Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.

Name

E-mail

facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News

Entertainment

Film

Television

Music

On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time

Books

View from the Hill

NY WEST

Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities

Food

Sports

Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics

Baseball

Basketball

Football

Hockey

Pets

Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week

Ramblings

10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard

Auto

Kyle's Kars

Travel

Susan Michelle's Compass

Advice

Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona

Features

Dancing with Earthquakes

Archives

Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It

Columnists

Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews

Speak!

Sponsors

America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Humor

News Briefs

Local News

Books

News

Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages

ResourceINK

Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week



Miller Time

Night School 73: The Ego Has Landed
Posted by Grady Miller on May 20, 2012 - 8:07:23 AM

HOLLYWOOD HILLSThe taxi driver in front of his ex's house took Jason's very last bill. He counted the suitcases Suzanne had brought back from Europe: there were fourteen in all—one for her CDs, one for her lingerie, and another for her jewelry, toiletries and so on. Jason didn't have anything left to tip the poor slob who has surrendered fat drops of sweat to get the fourteen suitcases to Suzanne's doorstep.

“Stay,” Suzanne was telling Jason's mom. “I wouldn't dream of you going to a motel or Jason's apartment. I hear it's an awful mess.”

If Suzanne, who was surely acting the part of ideal hostess, expected Jason to step in and offer lodging to his mother, she was mistaken. He said a curt goodnight, turned on his heel and went to his car, doing his level best to refrain from breaking into a run. Palpable was the relief from his mother's forked tongue.

Back in Hollywood, fifteen minutes later, Jason burrowed under the flood of books, student papers and stuffed animals heaped on his backseat, burrowed for the soothing balm of Mylanta, passionate painkiller for the aches of souls, to prevent him from plunging headlong into despair. He failed to find the torn half book—companion to the other half relinquished to Candy. In the pale streetlight there strayed from the mound of papers a student's blue registration slip, and he read Maria Candelaria Rocha—Candy's slip from when she briefly studied in his class. Jason had a flash: the girl being dragged away by a thug after one single night school class, wailing down the corridor.

In the space reserved for country, El Salvador appeared in awkward, unschooled printing. That was funny. Wasn't Candy from Mexico? And why hadn't she been answering his calls. . . ? The moment he stopped looking, the torn half of Mylanta's Oneness was right in front of his nose. He lustily opened it, craving ego-massaging sweet nothings. This is what he got:

“Hey you. Yeah you. It's been so long I forgot your name. Wait, it's on the tip of my tongue. . . Jason, the seeker of the Golden Fleece, the argot-naut. You're a language teacher, right? . . . A study of Catholic sisters in Minnesota who had reached advanced age and resisted Alzheimer's shows that the one common link they shared was they taught grade school. So there is evidence that teaching keeps your brain young.” A new neurological slant on teaching was the last thing he'd expected from Mylanta, and it was the last thing he wanted; he was exasperated. Mylanta had failed him; he was denied the instant soothing ego massage he'd come to expect from the guru.

Given the kind of venom that Mom dished out daily, no wonder he was such a sucker for the likes of Mylanta. Now, recalling Hamlet's words, “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” Jason pledged to deal with Mom himself, on his own terms. He cast Mylanta aside and trampled its pages in the gutter, vowing to face the evil forces of the universe and Mom, naked, unashamed and alone.

Sweet sleep did its magic. A subdued Helene joined him when he took Kit to school in the morning. Then she accompanied him to San Anselmo, where she judged, “There's no school here. It's all goofing off.”

Gudelia was settled into the role of Martha, the obsessively cleaning wife. Perky Gladys was the family's playful dog. The rehearsal process had trimmed much of the carnage from Joey Leonard's original version: now the violence was limited to kicks aimed at the dog who perversely became friendlier with each kick. Gladys had sewn a wonderful furry brown costume.

Meanwhile, tongues were wagging at Jefferson Adult School about what had really happened to Abby Fenwick. After vanishing for a week, there was Abbysparkling, impeccably dressed in a water-melon pink Shantung silk dress, gold hoops dangling from her ears.

Principal Cloud had been smart enough to leave Abby Fenwick a glimmer of hope. After the newspaper's “allegations” of falsified test scores were fully investigated, she might resume her assignment via “freeway therapy” (i.e. being relocated to a night school in the Siberia of the school district's farthest reaches.) It must have been that hope that brought the disgraced teacher to the rehearsal.

She dove right in to a peppy duet, “Going Postal,” with Miguel Angel. Not a peep about the newspaper scandal from Joey Leonard, and Abby turned in a matchless performance, nuanced and emotional, as the form-fixated social worker who turns down Abel (Miguel Angel) for food stamps:

I need a magnifying glass to read your chicken scratch/You idiot, you brat, can't you read?/Last names first and first names last!/I think I'm going postal, I really do. . .

Abby tangoed with Miguel Angel, and dancers dressed as gigantic paper clips and staple removers pranced around the stage.

“That was wonderful. Simply wonderful,” exclaimed Jason's mom, clapping. She hadn't had the first bourbon of the day.

(To be continued...)



 

Cliffside Malibu

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.