The People Of The Boulevard (Or, Back in July)

You’re never going to believe this, it’s the funniest thing, but I’ve been away conducting anthropological research into a tiny wee ancient culture I found one day while walking in the San Fernando Valley.  Nobody walks there which is why I’m the first from the outside world to ever make contact with them.  For the past 4000 years they have inhabited the area, unbeknownst to the so-called “modern” people living all around them.  The name of their tribe is Robert and they are a proud and warlike people.  Devastatingly, however, there are only 3 members of Robert left, trying to eke out their existance in a copse on the centre-island at the corner of Burbank and Cahuenga.  They are a fascinating people with a vibrant culture and have adapted amazingly well to the development of the past 70 years, developing leathery smog-resistant lungs and a strange screaming language to overcome the noise of incessant traffic.  This is the language I am now trying to learn in the hopes of communicating their story to the outside world.  It’s not a very inflected language but I am having trouble mastering their gerunds and parts of their participles.  Theirs is an oral tradition, which means of course they can’t get into heaven or some parts of the South, but, once I had screamed to them about how that sort of thing can really cut off the funding for research into their ways and how that would mean no more Bacardi Breezers and pictures of a young Woody Allen – whom they worship as a prophet – they stopped their deviancy and started screaming their story to me. 

I’m only back now to collect some clean underwear and to explain to the children that I still love them and “abandon” is really too strong a word.  My work will end in or around the second week of July when, unfortunately, I predict all three remaining members of Robert will be dead.  They are old tremendously old for one thing and, for another, the centre-island is due to be demolished in late June to make way for a billboard publicising Bob Hope regional airport.  The shock is sure to kill them.  This would be, narratively speaking, very neat as my research funding runs out about then too and I shall have to leave my luxury suite at Sherman Oaks Hyatt for the (bloody) real world once again.  Also, the irony of the hopeless, hapless Roberts being wiped out by a Bob called Hope will lend a poignancy to their story that’s sure to translate well into book-sales and movie-options.

I’ll be back to visit all your lovely blogs then, then, and, then, possibly, also begging you for money to support the lifestyle to which I’ve grown accustomed on my State of California research expense account.  So, til then, “SKUGGILSCREAMYWAILWAIL!”  (That means “Your (pl) continued good health and fortune,” in Robertese.)

12 thoughts on “The People Of The Boulevard (Or, Back in July)”

  1. perhaps i should send captain chaos to you, sugar! he hasn’t written a grant application to fund a video documentary in ages! this is certainly a worthy project and might even get him out the claws of trustafarian directors! bonne chance xoxoxo

  2. And there I thought you’d just decided to take a hiatus or worse, were mad at us. Silly me. I should have realized you were doing something worthwhile with your life, while the rest of us just sit around in our underwear and stare at computer screens. Well done, dear. I see you joining the pantheon of famous anthropologists, like Indiana Jones shortly. Good luck and stay safe.


    (BTW, I understand that similar species may be coaxed from their lair upon presentation of a “Number 1 with diet coke.” I learned that in college.)

  3. Hey Sam! Good to hear your voice again, albeit fleetingly. Such exotic names – Cahuenga! Burbank! San Fernando Valley! I share a birthday with Bob Hope, who was also from Sarf Landan. Robert sounds eerily reminiscent of someone sitting not a million feet from me right now, are you sure they’re not originally from Ayrshire? Don’t be a stranger now.

  4. You had me worried for a moment – you know how haywire my orientation is and San Fernando made me think of Manson but if Woody is their hero they should be OK. Well sort of. I’ll bet they felt some sort of bond with you – you being from a small Highland Island community and I expect you will be busy writing it all up but will look forward to July and having you around again. Love to the girls and himself.

  5. when i read that robert eked out his existence on a corpse i had to stop reading cos i dont like horror stories – but maybe it is has a happy ending – no too risky……

  6. is it wrong that i root for the downfall of any civilization that worships woody allen as a prophet?

    don’t stay away too long. i need my storytimes.

  7. If you are not too busy I would really appreciate your intellect on my latest post. Don’t worry if you are.

  8. Hi Sam,
    I haven’t been by your Blog for ages so great to drop by and read yet another brilliantly clever, funny and totally Sami-esque blog. How are you doing? It would be lovely to catch up soon.
    I’m glad it was a tribe of Roberts you were studying and not the Ruprechts who I hear are particularly ruthless! Phew.

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