You know when you learn about something for the first time, like say, you learn what "ineffable" means, and then for the next week, you hear that word seven hundred times when you could've sworn you'd never heard it before you learned it? All of a sudden, people are dropping it in casual conversation and the whole entire world is ineffable. Which, come to think of it, it actually is.
It's been like that for me lately with the Salton Sea. I had a vague recollection of hearing the two words in conjunction before, but that was only because I had the first Hot Snakes album, wherein there's an epic, percussion-heavy ode about that once gorgeous resort, now festering shithole. Then, a couple days ago, I got a book called "Eccentric America" which talks about the place in all it's preposterous grandeur, even devotes one of its twenty full color pictures to a man-made, rather colorful mountain there. And then, last night, I got invited to see a movie about the very same place. By next Tuesday, I'll probably own property there.
Of course, I went. When events outside your control line up to teach you something, you'd better pay attention. Plus, the movie was narrated by John Waters and, it's always been a personal philosophy of mine that you give full attention to anyone who pioneered the use of obese coprophilic transexuals as protagonists in their films.
At the risk of going all Peter Travers on you: See this movie. It's hilarious and sad and informative and there's a dude named Hunky Daddy in it and, since Salton CIty is essentially Palm Springs's neightbor, Sonny Bono* makes an appearance. I could tout this thing all day and not succeed at conveying it's total and supreme awesomeness, so I'm going to stop. But seriously: watch it. Call in sick from work, cancel your honeymoon, leave your grandma waiting on her front porch, let your kids ride the city bus home. Do what needs to be done.
Unfortunately, this sometimes fetid wonderland is out of striking distance on this tour. It would be worth stopping in, I assure you, but we'll be passing it on the South on one of our most intensive driving days and, we don't have the hours to spare. Speaking of driving, we got Patrick Stewart back yesterday. And...
She has a clean bill of health. We were perplexed. Our mechanic was perplexed. The glaze of filth on the back door from the last oil-leak debacle was perplexed. Maybe yesterday's letter was answered by the Gods. Perhaps we were overreacting to the giant plume we trailed for half of our last tour. Maybe cars are sentient beings with immune systems. We haven't the faintest. For now, all we can do is drive her, watch the meters, and embrace religion. If you see me at your door in a short sleeve white shirt, a black tie, and a backpack, don't answer the bell.
*He was a big advocate for the area, so he figures pretty heavily in the documentary. One particularly haggard lady talks of him with a twinkle in her eye before deadpanning: "Too bad he went skiing."