Hollywood Hayes: Adventures of a Corkman in LA

You see a lot of things in West Hollywood. Today, for example, I saw a hefty, blimp-shaped man wearing nothing but a long brown wig and pink thong bikini while cycling his bicycle. 

Always nice when you’re strolling to the shop for milk.

Hardly ever see old people here, though. Not like the sweet old Irish folk I remember from back home, anyway.

Probably only seen three old people in total in the past five years. All left a searing impression.

First there was Orgy Joe. Met him at Christmas Day Mass. 

About 70, also a wig wearer, dodgy black toupee, made him look like a withered Joe Pesci.

Sitting next to each other, we ended up holding hands aloft while singing Our Father. 

Thought it was normal to hold hands with the person next to me (Mass is different here, when in WeHo). Later realised other people doing it were families or couples.

Orgy Joe took this as an invite to chat me up once Mass was over. Chased after me as I left to go for Christmas dinner. Could see him scurry along but, alas, I was on crutches and couldn’t scurry away.

Joe was a photographer, told me I had lovely hands. Oh Joe, you old flirt. Mentioned he works with big stars, people like Jerry Seinfeld and Tyra Banks. 

Asked if I was married? Did I like parties? Parties with guys and girls? Guys and guys? Would I like to go to a party with just guys? Was I into guys on guys? Did I find Joe attractive?

All of this happened as I was trying to hobble away.

Saved by a taxi I flagged down with a crutch. Next time I bumped into Joe while grocery shopping he asked if I was a fan of teabags and also teabagging.

Next there was my 75-year-old neighbour of three years, Haircut Henry. Started off having banter with Henry. He’d offer a few dollars for a coffee, sandwich and haircut, me looking homeless and all. 

Funny at first, but then it was the exact same banter every single time we bumped into each other in the elevator, sometimes up to three times a day. I eventually just took the stairs.

At least Henry was never creepy or anything like that. Not until he found out I was moving. Then he went for broke. 

Walking out of our building one day, when Henry appeared from behind a bush. Asked if he could hug me goodbye. OK, hug from a distance. 

Then Henry grabbed me tight. Told me I smelt good. Asked if he could kiss me on the cheek and if I was into older men? Closed his eyes and threw the head. Oh for God’s sake, Haircut Henry’s been Horny Henry this whole time.

Luckily I’m an artful dodger. Slipped out of Henry’s arms and scuttled off.

Still see Henry sometimes at my gym, though, so that’s nice for him.

Only old lady I’ve interacted with was last week; let’s call her Crazy Eyes Cindy.

Walking home from a bar Saturday night. Waiting to cross Sunset when I saw a group of drunk people laughing at an older woman about 70 who’s in a big blond wig and short tutu skirt, salsa dancing on the spot. Odd looking, but no need to mock her.

Told her not to mind the people. Her crazy eyes should’ve warned me to stop talking. Alas, I asked what song she was dancing to? “Michael Jackson.”

Ah, I like his music too, maybe you’re normal. Told me her name. Thanked me for talking to her.

Told me I was handsome. Light went green. Cross the road, goodbye Cindy.

Until a grey Toyota pulls up alongside me as I’m walking along. Crazy Eyes. Oh Jesus.

“Do you need a ride home?” No thanks.

Battered, old car, full to the brim with rubbish. Hoarder.

Ten minutes from my house. Head down. Power walk. I’ll be fine. Three minutes later, she pulls up alongside me again.

“Do you need a ride home?” Now Cindy’s bobbing her head and flashing me a saggy breast. My brain tries to compute: There’s an old woman wearing a wig flashing you, Mark.

Abort. Quick. Run.

Instead, politely decline the offer. Check for an Uber. Seven-minute wait. Faster walking. Dose. Plough on.

Two minutes later, same again. This time Cindy gets out and starts dancing. Lifts up her skirt, not wearing underwear. Oh dear Christ. Stop. Jesus, help me.

Walk-run across the street. Duck down an alley. Sprinting like a tutu-wearing Terminator is chasing me. Why did I engage, why?

Twenty-minute detour later I get back to my apartment. Walk up the steps and put my key in the door. Right then I hear “I knooow where you liii-iiivvve”. 

Turn and see Cindy singing and driving up my street, one of her legs out the window. Impressive for an old woman. Wonder if she knows Henry or Joe.

More about Mark can be found at www.markhayes.tv  and on Twitter @trickaduu


Lifestyle

Another episode, another incredible Cork woman. The tale of Mother Jones, the famous union organiser and activist against child labour in 19th century America.Five things for the week ahead: RTÉ showcase another incredible Cork woman

Holger Smyth part-owns and runs Inanna Rare Books, which has recently opened a ‘rare book lounge’ at the former Hawthorn creamery near Drimoleague, Co Cork.We sell books: Cream of the book crop sold from former co-op

Milton Jones talks hecklers, Hawaiian shirts and the world’s favourite clever Irishman with Richard FitzpatrickMilton Jones: When one line will do just fine

After almost 70 years of trying the search goes on, but so far nothing has been found.Sky Matters: Whether we are alone in the Universe has exercised many great minds

More From The Irish Examiner