By Mark D. Crantz
Laguna Beach. Another perfect day in paradise, but oh no the Council sets sights on view ordinance. Oops, a quorum couldn’t be established because a head count wasn’t possible with too many potted plants at city hall. No one could see one another. In a rare departure from Robert’s Rules of Order, an anonymous council member, who appeared lost among the city hall vegetation, phoned the police department requesting search and rescue support to find enough council members to establish a quorum to consider reappraising Laguna’s view preservation ordinance. After a six hour coordinated grid search by police, fire, and area volunteers, all council members were found alive and well. According to a police spokesperson, a Laguna Beach dog named Hopscotch made the daring rescue, but was later cited for being off leash.
A majority of the council voted to reconvene at the Sandpiper Lounge with the understanding that there are no views or vegetation at the Sandpiper and would be a neutral location in the spirit of ‘view versus vegetation’ bipartisanship. Kelly Boyd dissented claiming the Marine Room had trees and ocean views in equal parts. Hopscotch abstained from voting because he wasn’t allowed in either establishment and was in favor of the Lumberyard that has outside dining for canines.
According to a recent residents survey, when asked if a tree falls in Laguna and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? Lagunans are split 50/50 with half saying it sounds like an “American Idol” participant being rejected and the other half saying it sounds like a voice participant being rejected. When interview results were shared with Simon Cowell, he scoffed that the survey was popular junk science because the survey was not done in a double blind study. Cowell suggested for the correct scientific answer, interviews should be done with Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. They know pitch.
Being an owner of both views and vegetation, I suppose I wanted the vegetation gone in front of my view and I wanted the vegetation to stay behind my view. My opinion is probably shared all the way up to the Top of the World with just about everybody else. As the Bible says, “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Okay then, no vegetation to the west side and lots of vegetation to the east side. Your dog can poop on the east side only.
I figured if anybody could help, I asked my childhood friend, Ben “Oddball” Goldstein what he thought about the ‘view versus vegetation’ issue. Oddball had all the odds and angles figured out and didn’t mind breaking a commandment or two in the process. Oddball recounted the story of his great grandfather, Bubba Applebaum, who was married to great grandmother, Tizzy Applebaum. They loved each other dearly and lived for 63 years in Palos Verdes. If there was a problem in the marriage, it was that Bubba loved trees and Tizzy loved ocean views. Ironically, Bubba didn’t even like apples, but believed an apple a day kept the doctor away, which was good because Tizzy had goo-goo eyes for the local Dr. McPickle. Over the years, the trees grew, the view diminished and Tizzy kept busy finding ways to include apples in every recipe. Then fate intervened. Prohibition. Bubba turned his attention to making hard apple cider. The fermentation process brought Bubba, Tizzy and thirsty neighbors together. Then Prohibition ended and with it hard apple cider. Bubba sobered to the idea of ocean views. Trees came down and grapes went in. Tizzy got her views back, Bubba got Tizzy back and the neighbors got a beverage that went well with fish or fowl, instead of a beverage that you had to dunk for at Halloween.
Oddball summed up his great grandparents’ life lesson by suggesting that Lagunans share the view from sunrise to sunset and toast each other with love and kindness. And lastly, do the opposite of Ernest Hemingway’s advice. “Be a village of narrow lawns and wide minds.”
Recent transplant Mark Crantz has absorbed Laguna’s cultural mores.