Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


This is irony, Alanis

Last night I had a splendid time as an attendee at a rooftop business event in Hollywood where we got to discuss arts and entertainment (theatre, the movies, music and more) while savoring the catering and drinking drinks and watching the sun come down on the Hollywood sign. It was  truly an evening that reminded me, a backwoods transplant, of why I’m so grateful to Los Angeles.

I also had the good fortune to win the prize drawing, held just for showing up, and in addition to winning tickets to a musical, a $50 gift card to Sprouts supermarket and a $25 gift card to the Grub restaurant in Hollywood, I got a whole boatload of goodies from Paramount, including a poster for what’s probably the worst major motion picture I’ve ever seen (“Noah,” in which Noah fights CGI rock monsters, and later has a knife fight with a rival tribal leader inside the ark; I read the book that this movie was based on, and I don’t recall those scenes being in the book), seven DVDs, and the full complement of giveaways dispensed at Comic-Con this past July for the premiere of “Star Trek: Beyond”: a bundle of Blu Rays from the “JJ-verse,” a commemorative premiere t-shirt, pin, hat, and lanyard, and also the director’s cut of “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan,” which includes the deservedly famous line (I’ll try to emulate Ricardo Montalban’s delivery here) “Kork! From the heart of dark-nesssss, I SPIT at theeeee!” All of these “Star Trek” things are now in my possession, putting me momentarily on an equal par with this universe’s foremost “Star Trek” expert, Larry Nemecek. (That is, until I put them on eBay.)

One of the people I spent a lot of time talking to is a very smart, passionate theatre guy whose record and whose commitment to the form speak for themselves. We discussed the recent stupidity of the actors’ union (for which, I predict, all of the Los Angeles stage actors in that union will be quitting it), and gentrification, and theatre attendance, and, of course, because this is Los Angeles, parking. We had a great talk and lots of laughs.

Through it all, I found myself trying not to stare at one long stray black hair descending from his left nostril. As we talked, it wagged back and forth. When he smiled, it rode up a notch. When he exhaled, it fluttered in the wind. Sometimes, it just stood up and saluted me. All of this was unbeknownst to its bearer, but for me it provided a distracting subtext. There was no polite way to point it out, but a nagging voice in my head wanted to tweeze it or cut it or ask him to stuff it back up into his nose. Earlier in the day at another event (I go to a lot of events), a female friend had gently unfolded a flap on the right lapel of my jacket. When a beautiful woman grooms you, no one resists. (At least, I don’t.) But no man wants some guy at a cocktail event to grab hold of the hair in your nose, or even to bring it up.

I talked to some other people at the event, including politicos I’d already met, and theatre people I hadn’t seen in a while, and then made my excuses and went downstairs and retrieved my car from the valet, dropped the top, and drove home through Hollywood to perfect temperatures. A nice ending to a nice event. I got home and excitedly unpacked my treasures for my kids, showing them the DVDs and the tchotchkes and openly discussing which of the friends I’d seen “Noah” with to “gift” that poster to. I watched an episode of “American Horror Story” with my daughter, then went upstairs to brush my teeth before bed. I got out the tooth brush and the toothpaste, applied the latter onto the former, looked up into the mirror — and saw for the first time an incredibly long, black, rat tail of a hair hanging down from inside my right nostril. It looked as long as a finger and nearly as thick. It had been there the entire night.

One Response to “This is irony, Alanis”

  1. Dan Says:

    Life has ways of keeping us humble, no matter how hard we fight it.

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