country. Plus strangers cannot sit at another couple’s table.

    But a couple came in and asked in a whisper if they could sit with us. I whispered back they definitely should, as they were now family. I asked they consider peppering any conversation we had with asking about mutual friends and family, and not to be surprised if I complimented them on the lovely anniversary card they sent. (Keep in mind – we had never met these people before.) I did not want our waitress to think she was violating state policy by our all sitting together at this one table.

    So we had this elaborate charade going on. It all felt reminiscent of ditching high school study hall with a group of friends and sitting in the woods near the school sharing a forbidden Marlboro cigarette. So now I wish we had exchanged phone numbers as well.

    That sounds like a LOT of fun. 

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I had fun on Tuesday.  I met a guy who wanted to buy a house of mine,  For some reason he wanted to meet “half-way” “on neutral ground” at a downtown restaurant for lunch.  After the call, I looked him up and briefly found these descriptors after his name:

    BBA, HonD-LL.D (JD, LL.M, MBA, PhD, PsyD, D.Min., RE.D (CGE*)), General Contractor, Realtor-Principal Broker, Attorney-in-Fact.

    Lunch was outside and we didn’t need to wear masks, which was great.  At lunch he was accompanied by one of his girlfriends, and I ordered a large french fries served on a plate.  (Very classy!)  He was very casually dressed, very informal, very friendly and readily agreed to my price in cash.  He even tentatively agreed to pay me 66% above my asking price since he liked me.  I told him I should have listed the property at that higher price, but that I would still take the asking price in cash.

    However, the context seemed to keep turning to payment being 6.25% interest in his family’s ancestral beachfront holdings, on which several business buildings were established.  I told him I wanted the cash, and this he agreed to.

    Then he included a position on his board of directors.  He said that he was going to petition the government to create an autonomous indigenous “preservation”, and finance building an Italianate indigenous community and superhotel complex on his ancestral lands.  I reinforced to him I wanted the cash.

    Or else I could “sell” him my property and take payment in the form of both employment as manager of the property and presumably a percentage of the profits for renting it out.

    I told him I wanted the cash and that there was no rush, and I asked if he could have the money in three months.  He said he could.  Then he offered me a managerial position, even a part-time one, in which he’d fly me in a few times a year at company expense.  I said that the house would be on the market in three months and if he had the cash, he could call me.

    Then we spent another few hours discussing the differences between Cefalu, to which I am quite partial, and the Amalfi coast, to which he is partial, and we googled up pictures of each, including city views, works of architectural splendor and favorite restaurants.

    He was a great guy.  His girlfriend smiled a lot, with a sly cat-like grin.  I had a truly splendid time.  And the french fries were very nice.

    • #19
  20. Shauna Hunt Coolidge
    Shauna Hunt
    @ShaunaHunt

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Shauna Hunt (View Comment):

    Where in Utah?

    Hurricane, outside of St George. My brother and his wife moved there about five years ago. We’ve grown quite fond of the area

    It’s beautiful there. I love the St. George area. It’s where we go when we need sunshine and no temperature inversion! 

    • #20