...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Been Through the Desert on a Pizza with no Name

Being Chapter the 15th of the 2010 SXSW Haiku & BBQ Tour..a novella

Thursday, March 25th
In the morning Ricky gets up and whips up a frittata for us all. Oh! Dreamy! We devour it gratefully and head over to the London Bridge. Yes, London Bridge. Oddly enough, a Victorian era Thames bridge from Londontown is here in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Weird and wonderful. We go and take a few pics. While I'm doing some (admittedly ridiculous) poses gesturing at and perhaps even straddling a statue, with Ricky (who is a serious pro photographer) snapping shots, a tourist comments, "that would look better if you faced the other way from the camera."

Ouch, sir. What is being implied? We all stare at him in disbelief--how rude! Andrew starts walking after him and haranguing him telling him he should never speak to women that way, who does he think he is, why is he creepy and inappropriate? Thanks Andrew, you are hero du jour. Well. Some folk don't know that dynamite comes in small packages.

On this peculiar note, we set out across the rugged lands. Soon we pass out of Arizona and into California. And on we go, our route passing just south of the Mojave National Preserve--a landscape not for the faint of heart, where only the toughest flora and fauna can flourish and the long miles are open to the sky, wind, sand and all they deliver.

And it's like. Oh. My. God. We are driving through the desert, right? And we are, like, TOTALLY thirsty. What's up with that?

We stop at a lonely gas station/ oasis for relief. They have two massive windmills and signs in their shop that warn patrons not to complain about the prices here, for, as the signage explains, the prices fairly reflect the cost of running this desert outpost, installing windmills, paying their staff. At any rate, we are grateful to them for providing this much needed stop in the desolate tracts of the Mojave. So be it. We continue on our route watching the horizon bake in the glare.

Finally, we hit Barstow and we select the local Sizzler for our lunching destination. Hey, the salad bar has actual veggies--it's better than...well, better than worse food. When our server learns from Andrew that we are a traveling band, she wants to take a photo with us. Naturally, we oblige. She informs us that this Sizzler is home to all the Barstow celebrity sightings. When actors are here in town shooting a film they eat here. She has quite a collection of pics of musicians and actors. She has met Vin Diesel and Lucy Liu--among other luminaries. She displays a few snapshots for us on her phone. Well then! It is very flattering to be included.

On we go. We witness the highway threading through scrubby sands, and the Joshua Trees swirling past. In time, the mountains rise up before us. And then, at long last we are descending into the mighty Los Angeles basin. The sun sets. Oh my, it's time for this drive to be over. We feel all dried up and withered and spent from the accumulated fatigue, duress, action/inaction of automotive travel, and desert air. Gratefully, we arrive at our hostess, Lynn's home and creep out of the truck gripping our luggage. Lynn, once again, is graciously letting us stay at her comfy home while we play gigs in L.A.. However, she is not here this evening and we are on our own reconaissance to figure out why when how and what foodstuffs we might nibble on before we hurl ourselves into the blessed beckoning oblivion of sleep.

Of course, we first log onto the internet for awhile. Then we discuss where to display the present for Lynn--Andrew found her a very shiny pretty Star Trek flask (she is a hardcore Trekkie). Should we leave it casually on the kitchen table, the shelf? Her dresser? Then we try to decide on a DVD to watch. The hour grows later. Now when the topic of dinner re-surfaces, we are all non-committal. Pizza seems to be the idea that appeals--but from where? Who delivers? Where are we? Can we agree on toppings? I'm partial to a mushroom-only pie, Andrew prefers a meat-festival and Gary--well, he's just more flexible about pizza. The discussion grows almost heated. We repair to different rooms in sheer exhaustion. From our various chambers it can be heard that we are all chuckling, too. After all, this is hilarious. A pizza battle. And it's just the Mojave talking. And two weeks of the road. And meat is gross on pizza. Finally, Gary starts making calls. No one will deliver. Or they are closed, or they don't take credit cards--or understand a word Gary says. Weird. Somehow it takes an hour to sort it out, but he prevails and now Gary is hero du jour--he successfully orders us a half veggie and half sausage/ pepperoni/ bacon pie that comes in forty-five minutes. We eat our slices peacefully in separate rooms. The pizza: not bad. We all feel a bit better at this point, with a certain sheepishness we say goodnight.

Land without pizza
There must be an oasis
Gary saves the day


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