Without a Paddle

Without a Paddle
Venice, California, USA
May 10
This boat still floats! -------------------------------------------------------- Black & White Photos Copyright © Jeffrey Stanton 1996

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AUGUST 19, 2009 1:25AM

Eat All the Lasagna You Want--Just Don't Trash My House!

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A little question tickled my mind one day.  I'd just taken out the trash.   I was walking back to my house from the dumpster.  It was spring and it was clear and just getting warm and my mind just went:

"Wouldn't if be great if I could somehow make some money without doing anything?'   It was like a hummingbird flying in my face.  (This has happened to me--it's weird when they stare at you.)

As I got closer to my house I noticed two people sort of scoping out the street.  This didn't strike me as odd--I live near the beach.  People walk by all the time.  (They skate and bike and skateboard too.)

Plenty of the people gawk as they go by.  Some of the houses in the neighborhood are architecturally interesting.   My house, and the others on my little block are simply super-cute.  

When I noticed the looky-lo0s  lingering I went outside.

 "Hey, what are you guys up to?"

They said they were going to be filming the Garfield Movie and a Baja Men video and they were looking for locations.

 "Well, you can use my place!"

So they offered me $250 and I accepted.  (Later, neighbors, who are more familiar with the Biz, said I should have asked for more--but what did I know?  I'd just had the thought it'd be neat to make money without having to do anything and the opportunity came so fast--it didn't occur to me that I should ask for more.) 

Of course, I had to tell the folks at work.  The kids--6th graders mostly--thought it was cool.  They liked both the Baja Men, and Garfield.  Most of my friends thought it was cool too, but one of my colleagues scared me.  (An aside:  he was a cute substitute teacher who came from a wealthy family that had an enormous fishing business up in Alaska.  This tidbit about him always fascinated me.  He didn't look like he came from fish wealth.  He may have been trying to be an actor or comedian--these are the people who sub when the teachers are sick in Los Angeles.)

The plan was to take a sofa out of my house with Garfield sitting on it.  Then he'd be carried out to a waiting lasagna van, placed inside and driven away.

"They will trash your place," the cute sub told me.

So, on the day of the filming.  I stayed home to make sure they didn't trash my little house (it's only 400 square feet--if you turn around inside you could trash it pretty easily.  Garfield doesn't have the littlest butt after tall.)

And it was another gorgeous April day.  But it was hot--unusually hot--in the high 80s, maybe even the 90s with no breeze, right here by the beach.  I hung out and watched the filming and chatted with the Baja guys.  My students had a substitute.  (Not the cute guy, but I really don't remember who filled in for me that day.)

It was so gorgeous that apparently there were lots of subs working that day.

The book-end coincidence:

Unbeknownst to me, the Los Angeles Times was investigating teacher attendance at my school district.  

I'm rarely absent.  It's not worth it unless I've got a fever and have to stay home.  There's serious payback from the kids, who can't admit they miss you--but will show you their displeasure when you get back anyway.

An article appeared that Saturday, the day after the filming:  that particular Friday had the highest level of teacher absentees ever recorded!    

The music  for the song Holla!,  isn't on the video, but you can tell, it really was a gorgeous day.  Garfield did not go in my house, so it wasn't trashed.  You can barely see the house in the video--it's in the middle of the video, behind the lasagna van before pasta gets thrown on it.




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Need a cute film location?
My wife was a production assistant in Hollywood:

True: $250 is way too little.
True: Your house will get trashed.