Sunday, October 03, 2004

Dinah Sore

I’m imagining the day that Dinah Shore’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled, probably a sun-drenched Tuesday in the 1970s. The acrid smells of AquaNet and Jean Natte permeate the air and there are orange bell-bottom pants suits everywhere. Traffic at the nearby intersection of Hollywood and Vine ambles by as Dinah and her peeps pose for pictures in front of the star, the familiar silhouette of the Capital Records building soaring behind them.

Fast-forward 30 years to Saturday night. Old Buddy Andy and I are kibitzing outside the Avalon Theatre, our gazes scanning the horizon for important people on their way into the Kerry-Edwards fundraiser. I look down and notice that my new Timberland hiking boots – which I DID NOT buy at Marshall’s – are standing on Dinah’s tarnished and slightly warn star. Out of respect, we move aside, as if perhaps Dinah is actually buried under the star.

The gig doesn’t start for 45 minutes, so we loiter outside. Lots of celebs are rumored to be on the guest list and we are therefore on StarWatch 2004. We must be quite a sight, two grown men leaning awkwardly against a portable railing, drooling for a chance to ogle Paris Hilton or Jillian Barberie. I imagine that we look like the two geeks at the dance in Sixteen Candles (one of them was John Cusak), standing out of the spotlight and wondering what it’s like to be Anthony Michael Hall putting the moves on Molly Ringwald. That was how we looked in high school and not much has changed in 16 years. Once a dork, always a dork.

Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a heavyset woman wearing a dozen campaign buttons and enough cleavage to hide a minivan stops in front of us, turns her body in our direction and continues a cell phone conversation AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS. It is a DEFCON 5 Personal Space Violation. Her nose is six inches from mine and she is yelling directly into my face. Her tone is pampas, her volume excessive and she is in desperate need of an Altoid.

Old Buddy Andy and I try valiantly to continue our conversation, but it’s like trying to stave off a stealth bomber with a firecracker. Our feeble lungs are no match for Jabba the Hut. We stand in silence. We stand in awe. And we pray vehemently that the ghost of Dinah Shore will rise up from her star and beat the crap out of this heathen so we can continue StarWatch 2004 is peace. Finally, Jabba hangs up and mutters something to herself about the Green Bay Packers.

Three hours later, I am sitting in my car and waiting my turn to exit the parking lot. I glance to my left and see Jabba The Hut hocking knockoff Kerry-Edwards t-shirts to passers-by on Vine Street. And for the first time, I entertain the idea of voting Republican.

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