Sunday, May 04, 2008

Writing a new post on Marina's perfume blog, I was reminded of one of the star sightings I had years ago.

It was a sweltering hot day in Beverly Hills: that pounding heat that we rarely get with just enough humidity to make one want to die.  At the time I still was piloting the Pansymobile: a 1988 Chrysler leBaron convertible with no AC.  Usually that wasn't really a problem in LA, this week it was.  It was too hot to put the top down and have the sun on me yet driving a black car was almost worse.

In any case, despite the fact that I was broiling (like the unfortunate guy in the Susan Lucci clip below) I did stay stopped at the stop sign at Canon and Clifton to let the woman at the corner cross the street.  In this sweltering heat she was dressed in a bottle green suit that couldn't have shouted "Chanel Couture" louder if it had the customs form stapled to it: lustrous green with lavender piping, perfectly fitted to accent her still-lovely figure, matching pumps and bag with quilting and those Chanel tassels, perfectly done cocktails-at-five makeup and short black hair blown out large enough to conceal the small Carrier AC unit I was convinced she must have concealed in there to actually wear hose on a day like this and not just spontaneously combust.

Giving me a charming smile to acknowledge my stop, she minced across the street as well as her high heels and and fitted skirt would allow her.  Her head was held high with an expression on her face of expectation of something nice to come; her eyebrows were slightly raised and lips were slightly pursed as if to form a delighted "oh!" of glee at whatever wonderful little surprise was awaiting her around the corner.

It was Joan Collins.  More to the point it was Old Hollywood.  It was last bastion of the ethos Joan Crawford lived by, where a star looks like a star, no matter what.  "If you want to see the girl next door, go next door"  It was wonderful.

There were two beleaguered looking tourists, large of thigh wearing leggings and sweat-stained oversized t-shirts, who perhaps not knowing who she was since she had her back to them watched the metronome progress of her raw-silk clad hips across Canon Drive with disdain.  They crossed Clifton with one arm raised as if they were holding their own Chanel bag, imitating her walk as well as their meaty thighs would allow.

I wanted to run them over.

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