RIDING THE TROLLEY
It’s always fun to have guests in town, because you get to do all the things people from out of town think Los Angelenos do all the time, like go to the beach and stalk celebrities. In actuality, I haven’t stepped foot on a beach in almost a year. Fine, so I stalk celebrities on a regular basis, but the only time I ever bought an actual star map was when my sister was in town. Unfortunately, the map we bought seemed to date from the 70’s, and the only homes we got to see belonged to Joyce DeWitt and Charo (who I believe now actually lives on a cruise ship).
For the last few days, Drew and I have been hosting Drew’s brother Peter and Peter’s girlfriend Veronica. I had to miss their trip to the beach, but it was fun to take them to mankind’s greatest creation, the Grove, and see it through virgin eyes. Even they could tell it would be lame to ride the trolley (which travels the shortest distance in all of trolleydom), and that made me sad. I had spent all morning rehearsing what I’d say if anyone I knew caught me. “Oh, this is Drew’s brother and his girlfriend. They wanted to ride the trolley. Can you imagine???” Alas, if you can’t ride the trolley with out-of-towners, when can you ride it?
Peter and Veronica, who hail from Philly, wanted very much to take advantage of the nice weather by eating outdoors. Drew and I had a hard time thinking of a place to take them. Not that we never eat outdoors, but we just don’t tend to classify restaurants that way, as eating outdoors is something we take for granted and we never make a special trip to an eatery just for its sidewalk seating. (We eventually settled on Swingers.)
The other fun thing about the visit was spending time with a family member of Drew’s. It’s always fascinating to meet the family of people you know really well. A lot of times, they can’t help seeming a little like deformed versions of each other. Peter looks as if someone tried to make a life-sized doll of Drew and messed up some of the important details, or like the composite sketch a police artist will draw up someday if Drew is ever a fugitive from justice. It looks just a little taller, the hair’s a little shorter and a little darker, and the eyebrows are bushier, but if that sketch aired on the local news, our neighbors would probably call the Eyewitness Tip Line and rat Drew out.
I always wanted a little brother, so seeing Drew and Peter together made me just a bit jealous. The little in-jokes they share. The way Drew gets to spoil Peter with spa treatments and sushi and hearty helpings of cruel brotherly teasing. The vast catalogue of memories they dredge up when they want to embarrass each other. Brothers get to be real jerks to each other, and there are few things in nature more beautiful than a noogie or a good-natured, button-pushing impression of someone you love. Thanks, Peter and Veronica, for the “Drew Megamix” of Drew’s memorable quotes.
Now that the next season of “The Real World” is filming in Philadelphia again, it looks like Drew will be going there on business someday soon, and, assuming I’m able to join him, that means that we get to be the guests and let them show us around their city. It’ll be fun to hang out with them again and get a look around their hometown and have them show us all the things they love to do. We’ll make them take us to the Liberty Bell, and you better believe if there’s a Liberty Bell trolley, I’m gonna get their asses on it.