Kage Baker detested football. She wasn’t fond of most sports – except some classic ones she only watched at the Olympics – but American football most especially riled her. She wasn’t that fond of British footie, either, but at least it had the dubious benefits of being British and also an unabashed blood-sport.
Super Bowl, however, kind of amused her.
It was because we grew up and spent most of our lives living in tourist towns. She was used to the crowds of gaping visitors wandering around our haunts. One learns when not to go to the grocery store, the mall, the beach, Disneyland. We had t-shirts that said “Leave Me Alone. I’m A Native.” Growing up in Hollywood was especially bizarre – there were movie shoots to dodge, as well as the mindless hordes that flocked on Hollywood Boulevard. There were always tour busses, and crowds of lost foreigners, running one over. At Christmas and New Year’s and Super Bowl, entire marching bands could be found taking up all the seats in local restaurants.
Pismo Beach was just as bad. The entire summer was crowded with tourists, for one thing, and every 3-day weekend. The town had a population of 8,000 – but at those times, that would swell to 30,000. Super Bowl was especially crowded – every holiday rental house, apartment, and hotel room was full of drunken football fans. Their offspring and some females clogged the beach and all the shops and restaurants. A walk down any street during game time proceeded to the chorus of chimpanzee-troupe noises coming from the thronged rooms with television sets. Primate hoots and panting, man, and hardly a spoken word in ’em – we’d walk around and giggle at the primal carrying-on.
Living in Los Angeles, now, it’s a little different. That’s because I avoid the tourist areas, did all my shopping days ago, and there are no holiday rentals on my little residential street. Some of my neighbors are indeed having parties, so the howls and hooting will not be entirely neglected; but they’re the neighbors, you know? I can tolerate the baboons and chimps that actually live here.
My family is ensconced in the living room. The brother-in-law, Ray, is actually interested in the game; physicist that he is, he is happily figuring odds. He’s got no dog in the fight – he’s a Buffalo Bills devotee; and as we all know, Dear Readers, the Cigarette Smoking Man has decreed they will never go to the Super Bowl – so he can enjoy the spectacle and the mathematics untroubled. Nephew Michael and my sister Kimberly say they’re watching for the commercials. I’m not interested even much in those, though I will run out when summoned to see Clydesdales or people I know. (The Poxy Boggarts, who sang the deathless anthem “I Wear No Pants” for the 2010 Superbowl, are dear friends of mine.) I even have a bag of potato chips to munch, just to show willing.
2016 has not been a great year, so far. I’m fighting off the 2-out-of-5 flu strains this year’s vaccine did not cover. We spent a whole week replacing Kimberly’s and Ray’s water bed mattress – there are no longer brick and mortar water bed stores in Los Angeles, to my vast horror, and a long complicated adventure with Amazon Prime was necessitated … as Kage also preferred water beds, I’ve never gotten out of the habits of how to deal with them, bu that doesn’t make it any more fun to drain and fill the damn thing through the bedroom window during a cold snap. We managed to finally get the roof repaired between rain storms, though; and of course it hasn’t rained since … I broke a tooth eating candy (Good ‘N Plenty), but my ankle is almost completely healed; so I figure I’m ahead on points.
It’s warm and clear here today; in fact, it’s 84 degrees outside. A week ago, we had frost until 10 in the morning. The garden has given up on cues and is doing whatever it damn well pleases. I spent a lovely hour or so out on the front porch, enjoying the new front garden – the xeriscaping has at last been completed, and it’s lovely. (More on that later). Now I’m indoors working on story ideas – I have had several these past few days – and getting a manuscript ready to send to my agent. Tomorrow, when it’s quiet, I will do my taxes and actually write.
Maybe 2016 will now consent to settle down and let me be productive. At the very least, I’m getting potato chips out of today, so that’s pretty good. Even the howls from down the street are distant enough to be sort of musical. Not a bad Sunday, at all.
Even, round the edges, a little bit super.