Friday, February 14, 2020

101 Things #61 - At Home with the Stars

For several months I have been steadily amassing and writing about stuff I don't want to do. Here is one more, all wrapped up and ready to add to the compilation known to the world as 101 Things I Refuse To Do Before I Die.

That it should be recommended by now less than an authority than the Huffington Post  makes not a jot of difference. I am not going to

Go on a Hollywood coach tour to see where your favourite stars live

A Hollywood tour is not possible without going to Hollywood. That means a very long flight, the unpleasantness of US Immigration and staying in Los Angeles. I've been there (albeit many years ago when finances dictated staying in fairly modest accommodation) and have no great wish to return.

My "favourite stars" are not film actors. Even if they were, why on earth would I want to look at properties that they happen to be living in? They do not disport themselves on the front lawns giving friendly waves back to the gawking tourists. All you see is some big houses with the doors and windows tightly shut. I can see any amount of those in the nicer parts of beautiful Ruislip. And anyway, if the stars were at home, why should members of the public feel they have the right to drive slowly past taking pictures of them? It might be slightly more intriguing if the actors had designed the houses themselves. This, I am pretty sure, is not the case for the vast majority of them.

I can also imagine the fawning commentary from the tour operators, the gasps of my fellow passengers and my own reactions should I be mad enough to take that tour.

TO: "And now this is Clinch Hardcase's mansion in a 60 acre park. It used to Zack Metro's when he founded Metro-Goldwn-Mayer. When Clinch moved in every tree was ripped out and replaced with trees of the same species but bigger because that's the way he likes it"
FPs: "Wow, that is so awesome"
Self: "Urgh. What am I doing here?"
TO: "Coming up on the right is Merylene Tressburger's modest six-floor 49 room Spanish hacienda. It has been owned by Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Paul Newman, Nanette Newman, No-No Nanette, the Invisible Man, the Thing with no Face and the Face with no Thing, and each of them loved it so much they spent literally days here. Those men lounging against the wall wearing sombreros, drinking tequila from the bottle and randomly shooting into the air are real Mexicans, specially imported just to to add a little authenticity"
FPs: "That is so neat"
Self: "Why, oh why did I have that second burrito refried-bean slop for lunch?"
TO:" Over there is Marshall Sheriffs house, an exact replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, except that Sheriff had it tilted round the other way to celebrate the launch of his film 'Alien Bloodbath 3 - Return of the Intestines'.
FPs: "Way to go, that is so cool, hey Mary-Lou take a selfie of me taking a selfie"
Self: "Is there much more? Tell me there's no more"
TO: "Through the trees there you can see the four mile drive leading to Haliburton Lockheed's palace. It's just like the Palace of Versailles but bigger! And with a much bigger pool than old King Louis had, you bet your life! And in his kitchen there's a real French chef cooking the French fries as well"
FPs: "OMG!! Quick honey, get a shot of me taking a shot of you onto Instagram while I take another selfie"
Self: "Oh death, where is thy sting?"

Well, you get the idea with this one. I am not aiming on revisiting California any time soon and if I did then gawping at film stars' places is not going to be on the agenda, not even on the back, not even written down tentatively in pencil and then crossed out. Frankly my dears, I don't give a damn.

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