Irish pt. XXXVIII
By Pete Moss
Larry is pretty gloomy. We're at Ramona's Winnebago. It occurs to me I've never been to Larry's place. I have no idea where or how Larry and Desiree live. Or if they live together. It's none of my business. But I am curious.
It's crowded in the Winnebago. Nobody is cooking anything. It's like a wake. Nobody is saying much.
Finally Desiree pipes up: "Cmon you guys, let's go over to my parent's house. We can't sit here moping around all day."
"Be real, Desiree, your parents hate it when you bring people over," says Larry.
"They're in Morocco right now," says Desiree.
Larry perks up. I perk up. Everybody perks up.
"Where's your parents' place?" I say.
"La Jolla," says Desiree.
"Isn't that high rent?" asks YoYo.
"Yeah. My parents are rich," says Desiree. "It's OK, I know the codes to disarm the alarm."
"I'm in," says YoYo.
"Me too," I say.
The mood in the Winnebago lightens considerably.
"There's a really nice pool and a killer view. There's a big grill. We can grill kebabs," says Desiree.
Larry seems unconvinced. Everybody else is for it.
"Larry, sweetheart, whatsamatter?" says Desiree.
"That's the last thing we need is to go party at your parents' house and Pru shows up and busts us out for trespassing," says Larry.
"That bitch wouldn't dare set foot in La Jolla with her cheap dog and pony task force," says Desiree.
"Oh alright," says Larry. And off we go in the Caddy.
The house is up a steep hill on twisty narrow roads. Larry has to drive the Caddy at a crawl. There's huge mansions crammed higgledy piggeldy everywhere on the hillside. Desiree parents' joint is at the top of the hill. She wasn't kidding about the view, or the pool. She didn't mention traffic though. La Jolla is pretty congested once we get off the 5.
The pool is a large turquoise kidney with a shimmering waterfall. The grill is beige sandstone. There's a fridge crammed with every kind of delicacy anyone could desire.
Ramona loses herself chopping and skewering. A mound of kebabs grows by her side. YoYo mans the grill. There's a jacuzzi by the pool. It's nice to slip from pool to jacuzzi & back, like an otter in it's home cove. The aroma of grilling kebabs fills the air.
I sit by Larry.
"I don't know what to do," says Larry.
"How about TJ?"
"We tried that. Angus is undocumented. He doesn't care for the border," says Larry. "Not to mention, getting a bunch of cash prize money back and forth is a chore."
"I might be able to work something out in San Francisco," I say.
Ramona doesn't seem all that perturbed by the unfinished rematch with Dee Redstone. We're sitting around in her Winnebago playing our regular morning game. "Actually....I've been thinking of retiring from the tournament scene," says Ramona.
YoYo has found an old laptop somewhere. In the afternoon we go to Starbucks and get on the wifi.
"I can see why Ramona don't do Facebook," says YoYo. She turns the laptop around and I read some of the comments from Dee.
Dee is saying Ramona chickened out, but Dee has forty different ways to put it. Each more insulting than the last.
"Makes my blood boil," says YoYo. "Ramona is such a sweet little thing!"
But it gets worse. Ramona has dropped out of the top 20 in the English language Srabblero rankings.
"I didn't even know there were rankings," I say.
"Of course there are. Just like Tennis or golf or chess. Humans love to compete and size each other up," says YoYo.
"But why has her ranking dropped?"
"Well, first of all, she won't leave San Diego for a match. Second of all, she doesn't Scrabble often enough."
"Scrabbling isn't her style though, she's a defensive specialist, a blocker, a two letter combo ace," I say.
"That's not what the people who assign the rankings appreciate," says YoYo.
I sip my java. "I'm not really sure how this affects us," I say.
"Have you kept track of how much we've made working for Pacoima Larry the last month on this Scrabble thing?" says YoYo.
"I dunno, a grand maybe?"
"Yeah. You want to move out of the van? Get a house? A real place with a kitchen and a bathroom?" says YoYo.
"Sure, of course," I say.
"How do you think that's going to happen?"
"I figured you would get hired by the city to do parking enforcement and I could go to work at Wal-Mart or something," I say.
"Have you checked the rents around here?" says YoYo.
"No, but it's gotta be cheaper than SF," I say.
"About like Mothra isn't quite as scary as Godzilla," says YoYo.