Martin Pasko: City On The Edge of Forgetaboutit
If you follow this column regularly (in which case I apologize for the feelings of loneliness and alienation), you might remember me mentioning that I now reside in Los Angeles, which is the perfect city to move to if you’re really desperate to live in a comic book. It’s so colorful and exciting and full of funny-looking noises. Like when the valet at Jerry’s Deli on Ventura slides that new car you haven’t even started making the payments on yet into a parking space narrower than its wheel base – at 120 mph – because he thinks he’s Batman.
So I am thrilled to report I’m serene, I tell you, serene as I continue to sit around, keyboarding like this. Only now I do it for fun because the keyboard I’m using is the digital one on my smartphone, and it’s now in my lap as I write this, with the vibration intensity on the haptic feedback set to “Maximum.”
I am, however, finding it somewhat more lonely here than I’d anticipated.
Many of my old friends – the kind who keep insisting I refer to them on social media as “not-old-that-way” – don’t get out much. They glide about their palatial homes in motorized tricycles which have to be loaded into their very tiny cars when a group of us goes out to lunch. Whereupon the one who still has enough use of his legs to actually drive a car keeps asking the voice on the GPS to speak louder, so he can hear her replies to his inappropriate comments about how hot she sounds and what time she gets off work.
Meanwhile, the other three beg me to push their motorized tricycles out into freeway traffic while they are still in them, because their fingers are too arthritic to use a trackpad and none of them has mastered SEO well enough to Google for the guy who inherited Jack Kevorkian’s equipment.
Thus I find myself in the rather odd position of actually looking forward to inviting to lunch Stan The Man, who, as you know, lives in Beverly Hills. And is not too busy to see me because there are no animation studios or comic book companies left out here with whom he can jointly announce a project that will be completed after you and I are dead.
(“Just came back from The Mansion and I’m way stoked, ‘cause Hef an’ I are This Close to launchin’ that whole Spider-Bunny thing.”)
I’ll have to find a way to break it gently to Mr. Man that Mr. Hefner no longer sits around all day in his pajamas and bathrobe because he needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to fuck a smokin’-hot babe, but because sitting around all day in your pajamas and bathrobe is just what you do when you’re 187 years old.
But, of course, as Bill Maher knows how to say with much better fake sincerity than I, I kid Mr. Man. I have every confidence that he really will be with us many years hence. That’s because, as he has helpfully informed us, he has a pacemaker but no need whatsoever for a motorized tricycle. I am, however, inviting Mr. Man to lunch in my home, where absolutely no effort will be made to point out that he’s standing too close to the microwave.
And, in what passes here in Hollywood for truth, Mr. Man has announced a strategic relationship with Archie Comics, for whom he will be writing Just Imagine Stan The Man Asking You To Believe He Actually Wrote This Comic Book Himself About What It Would’ve Been Like If He’d Created That Really Swell, Groovy Homo Kid We Came Up With That’s Putting Us Out Of Business Because It’s Pissing Off All Those Loudmouthed Jesus People Who For Some Reason Are Still Under The Impression That They Can Buy “Age-appropriate” Comic Books At Wal*Mart.
I, for one, am looking forward to chatting Mr. Man up about that book. I may be totally off-base on this, because I haven’t actually seen Mr. Man in the 20 years since the announcement, but I think Archie is a perfectly natural “fit” for him because, at least at that time, the back of Mr. Man’s head was orange, too.
Now, as we come to the conclusion of what I know all you reverential fanboys, with your keenly developed senses of humor, will have understood was meant as Just Jokes rather than the gratuitous and mean-spirited rant you, you hero-worshiping little cretins, you, mistook it for … I leave you with just these humble thoughts:
Apparently, here in The City On The Edge of Forgetaboutit, the way you fight ageism is by making fun of people who are even older than you are. If you can find any.
And so it is that I whistle past Forest Lawn and rage, rage against the dying of the light from my smartphone.
OK, so I’m a little cranky, too.
Some asshole just totaled my motorized tricycle, trying to park it at 120 mph because he thinks he’s Batman.
FRIDAY: Martha Thomases
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman