Friday, February 25, 2005

los angeles (part 1)
by iggy

last week I got a call from my friend alphonso. I've known alfie since forever but I rarely see him anymore. he lives in los angeles and we went to high school together. he used to roll with the crew, but then he went off to college and now works for XXXXXXX in LA. He lives in west hollywood, but he's not gay.

so alfie calls me and tells me that he's heard from elliot that I'm going to be in LA this weekend for the annual Risk throwdown (yeah the boardgame). I didn't mention it all to you folks cause I didn't want to build it up and then go there and lose and then have to tell you about it. I know you all want to hear every detail, and I will tell them to you, but not just yet cause this post is about friday and the game was on saturday. anyway, alfie tells me that he's going to see this band play and that he has an extra ticket that he doesn't want to eat and do I want to come along? plus, our friend Brad will be there who I haven't seen in a while.

at first, I didn't want to go see them cause I had never heard of them (name was "Interpoll", whatever that means). but alfie told me they were the next Dokken, so I thought I might like it. it was 40 bucks, but I figured a dokken show would cost infinity now, so it wasn't such a bad deal.

so on friday night I drove into LA. I'd never been to alfie's place, but finding it was pretty easy. here's a photo of alfie's living room:

two couches, a light, a laptop, porno mags, a street sign and a roommate.

alfie told me how he got that street sign. I had him email it to me cause I knew I'd screw the story up, so here it is in his words:

One afternoon about three weeks ago, I was driving south on the 110 with the company truck when I drive past that sign on the side of the road. I had to double back because I missed it the first time. It was easy to park near because it was next to an overpass with an exit.

I got out of the truck and found the sign was bolted to this large and heavy pole that used to hold it up, but which was then leaning against the overpass. I didn't have shit for tools in the truck, but there was a hardware/crafts store nearby. I went up there and bought a ratchet kit that could work with the bolts. Once I had the kit, I went back to try and remove the sign from the pole.

The problem though, was that the ratchet worked, but the nut in the back would just turn with the bolt. I needed a wrench to hold the bolt in place, so I headed back up the to the hardware store. When I got there, though I realized that the guy behind the counter had been watching me work with the bolts the whole time:

guy: "are you going to use this wrench to take that sign?"

me: "yeah, I talked to the caltrans guys and they said that they were just going to throw the thing away anyway, so if I had the sign gone by tomorrow morning, it would just make their job easier."

guy: "umm, okay..."

Once I had the wrench, the bolts came off easily, but there was another problem. Even without the pole, the sign was at least a hundred pounds. As I was standing there, a bum came up and asked me where the nearest bathroom was:

me: "Well there's an In-n-out burger about a block that way, but I don't know if they'll let you use it."

bum: "What, like i need to have a suit and tie to go into fucking in-n-out?"

me: "Shit, I don't know. Hey, I'll pay you five bucks if you help me get this sign in the truck."

It took us a few minutes, but we eventually got the thing in the truck. During our lifting, the bum keeps asking me about my belt. It's nothing fancy (yellow/tan canvas with a two-pronged buckle), but he can't stop talking about it. And then when I go to pay him the five dollars he says:

"how about you keep the five bucks and I get your belt?"

so I gave him the belt and drove off with the sign.

So I was at Alfie's place at about 7:30 and the doors opened at this show at about 8. We weren't all that into the opening act, though, so we took our time getting there. We talked for a bit and then Alfie took a shower and then we stopped to get a bottle of something and then we stopped for dinner on the way.

Alfie with the crab that no one would eat. We left it in one of the potted plants.

By the time we left dinner, alfie had finished the bottle we had picked up, so we were out of booze. We got to the show and made it inside and the lights were on and we figured we the opening act was taking forever to come on. We called Brad on the cell, but he was way up in front and wasn't about to give up his good spot to come talk to us. We checked out the beer line but it was far too long to stand in so we left the place to find liquor on foot. nothing was open, though. We ran into a cop who wouldn't tell us where we could get booze, and a drug dealer who would. after some parking-attendant-bribery, a bit of driving, and a really sketchy liquor store, we ended up back in the parking lot in the car with a bottle of "el cyclon". we could hear the opening band playing from outside the auditorium.

"so wait," I say, pausing to choke down some of the cyclon, "tell it to me again, only more slowly this time."

passing him the bottle, he says "well, do you ever get the feeling that when, say, you're out with friends and you're laughing at some joke or enjoying some story, but only because you're really drunk, that you're sortof wasting your time because you're just laughing at things that aren't all that funny?"... pauses to drink... "like if you were really old and looked back on that night, you'd be happy you had a good time, but do you ever think you'd feel that you were spending your time just sortof pretending?"

"hmm... but I really would have a good time, I wouldn't be pretending about that."

"yeah, that's true, but should you? I mean-- hey have you noticed that the opening band is covering interpoll songs?" he says.

"uh, I don't know interpoll, but this doesn't sound like dokken."

"ok drink up and then we'll go back inside."

not dokken.

so when we make it back in the auditorium, alfie's freaked out because it was interpoll playing the whole time. when we thought we had arrived before the opener, we had really arrived between sets. we missed half of interpoll's performance.

We did meet up with Brad though. after the show we all went out for tbone steaks and eggs in west hollywood. Brad got hit on by some gay guys, and it was probably his velvet sports coat that did it, cause I am a handsome man and they didn't pay me any attention.

brad. intensely.

hey, if I am offended that these guys hit on brad but not me, that doesn't make me a homo, does it?

anyway, stay tuned to this weblog. in part 2 I visit the LA natural history museum, and part 3 is the Risk showdown!

5 Cacahuetes Viejos:

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Not Dokken, indeed!

This writing is cool as the pale sea round the coast, stripped as bare of superfluous adjectives as the ground he trudged on; the peregrine flies off the pages bathed in a light that never was.

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