After last year's fUCLA game, I vowed never to return to the city of Los Angeles for a football game. Unfortunately my weakness for road trips overcame my vow, and the next thing I knew I was passing Casa de Fruta. This began the way every trip to the LA game does: at the In n Out in Kettleman City surrounded by other Cal fans in a generally upbeat mood. But, at this point, I told myself this trip would be different. There would be neither heartache nor let down. There would be no sadness, nor would there be the hollow echoes of lost chances exploring the cavernous hall in my brain where I keep my treasure trove of disappointments related to Cal football (I plan to unleash their beguilting power on my grandchildren 50 years from now).
Not because Cal might win, of course. Pete Carroll and the Trojans in the Coliseum are less a football team in my mind now than a primeval, unexplainable force. No, the reason I would not feel disappointed after our likely loss was that I planned to eat so much food that I could not feel anything else. For LA is blessed with fine eating establishments which know no conference allegiance or terrible reffing. Canter's, Pink's, Roscoe's, Diddy Riese, Albert's Mexican food and of course the omnipresent In n Out (on Radford). Commence editorialized journalism.
"If a ragnarok would burn all the slums and gas-works, and shabby garages, and long arc-lit suburbs, it could for me burn all the works of art--and I'd go back to trees..." -JRR Tolkien
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." -Brillat-Savarin
If they'd lower the taxes and get rid of the smog and clean up the traffic mess, I really believe I'd settle here until the next earthquake. -Groucho Marx
"Tip the world on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles." -Frank Lloyd Wright
"This is a fine tailgate, but the crowd is a bit older and it’s a sedate affair. I walk to campus, swept along by a sea of people wearing red shirts and carrying coolers. The idea of tailgating is to socialise with your friends before a sporting event—usually, an American football game." -The Economist
A fine tailgate, indeed. At which point we attempted to get to Will Call. Unfortunately at that moment the Trojans decided to walk into the stadium, requiring they rope off the crowd for 25 minutes. This gentleman tried to razz the team. To my astonishment, little effect, if any, was noticeable on the playing field.
Hey, I don't come down to where you work and knock the license plate out of your hand. -Seinfeld
Soon thereafter, it was time to get to our seats. We were located a contour or two shy of Camp Four, halfway between the Hillary Step and South Col. We only lost two men and a yak to edema. The view, however, was nice.
"What's our vector, Victor?" "Do we have clearance, Clarence?" "Roger Roger." "Over."
"You're all winners!!!!!!"
Overnight, the fourteen pounds of newly acquired food inside of me decided it wanted to explore the world outside my GI tract. Thankfully, I manned up and punched the food, in the face, back to where it belongs. It was the biggest victory of the trip.
Little else of note happened on the remainder of the trip, except a visit from The Lord Almighty God Himself shortly after Kettleman:
Coach Michalzik didst suffer much wailing and gnashing of teeth. "Do not fret, my son," spake the lord, "Tepper shalt be granted a 6th year of eligibility." There was much rejoicing.
And God Himself reminded me that in the end, looking back, even in the rafters of the LA Coliseum, California is all blue and gold: