while my east coast counterpart was freezing on the writers guild picket line in new york i was eating, outdoors in the eighty degree sunshine in malibu. the sad part was that i ran into a lot of writers that day in malibu as well. just not picketing. while i am sure that many of their fellow writers were out on the lines in hollywood and in front of all the major studios and t.v. stations, this malibu group had better things to do.
i recognized one woman, a well known writer who has had quite a career in television. she was lunching at the next table and we struck up a conversation. she was there with her daughter and what appeared to be her grandchild right next to her daughter in a baby carriage. it was a very fancy baby carriage with cup holders and mesh sides so the privileged baby could enjoy the balmy malibu air without having to suffer the ravages of the malibu sun.
the grandmother and i chatted for awhile. we spoke of the strike and it was obvious that this woman, who had made her fortune as a writer, was not so anxious, at this point in her life, to walk the line. her career was more or less over, she had tons of money socked away and felt no need to express solidarity with her less fortunate and dedicated fellow writers. i really didn't like her very much and was about to end the conversation when i heard her grandchild...bark. she saw the look on my face and started to laugh. "that's not a baby in there, those are my daughter's dogs." i looked more closely and sure enough inside the carriage was not one but two very fluffy white dogs. the kind of dogs you would see on the arm of paris, britney and nicole. it was the hollywood dog of the moment. the daughter, a pouty young thing, without a glance in my direction, corrected her mother. "those are my babies." her mother sighed and rolled her eyes. i looked around at my fellow diners to see if anyone else, besides me, thought this scenario was weird. i made eye contact with as many people as i could and not a one seemed to indicate that what i was witnessing was the least bit unusual.
malibu is a very strange place. woman, who should be picketing, were dining in the sunshine with furry, faux grandchildren and i was the only person in the restaurant who thought it was odd.