In yesterday's rant I teased my encounter last week with Clint Eastwood. Here's the back story. Left Tucson last Thursday and headed to SOCAL. This is one of the most mind-numbing trek's America's highway system has to offer. Highlights include:
- Gila Bend, Az-Just a Taco Bell, McDonalds, really expensive gas and Space Age Outer Limits Diner away from a real wild west ghost town.
- Quartzite, Az - McDonalds, Burger King, gas, tattoo parlor and an abandoned flea market.
- Blythe, Ca - State prison freeway exit on the hill above the Colorado River co-located with a rest stop...and a sign that reminds drivers not to pick up hitch hikers. Ya think?
- ????, Ca - The General George Patton Museum - Statue right out front of George in that synched down helmet, sheepskin lined bomber jacket, those troubling poofy riding breeches and knee high boots -you know, that sadistic gay Nazi from a Mel Brooks movie look. Also a lot of old tanks strewn about the yard. Reminded me of those images of an Iraqi Republican Guard base after the 3rd ID blew through them.
- Palm Springs - You come down off this barren plateau to a oasis rimmed by Indian casinos, mountains and thousands of wind generators.
So we decide to get off I-10 around 8:30 pm to eat in La Quinta. Only place we find that has no wait is a Japanese Sushi bar and grill called Okura. Raw seafood and Delmonico steaks - my kinda restaurant. I ended up having an all fried (Tempura) Sushi roll mix for dinner. Only thing missing was some good cole slaw and hush puppies.
Now I'm in my driving attire -visor, ratty old polo with bleach stains, khaki shorts, white ankle socks and Berkeley professor hippie sandals. The wife tells me I need to at least lose the socks. So I venture back to the mens room following this kinda nervous acting guy. Right before the door of the mens room he abruptly stops and I almost run him over. He says "Sorry, I really don't need to go to the bathroom, I just wanted to see Clint Eastwood." First thing I think is, "Junior thinks I look like Clint Eastwood?"
So I go back to my table and tell my wife about the encounter. After we are done eating, I decide to venture back to the head to wash the Wasabi and soy off my hands. As I'm leaving the restroom I walk by a table with a disheveled-looking grandpa and his family. Grandpa is Clint Eastwood. Naturally, I do the Three Stooges double take and almost immediately you can see his Play Misty for Me avoidance radar light off. In retrospect, I wish he would have hit me with that Harry Callahan knitted brow glare instead. What I got was not an icy stare, just a tired one that communicated in no uncertain terms, "Yeah it's me, but can you just leave me alone?" Fine with me Mr. Eastwood. In case you were wondering, he was having a wicked bad hair day. Picture Bozo without the red hair dye. He also wasn't nearly as tall and imposing as I would have thought.
Found out from the waitress that he owns a restaurant in the area. No other confirmed celebrity sightings last week in SOCAL. I did see this midget in a Pasadena breakfast joint who might have been in some Ron Howard movie, but he too just wanted to be left alone.