Beaver Shot Girl


My least favorite subject is toxic mold.  But somehow, mold lead me to a summer in Malibu.  My house was under reconstruction for nearly two years to get rid of the stachybotrys.   My health had been compromised, my spirit was low and my husband and I rented a little house on the water to change it up.  Start fresh.

Anyone who knows me can tell you my favorite place to live is on Old Malibu Road.  It feels like home, even though I was only a renter for a few years a lifetime ago.  I long for it, I dream of it.  And for this one particular summer, eight summers ago, I lived the dream.

Be careful what you wish for.  I wished for crashing waves to lull me into slumber.  Well, this house was SO close to the water – in it, during high tide — that it sounded more like a tsunami, not that I really know what one sounds like.   My husband could barely stand it.  So, he kind of gave up and only visited on weekends.  When those waves struck the pilings the house shook.  It almost felt like the next one might carry the house out to sea.  I invited the world and no one came.  Seriously.  The Mogull girls came that first weekend and promised they would be visiting all summer.  Never again.  All my other friends, same story.  Usually when I’ve lived on the water, you have to keep it on the down low because too many people just show up.  Not this time.  So, it was just me and my kids.


First week I was there, I joined the gym on PCH.  Unlike the Y in the Palisades, this one, though small too, had a steam room.  And I was planning on getting my money’s worth.  On my first day there, I couldn’t figure out how to use the lock on the locker and asked for assistance from some chick with very long hair standing close to me.  She didn’t want to give me the time of day, blew me off, saying something bitchy like I should figure it out myself.  Can’t remember the exact words but I thought I could never be this unfriendly and unhelpful to anyone, not ever.

On the first day, I did my workout and rewarded myself with that steam room.  When I stepped in and the fog lifted enough for me to see my surroundings, I saw that it was just me and that long-haired, bitchy girl.  She had her stuff scattered around, towels and all kinds of gels for her hair and body.  She was fully naked, and with her legs fully and widely spread open.  Clearly, she felt this was her space.  My presence did not bother her in the least, or she might have closed those legs a bit.  But no.  Wide open and so awkward.  Between the heat and her inappropriateness, I stayed for as long as I could, not wanting her to have the power of knowing that her shameless, naked splits was the reason I finally fled.  Her attitude towards me, and the way she positioned herself in that steam room, I could not get out of my head.

Later that first week, I overheard some chick talking to someone while we stood in front of the mirror.  I love other people’s stories, so I listened (turning on and off the blow dryer) in rapt attention, and offered my own totally unsolicited advice.  Talk about crossing boundaries, but at least I wasn’t being mean or spreading my legs.  This woman, about 10 years younger than me, quite beautiful, turned and wanted to hear more of my thoughts.  In the next few weeks, I picked up a few more of the regulars, all having man trouble and seeking my sage, know-it-all advice, and now we were a gang of fast friends.  None of us knew each other before.  Right away, I warned my new posse about Beaver Shot Girl.  I was certain she was dangerous.  Her behavior on that first day screamed red flag.  Seen the SNL bit?

We met each night at the gym, chatting for hours, sharing stories, with me spewing advice to the three younger women.  Fortunately, BSG worked out during the day, leaving the gym as our place at night.  We also went to restaurants and sometimes hung out at my loud, crashing-waves house.

Sometimes, I’d sit alone at sunset on the deck and take in my lucky view and people-watch.  Once, on a cold, overcast day, I saw a girl in a very small bikini walking in my direction on the beach.  No one else was out, and I was in a jacket, that’s how cold it was.  I’m thinking what a great body on that chick.  And I’m also thinking isn’t she cold?  As she gets closer to my house, her face comes into focus and I see that it’s her, Beaver Shot Girl.  From far away, I thought I was looking at a teenager, but it’s a woman in her 40’s — perfect body, but the face, not so much.  My dad would say Meeskite (a Yiddish word meaning a face only her mother could love).  Which of course would also prove my dad’s theory.  He would say that when a girl has a perfect body, the face is usually not great or vice versa.  Okay, there are exceptions to that rule, let’s say Cindy Crawford or Angelina Jolie.  But, BSG was walking proof of my dad’s theory.

