Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Jeez, Grizz #5 (California Dreamin' Edition)

Well it's me the Grizz and I just got back from my first visit to
California. For the first 26 years of my life I'd been to such exotic
locals as Mobile, Fayetteville and Des Moines.

If that sounds funny to you that I haven't been well traveled, it will
sound funnier when I slap your ears for mocking me for growing up

Anyway I've never really been all that concerned about California…but
in the past few years some friends have moved out there and have
extolled the virtues of San Diego, L.A and San Francisco.

I had to attend a wedding for my best friend since childhood so I
figured, screw it, why not tour the whole state?

So I started in San Diego where I spent most of my time with old
friends and family and dodged all the Mexicans that were running
around. Actually they weren't Mexicans but Dominicans, Cubans and the
Japanese. The World baseball tournament was in town and they were
crawling all over the place with their flags and cowbells and all that

San Diego was beautiful but my wedding duties kept me out of too much trouble.

While saying goodbye to the newlyweds we decided to have lunch and
drink some beers at the pier in Oceanside.

I had just put away about a six pack of Coors original and we decided
to walk out on the pier. As we sauntered along I see this guy suddenly
stand up on the side of the fence and I elbow my buddy "is this guy
going to jump?"

Sure enough off he goes and we all run over there as people are
converging to see what's going on. The lifeguards race down the pier
and swim out to him and he's swatting at them and yelling "don't help
me!" Everyone is all in a tither and yelling "he's trying to kill

Well, like I said I had drunk a few beers and I felt it best to start
yelling things like "YOU FAILED AT THIS TOO!" and "YOU COULD'T EVEN

Several onlookers were aghast that I would say such things to a
troubled individual but honestly, who tries to kill themselves by
doing a cannonball? He's a woman in my book, besides there was a
perfectly good train station one block away where he could have done
himself in rather easily if he wasn't such a pussy.

Next I was in Irvine for a few days visiting some of my gal pals. The
girls had to work so I spent my days frolicking on Orange County
beaches looking for Marissa and more importantly Marissa's mom, Julie

When I got to LA later that week it took me approximately 15 minutes
to have my first run-in with the LAPD. I got physically removed from
the Mercedes Fashion Week show. I made a couple of attempts to sneak
in with a camera but the cops came and dragged me out. While I was
calling them pussies on the way out the door I thought I recognized a
little girl but wasn't sure. Later I realized it was Francis Bean.

Hey Francis, I know a guy on a pier in Oceanside that should borrow
your dad's shotgun.

Once in San Francisco I had run out of cash. Spending money in
California is very easy to do. I had a few $19 burgers that tasted
like cat food and ass. So the last day I had lunch with my ex
girlfriend in Chinatown and headed to the train station. It was
raining so she gave me her umbrella, I tried to tell her I didn't need
it but she refused so I took it and my all my luggage and lumbered
down to the train station.

The guy at the ticket counter told me which train to take to the
Oakland airport. I hopped aboard but when I got off at the station,
there weren't any planes. I asked if I was in the wrong spot but the
lady told me that I needed to take a shuttle bus to the airport. Cost?
2 dollars.

Now I have one dollar in my pocket. One dollar. I look down at my
dying cell phone and call my buddy Nathan in Oakland but I get no
answer. I know he's at work anyway but it was worth a shot. My ex was
back in San Francisco at work and can't come get me. I've got no money
and there isn't an ATM within blocks.

I ask the train station employee if the airport is in within walking
distance and I get laughed at. I decide against asking a white person
for money since I've spent 4 days bitching about all the hobos and
bat-shit crazy homeless that have hit me up for change. I doubt that
anyone is going to give me money anyway since they deal with that shit
all the time.

I decide to walk 4 blocks in the rain, while dragging my entire
luggage, completely aware that I'm in OAKLAND where people can
sometimes be a little grabby.

So I get to the ATM and find out that I have $ 0 in my account. You
see I rented a PT Cruiser in LA (nothing says gay bear like a hairy
man like me in a PT Cruiser) and they required a $300 deposit which
had yet to be refunded to me.

So now I walk back to the train station completely fucked. I'm a
dollar short. The only friends I have in the bay area are unavailable
for at least 5 or so hours. My phone is about to die and I've got
about 30 minutes until I'll miss my flight and be screwed beyond

I'm standing outside my bus, wondering what I'm going to do when a
lady walks up to the bum next to me and asks him "How do I get to the
airport". He says "Give me two bucks and I'll give you a ticket"

I'm stunned at her question since the bus driver is 3 feet from her
and she just walked out of a train station where a good 6 employees
were but she's going to ask Toothless Old Zeke for a ticket. She looks
over at me and say's "should I trust him?" I nod and then she gives
him 2 bucks and he pulls out a dozen train tickets and gives her one.
I realize that this guy must go around digging through the trash to
get tickets with leftover money on them.

I approach him and say "say how about an umbrella for a bus ticket".
He looks over at my umbrella on my adidas bag and says. "Nah I'm
good". I try harder…."come on brother check it out, it's raining and
you ain't gonna stay dry...perfectly good umbrella".

He pulls out the umbrella and looks at it like its Excalibur. He pours
over every detail and angle and I take it and open it for him. He nods
and gives me a 3 dollar bus ticket.

I quickly grab my bags and get on the bus. The bus driver just
witnessed all this and so when I hand him the ticket he stares at it
for a minute then puts it in. Bingo. I'm on my way back to Austin

Basically I had to hustle a hobo to get home. I had never felt more
like a man. The irony of all my whining about bums was not lost. I
would never say another unkind word about our flea ridden train
hopping newspaper blanketed friends.


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