Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reggie Hammond Redux

I was told a long time ago on the side of a stage (after I'd descended from it and still basking in the afterglow of performing in front of a few hundred people ) that one day I'd have to make a decision. I'd have to make a choice between the life of satisfying my soul with fulfilling experiences and doing what had to be done from a practical, "gotta make the doughnuts" standpoint. I think it was my mom, but then, it could've been my granny...I thought of that little nugget today while puttin' on the Ritz...


I just got in from The Family Stone junket over at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Spa and it was like I'd stepped through an invisible, gossamer partition between the world I know and into that of monied "Trust-a-farians'," that the hoi poloi can only glimpse on episodic TV. When I pulled up on the scene, the spa staff gave me the "Hammond Treatment" -- remember that scene in Trading Places when Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) arrives at the townhouse owned by the Duke brothers (played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) and as he approaches, just out of earshot, Mortimer (Ameche) looks over at Randolph (Bellamy) and sneers "Look at him! Probably've been stealing since he could crawl." What a funny (and telling) line about the way things are for some people...I'm no class warrior, though -- there's bad apples in every social strata and that includes my working class one...

Once it was ascertained why I was there and who I was working with, however, everybody's tune changed and everything was copacetic. Too, I'll admit that no one was brazen in any instance...I guess I just don't look like one of their regulars -- the suburban L.A. gentry. Whatevers, yo. After kicking it with the film's talent (Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson and Dermot Mulroney), I nixed the luncheon that was being served in the hospitality cottage -- I'd eaten a big ass breakfast when I got there and although one of my philosophies is "if you're gonna be a bear, be fuggin' grizzly," today was not the day to get all John Belushi and go Animal House on the free vittles...As I walked out, I had to negotiate around well-heeled machers and monied nuclear families having Sunday brunch in the midst of blue-haired dowagers and over-the-hill patriarchs. I had a pulsing urge to dip, so I did just that. While strolling past the pool-side dining area I had to restrain myself from pulling a "Cleavon Little" by screaming at the top of my lungs: "Hey! Where all the white women at?" like he did in Blazing Saddles to lure some Klansmen into a trap...I giggled at the image as I crossed the picture-bridge overlooking the loaded lot scarfing down egg-white omlettes and bloody marys in the California sun.

Instead, I strolled it toward the parking area to slide back on into my world and though I live about two miles North, getting back to my zip code seemed to transport me galaxies away...my mom (or grandmother) was right about one thing, though...you better be at ease with whatever decisions you make in life and get on with it because they're all yours -- own 'em, son...Laters...

1 Comments:

Blogger Fatima said...

Funny...I feel you though. You can imagine what it was like working there. I'm grateful for the experience, it gave me a glimpse into a world I don't care to be a part of. You must know who the elite are and how they function before you can insightfully form an opinion of them...

9:56 AM, October 21, 2005  

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