Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Little hand says it's time to rock and roll.
Local Time: 11:07 PM
A friend of mine just sent me this story. It is made of pure win. I'm not sure where he found it, but anyone who has ever spent time in LA as a poor student will love it.
Me, Jon Lovitz, and Jack Osborne: One Year Anniversary in LA
Sometimes there are stories that just need to be told. Stories that describe the minor victories and vindications that allow us to feel that maybe, just maybe, not everything in this world was created to gnaw at your very existence. Stories that will empower those that have no power – a story that will feed those that are hungry – the broken to be mended – the victim to find his enemy, look him in the eye, hit him squarely in the jaw, steal his wallet, and make passionate love to his girlfriend.
I really hope to God that the story I am about to tell fits that description.
I have been in Los Angeles for exactly one year and seven days. Seven days ago, there was a party that I attended with my friends in order to celebrate the one year anniversary of my 40 hour sojourn out here (with only one and a half hour of sleep in Amarillo, TX and one and a half hour of sleep in Flagstaff, AZ). This party was at a friend of a friends house who probably didn’t have the slightest idea that we were celebrating our anniversary, but that didn’t matter as the party in question had a lovely spread of food, tasty libations, and at least one member of the Three Six Mafia and at least two of his handlers. There was also a girl who was almost certainly freebasing in bathroom (I threw the ‘almost’ in there to give her the benefit of the doubt, please disregard it for formal purposes). Because someone told her that a song from my old band was on the Dawson’s Creek DVD, she felt it necessary to sing me not one, but two of her own songs, two inches from my face, in their entirety. She hummed the instrumental breakdowns.
Happy one-year anniversary.
The specifics of the party are not really necessary for the true spirit of victory to be felt. I really just wanted to set the mood for the evening: mostly surreal with a touch of insane.
The real story begins at about 2:05 when a call was placed for a Yellow Taxi to pick us up. I don’t remember who called, all I know is that 27 minutes later, someone informed me that our cab was out front and that we needed to go. Following orders intently, I made my way out to the cab and got in.
I shouldn’t have been alone in the cab. It just kind of happened. As we were making our way out to the cab, there was a serious issue that occurred in the kitchen that needed to be attended to by every one of friends but me. I was told to wait in the cab and hold it until they were finished, as it apparently would only take “two seconds” to solve this “serious issue”.
It was not two seconds. It was not two minutes. It was probably eight minutes. Eight minutes is a long time with a 52 year old Russian guy that looked like an ugly Jon Lovitz. (Yes I am aware of the incongruities of the previous statement. I understand that Jon Lovitz is an ugly Jon Lovitz. I used this metaphor for the exact purpose of showing the depth of this man’s ugliness. Thank you.)(Sorry, Jon) He looked constantly to see if anyone else was coming. They weren’t. I knew that it would be a while since girls always lie about everything and that a little problem in the kitchen meant a big problem for me and Jon Lovitz.
DRIVER: So what’s going on? Where are your friends?
ME: There was a little problem in the kitchen or something. I’m sorry.
DRIVER: This happens all the time. People say they need a cab, I show up, then they don’t show up, then I get screwed out of money. I hate it.
I took a lot of offense to this. On no less than 4 occasions I have called for a cab only to have it not show up. One time, with Yellow Taxi (the company we are dealing with tonight) I called twice in one night to get a cab to come pick us up. We were almost late to see Bob Saget at the Laugh Factory. I have had a serious problem with Yellow Taxi ever since. Please, if you are ever in LA, use United Taxi: 323-653-5050. (I also keep Yellow Taxi’s number in case I need to call a cab to random spots where no one is in need of transportation. Their number is: 213-808-1000)
Needless to say, I was not happy with this driver after making such insensitive comments as if taxi drivers are the helpless victims of Los Angeles nightlife.
Please remember that this whole time, I never show any signs of anger (even though I feel complete rage). I am polite the whole time, I simply ask the cab driver questions and make him think about his career and position in the grand scheme of a Los Angeles weekend.
ME: You know what I hate? I hate it when I call cabs, they say they’ll be there, then they don’t show up. That isn’t fun either.
