It’s Sunday night and I’m parked in front of the teevee set at the Liquor and Rubber Balls Sports Emporium and Bait Shoppe watching my Eagles play like a disorganized pack of wild dogs – whoops. Can’t say that with Michael Vick on the team, can I? Anyway, they’re losing while my companions taunt me. It’s déjà vu and baseball season all over again.
LRBs is crowded tonight. There aren’t that many sports bars in Hollywood catering to the lesbian crowd, and tonight it looks like the ladies want one more full day of the 4-day weekend before returning to real life.
At half time. former sportswriter Lu Senz, with her razor mouth, stops her abuse long enough to point out a pair of women across the bar. Between them they outweigh the Eagles’ front offensive line. “And the best part?” asks Lu. “I know the one on the right. She’s a therapist specializing in eating disorders.”
Duck Diamonds, professional gambler, spits his beer across the bar. “Get outta here!’ he says when he can talk again. “That’d be like Pee Wee Herman doing sports training.”
Lu smiles. “You don’t get how that business works,” she tells us. “You figure the point of therapy would be to get people to stop eating, start exercising, lose weight, eat healthier, and live better, right?”
“Wrong-o, bucko. Mostly what they do is tell people to accept the bodies they have, stop trying to live up to some fake ideal they get from looking at actors and models, and develop their self-esteem so they’re okay with it.”
Duck Diamonds narrows his eyes. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard today,” he sneers. “And I already watched 4 hours of sports talk.”
She’s right, Duck. I know something about that myself. The fact that she’s built like a wildebeest means when people come to see her, she’s an example of somebody who’s okay with herself, even proud.
“What are you guys pulling on me?” demands Duck. “What – she’s a fucking role model, now?” He glances over. “Maybe for SUVs. That broad’s gonna be dead before she’s 50. She’s so goddam fat, when she hauls ass she’s gotta make two trips!”
Lu laughs. “It’s a crazy world, Duck. Absolutely bass-ackwards. But there you have it. They figure it’s better to go with it than risk anorexia or bulimia, which is even a bigger problem for lots of teenage girls.” She sips her beer. “Of course, if some girl is afraid of getting fat, taking her to see that for help one might be the worst move ever.”
“If I had a daughter who wouldn’t eat, I’d give her foi gras therapy,” says Duck.
The game has resumed, and we turn our attention to the teevee. “Look!” says Duck, pointing to a 350 pound lineman. “A role model! Get your daughters!”
Lu gets up and walks over to the two ladies. We don’t hear what she says, but the one reaches into her purse and pulls out a business card, which Lu brings back after another moment of conversation. It has the therapist’s name – she’s a Ph.D. – and identifies her as the director of a clinic specializing in family therapy and “disorders of the appetite.”
“I’m in the wrong business,” says Duck, staring at the card.
You wanna be fat?
“Shit, no. I want to be drunk and get paid to tell alcoholics to keep drinking – it’s good for their self esteem.”
Don Tequila, tending bar tonight, hears that last remark, and brings over another round. “Works for me,” he says. “I’ll be your partner.”
We raise our glasses. We’re gonna be rich.