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"Guest" Who's Coming To Dinner?

Oct 17, 2007
My sister left yesterday and our next guest isn't due for three weeks. Why, you ask, would anyone want to leave the warm and wondrous sunshine of Southern California? The answer is as clear as yesterday's, today's and undoubtedly tomorrow's blue sky - because three of her "sons shine" in Indiana.

My sister's visit was a fun, five days - which proves Benjamin Franklin was wrong when he said fish and guests go bad in three days. Not in Southern California. Here there's fresh fish from the Pacific every day and no stinkin' end of things for people to do. In fact, California is the state that should be called the land of discovery - not Rhode Island. When you live in Southern California, everyone you've ever known discovers it and visits.

I've gone from tourist to tour guide with no easy lessons and my husband has turned into a tour director. John is tour director because he's much better at reading maps - especially while he's driving. We Southern Californians are multi-tasking drivers. We not only read maps while we're driving, we also use that time to do things like put on makeup and shave. Of course, we try to avoid close shaves while driving visitors.

All our visitors want to be driven past the homes of movie stars. Because Robert Redford lives in Utah, Paul Newman lives in Connecticut and most of my other not-even-close, celebrity friends are usually out of town, our star tour is at the Griffith Observatory.

From Mann's Chinese Theater to Disneyland - wherever we drive there are fancy cars to look at. We drive fancy cars because we spend so much time in them they qualify as second homes.

Because our second homes don't have kitchens, we have lots of restaurants. When it comes to eating, Southern California is multi-cultural. I encourage visitors to try as many different restaurants as possible because the more they try, the less I have to cook.

When family and friends say they wouldn't want to live here because they'd miss the seasons, I quietly thank God because there's no room for them on the freeways.

However, there's always room in guests' suitcases for souvenirs. Some take home inflatable, plastic, palm trees. Others take bottles of water labeled "Los Angeles Snow". What I think they should take are pictures of my family. In Southern California we're the picture of happiness.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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