Free-Floating Hostility

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hostylefax: Greater Los Angeles

The women's basketball team I cover was on an eight-game winning streak, so my boss told me to hit the road with them down south for two games this weekend. The team split its trip, ending the run at nine games. Clearly, I was to blame, multiple people said when they ran into me at our mutual gate at LAX. My goal -- to adopt the public persona of a toxic cynical freeloader -- seems to have been wildly successful. Many of the coaches are convinced that I hate women's basketball in general, the local team in particular and probably myself as well. None of those are actually true.

Detroit Joel housed me for two nights in Culver City, though our conflicting work schedules meant that we only had Friday night to spend together. We did that, rolling Santa Monica and eventually watching basketball and eating at a Hooters on Third Street. Hooters was a total surprise. I expected the aura of a strip club, but there seemed be plenty of families and groups of only women eating there. Joel suggested that atmosphere might have more to do with Santa Monica than with the chain. There is, of course, the issue of the servers' outfits, which tend to make me feel as though I'm back in the hot tub at the gym and unsure of where to look. If there's room, the servers actually sit at your table and talk to you. Our server -- who we learned was in school for interior design and had two dogs (a German Shepard and a chihuahua, which, presumably, she was planning to feed to the German Shepard) -- had chased down two people that tried to run out on their check. Having a Hooters waitress run after you sounds both like something out of Baywatch, and something they could make a ton of money charging for. The world-famous wings, it should be noted, were not that good.

I also spent some time in the Irvine Spectrum, which is the most impressive mall I've ever seen. There was also lunch at a place called "The Shack," whose speciality is the Shackburger. That is a cheeseburger topped by a hot dog. I had it with onion rings instead of fries because Anna likes for me to eat vegetables.

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