Fire in the Hole

Strictly speaking, Betty isn’t an arsonist; she isn’t after revenge or monetary gain, nor is she plain old psychotic. No, she’s a true pyromaniac, with a probable paraphilia for fire and its attendant accouterements—fire trucks, foam, and fun. That, and she just loves to set fire to curtains, but who doesn’t?

After having set four blazes at the Palms Wilshire, it’s a wonder it’s still standing:

She also did some drape-ignitin’ here, or perhaps near. The address in the Times is 1272, and the address on this building is 1250, putting 1272 about where the TV-VCR repair bunker quivers behind the tree.

And on Oak, where we picture her writhing in ecstacy over burning case headings and bubbling pencil pleats. How her blood would boil as hot as the flames engulfing the valances! How only oceans of beer could quell the inferno in her soul!

But revisiting that room, to feel the hot madness of her throes… I don’t have to tell you that Oak, which used to run blithely up to Pico, got wiped out north of the 1400 block by the Arroyo Seco Parkway.