Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Why yes, I am an asshole. Thanks for noticing.

In a moment of spectacularly bad planning, I have a 5 pm call today (I’m the ‘8 hour guy’ who’s just coming in to help wrap), and I have no idea what time I’ll have to be at work tomorrow morning. If it’s 7 am, I’m totally screwed – rules about turnaround only apply when one is on the same show from day to day.

So I decided to spend the day running errands, and started out with a stop for coffee. While walking back to my car, an Indian (sub-continent, not North American) guy – complete with beads, turban, sandals and nearly incomprehensible accent – stopped me and said “You look happy on the outside, but you’re disturbed inside. You have too many thoughts. Let me see your right palm.”

Then he grabbed my hand and started examining it.

At this point, I figured I was being punked (or New-Age robbed) so I started frantically looking around for either a camera crew or Officer Friendly.

Personally, I think fortune-telling is bunk (I see claims of ‘seeing the future’ as a grave misunderstanding about the nature of time), but you can’t actually tell these people that, now can you?

I must have looked wary because he continued (still clutching my hand) more earnestly, “You have a very long life-line and will live a long time with happy life and successful. You will have three lucky news in December. There are two men who love you – one loves you too much and the other is bullshit but you won’t know it for some time.”

No, I think I can see the source of the bullshit just fine, but thanks.

“Now, if you will pay me $40, you will have happy life.”

I stared at his beads for a moment, idly wondering if they ever got caught in his chest hair and asked “Does that mean that I’m not going to have a happy life if I don’t pay you $40? ‘Cause I got some bad news for you, my friend.”

“Well how much do you have?”

“Nothing. I will pay you nothing. I resent being hustled.”


Awesome. I’m still going to live a long life, though. Everyone on both sides of my family has lived past 90 (except the ones that had accidents and died young, but for genetics purposes, they don’t count), so unless the asbestos exposure gets me first I’ve got every reasonable expectation of living far, far beyond my usefulness.

So there.

Later, as I was sitting in the laundromat waiting for the dryers to finish, a guy wearing a T-shirt expressing his patriotic disdain for anyone of Middle-Eastern ancestry, wandered in and demanded I give him money. “My phone ran out of minutes,” he said, shaking his pink Razr at me for emphasis. “I need ten bucks. Please, sir.”

Sir? You need to work on your panhandling skills, kid. Scoot.”


Actually, I was more of an asshole than he’d imagined. A few minutes later, after I watched him buy some meth from the tranny hooker who hangs out in front of the coffee shop (I guess he got someone to give him some money after all), I called the cops and gave them a very detailed description of him, his meth, and his t shirt.

My laundry done, I headed back home – only to arrive right as the school across the street was letting out and all the parking was being taken up by waiting parents.

Except one space, which I slipped into ahead of the lady who was trying to make an illegal U turn in her minivan despite the heavy traffic and nearby police cruiser.

“Hey!” she yelled out her window as I got out of the car and started to unload my laundry “I want that space!”

“I want one of those really ripped Calvin Klein models and a big tub of butter, but…” I trailed off with a gesture intended to convey my good-natured disappointment at the lack of condiment-covered male models roaming the streets of American cities.

Actually, I’m on a diet, so perhaps I should want a really ripped Calvin Klein model and a big tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

She glared at me for a moment and then yelled “Asshole!” before driving off.

Wow. Three times in one day and I’m not even wearing a costume.

Do I get a prize for that?

Oh, and happy Halloween.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses

  1. scotsirishgirl says:

    wow…were you in santa monica when that guy tried to hustle you? i ask because the same thing happened to me during my lunch there a couple months ago. i also refused to give him money. he called me a bitch. (kewl!)

    and congrats on being an asshole! i’m so proud of you!

  2. Emon says:

    And just when you thought the bust hanging on the lamp post was creepy. Happy Halloween!

  3. boskolives says:

    As a sound mixer with good ears, I’ve learned to say “I don’t speak English”* in pigeon Spanish, German, French, and Russian (that one was a little tough). When I’m hasseled on the street, I make a quick guess at what the ethnic background of the jerk of the moment is not, and try to pick one of the above that he (or she, gotta be fair) won’t know and give it a try. It seems to work o.k. so far, especially if you do a good shoulder shrug and look at your watch like you’re late for something, and then just walk away ignoring the grumbling.

    * I’m a gringo, so these are more or less how they’re phonetically pronounced: Yo no comprende, Ich nich verstchey, je ne compron pas, and ya ne panimayu pangliskey.

    Adios, Auf Viedersein, auvois, dahs vedanyah,

  4. JCW says:

    Well it sounds as though everyone was insisting on casting you in the role, so you might as well take pride in having pulled it off with panache. You were no mere “asshole”,
    you were a FABULOUS asshole!

  5. clyde says:

    i enjoyed reading boskolives approach to the situation. i live on the east cost, used to live in california, have friends from the deep south. i am reminded of how rough hewn we are here. my first instinct if the guy reached for my hand would be, “don’t f–king touch me!” but i would say it with a smile.

    the best the meth head could come up with was, “i ran out of minutes”? he deserved to get busted. i hope he was still tripping when the gloved finger explored …

    sorry. east coast. can’t help it.

  6. Charli says:

    Whoa, girl friend, sorry for such a rough day. Rough to hit the lotto three times in a day, but just to clarify, the term asshole means:

    insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous

    I don’t find you any of these, but the night is young… bahahwahaha, oh, don’t mind me, I didn’t sleep much last night.

  7. Craig says:


  8. Dave2 says:

    You’re in good company.

    Yesterday I was called an “asshole” because I stopped to let some kids cross the street. Apparently the guy behind me thought that this was unacceptable behavior, and followed me to work so he could scream at me as I was climbing out of my car.

  9. David H. says:

    Peggy, that’s AWESOME. I’m laughing my head off.

  10. Peter says:

    Actually grabbing someone’s hand is going WAY too far.

  11. getsheila says:

    Doesn’t that mean you are going to run into some money, like when you sneeze three times in a row? Or was it “you will marry a very fat man?” I can never remember.

  12. PDQ says:

    Peggy – I saw “turban guy” on Santa Monica Blvd. leaving French Market in WEHO after lunch about a week ago. Same routine about me being very lucky, etc. I just kept on walking into the parking lot to my car while he kept calling after me. I’ve seen him before down there too. As I was pulling out of the parking lot onto Santa Monica he had corralled some poor sap in front of Club 7969 and was trying to do the whole palm reading thing. The poor guy didn’t look like he was having any part of turban guy’s schtick either.

    I just laughed as I drove away.

  13. I have a prejudice against minivans and those who drive them (I know, it’s a little ridiculous), so I’m not surprised that your third insult came from one of those dastardly vehicles.

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