In an ingratiating, syrupy sweet voice, the heavily made up woman standing behind the counter of the service desk said, "And, what's your name, dear?" I was picking up the keys to my newly repaired car, and could not believe that weird, happy smile on her face. After giving her my name, she searched around for the paperwork but couldn't find it. With concern etched on her face, she said, "Is your car under warranty, dear?" It is; and after hunting a bit more, she found the service sheet in question. "Oh! Here it is!" she said too delightedly. "There's no charge today, dear." Handing me my keys, she added, "Here you go, dear. Have a nice day, now." Big smile. "B'bye!" As I walked away, I raised my brow, opened my eyes wide and looked sideways. Allrighty, then! That's me, the personification of irony. Catching myself in eye-roll mode, I stopped to consider whether there was any chance that woman might be an honest-to-goodness naturally cheerful person. Nah. Must be drugs.
I got in my car and headed home. On the way there, while stopped at a red light, I turned to my right and saw Jesus standing with his back to me on the sidewalk, arms wide open in welcoming the flock mode. Wow! I thought. Never seen him here before. Standing just a few feet away from him were Batman, Superman, Mickey Mouse, the Johnny Depp pirate guy and Marilyn Monroe. Okay, so I live in Hollywood and they were all standing in front of the Chinese Theater, but still... You have to admit this is surreal stuff. I wondered when Obama might join the crew, him being such a celebrity and all.
These two incidents made me reflect, for the thousandth time, on how life goes on no matter what happens in the world. Even as we debate the use of torture by our government, and a serious call for investigating the highest echelons of power seems to be heating up; and even as a debilitating worldwide recession, courtesy of our country, devastates the lives of average people, a woman is able to smile at her customers, and wannabe actors still find the gumption to get up in the morning, put on silly costumes and make happy for the tourists. And speaking of Marilyn Monroe and Obama, before making it back to my house, I noticed that the infamous Warhol image of Marilyn, morphed by L.A. street artist Mr. Brainwash into Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain in 2008 was still there, gracing the corner of Sunset & El Centro -- an enduring display of unbridled creativity on the move during the dark times. Wow! I thought, as I do every time I see it. There is a silver lining in the cloud, folks. All we have to do is look around to find it.