Sunday, August 30, 2015

Another Incident in a Hotel Doctor's Glamorous Life

Younger, cooler, more expensive doctors own the franchise on Los Angeles film shoots, but I go now and then.

A European director staying at the Langham in Pasadena consulted the concierge, so I answered the call.

After driving miles through suburbs I encountered the usual cluster of trailers, street barriers, and police. It was a warm summer day in Los Angeles, but Pasadena is always ten degrees hotter, so I squeezed my car next to a trailer to take advantage of the shade.

Workers hurried about, but I was the only one wearing a suit, so I stood only a few minutes baking in the sun before an assistant approached. Like every aide I’ve met on film sets, she was young and beautiful. I hate to imagine the hiring policies of production companies. 

She led me into a trailer, thankfully air-conditioned, where I waited fifteen minutes until the director made time. He had a rash and worried about bed bugs.

Many foreigners believe Americans fall below civilized standards of cleanliness. We think of personal hygiene in terms of body odor, but they notice that we allow dogs free run of our houses, and we don’t take off our shoes when we come inside. That the Langham is very expensive does not rule out bedbugs, but I diagnosed hives, an allergic reaction.

I’m not sure my reassurance convinced him, but he was a workaholic like so many of my patients. Workaholics neglect their health which is not a good thing but when he hurried back to the set I considered it likely that he would put it out of his mind.

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