DRIVER: Sometimes things happen and the cab can’t make it.
The audacity of this guy. I took that as nothing short of a personal attack on me and my family.
ME: Do you think that maybe something happened inside that caused my friends not to make it this time?
DRIVER: Then why did they call for a cab?
ME: Probably the same reason that cab drivers say they can pick you up and never do, you know?
Bomb. Your move, Jon. This level of intellect is unprecedented – such wit does not usually display itself at 2:32 in the morning from your usual cab passenger.
DRIVER: I have to go. Where do you live, I can at least take you home.
A full-scale retreat. I hate cab drivers. It gets better don’t worry.
ME: I can’t just leave my friends like this. And also, I don’t want to pay for the cab ride myself.
DRIVER: Well, usually when this type of misunderstanding happens, the people involved compensate me for my lost time.
ME: I don’t remember anyone compensating me when I was standing in the rain waiting for a cab that never showed.
The driver began to lose it.
DRIVER: I don’t get it, what is your problem? Its not like I was the one that didn’t pick you up! Are you dense?
I made my way towards the door, mostly because I was getting scared he was going to drive me off to Yucaipa and murder me. And he used the word “dense”. But I couldn’t resist arguing politely.
ME: How do I know you weren’t?
DRIVER: There are 800 drivers for Yellow Taxi on the weekends!
ME: I’m just saying…
DRIVER: You’re dense!
That word again. I’m not making this up. Scary.
ME: Well it doesn’t change the fact that my friends aren’t here and I’m not going to-
I don’t want to even begin to try to explain the next statement from a friend of a friend I met that night named Ted. Just read it and know I’m not lying to you.
TED: Dude, get back inside, Jack Osborne just got here.
ME: What? Here? Why?
TED: I don’t know! C’mon!
His excitement seemed sincere as he ran back into the house. I get out of the cab.
ME: I think I have to go. Sorry.
DRIVER: Well, I came all the way out here.
ME: All the way out here? We are on Beverly and Crescent Heights. That isn’t typically considered out anywhere.
DRIVER: I’ve been here 22 minutes though.
To understand the true victory of the next section of our conversation, I must clarify that cab driver will never ever never give you more than $5 worth of change. You have a $20 and the ride costs $10.10, you are giving the guy a 49% tip (even after he took two wrongs turns). You are screwed because it says it right on the side of the cab “DRIVER CARRIES NO MORE THAN $5 IN CHANGE”. Cab drivers LIVE by this rule.
But tonight, my ugly, Russian Jon Lovitz friend will die by that rule.
ME: Well, I got a dollar or a twenty. So I guess I can give you a dollar.
DRIVER: No, no, I can give you change for the twenty.
ME: Excuse me? But it says right here on your cab that you don’t have anything more that $5 in change? I’m certainly not giving you $15 because my friends didn’t make it out in time.
DRIVER: Are you dense? I just told you that I have the change look!
He frantically digs in his pocket and pulls out a wad of cash. I motion to the bold black letters on the side of his yellow car.
ME: But, sir! The rules! It clearly states that you do not have any change over $5 dollars. Also, I have had to pay a exorbitant tip on numerous occasions because of this rule so I would hate to break it now only out of convenience. If we break the rule now, who’s to say we won’t break it the next time? Or the next?
DRIVER: Look. You’re completely dense. I have the change right here.
I close the cab door. Victory is immanent.
ME: I’m sorry, sir. For your sake, I think I should just give you the dollar. Rules are rules.
DRIVER: Hey asshole, I told you! I have the change! You’re completely dense!
I place the dollar on the passenger seat through his open window.
ME: Maybe, but I just couldn’t sleep tonight knowing that we did something bad. Goodnight.
I walk back into the party as he yells all sorts of obscenities out his window as he drives away. I have never felt better in my life. I walk inside to potentially tell this story of triumph to an intoxicated Jack Osborne, but he is not there. He never was. I ask Ted why he said that Jack Osborne was there and he does not know.
TED: It was the right thing to do at that moment I guess.