Thursday, June 4, 2009

Furange County

Perhaps you have wondered from time to time about what Macaronimaniac does for a living.

So have I.

All I know is, today I am doing it in Orange County.  Or, as the snide liberals of West LA, the UK Financial Times, and Gwen Stefani (not a group that usually have much in common) all like to say, Behind the Orange Curtain.  

Before the plane even landed at John Wayne Airport, I knew things would be different here. 
When I glanced over at the dozing aging businessman in the aisle seat, I couldn't help but notice his chronometer.  

 Clearly, this wasn't just any Mickey Mouse operation.It was the world's leading Mickey Mouse operation.  

I, however, was not headed for Disneyland.  I was headed for the Irvine Marriott.  I made my way from the airport on foot.  First step (well, first 100 really fast steps):

Cross the street.
All ten lanes of it.
That's four whole lanes more than the drive-thru JavaHut
 I passed in an office park on the way to the hotel.

Although when you are too lazy to walk from your car to the coffee stand, your lifestyle may be less  Java Hut than Jabba the Hut.

The person working the front desk at the hotel happily informed me I was getting an eighth-floor room with balcony.  

Imagine my joy when I pulled open the curtains, slid open the door, and looked out upon the wondrous land named for its beautiful citrus groves.

Talk about Room With a View.  Although I'm not sure parking lot, concrete "water feature," and glimpse of freeway is quite what E. M. Forester had in mind.  Merchant and Ivory, meet Marriott in Irvine.

I did have a great night's sleep, what with the constant rush of the 405 Freeway surviving as a kind of white noise machine.  Up early, I joined my colleague Nick, with whom I actually bummed across Europe after our freshman year of college, for a slightly shorter and less inspiring jaunt across the parking lot to the nearest office park.
We were charmed to notice a bunny lurking next to one of the indistinguishable beige office buildings.  What a lovely moment.  I only wish the Rose City Rabbit Fanciers could have seen it.  We did kind of wonder what the rabbit was doing in an office park bounded by a 10-lane street and the 405 freeway.  Until we noticed another rabbit.  And then we figured they were probably doing what bunnies usually do, and we'd best avert our eyes and hop off to our own less re-productive meeting.

After ten hours in a windowless meeting room, we returned to the hotel, and I headed down for a swim in the indoor-outdoor pool.  Which, like everyone who's ever done any online cruising, mysteriously looks a lot better in the picture on the website.  As I swam my first lap, I was somewhat alarmed to notice what seemed to be a gaggle of Hell's Angels-wannabes gathered poolside.  

At least, that's what I, swimming without my glasses on, thought they might have looked like.  I mean, I'm pretty sure that one guy was wearing a black leather vest with no shirt.  That rest of the crew all had on red t-shirts adorned with some acronym I couldn't quite make out.  Except for one guy who was wearing a short sleeve plaid flannel shirt (kind of defeats the purpose) and a yarmulke.  

I had assumed this would be the strangest sight of my trip to the pool, but, as so often proves true in my life, I was incorrect.  Because just as I got in the elevator to come back up to my room, who should come rushing down the hall for a ride skyward but a thin, young twenty-something clutching a Wii.  

They got pissed off at me for playing in the lobby he explained.

Uh huh I nodded noncommittally  before taking the plunge and adding you probably know this but um you seem to have a tail.

Yes he said There will be a lot of us here this weekend.  We're having a convention.
I began to wonder if this explained the rabbit in the office park.  

As it turns out, that rabbit was a little too, well, actually animal for this crowd.  This crowd being Califur.  

Yes, I am sharing my Orange County experience with a hotel full of Furries.  Security provided by those acronym-clad Hell's Angel-types (who hopefully will not turn this into some kind of Fuzzy Wuzzy version of the Altamont Speedway Free Festival).  

As Nick and I headed up to our respective rooms after dinner, we crowded into an elevator that was dominated by another guest maneuvering a bell hop cart loaded with his personal Califur gear.

Why do you think he had that large electric fan?  Nick asked, once we were safely ensconced on our floor.

I can only assume it gets rather hot inside those costumes I answered.

Now, as I toss and turn trying to sleep in the same hotel with hundreds of horny (in perhaps multiple senses of the term) furries, I'm left wondering:  did that mild-manned sixty-something businessman on the airplane have something in his carry-on that lets him wear his Mickey fetish on more than just his wrist?


Mark Hurvitz said...


I grew up in LA and watched as all the orange groves in Orange County and points east of LA along the I-10 were cut down to make way for office "parks" and urban sprawl. It would be nice if we could reclaim all that before the state falls off into the ocean along the San Andreas fault, or the oceans rise so high that it all floods.

`//rite On!
,\\ark Hurvitz

Macaroni said...

Mark, I'm not sure you'd want to reclaim a place where the most highly recommended restaurant is the Il Fornaio in the middle of the office "park." Let it fall into the sea, complimentary breadsticks and all.

But I do appreciate your comment. I mean, how often do I get to dialogue with a rabbi about furries?