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We tried. We sucked in our abs. We scheduled massages. But our transgressions were legion.

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Los Angeles expelled us. Gawkers. Eaters of egg. Pedestrians.

Our transgressions were legion. We'd done no more to prepare than purchase tickets, pack the sunglasses, upgrade to first class. Innocents.

We brought a gift of CDs, ones that had been on the market for several weeks. We carelessly let our shoes muss the stripes exacu-vacuumed into the car carpeting. Swine. We had no abs trainer.

We tried. We oohed at the pool and aahed at the home entertainment center. We scheduled massages.

We lunched with our hosts in a garden restaurant, under the shade of canvas umbrellas. On unduly hot afternoons, a sprinkler system mists the air, keeping diners freshly plumped, like cucumbers in the produce aisle. This being a mild day, we never saw the spritzers in action. But then we wouldn't have come at all on a mist day for fear of unwanted hair effects.

The waiter performed magic tricks with the sugar packets and updated us on his resume. Our hosts are in film.

A mildly well-known actor slumped over his San Pellegrino at the next table. He was talking produced by, directed by. We recognized him, which earned a point. Then we listened in, which subtracted it.

We attended a wedding, poolside with a view that read DOOWYLLOH.

Bride and groom vowed undying love through the regular season and sweeps week, through ratings low and high. There were photos; there was champagne. Soon we were improving our smiles, inflating our salaries, sucking in our abs.

We attended a party, poolside with a view of palm trees. And another oceanside, with a view of sunrise.

So it was with deep gratitude that we joined our friends canalside in the morning, sustained by the vision of hangover-easing over-easies and hash browns. As we pulled up our webbed chairs, they leaned in and inquired, brows furrowed, You don't eat eggs, do you?

Nor had we previously considered cosmetic surgery, though over the course of our kiwi and grapefruit breakfast, it was suggested.

We said our good-byes. We expected our hosts to step down from the treadmill. Presumptuous, true. We settled for blowing kisses toward their sweaty brows. Maybe we were beginning to learn.

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