Monday, February 15, 2010

"Green is the colour..."


Late Sunday evening. Loaded up in the 1976 Datsun B210 with music and materials for tonight's broadcast of the show. Leaving my Chapala Street apartment, I turn right on Pedregosa Street to turn right again on State Street. I'm on my way to the Granada Theater and the 8th floor home of the radio station KTYD.

I've got the music, but no real ideas for the comedy bits. What should I do? What happened today? What's in the news? What can I make fun of? These thoughts tumble around as I make the turn on State Street. Then there it was on the left side of the street. The Travelodge motel. But what caught my attention was the neon sign outside the building. It was lit. It was on. And it was green. Just the one word. Motel. In green. The neurons clicked. Motel. Green neon. Green Neon Motel. Zounds!

Green Neon Motel. I like how it played off the tongue. Green Neon Motel. Like Humbert Humbert saying the name Lolita. Lo-lee-ta.

And what kind of establishment would the Green Neon Motel be? It would be the only true Surrealist Motel. It would have to be in the heart, or rather bladder, of the San Industrial Valley. You know that area, don't you? In Southern California. The City of Appliances, California. Located near those other towns. Pneumonia, Comatose and West Comatose, Asphysxia, Half-Wittier. Near the colleges of Cal Toxic and Mount Anxiety. The fabulous Green Neon Motel. Located on 1949 Linoleum Blvd., that really long street that heads southwest to Liquid Bleach, California. Conveniently near many exciting businesses, such as Madame Rhumba's House of Certain Pleasures and the always steamy Screaming Beaver Theatre.

So the Green Neon Motel would become my home away from home away from home. Run by congenial front desk man Grungie Steinberg, the place is home to many guests and long term residents. The most well-known is Chef Bruno Languini, of whom I will speak more later. There have been so many guests, it is hard to remember them all. I hear the echoes of names like Oscar B. Chow, Scotty McTissue, Gorgo and Spaz, among so many others. It was a wonderful place to stay. A visionary place, it saw the brilliance of Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" long before anyone cared. There were always plenty of scabby towels and a never-ending supply of Complimentary Anxiety Coffee.

And did you know that the Green Neon Motel is a AAA approved? It's not. I lied.