the hazel project

on the path…in the neighborhood part 2

November 28th, 2006

WARNING: This post contains language that happened in real time.
This disclaimer is mostly for Betty.

You know holding a sign for honks looks easy.

I beg to differ.

I was out there 30 minutes and the sun was setting and Echo Park was getting colder; I know, I was surprised too. My arms were getting tired from holding the sign over my head and over the curb so motorists could it. I think my sign said, ‘Stop the War in Iraq.’ Somebody had to do it so Bart could play accordian properly. i will admit, I questioned if his playing helped get more honks, he was a friendly conversationist though.

Every so often a group of people waiting to cross the street would give us a positive nod.
One group of guys who had been at happy hour, already lubed up, thanked us considerably, taking out his Veteran’s card and showed us proudly. Twice. Crying.
We refrained from receiving hugs.

So we’re out there. Getting honks. Then a cat holding a sign across the street, runs
ahead of the peds at the crosswalk screaming at the stopped traffic. He was adamant. His girlfriend was over in Iraq, and he was super worried for her, he told us later. He continued this behavior as if we were getting paid by the honk. He pridefully showed us the best technique. This consisted of mostly yelling “can I getahonk?” and any gesture short of collapsing on the cars while they were stopped at the red light.

I was just as happy participating in the larger Echo Park neighborhood community. I thought about all of us out there, doing this thing, letting people blow their horn during rush hour, blowing off steam.

Then I wondered if I was going to be written down on a special list for holding such a sign.

I thought it was good clean entertainment at reasonable prices UNTIL:

Two stop light cycles later I hear incessant honking. I looked across the street and a woman wearing tights, was walking with the peds honking a bicycle horn. Cussing, and approaching me at quite a clip; all I could think was how I wished she was wearing something other than tights. Her body shape was quite larger than Heidi Klum’s.

We thought she’d pass through with the others. But instead she wanted to yell at us a little more. I was first. With her bicycle horn at my ear squonking it, she screams
“How do you like that motherfucker!”

It was hard to hear her cuss at me because the horn was so loud, and the closer image of her tights so strikingly bad. But the message was sinking in.

I stood there in shock.

Mostly hoping she’d go away without hitting me. ‘Was she homeless?” I thought.

She had more:

“Every Friday night it’s the same thing, it’s all I hear in my apartment, and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT! I HATE YOU GUYS!

I thought she had soiled herself.

(After one example of her fine command of expletives. I ‘ll let the reader fill in the last quote with their own imagination. Use a lot of them to get the full effect. Scream it too, if so inclined.)

All I could say was, “Thanks, have a good day.”

I expected the FBI to show up any minute.

Bart said he could understand how people who lived closer to Sunset Blvd would be really angry on Friday nights because of the encouraged honking.

I held the sign for an hour. And at 6:00 I handed it back to Bart and said, “I’m done for today man.”

He and Lisa thanked me holding the sign and let me know they’d be out there every Friday night at 5:00.

I grabbed my bag of fresh AA batteries and headed back to my supper of black bean burrito with avocado and red bell pepper. All complemented with a fresh glass of Charles Shaw Syrah.

Also known in these parts as “2 buck Chuck”.

Thanks for Checking in.

Stephen A. Thomas

on the path…in the neighborhood part 1

November 27th, 2006

on the path…with gratitude & thankfulness

November 23rd, 2006

on the path…Music for Novemeber

November 22nd, 2006

down the hill…the rolling stones

November 22nd, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving-wkrp turkey drop

November 16th, 2006

on the freeway…

November 14th, 2006

on the path…false starts

November 13th, 2006

on the path…voting day

November 7th, 2006