So, what was the biggest story from The Lafayette Hotel this past weekend?
What were the hipsterati of North Park murmuring over?
Well, I'll tell you.
And it has nothing to do with tattoos or Pabst Blue Ribbon.
"So what happened with the 70 year old lady? I heard you were accosted."
This very question was posed to my pal Jamie while we were lounging in what the North Park locals simply call the pool. To set the scene for you, Lafayette, formerly Imig Manor, is quite inconspicuous. So much so that I've driven past it countless times and never even knew it was there. It's exterior is not entirely common though, with tall columns and a circle driveway, it's almost enticing...once you actually notice it.
We were there because another pal of mine, Carrie, followed her beloved MIHO food truck to the hotel and convinced a few of us to tag along. It's actually a great place to hang out on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. Only $5 to get in, you can lie about, have drinks brought to your towel, grab some grub from the MIHO mobile kitchen and then, when it gets too hot, take a dip in the pool. It would have been an entirely lovely day with friends by the pool, but no. No, no, no, the mar on our happy day came in the form of a "70 year old" woman, desperate to get some time, poolside.
There is one open entrance to the pool. It's guarded by a security guard asking for your ID and a cashier asking for your dollar bills. Off to the side, there is another closed gate that can also open to the pool. It is locked on the outside and if I can remember correctly, trimmed with caution tape, to alert all sneaky sneakers that they are at the wrong door. Because we arrived slightly later than the rest of the crowd, we set up shop in the corner, right in front of the closed-off gate. And after a few hours in that spot, we had a visitor.
She stood, behind some bushes, staring through the gate's bars at our group. Jamie, being the only person facing away from the pool, thus toward the gate, made eye contact with...well, we'll call her OLWABL - pronounced: ol-wabble, an acronym for "old lady with a broken leg."
OLWABL: "Ma'am. Ma'am. Maa'aaaam!"
Jamie: "huh?" (confused/uncomfortable look on her face)
OLWABL: (mouthing) "open the gate"
Jamie: "what? no."
OLWABL: (mouthing/whispering/yelling) "ma'am. open the gate. let me in!"
Jamie: "um, no."
We're all half-turning around to see who's she's talking to. The music and people chatter mask any sound the woman might be making. All I saw was an old lady face, mouth agape, staring at what I thought could have been Jamie. Though, it was hard to tell. She could have been catatonic for all I knew.
A poolboy eventually lets her in. He's young. Later, when we asked him if he knew her, he replied that he didn't and he had only let her in because she asked him to. And well, I guess he learned to respect his elders - even when they're trying to sneak into a pool party of young people that only costs $5 in the first place.
Anyway, OLWABL gets in. She hobbles over to Jamie, gets right in her face and says:
"I really needed your help. I'm a 70 year old woman with a broken leg.
You must not be from San Diego because people
here are nice."
to which Jamie replies:
"You look like you're walking just fine
on that broken leg."
Now, I know what you might be thinking...what a way to respond to an old woman with a broken leg! But I'm telling you, this lady was MEAN. She was intimidating and downright rude. She walked to the other side of the pool, made someone bring her a chair, slathered sunscreen all over her nose (leaving it there, lifeguard steeze), sat down and stared Jamie down. For minutes, maybe hours, on end. It was creepy.
Then, on her broken leg, 15 minutes after her first attack, she got up, walked around the pool and again, got in Jamie's face.
"You should be ashamed of yourself."
(gah, give it up already lady. YOU snuck in here. if you know Jamie, you know she is a lover of rules. letting some random lady in the wrong door at a party we've never been to before??
- um, i don't. think. so.)
Between her repeated scoldings and stare-down skills, she made for an interesting afternoon. Several people came up and asked us about it. Each one of them equally shocked and justifiably frightened by OLWABL. Even as the day drew to a close, she walked (walked!) slowwwwly by, giving Jamie her best creep stare, like a predator, eyeing her prey...and all with a broken leg.
Man, if I ever break a leg, let it be like that.
And if an old lady ever visits the pool again, let it happen when we're not there.