Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Harpo Marx Rides the Red Line

I'm so glad stuff like this still happens..
I changed trains today at Fullerton and boarded a red line car more or less full of people, all wearing pointy newspaper hats. A wordless fellow near me had a copy of RedEye stretched across his lap that he was furiously turning into hats to ensure that every new passenger was outfitted. His demeanor inspired no debate... even a tough, bouncer-looking guy near me smiled and donned a page of movie reviews. Hatmaker even resembled Harpo, albiet with dark hair, and it was clear that unlike every other Red line spectacle, there was no donation being solicited. The young woman sitting across from me looked positively smitten with him.. and as he packed up his things and waved goodbye to everyone on the train as the Grand stop neared she rummaged through her bag and presented him with an apparently empty change purse, of the colorful, plastic whimsy variety. He looked perplexed. She pointed to the writing on it: "Mr. Friendly." He smiled and agreeably took the purse and then scrambled for a notebook from which he ripped a page of something to give to her. He exited. She looked pleased. Gradually the hats left the car, becoming absorbed into the crowds at each station. By the time we reached my stop I was one of 3 hats left. I walked home thinking it is time to revisit Guy Debord and rent some Marx brothers movies.

a footnote: the prominent text (from the hazard of folding and advertisement) on Mr. Friendly woman's hat read "Trust Him."


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