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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Santa Monica

Around Santa Monica, along the upper strata of LA and up into the rolling hills of Malibu, we spent our last weekend in the states. What can I say about that stay but that it was typically American. We visited lots of shops, consumed lots of food, and
was somewhat entertained to say the least. I went to Church in Beverly Hills with Krista and Tyler and myself. There is this nifty, artsy little coven in the Beverly Hills high school where a large group of young christians meet. I was told later about the Church of Christ where Weird Al Yakovich leads the singing, but I found out about it too late to attend there.

Then there was Hollywood. The short hike up to a nice view of the giant white letters sprawled out on the hill. The 3 of us crammed into a VW bug, on the star-littered streets of Vine and Hollywood, windows rolled down and yes, just for the rarity of it, country music blaring from the radio and all of us singing along. Even as we passed a camera-infested, red carpeted region..maybe a limo or two..we belted Waylon and Willie and Alabama out. Krista was really missing the South. -That's a true Alabama southern belle for you.

One night, while we were venturing into Santa Monica, taking note of all the street performers, there was an unlikely candidate for our attention. There was this Creationist hurling his beliefs into the passing crowds of LA below a sign that read, "$250,000 for the person that can prove that macro-evolution exists." There was a microphone that he was on and across from him, another microphone for anybody willing to engage in a little debate. He was slamming this pothead back and forth with his carefully carved arguments. But something was all wrong here. Something was wrong with the idea of wrestling with people to make them come to faith, as though you can logically convince them of God...as though it is all a rational equation and that a person comes to God over proof. Or better worded, making them realize you're right and they're wrong. This Creationist had all types of props out, including what looked to be a life-sized dummy though it lay in the pavement concealed with a sheet. The microphone was once again bare, and Tyler the Theologian walked up to it with his cowboy boots on and spoke. And what commenced was this huge debate over literal and metaphorical truth and over the complexity of the biblical texts. Tyler did wonderful, giving the man a run for the crowds' admiration. And of course, both parties left, as all debates do, with neither side caving in to the other. But I'm glad Tyler stepped up to the plate and challenged the guy as well as the others, whose definition of "christian" was torn out of that narrow box.

The next day, a large group of us. Southerners that is. (Several friends of mine and some friends of theirs) spent the day in the Fashion District in Santa Monica. The clothes were cheap in this section. Parts of it reminded me of Mexico. There was this one crowded section where the people scattered every which way carrying their shopping bags and their receipts. At the beginning of this street, a large man bellowed out at us that we should, "See the man with the giant feet!"

Not knowing what this meant, we quickly passed the tip off as the ravings of a lunatic. That was until we saw with our own eyeballs, this man with the giant feet. It was this short, stocky Hispanic standing in the middle of the walkway. People darting around him like he was some fierce rock in the middle of a stream. For below him he had these oversized, gargantuan feet seeming to dig into the pavement. He wore these sandals made especially for his large feet. Each toe was almost the size of my wrist. And that was just about the entirety of his foot were his toes. He held a can out soliciting money from his enormous paddles. Everyone stared in unbelief as they passed by. As I walked by,the friend behind me decided to document this feature of city life, and had pulled a camera out,just as we passed, the large-footed man blew up at the sight of my friend's camera saying, "Learn some respect for humanity!" with a few curse words thrown in there. And as we walked away, he stared us down in a violent glare. I guess he forgot that he was soliciting himself by holding a cup and standing where everyone could see him.

A little while later, we're passing by this crowded street again and the big-footed man hasn't moved at all. And as I'm approaching, he is burning his eyes into me. Not my friend who actually had the camera, but me. He got us mixed up. He thought I was the Steven Spielberg, or the Ansel Adams with the camera, and all I was doing was just walking by the guy. And with the most aggressive look, he says to me in a Mexican accent as I brush by him, "Man, I will kick your ass!" Well, Lord forgive me, but I cannot stand being threatened when I did absolutely nothing to warrant it,and probably my response was wrong, but someone needed to reprimand this belligerent man, so I shot back, "With which toe?"

We left America Sunday night and we made it to New Zealand. And what experiences we've had so far.


Blogger ПАПА said...

Im not sure it is healthy to provoke big-toed individuals. These type are notorious for causing great pain and unmanagable harm to those that cross their paths in distain. Elephantitis of the podiatry it seems sometimes gives its owners certain spiritual gifts of causing back pain and such other dreadful problems to their targets.

7:24 AM  

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