Going on in the world, all I can think of is — I hate Pizza Hut. Grrrr, do I hate Pizza Hut!

This is not easy for me to admit, because it is so petty, but also because it means I’ve confessed to actually eating PH pizza.

It’s been a long time. More than a year, I think. I was never a fan, but then they lured me in with offers so dazzling, from email blasts, they were hard to resist, on those nights when you just wanted — pizza!! and price mattered more than the pedigree of the pepperoni. Plus, they’re not far from me; order and jump in the car (forget delivery, too slow) and it’s almost ready when you get there.

One time, way back, they really screwed up the order, ultra thin unholdable limp crust which I would never order, and even a wrong ingredient, I think. I wrote and complained, someone named Oola wrote back and apologized and gave me a 10 buck credit, and I thought, alright, they’re stand up pizza people, even if their pizza slice didn’t.

But then, I encountered their website, which malfunctioned unbelievably, put me in the loop from hell, kept asking for my address but didn’t save it as it swore to me they had (liars!!!), even finally called me by name (”Hello, Charles”) which caused me to breathe a premature sigh of relief because finally they had all my multiply-entered info and I could just order, but NO!! Now, a year later, last night — same exact thing. It’s not me, it’s not my phone. I navigate other websites nimbly, thank you, and I have an iPhone 6, not a flip Motorola from the ‘90s.


They’ve never fixed it. You’d think they might have noticed that they were getting zero orders online from their email list. Maybe they fixed it and it reverts often but no one is in charge of monitoring that tiny little technical technicality. What do you think?

I think I forgot what a mind-numbing, teeth-grinding, aorta-busting, horribly frustrating hassle for nothing I had so long ago, when I got the same results (that would be: zero) after nearly 30 minutes of trying, re- and re- and re-entering everything but my mother’s criminal record. I think after all that I would rather eat bad pizza dropped in an oily mud puddle than Pizza Hut pizza, so I drove over to Red’s, near Samohi, and got what I wanted in 10 minutes for about three bucks more. Best three bucks I ever spent.


Well, yeah! Partly. Would I have gotten quite so upset if I weren’t already in a state of constant upset? I think not.

OK, OK, OK, I’m not going to make a major Trump slam here (though it would be completely called for if I did). But I have been watching a lot more cable news since Inauguration Day, all hours, day and early morning, switching on the TV that used to be dark til dinner time, because it makes sense to find out if Kim’s missiles or Putin’s assassins are heading to LA and I don’t have to bother with my next column, or even taking out the garbage or sniffing the milk to see if we need fresh. And all the discussion by pundits is getting to be too much, putting me on edge, not because it’s too much but because it’s all so wrong. It’s like asking someone at a party if they think your shirt hangs well in the shoulders, when you’ve forgotten to wear your pants.

They’re discussing his speeches, policies and shortcomings like he’s just another president, but that’s a false narrative, a terribly misleading one. Only a few are talking about his mental state, and usually not as the only real issue.

This goes way beyond that. Trump has time after time clearly demonstrated his incompetence for the office. That makes him a danger to us all, yet only some US Congress members are starting to say so, and two GOP Senators. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson concluded a recent column on that issue by writing, “It is uncomfortable to talk about the president’s mental health. But at this point it is irresponsible not to.”

The root of his incompetence? I say forget any talk of his being a racist, or any other -ist. He’s not. Donald Trump is all ego. One hundred percent. He doesn’t believe in anything, but himself. He operates solely from the id: who’s for me, who’s against me? That’s it. That’s his world, that’s how he makes decisions. As a person that’s a sad state of affairs, but as our president, it’s end-of-the-world dangerous.

And I just have to add this, yet another can you believe it moment. No one in the US could have been unaware of the eclipse. Every school child from pre-school up knows not to look directly at the sun. Who stands on the White House portico and looks straight up, squinting, until an aid rushes up with dark viewing glasses? Come. On. Don.


Our only longtime live music venue in Santa Monica, but it’s a great one. The weekend

of 9/8 – 9/9, Friday and Saturday evenings, you have a rare opportunity to hear two of the finest troubadours I could name, and kind of on opposite ends of the spectrum. First is Tom Brosseau, who you may not know of but should, and Saturday is Loudon Wainwright III, always a strange treat. His first show sold out but they added a second, so hurry. I’ll tell you more about them next column.

And now for something completely different: tonight, at The TRiP, on Lincoln, TRiPTease Burlesque — no nudity, olde tyme entertainment, comedy, live band, five bucks.

David Lindley at Sainte Rocke, Hermosa Beach — a monstrously talented guitar player. If you’ve never seen him, you must go. Friday, at our own Broad Stage, living legend Brit bluesman John Mayall. Nearly every English bluesman of consequence in the ‘60s served time in Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If we go to district elections for City Council in Santa Monica, who will draw the district boundaries? Very important. Gerrymandering has been a disaster for our nation, a naked power grab by both major parties, and we can’t let that happen here.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — J.K. Rowling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 31 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else  in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com