Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Contraction And An Exclamation Mark

One of my first acts as a wage earning Los Angeleno was to steal Lauren Hutton's credit card.  It wasn't my first interaction with celebrity.  That honor belongs to narrowly avoiding collision with Richard Dreyfuss exiting Ixtlan's restroom like a shot.  

I think Ms. Hutton bought some magazines.  Any celebrity buying something at Brentano's was buying magazines -- or that might just be a false conclusion sourcing from watching Jason Alexander peruse the magazines while wearing sunglasses, one of those "Please notice me trying not to be noticed" moves teenagers perfect and later shed.  

The Brentano's bookstore manager was pregnant the entire five month stretch I knew her.  I won't blame her constant state of crisis on the unborn.  Based on collected evidence, Kristen could be catalogued high-maintenance before / during / after said pregnancy.  

When she pulled me aside about the Lauren Hutton fiasco her bearing was that of an overburdened hotel manager admonishing a dimwitted immigrant bellboy guilty of insulting a head of state (i.e., she was Basil, I was Manuel).  Celebrity removes certain members of the population from the equation of responsibility because of people like Kristen.  She'd read her F. Scott Fitzgerald and taken it to heart.  

A recent John Carpenter-kick has included Someone's Watching Me!, a 1978 made-for-TV movie starring...Lauren Hutton.  It's Carpenter right on the cusp of being JOHN CARPENTER, and all told, more of a historical artifact than sterling piece of entertainment.  

Every scene, someone is smoking.  Every shirt with buttons - male or female - is unbuttoned down to the navel.  Cars are all Oldsmobile-sized, even the foreign imports.  The pivot point is Ms. Hutton being driven to sanity's edge by a stalker, the beast's chief moves watching her via telescope and calling her over and over again.  It's well nigh impossible to sympathize with a character who could just draw the shades and leave the phone off the hook and starve her enemy out.

Phones stick out like a sore thumb.  Clunky push button boxes with curlicue cords.  Every time Hutton approaches the ringing phone to stoke the villain's fire, it looks like a goobery theater set piece, like an adult about to interact with a child's toy. The pre-climax to the climax involves Hutton and gal pal Adrienne Barbeau seemingly outwitting the stalker and storming his castle courtesy of walkie talkies, the communication ease and mobility involved an involuntary nod to the common state of affairs only some 30 years hence.  

I can't recall if Hutton ever came by to retrieve her credit card or if she or an assistant ever even contacted Brentano's in the wake of my bungle.  I wonder how that kind of celebrity-centric issue is mitigated in the 21rst Century.  Probably you could Tweet or Facebook or Instagram and the celebrity and/or their foot soldiers would respond.  

Sadly, transplanting today on yesterday, I bet phone-obsession would only result in a similar outcome to my interaction with Ms. Hutton.  Pointing out to a manager the famous customer was enraptured with social media rather than taking responsibility for their piece of plastic still wouldn't bump me into the zone of immunity.     


1 comment:

  1. Your words don't soothe my boner.
    They enhance it.