Life on the ‘Nade: The Show People
As we all know, “Los Angeles” is Spanish for “Famous People.” Though one might not feel complete until experiencing a legitimate sighting (and if you’re still anxiously waiting, go to House of Pies already), look no further than your friendly neighborhood pier. The â€˜Nade offers a smorgasbord of entertainment’s most fantastic specimens. Dear Reader, I give youâ€¦The Show People.
1) Ol’ Yeller: Ol’ Yeller is always on the ’Nade, in some way or another. Whether preaching from a Bible or screaming about political turmoil in the Middle East, one can always find an old man yelling somewhere, about something. Typically found within the first block of the ’Nade, Ol’ Yeller simply yells, constantly, stopping for neither traffic nor air. He holds his ground and yells–not directly at you, not directly at anyone. If you’re lucky enough to just miss the “Walk” sign, and have to wait for a light, try to get within listening distance (approximately a 1/4 block circumference) to hear his pearls of wisdom. Also note that Ol’ Yeller is non-committal. In the time it takes for you to walk up the ’Nade and back down, he will have either changed topics or taken the opposite viewpoint. Sometimes within a matter of minutes. Reynald Chabot is the most famous of the Ol’ Yellers. Respect.
2) The Show Offs: In this category falls all of the people on the ’Nade who actually have talent (and most likely a MySpace music page to back it up). There’s Metal Kid, who lays down “Stairway to Heaven” like it’s Lincoln Logs. The countless Acoustic Musicians; some with guitars, some with pan flutes, most with dreadlocks. The KC & JoJo Rip-offs who have real microphones and matching fedoras. Bucket Drummer. The Saxophonist who is, in fact, available for weddings. Though dominated by musicians, the Show Offs also include Face Sculptor, Plate Spinner, Tap Dancing Duo, The Ballroom Dancers who emerge from the studio on 4th Street to recruit new customers and Victor, the Wheelchair Guy Who can do Gymnastic-y Things Balancing on his Hands.
3) The Wind Ups: The Wind Ups are perhaps the greatest thing about the ’Nade, because they do NOTHING. They are a difficult category to understand; shouldn’t their trickery demote them from Show People status? Never. Everyone has the potential to be a Wind Up–you just have to not do anything that merits a monetary donation. (I’m looking at you, Devil Sticks Girl.) The favorite of ’Nade employees is Lakers Jersey Guy. He gathers a large group of people around him, chants, claps, and jumps up and down in a circle to get his audience super-pumped. Sometimes he does a few seconds of the Robot. If the mood is right, he’ll pull a member from the crowd and convince him to dance, too. Then he passes around a bucket, gives a brief lecture about how he’s trying to stay off the street, and strips down, rubbing the dollar bills all over his naked body. (Okay, so that last bit is unconfirmed but a girl can dream.)
So give generously, my friends, and hang tight for the â€˜Nade’s next installment: The Homies.