Marge dumped me at Thousand Oaks Mall & drove off in her new Toyota Hybrid.
I was thrilled. Three whole hours to eat a Taco Salad from La Salsa in the Food Court, visit 'Anthropologie', 'Forever21' & finish off with a Sad Latte from The Coffee Bean.
It took forever to eat the Taco Salad.
On & on I chomped through a Forest of Shredded Lettuce interlaced with Pinto Beans. As I chomped, I read the LA Times Health Supplement on Aging. According to the newspaper, there's nothing we can do about aging except accelerate it. We can't actually slow it down. The Usual Suspects were trotted out, you know - Atkins, Pritikin, Adele Davis et al, who all said that they were going to live forever & then disappointingly died at the Usual Time. A frail little old man who advocated Calorie Restriction karked it at age 79 from Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Apparently, mice & now monkeys do v. nicely on a Reduced Calorie Diet. They have fewer age-related ailments & look young, but no one knows if they are Happier.
This is a perfect segue into an encounter I had at the Baggage Carousel at The Tom Bradley Terminal in or is it, 'at' LAX? Every time I have to enter this terminal I Fear the Worst. And it never disappoints.
I get off a thirteen hour flight. Get through Customs OK even though I couldn't work out where to put my thumb on the Fingerprint Machine.
Then the Magic Begins. I stand at Baggage Carousel No. 1. next to a late-middleaged woman from Oregon who has been in Australia visiting her daughter. She starts talking to me effusively. She just loves Australian Accents. I turn it on for her.
Time passes. People are anxious because their bags aren't showing up including mine & the woman from Oregon. There is an announcement. The bags from Sydney are now available from Carousel No.3. We race over to it & find bags from Alaska.
Another announcement. The bags are now available from Carousel No. 5. Bags from Frankfurt. A further announcement. The bags are now available from Carousel No. 1. People start cheering & applauding. I wonder if the Men with Sniffer Dogs who are circling us will produce Taser Guns & begin shooting.
Whilst all this was going on, the Woman from Oregon was talking to me non-stop about the importance of eating raw foods. I kid you not. She'd had a mastectomy & had refused all medication. 'Just pack it with ice', she told the Doctors before she checked herself out of the hospital & skipped home.
All I could do was watch the baggage carousel go around & around without my bag on it.
And just when I'd almost given up hope & reconciled myself to the idea that all the Summer Wardrobe that I'd thrifted at 'Bednobs & Broomsticks' was probably lost to me forever, it suddenly appeared.
By this stage, Oregon Woman was on to Parasites.
'I had a tapeworm the size of a Veloseraptor inside of me, but through eating raw foods, it's gone', she said.
'That's great! Bye' I replied as I wheeled myself off & almost out into the LA Street.