The Theater Less Filled

For all the doom and gloom out there in the media, all you have to do is take a trip to New York for a corrective. The city is bulging at the seams, especially in summer. The rest of the world might be suffering, but the crowds in New York are in the restaurants, in the theaters and at Macy’s. I went there one early afternoon and as soon as I stepped inside, I wanted to run out again. It was wall-to-wall humanity, from the rich to the not-so rich, spraying perfume on themselves, looking at shoes and wristwatches, and trying on the latest red shade of lipstick. Adding to the agony of suffocation were a plethora of security guards watching the shoppers’ every move.

Most theaters are doing a lottery to fill their seats these days, except Hamilton of course. I walked up to the box office and inquired if they had a couple of spare seats for that day or night. The man behind the glass plate (have you ever wondered why the glass plate?) laughed himself silly. “Come back in January,” he said. This was August.

So I saw The Humans, the Tony award winner for best play and best performances from an actor and actress. It was so depressing I wanted to cry. I also didn’t think the story was unique or compelling enough to win all those awards, so either New York is depressed or there was some heavy politics involved.

I tried the lottery for On Your Feet, the Gloria Estefan story, and won! I was elated even if it did mean sitting on the third floor balcony and looking down on the stage like an eagle. The music and dancing and singing were outstanding and by the end of the two and half hour show you were on your feet moving with the company on stage. It was confusing to me why something this well done and uplifting had empty seats while something so depressing like The Humans had a full house. It goes to show that winning is everything.

Image result for on your feet, broadway

Calvin says, “The public is so easily led. Me? I stick to my nose. It never lies.” beagle

Christmas is a Spirit

I was out on the streets of San Francisco on Black Friday.

I know. I know. I must have been crazy.

But I wanted an experience.

I’ve never seen so many hordes in one place, except maybe at a ballgame, but then that’s expected.

This wasn’t normal.

I was in the center of town where all the department stores were.

Wave upon wave of humanity came up the streets, speaking different languages, all with one intent – to pounce on the deals.

I noticed many policemen, too. Most were on foot, a few were in patrol cars, and then two showed up on horseback.

The horses were enormous, well groomed and kept.

They walked up the hill where I stood and stopped at a red light.  photo (9)photo (11)

The tourists leaned over the curb and snapped a million pictures.

Not to be outdone, I stepped into the street and took some close-ups.

The horses posed for me.

One even smiled.

How did those cops manage that?

Calvin says, “They’d get special treats for showing their teeth. Works every time.” beagle

Get Me Out of Here

I’m a nervous flier. My worst nightmare is the scanner at the security check point. I refuse the x-ray. At the doctor’s, yes. The airport, no way anyone’s going to see through me.

My strategy is to make myself invisible and morph into a stream of blue particles like Star Trek. “Beam me up, Scottie,” would be my mantra. It’s clean, efficient and quick. Away from latex-gloved hands groping my inward parts.

My other strategy is to scan for sheep in the stalls and attach myself to a rowdy group of plus-sized ewes with thick fleece and jangly jewelry. TSA agents love them. While they’re being detained and interrogated, I slip through.

My other must-haves for checkpoints are:

1) slip-on shoes that slip-off easily

2) a boring handbag, black, preferably fake leather, that attracts zero attention from female agents

3) a jacket I remove in front of watchful eyes, which makes me look like a docile, obedient sheep

4) and a smile

It works. Not always.

A friend, on her last trip, was selected for the scanner. She complied and was still pulled aside for a pat-down. “My fat was hiding my skeleton,” she said.

Another friend, an 89-year old, was also selected for a pat-down on a recent trip. “I chose the bright side. It was an invigorating massage,” she said.

Hm…I think the TSA is profiling older women traveling alone. They’re the new look of terrorism. Laugh lines, salt & pepper hair, and plump figures. They’re concealing weapons in the folds of their extra-large girths. Or maybe in the buns on their heads.

I recently flew out of Bob Hope airport in Burbank, the one remaining vintage movie set airport in California. Surely here Antonio Banderas would invite me to walk through the electronic gate and I’d be escorted to my plane. Instead, to my horror and disbelief, I saw my dread. Somebody had installed the newest scanners in the industry when I wasn’t looking. They looked like the Star Trek version. I was going to get my wish.

My decision came down to: Was I going to submit or dash to Hertz and drive home?

My ticket was paid for.

I was standing sans shoes, jacket and purse.

I was next in line.

It wasn’t Antonio waiting for me. It was Brunhilda in armor.

Help!

What would you have done? (leave me a comment)

Calvin says, “I would have created a real Hollywood drama by howling my head-off.”