Yesterday on my way to work, I passed this bus stop poster for Pom juice, which is apparently loaded with vampiric antioxidents. “Cheat Death” the ad promises, just by drinking juice. And I need to say this is perhaps the perfect LA ad campaign. Heck, it could be the city motto. “Cheat Death” is to LA what “Eureka” is to California. This is the city of magical thinking. A place where you’d never know it is a desert because our sprinkler systems water the lush greenery through every drought. Where no one ages because we would rather shoot snake venom in our foreheads and bee stings in our lips. Where gas prices rise and stocks fall and the number of Ford Flotillas on the road stays constant.
When I was a child we moved houses from DC to the suburbs of Maryland. I was four years old when my parents took me to our new house for the first time, and it had a well in the front lawn which in the not so distant past had provided drinking water for the house. I had never seen a well except in story books, and I ran across the lawn, totally excited. I got up to the well and squished my eyes shut and said, “I wish I had wings! I wish I had wings!” Then I looked over my shoulder to check and … no wings. It was a fairly devastating moment, honestly. I want to believe.
And now here it is decades later and I have finally found a city where everyone believes they can have wings if they just wish hard enough. I truly love LA for that magical thinking even in all the grotesque ways it manifests itself. Go ahead and cheat death, LA! We need the eggs.