Right as we got there, an old man dressed like Jimi Hendrix rolled past us on in-line skates. There was a guy sitting next to a sand sculpture of a mermaid stroking her breast who started jumping up and down and shaking his arms when I tried to take his picture. There was a man standing on top of a table in front of a leather store modeling to cheap European techno, posing and pouting for any camera that came near him. We saw anti-abortion hippies, blondes on Razor Scooters, iddy biddy little dogs. The day got warmer and sunnier as it wore on. I managed to find a necklace for myself and a painting for my mom. We wandered up and down the strip and stopped and then had lunch in front of Muscle Beach (it was kind of gratifying to be eating while watching those guys pumped themselves silly).
Dale "tipped" this couple who refused to step out from behind their umbrella until she did. The couple was an old black man and an older white woman, who according to their sign, have been married for 12 years as of June 2001. She stood behind a keyboard, he held the umbrella. Once the tip was paid, though, the umbrella was dropped, the woman came out from behind the keyboard, and the couple started dancing in their matching gold lame bikini and banana hammock. She was shaking every piece of loose flesh she had, he was thrusting his bulge back and forth until it looked like a little gold comet. At the time, the reality of the situation was too much for me and I had to turn away and go look at some gentle, not half-naked non-thrusting…*anything*. Dale's dollar bought her not only the chance to see this spectacle, but to film it as well, so I was able to catch the instant replay later in the evening. Somehow, the whole thing seemed less disturbingly surreal when it was on a little screen.
There were several people out there doing some sort of novelty act in the hopes of being compensated for it, but I was particularly drawn to the very tall, very large black guy standing with a big round picture of the eye/pyramid around his neck and carrying a sign that said WHY IS THERE A PYRAMID ON THE ONE DOLLAR BILL? IT'S NOT BECAUSE OF THE MASONS. I walked up to him, shook his hand and asked, "Why is there a pyramid on the one dollar bill?" and placed one of the aforementioned dollar bills in his little box. He reminded me that Jesus loves and blesses me and began his theory. The truncated version of that theory goes as such: "Moses went to Egypt and freed the Jews from 400 years of slavery. The Bible teaches us that you reap what you sow. So," he asked, "when will the Egyptians reap what they sow and endure a term of slavery?" Then he pulled out a copy of Jet Magazine that featured photographs of Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy and Iman dressed as Egyptians for the Remember the Time video. "Since 1992, there has been increasing study and evidence that the Egyptians were black. Take a small tribe and soon they will spread across a continent." Now I'm confused, but he manages to tie it all together. "So, since the Egyptians were the black man of the past, the enslavement of the black man was not an offense but a recourse, a retribution for enslaving the Jews. This is why the pyramid is on the one dollar bill, to constantly remind us of the slavery in Egypt and how it relates to today. As soon as we all learn this, as soon as the black man stops hating the white man and the white man stops feeling guilty for enslaving the black man, the Egyptians will have reaped what they have sown, and we will have harmony."
I wasn't sure if he made this up just for me and was changing his story for everyone who asked, but he did give me a printed copy of his philosophy. He asked me to spread the word and asked if I had any questions. I politely said no, shook his hand once more and thanked him for sharing his thoughts with me. I was again reminded that I am blessed and loved by Jesus.