Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008 to you all. I woke up in 2008 having moved back to Los Angeles and having a great job that makes me happy. I don't have any words of wisdom because I'm playing this whole life thing by ear myself. I do however, have a post from Thanksgiving that I hadn't posted yet. So, as we go into 2008, here's my last post written in 2007.

On Thanksgiving Day, before going to Cathy and Reese's to gorge myself into a coma, I visited Starbucks to have my iced mocha. Upon getting out of my car, I noticed a gorgeous racing-orange Lotus Exige S in the parking lot. Since most of the stores around were closed, and it was parked so obviously in front of Starbucks, I figured the owner was somewhere inside the store.

On my way outside, mocha in hand, I almost let the door fall on a man behind me. I apologized and he was gracious, knowing I just hadn't seen him. He was sweet, mild mannered, wore a baseball hat and most likely gay. I took a seat at the table beside the door, and he took one at the table beside me. A few minutes later, a huge Lexus SUV drove into the lot and parked. A man whom I immediately dubbed, "The Player" got out with his Asian wife and strolled up to the door. He was probably just past sixty, she was in her late forties, or maybe older. I called him "The Player" because he was dressed in all black, casual Armani with wrap around sun glasses, and silver hair neatly gelled into place. He just had the look of the Hollywood Player. He sat at the table on the other side of the door, to my right while his wife went inside. At this Starbucks, there are several large pine trees that surround it and like many Starbucks, the patio area faces a parking lot. The three of us were enjoying a quiet beautiful day out as a gentle breeze played with the warm air around us. We were content with who we were and happy to be enjoying some quiet time off.

Enter, The Douche.

Now by the way I set that scene up, you had to know that a douche was on the horizon. In this case, it was in the form of a teenager in a circa Risky Business "There is No Substitute," "Who's the U-boat Commander" era Porsche. The kid sped into the parking lot so fast that he scraped the entire bottom of the Porsche on the pavement. That entrance is rough anyway, but to a low sitting car like that, it's murder. The noise was like a giant in dire need of a manicure scraping his fingernails on a huge chalkboard. We all jumped, and were not only pissed at the stark interruption, but at the kid for being a reckless git and driving dangerously. He sped around the parking lot, looking for a space, revving the engine as loud as he could. He thrust the car into reverse and floored it backward, stopping with the screech of tires to straighten it out and park yes...by me. I could feel my Honda rolling her eyes. For good measure, in case he hadn't stressed that poor old German girl out enough, he put the car in neutral and revved the engine one more time, as loudly as possible before killing the engine.

"Looks like Daddy gave someone the keys to his car," I said, as the teenage boy and his younger brother got out. The kid was trying to pretend that he hadn't just made a complete ass out of himself with his blunder on what was supposed to be his grand entrance in front of us mere mortals. Of course, being me, I wasn't going to let him think that it went by unnoticed.

"Yep," The Quiet Man said from my left. He had previously remarked that the kid was going way too fast, as all of us had.

I mocked the imagined father, "Son, why don't you go get yourselves Starbucks and bring me back a blended. I'll let you drive the Porsche but you have to take your little brother."

Snickers from both the men.

The Douche approached the door, little brother in tow, and put his hand on the door.

I looked up from my laptop that was balanced on my knee and said, "That bump must have hurt a little."

In an act that might have won him an Oscar, the kid looked completely clueless and said to me, "What bump?"

I pointed to the entrance and said, "That one that you took hard right there. Sounded like it hurt." The little brother was standing behind his older brother, not doing as good a job at playing dumb.

"What bump?" he said again, as if I had pointed out a stain on his shirt that he just couldn't see. I gave him a look that said he wasn't fooling anyone.

From behind me, The Quiet Man defied his demeanor and scolded, "You were going way too fast. There are kids in this lot and that's way too fast to be driving. It's dangerous." He sounded just like a dad talking to a five-year-old, and it was perfect. The papier-mache bravado disguise crumbled and blew away, revealing an embarrassed kid, who shrank into himself. The two of us had successfully emasculated The Douche, and like a last rev to shatter the silence, had done it in front of his little brother.

"Okay," The Douche said, like it had just occurred to him, and went inside.

We snickered, and The Quiet Man said, "Yeah, don't get smart, kid."

"Exactly," I said. "And you know it was because he was completely mortified," I said pointing at the entrance, "as he should have been."

"Oh, totally," The Quiet Man said.

The Player chimed in, "That Porsche isn't worth more than $500."

"After that it's worth even less," I said.

Snickers all around.

A few minutes later, avoiding eye contact, the kid ran out the door toward the car. A couple minutes later, the little brother came out with a tray of three drinks.

The Quiet Man had gone inside, so after he passed, I said to The Player, "God I'm good."

The Player looked at me quizzically, and I said. "Three Drinks." I then re-explained my theory of dad wanting a Starbucks, and cajoling The Douche to go get him one by letting him drive the car. In my discussion with The Player, I learned he owned a rare Porsche GT2.

The Quiet Man came back outside and told us goodbye, and walked straight to the yep, you guessed it, gorgeous Lotus.

He started the car, drove out of his spot and waved at me. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up, he smiled back.

Even better, The Douche was sitting in the car and saw The Quiet Man, the very one who had just ripped him a new asshole for being reckless, get into that gorgeous sports car and drive off through the parking lot. I watched as the life lesson registered on his face.

The Douche started the car, sans revving, and drove like an eighty-year-old grandmother out of the lot.

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