Get outta here!

Hey Buddy! Get offa my beach, lawn, dock, airstrip, Paris Ritz hotel lobby and all my other places!

Some folks like their privacy then build huge houses with dramatic yards that can be seen from the beach, air, road and the Moon.

Barbra Streisand has one such home. It’s a monster and even has its own shopping mall in the basement with her as the only customer.

I wonder if she gets a discount. We know the exact location of her house at 6838 Zumirez Drive in Malibu because of an incident that occurred when a photographer documented the entire California coastline looking for unusual erosion and included a picture of her house. Barbra decided she needed $50 million from this guy for the pain she had suffered when 6 people (including 2 of her attorneys) downloaded the photo. Once it went to court 420,000 folks checked out the web page in the first month alone and hundreds of people showed up at her door and flocked to the beach below her pool.

This spawned the term The Streisand Effect which is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information on the internet has the effect of coming around to bite you on the bee-hind. The Streisand Effect joins other reversals such as don’t smoke weed because your parents think it’s bad for you.

Funny how we lavish so much money and bandwidth on celebrities. When you’re a kid you play a game called—would I rather be rich or famous? Famous generally wins. When you grow up it almost never does.

Barbra lost her case just as she lost the ‘a’ that’s missing from her first name. Well she can call herself anything she likes as far as I’m concerned and as I shriek, ‘Feliz Navidad, Barrrrbra!’ into my bullhorn from the beach.  

As we sail along the coast we eventually come to Hope Ranch, a snitzy cliff side enclave looking down on Santa Barbara (they kept their ‘a’). Wendy McCaw moved there from Atherton after divorcing Craig McCaw in what the Guinness record keepers listed as the largest divorce settlement on record. Actually, she shared the title with the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi’s wife. This was back in about 1997 when a hassling over a billion-three was considered a big deal. Hell, my butler got more than that. The new record holder is the ex-Mrs. Bezos at 38 bill. Melinda Gates could get a cool 75 and I think this is fair. Can you name the two top-ten richest people still married to their first wives? Answer at the bottom.

Well anyway, Wendy was a bit miffed that there were unwashed masses cavorting on ‘her’ beach. “Hey Wendy, can I hose the sand off my rotten kids in your driveway?”

She did have an out of date property title stating that even though California makes the beaches public, her stretch was private. Now even she knew that the proletariats were entitled to dip their brats up to the high tide line but her deed included lands above that boundary as far as the bluff. She asked them to leave. They did not. She told them to leave. Again the commoners ignored her. She sued to perfect her rights. The local newspaper ignited against her. She bought the paper. The editors advised her to back down. She cleaned house. Wendy ultimately lost the case and now everyone knows where she lives and some folks make a point of playing loud music on her beach. I’d print her address but she would probably sue me. Just look for a bunch of hippies playing bongo drums on the sand just north of Santa Barbara City College.

Amazingly, Soraya Khashoggi the fellow Guinness divorce dollar record holder lives right next door. Barbra surely must have known about this and still…

The funny thing is there are plenty of beaches and this one is perennially amuck in sticky tar. If you walk along the beach you soon become shod in a healthy skein of tar. Sort of glued-on flip flops that neither flip nor flop. There is tar everywhere. Out of towners seeing the many oil rigs a few miles off the coast are dismayed at a government that allows so much oil to spill. Actually the rigs don’t leak. There is oil seeping naturally from the ocean floor all around the Santa Barbara Channel. How dare the ocean leak tar! Someone should sue.

So who are is married to his first wives? Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page.

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