Sunday, August 27, 2006


One of our triumvirate took an unauthorized holiday from our weekly archdiocesan-sponsored scavenger hunt for the traditional Roman Rite Mass (you can find the details of the hunt here; if it's the fourth Sunday, it must be Los Angeles). So this morning it was only Carlo and me. This reduces the conversation somewhat as Carlo is extremely deaf and can hear very little of what I say. It doesn't stop him talking or me answering but the communication is haphazard. So we largely observe the surroundings. And as this is Los Angeles, the surroundings are a wonderland.

We pass, for instance, through a section of Koreatown. There is the Korean Presbyterian Church, the Korean Methodist Church, and assorted non-denominational denominations of Korean Protestantism. And almost all of them have advertisements for services in Spanish. So evidently there are Mexican Korean Presbyterians. My menu of approved stereotypes is having trouble adjusting to this. (By the way, these are not rinky-dink storefronts either. These are huge buildings on prime real estate.)

And then there was the little insurance office on La Brea. Now this one was a little storefront. It had signs plastered all over it announcing various deals. And over the main door was a larger sign that just said "Insurance Office". And over that an electronic sign providing more advertising. But only a few words at a time. And so the combination of electric sign and painted sign proclaimed to the passerby: "not a good Insurance Office". If you waited long enough, as we did waiting for the red light to turn green, the words "not a good" eventually changed to "driver?" And then "we can help". But for the better part of a sixty second minute somebody was not getting his money's worth on his electronic sign.

And finally one more sign conjunction. There was a Toyota which actually had several signs on the doors and elsewhere. But on the back were two: one said "Student Driver" and the other was a large Divine Mercy picture with "Jesus I trust in You". Well, of course, you have to, don't you. Especially in Los Angeles. And particularly if you're only learning.