Opinion: Outside In

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A Column About Nothing

By David Weinstein

It’s the end of another week and I have a column to write. However, last week was my anniversary, birthday, and the start of summer. So, with all these distractions, I can’t get focused. There’s plenty of goings-on in Laguna Beach to write about, but we’ve already discussed my issue with procrastination. In fact, one thoughtful reader sent me a link to a self-help group. And to whoever that individual is, thank you, and I’m planning to look into it just as soon as I can find the time.

Anyway, here I sit staring at an empty screen, devoid of ideas. I could drive down to Laguna and hunt around for a story, but darn, every time I visit Laguna it cost me at least five dollars for parking, and I’m budget minded. (My steadfast partner would use another word). So, maybe, I’ll just write about nothing. After all, writing about nothing worked out well for Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David so why not? Or, I’ll just share some of my random notes, the ideas I collect like those screws and nuts I store in small glass jars on my workbench, and then try to bolt together into a column each week. Give you a frightening look into the writing process of a guy who has taken several online writing classes and one in-person class at the public library. But first I warn you: “Do not try this at home without proper supervision!” Or at least without a bottle of Tequila handy. I prefer Herradura Reposado for the weekly column, but I’ve been saving up to buy some Clase Azul if I ever decide to write a book.

Here are some random notes from a conversation with my friend Stan, my go-to-guy on all confounding matters, about why every issue in Laguna Beach is so contentious.

“Slim, nobody in Laguna Beach can agree on anything because they’re all rich or smart. Did you ever try to reach an agreement with a room full of people who are too rich or too smart? It’s impossible. Everyone in the room is an expert and convinced their solution is the only one that makes sense. What they need are a couple of dumb guys like you and me to help them break the deadlock. Maybe the City could take some of those parking fees you’re always complaining about, rent us a room, and get us on the voter role? Hey, does the ‘Dirty Bird’ still have a happy hour?”

As always, I am baffled and bedazzled by Stan’s logic.

On a different note, we dined at the Harvest Restaurant at The Ranch for my birthday dinner. The food was great! Ann, of course, had the chicken. Linda and Smitty accompanied us. Over 21 years ago, I had attended Smitty’s seventieth birthday dinner. Many rivers crossed since then. After a few scotches, I got around to asking him if he had any words of wisdom for me for the next stretch. Here they are: “Always own a dog. Smoke your best cigars first, and it’s better to live rich than die rich.” And then he said, “Oh, yeah, and don’t fry bacon in the nude.”

David is a Newport Beach resident.

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