Amazing Rants Overheard at Venice Beach: "Elvis, you know you got to go up and down!"
Ranters: Man Dressed as Gold Statue, Man Dressed as Elvis, miscellaneous Venice Beach regulars
Time: 1:00 p.m. on a Friday
Topics Covered: The laws of motion as relating to Elvis; bullying; rules governing street performers; status of America as a free country; men who cry.
[After fitfully standing still to attract tourists, Gold Statue storms from his post to shout at Elvis.]
Gold Statue: Yo, yo! For the last time I am going to talk to you. No one is supposed to be standing right here. Don't stand near there! That is the last time I am telling you that!
Elvis: I am moving back and forth, man.
Gold Statue: No, no. You playing tricks! [To Barefoot Glass-Stomping Guy]. Uba, you gotta talk to your guy!
Barefoot Glass-Stomping Guy: Elvis, you know you got to go up and down.
Elvis: Hey, I'm always doing that. This guy's just a bully.
[Gold Statue shouts incomprehensibly.]
Elvis: I don't know what you¹re talking about, man. It's a free country.
Gold Statue: What are you talking about 'a free country?' No one is allowed . . . We have a friend, a black man, he's been gone since his first week down here, because they didn't give him this freedom!
Elvis: You've just got to bump up your act. You're the only one crying -
Gold Statue: No, I'm not crying. It's just the rules, man. [To curious onlookers.] He don't follow the rules.
Elvis: I do follow the rules.
[Snake-Handling Woman dashes into the fight.]
Snake-Handling Woman: Go Elvis. [Addresses Gold Statue.] And fuck you. You're always bullying every-fucking-body. Why don't you go to your spot and stand over there? Go stand in your little bully spot. Fuck you.
[Fuming, Gold Statue returns to his post and tries to stand still.]
Snake-Handling Woman: He's a fucking bully.
[Elvis soliloquizes as parents and children pass.]
Elvis: I never made a guy cry before. Such a little bitch. Been here fucking 10 years. I hate guys who don't have balls. You think it doesn't take balls to come out here dressed like this and not complain? He's always crying, "Whaah, Elvis is making more money than me. Whaah. Whaah. My show sucks. Whaah."
[Not even glancing at the Gold Statue man, who had never actually cried, the King sets out in search of a kingdom of his own.]
Thanks to the great Thembi Ford for helping photograph, transcribe, and make sense of this rant!