I saw the guy walking towards us along the water's edge. He was a piece of work: long stringy, wet hair, a bathrobe and slippers. He approcahed a young couple who were lounging on a beach blanket, sunning themselves quietly and talking.
It was a typical sunny Malibu day, with a gentle breeze blowing across the beach. A couple dozen people were enjoying Mother Nature's bounty. Some kids were throwing a frisbee, while a small dog played "monkey in the middle" trying his darndest to chase the object down. Music wafted out of several different boomboxes as a diverse crowd tried to listen to what each decided everyone should be listening to.
The bathrobed gent seemed to be acting as though he owned the place. He spoke briefly to the couple on the blanket and then, reached down and picked up a towel off the blanket. He towelled off his wet hair and tossed the blanket back to the beach blanket like a used kleenex. Well, of course the young man took offense to this, but thought better of a confrontation, as the robed one just glared at him with hands on hips, like some bullying UN ambassador wannabe.
He strolled on, pausing at the camps of several other beachgoers, stopping briefly to speak to and take advantage of some small piece of each party's property. I mean he seemed to be deliberately trying to piss somebody off and cause a scene. At one spot, he'd grab a tube of sunscreen and slather it on his face, at another, he'd reach down and change the radio station or choose a different CD for the boombox, causing consternation and excited utterances from the stunned sunworshippers.
Well, sure enough, he finally ambled over to my perch, near the high tide line on the east end of the beachfront between two magnificent homes. One was the biggest Cape Cod style development I'd ever seen. The other, the one on the right, was a Spanish-style hacienda of gargantuan proportions. He walked up to me, and with a matter of fact stare, stated, "Hi, I'm David Geffen. Welcome to my Malibu estate. Since I have been forced to allow you to use my property. I believe I am entitled to use some of yours." He then reached down and grabbed the book I'd been reading, The Grapes of Wrath. "I think I'll read this. I'll get it back to you when I'm done". And off he went, just like that!
I thought to myself, "Isn't that a crime"? He just stole my book, and I wasn't even done reading it, yet! There ought to be a law against this type of thing, don't you think?
I packed up my CDs and blanket and walked the few hundred yards to my car, parked on the highway. I popped a new CD I had just burned from a P2P file sharing site: a mix of different songs from performers who had great hits but from albums that I hadn't purchased because I didn't like the other songs. I tooled off down the coastal highway, as John Lennon sang, "Imagine no possessions", and pondered a visit to my attorney's office.