Occasionally I look up writers I'm reading to see what else they've done. In the midst of reading L.A. Rex, I'm finding myself on a bit of a Will Beall kick. Partly because he's a hell of a writer and partly because he understands Los Angeles.
People ask me sometimes what's so great about L.A.? It's a fucked up town to be sure. Well, Mr. Beall sums it up perfectly in a piece written last month for AOL news.
Case in Point: About a year and a half ago, in a wildlife sanctuary just outside of town - a kind of retirement home for movie monkeys - St. James Davis and his wife Ladonna threw a birthday party for their pet chimpanzee, Moe. "Pet" might be the wrong word here because the Davises had raised Moe like an adopted son. The thing had grown up wearing children's clothes and eating cereal in the Davises' home, but they'd been forced to place Moe in this sanctuary after he'd blown a gasket, run amok in their neighborhood and bitten a cop. Gloria Allred, the same attorney who represented Amber Frey during the Scott Peterson trial, represented the long-suffering Davises in an unsuccessful suit to free Moe from the sanctuary. The Davises still dropped in on Moe almost every weekend, the way you'd visit a relative in prison.That, my friends, is Los Angeles.
At his birthday party, the Davises had a little cake for Moe. Candles. They might have had party hats. I mean, why throw a party for a chimpanzee if you're not going to put him in one of those conical hats? Anyhow, some time during the party a couple of Moe's cellmates got loose and attacked St. James and Ladonna. The chimps ripped off St. James' nose, plucked out his right eye, gnawed off his fingers and part of his foot. There were heartbreaking rumors that one of the attackers was Bear from BJ and The Bear.
I want you to think about that for a moment: This dude had his face eaten off at a birthday party he threw for his wrongly-imprisoned chimpanzee.
When I think of this town and the crazy shit that goes on here I find myself thinking, beyond the obligatory Alice In Wonderland references, of Hunter Thompson. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." And this town is their office.