I saw her a few more times walking my beach during that summer.  I felt dread each time she came into view.  And part of me just wanted to engage in a big, all-out Dynasty-type cat fight.

When the summer drew to a close, all my new girlfriends and I made a promise to stay in touch.  We vowed to hang out, and the Palisades was only minutes away.  We never saw each other again.  Well, I did see the one with the Nanny’s voice (she has Fran Dresher’s heavy nasal twang) shopping at Gelson’s.

On my final day in Malibu, when I was pulling my car out of the driveway for the very last time, a dog ran in front and under my car.  I nearly killed it.  And guess who appeared casually looking for her dog-without-a-leash just a moment later?  Beaver Shot Girl.  She collected the mutt, never saying thanks for saving its life, nothing.  So, in that fantasy moment you live in your head, I thought to myself … what poetic justice would that have been had I murdered her dog?  Not that I would ever REALLY want to be responsible for an animal’s death.  But it’s a great ending to the movie version.


pictured above are from very left, friend of Antonia, Antonia, her mum Philippa Singer Rubell, Ben Weiss in helmut, little teeny tiny barely visable me, Paul Rubell, front and center Augie Duke and Barnaby, my kids

I am going to share with you a recipe for an unbelievably great dip to bring to parties.  My friend David and his then girlfriend Cat (Catherine) brought this one day to my house.  Okay, so I lied, I had a few visitors here and there.  David and Cat had just gotten this recipe from David’s sister Leslie Simmons Potts.  Giving her credit.

Cream Cheese Pesto Dip

soften cream cheese (I use the 8 ounce package or sometimes I buy whipped cream cheese)

stir in a bowl with a few Tablespoons of Pesto or add as much pesto to taste as you like (I just buy store bought but certainly feel free to make your own)

stir in Pepito or pumpkin seeds ( a handful or to taste)

then form a ball if you can or put it in a smaller bowl, decorating the whole formation with lots of pumpkin seeds

serve with crackers or crostini, I serve this with a cheese cracker that is like a crostini

Thanks Leslie!!!!!


Barnaby on Ben Weiss’s Ducati, with Paul Rubell


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15 Responses to “Beaver Shot Girl”

  1. Hoov says:

    Two Thumbs up. Aloha, Hoov out.

  2. David Miller-Engel says:

    BSG ….you can start a whole new lexicon…..

  3. Julie Phalen says:

    This is great! I wonder if I know butterface beaver girl.

  4. Jay says:

    Some of us would not have left that steam room quite so fast 🙂

  5. Toni says:

    So cool when you know the person and people involved in the actual story. Makes it even more interesting. Love your writings, Freddy.

  6. Gene says:

    Fredde you should have run her over and if the dog got in the way oops!!

  7. Pauli says:

    Now I can’t that image out of my head either. Thanks so much. Wonderful writing – couldn’t stop reading it and it felt so much like a bit on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Keep going!!

  8. Erin says:

    Am laughing so hard I’m actually crying! So funny Fredde! The SNL video topped it off.

  9. she obviously knew about her face, and that was why she pampered her great body. I’ve known the type, a face like a beaver and a “damn” to match.

  10. TMiller says:

    I rented a house on the beach in Topanga one summer with my girlfriend Sue… we had the best time sunbathing nude on the porch just off the water. Ahhhh for the days when I loved this body! xot

  11. cat says:

    eight years. that is exactly how long ago it feels. wow.

  12. Ben says:

    Ok story, but the pictures were great!

  13. Christel Chesney says:

    I say to the above Ben. What the fuck is wrong with you? The story is a laughing so hard I peed in my pants. Again.

    Gonna use the dip recipe. Easy, breezy.

    Glad you did not run over her dog. She should have run over BSG.

  14. gari says:

    so funny!!

  15. Roger Martin says:

    Hey, did you get the name and photo of Beaver Shot Girl? Sounds like I may know her. I can make her disappear if you wish……I know people.

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