They deplored particularly the fact that hardly anyone has time any more to do the things he wants or to see his friends as often as he'd like.
They brought out the stress of holding a job and the strain of driving great distances in traffic and the nerve-racking assaults on what little privacy they have.
They talked of the fierce, insistent competition for people's attention by salesmen, both the blunderbuss variety and the more subtle enticements of soft music, jokes or pretty girls.
And then one fellow came up with a sadistic thought.
"If we aren't careful," he said, "we're going to reach a saturation point. Just imagine if a few thousand people around L.A. decided all at once that they'd had it, that they wanted out of the rat race. And suppose they went down to the beach in a body and meditated upon the beautiful sunset or the elusive grunion and decided they just weren't going to pay attention to anything that commanded their attention."
This beautiful dream of peace and serenity was quickly destroyed.
"They'd never make it," said a cynic. "The traffic tie-up would be awful."
THE EXPRESSION "living it up" means different things to different people. Matt Rivera, 6, swaggered up to his father, Bill, the other day and announced, "When I grow up, I'm going to nightclubs, I'm going to drink beer and I might even go to a Tupperware party or two!"
A COUPLE Herman Sisk knows have been speculating heavily on the stock market, concentrating on wheat. Recently the wife said they ought to sell but the husband disagreed and bought several thousand dollars worth more.
Within a week the price dropped and the blow to his bankroll and ego was such that Herman hasn't mustered the courage to tell him he shouldn't have gone against the grain.
IT SEEMS Louis Armstrong is addicted to elevator irrelevance, too. During a break from rehearsal for next Monday's Edsel show at CBS TV City, he rode up to the third floor in silence. As the door opened and he headed out he remarked to the only other passenger, a solemn-faced stranger:
"If what you say is true, Daddy-O, that satellite is due over any minute!"
SPEAKING OF which, Cy Bloomer, the desert philosopher, muses from Barstow:
"Now that the Russians have built an artificial moon maybe they'll get so overwhelmed with themselves they'll build an artificial earth and get on it. That would do it."
MISCELLANY--A woman in a Wilshire Boulevard stationery store asked for some "vanilla" envelopes--instead of Manila. Happens all the time, the clerk reports...
Jerry Hoffman believes he had the fastest rejection of a manuscript on record. He mailed a short story to a new York magazine on Tuesday and got it back Wednesday. (He'd put it in the self-addressed stamped envelope and enclosed the one addressed to the magazine--instead of vice versa).
Bobby Hogston was enchanted by an ad in a Woodland Hills paper: "Wanted: Guest Heater." Apparently it should have been "gas"--but then again maybe it shouldn't.
Whenever there's smog in the air the phones go berserk at the Air Pollution Control District. The other day John W. Mann, who helps handle them, exclaimed, "You know what we need around here to answer these phones?--an octopus on roller skates!"
A car on Beverly Boulevard had a printed sign, "Made in Las Vegas from old slot machine parts."