Tuesday, May 29, 2007


We had spent a goodly portion of the afternoon Saturday traipsing around various sites in our nation’s capital, the Missus, Elder Daughter, the Mistress of Sarcasm, and I, and we were footsore and sweaty.

A dip in the hotel pool would be just the thing, thought we, and so we dropped our swag off at our room, changed into our bathing suits, and rode the elevator down. But once there, a quick survey of the Indoor Pool from Hell altered our plans.

The pool looked as though it had been packed into a large walk-in closet. There was barely room enough to walk along its edge without falling in, much less stretch out and relax on a few chaises longues (none of which were in evidence anyway). The temperature had been cranked up to somewhere between Coney island Schvitz and Summertime in Houston levels, and there appeared to be a large family - complete with an army of prepubescent children - who had taken up residence there. We all turned on our heels as one and walked right back to the elevator. Time for Plan B.

Watching Ed Wood
Plan B.

Plan B consisted of all of us piling into the king-sized bed in our room and either (a) grabbing a few z’s, (b) watching the tube, or (c) combining both (a) and (b) in varying proportions. And what should be on the tube but Tim Burton’s homage to quite possibly the worst Hollywood film director ever: Ed Wood?

Aside form Johnny Depp’s brilliant and idiosyncratic performance as the eponymous director, one of the bright spots of Ed Wood is Martin Landau’s Academy Award-winning turn as (then) washed-up character actor Béla Lugosi, who starred or was a featured performer in several of Wood’s magnum opuses. Lugosi himself, of course, is best remembered as one of the great horror film actors of the 1930’s and ’40’s, his most notable role being the titular vampire in Dracula, Tod Browning’s 1932 classic.

Well, we had to watch Ed Wood. And the nice big high-definition flatscreen TV made it just that much more enjoyable. Damn, I’m gonna have to get me one of them things one of these days...

And that’s when Elder Daughter told us of a gala she had attended just a few weeks prior, at which she was seated next to a tall, silver-haired attorney, one who specialized in cases involving the intellectual property rights of celebrities. And this gentleman bore a striking resemblance to Béla Lugosi, old Dracula hizzownself. Except for the silver hair.

Béla Lugosi, Jr.
Béla Lugosi, Jr.

And that is scarcely odd, because the subject gentleman was none other than Béla Lugosi, Jr.

Elder Daughter enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Béla the Younger while scrupulously avoiding the topic of his famous father. She figured that he would, at this point in his life, be sick unto death of people doing their stupid Dracula impressions or quoting lines from Lugosi Sr.’s films. (Later she learned, to her surprise, that he would have welcomed questions about his late father. Who knew?)

Amazing, the people you run into, innit?

No comments: