My JetBlue flight from JFK to Long Beach was delayed 15 minutes due to weather. The captain made the announcement and I sent Nicky a text message relaying her the news of the delay. I sat next to a weird looking chick with dark curly hair and thick Lisa Loeb glasses. She drank five cups of coffee and read a book about Heidegger. She didn't turn on her free TV but occasionally glanced at my screen to see what was on. I freaked her out because after the first hour of Sportscenter, I watched four straight hours of the Vietnam War on the History Channel. The hour about the battle of Hue was insane.
Somewhere over North Dakota, curly haired girl put away her Heidegger book and broke out a Hebrew 101 workbook. She told me that she's learning Hebrew because her boyfriend is Israeli.
"You were reading a book by Heidegger. Don't you know he was a Nazi sympathizer?"
She shrugged her shoulders.
The suit in the aisle across from me read the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Then he broke out a copy of Newsweek or the Economist before he opened up a book.
My flight arrived in Long Beach twenty minutes late and it took almost forty minutes from the time I deplaned until the luggage arrived. Long Beach is a small airport with four gates and I dunno what the delay was all about. I estimated the over/under on my luggage creeping in front of me would be 8 minutes. It took 11 and I realized that 50% of all domestic airline passengers have the same crappy black suitcase.
Luckily Nicky was already at the airport when I finally picked up my bags. She had some medicinal marijuana waiting for me on our ride from Long Beach to Beverly Hills. It was mid-afternoon and most of the traffic was coming the other way on the 405.
We headed to Zankou Chicken to grab a bite. For me, it was dinner time and my stomach could not stop from growling. We went to the one on Sepulveda in West LA instead of the location down on Sunset in East Hollywood. The new franchise was less crowded and much cleaner. As we walked through the parking lot of Zankou Chicken, a convertible Mercedes whizzed by us. Nicky muttered, "West LA douchebags!"
We got in line and ordered the #1 to go... a whole chicken with two pieces of pita bread and two garlic sauces. We also got some hummus. Total cost $12.74. Standing in line behind us was former Baywatch actress Traci Bingham. I had been in California less than an hour and while stoned to the gourd, I bumped into Baywatch alumni.
"Did David Hasslehoff tap that ass?" I wondered.
I knew Traci Bingham was on the fringes of the business but couldn't recall her name or where I saw her last. That's when Nicky reminded me that she was the first black lifeguard on Baywatch. I scanned my memory and remembered her as hostess of the Lingerie Bowl, the spectacle where models in underwear play football during halftime of the Super Bowl. Man, sometimes I fucking love Hollyweird. A few years ago and she appeared on a lame D-list celebrity poker show with Joe Speaker's buddy Morris Chestnut from Boyz in the Hood fame.
Anyway, I checked Traci Bingham's imdb profile. She says that she's a vegetarian, but why would she be at Zankou chicken? And what was she doing riding around with a milk and cookies looking West LA douchebag driving around in a Nazi sled?
If you have never been to The Grove, there's a huge parking deck that is several stories high attached to the huge outdoor shopping mall and movie theatre complex that's attached to the Farmer's Market. You have to drive down a circular pathway in the middle of the deck to leave. On our way out after a movie, Nicky said, "Is that Frankie Muniz driving behind us in a Porsche?"
It was and when you're Malcolm in the Fuckin' Middle, you get to drive around the City of Angels in a pussy magnet like a Porsche. I wonder how much tail that little dipshit has turned down in the last few years?
"Should we follow him?" Nicky asked.
I fantasized with the idea of trailing Frankie to find out he's going down to the hood near 7th and Alvarado to buy a couple hundred bucks worth of crack before he picks up a couple of strung meth addicts from the Sherman Oaks to take back to his house in the hills for a lubricated night cap.
I woke up early and wrote for almost two hours before I went out on a morning walk through Beverly Hills Adjacent aka the slums of Beverly Hills. I liked walking down alleys and trying to see which house would be the best to rob. I wanted to go running but I'm afraid that crazy LA drivers would kill me. The walk was nice during the cool morning (for LA standards) and I did not miss the cold, wet, and rainy weather of NYC.
After my shower, I walked into Showcase's bedroom where I could hear incessant laughter. He showed Nicky a cooking show where the host Sandra Dee dressed up like celebrities in anticipation of Halloween. She did Liza Minelli then came out as someone I had no idea who it was. They couldn't stop laughing at the impersonation and I stood utterly clueless.
"Who's that?" I asked.
"You don't know Barbara Streisand?" snapped Nicky as looks of astonishment fell onto their faces.
"Look, I'm not gay and I'm not Jewish," I said as I walked out of the room.
Paul McGuire is a writer from New York City.
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