Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

You want to see my what?

Studios haven’t really been zealously searching cars since 2001. Security got real tight for a while, and then everyone got tired or something and everything went back to almost normal.

So, leaving work today, I was surprised when the security guard (and I use that term loosely – the security team of this particular stage are all really nice guys but make me think of frat boys who pulled a number tab off a flyer at a beer bust) asked me to pop my back window so he could inspect my car.

“We’re now supposed to randomly search cars for contraband”, he said apologetically – forming air quotes around the word ‘contraband’ and looking sheepish.

I had no idea what he meant by air quote contraband un-air quote. An apple from craft service? The quarter I found on the floor? My boss’ pen that I forgot to give back? The producer wrapped in gaffers tape and crammed into a laundry bag (not that I could get much for him on the open market, mind you)?

When I think of ‘contraband’, I think of, say, a pound of blow hidden in my sandwich or a case of fruit that I smuggled in from another state (the fruit seems to be worse judging by the number of random fruit and vegetable checkpoints set up on the highways at the California borders).

We’ve really not been paying too much attention to the ‘security guards'(insert air quote), other than exchanging pleasantries at call time and averting our eyes as one of them – who wears thin shorts, sandals and no underwear (yeah, I noticed. You’d have to be blind or in a neck-brace not to notice) – jumps the cable crossovers on his bicycle as he rides around making sure we’re not.. well, I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing, but he is a very nice guy even if he really should wear closed-toed shoes on the stage (sandals aren’t really safe. Neither is going commando while wearing tight nylon shorts, but for very different reasons).

So when the kid at the gate asked to look in the hatch of my truck, I said “sure, go ahead”, as three cars of my co-workers piled up behind me, yelling out their car windows to heckle me and Detective Frat Boy as he made what was probably the worst mistake of his day.

I wear my flip flops to work in the morning, and change into my work shoes when I get to work – that way, I give my feet some badly needed last-minute breathing room. When I get off work, I take off my shoes and put my flip-flops back on to drive home, so I end up just leaving all my dirty socks in the back of the car and then scooping them straight into the laundry bag at the end of the week (I know it’s icky, but if I bring the dirty socks into the house, the cat finds them and rolls around on them and then she smells like feet and then, of course, wants to crawl in the bed with me at night and sleep on my face. I can’t seem to stop her from doing it and in the end it’s just easier to leave the socks in the car).

So, when he stuck his head into the back hatch of my truck, he stuck it right into a pile of dirty, smelly socks with a used work-boot topping. Poor guy.

He jerked his head back so quickly that he almost gave himself whiplash, closed the back door really quickly, said “Thanks!” in a strained voice and blinked rapidly as he waved the next few cars of my co-workers through.

Although I know I’m going to get razzed about this tomorrow, I bet I don’t get searched again.

Filed under: toxic waste, Work

6 Responses

  1. JohnC says:

    Security guards, unfortunately, are only there for show. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the trunk of my car checked at the airport/hotel/building loading dock and have been waved through even though I have tons of lights, cables, wires, black pelican cases…

    I’m tempted to tape a kitchen timer to my silver arri travel case and see if I get a second look… mostly because I hear Guantanamo is nice this time of year.

    And I can’t imagine my prank would be more dangerous than transporting biological weapons disguised at smelly socks.

  2. Peter says:

    There probably have been some thefts at the studio, so management has ordered random vehicle searches thinking this will deter the thieves.

  3. Charli says:

    Smelly socks, oh smelly socks, where.. you know, that song from “Friends” no wait, that was smelly cat, huh, I think it still applies to this thread. Gawd, just imagined if you had had smelly bras in the back…

  4. Christina says:

    Thanks for the big laugh! Will be cracking up all day over this.

  5. Crew Guy says:

    Couple years back workin’ at a Stage that rymes with BOX. Coumputers got stolen one night. The next couple of weeks they were searching cars. Months go by Fax Machine got lifted, one of those 5,000.00 fax machines. They searched the cars again for a week. ” WAY TO KEEP ON TOP OF IT GUYS”. Next item why does Warner Bros. Search your bags on arrival, I’m a grip I can take down a small country with a hammer and a handsaw.

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