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Tuesday, April 29, 2003


When There's Nothing Else for You Here There's Always Ford

So I'm driving through some wet nighttime city streets in my City of Angels in one of those new little cars that are somewhere between SUV and compact car and nearly always silver and aggressively marketed to young, upwardly mobile urban adventurers with their fingers on three separate pulse points of bleeding-edge culture -- a Focus or Matrix or Vibe or whatever that new one is. A really catchy techno jam that will send the 18-34 demo frantically Googling its origin is pounding on the Kenwood and a ladyfriend who may or may not be Rose McGowan is pop-locking her little heart out in the passenger seat and whom I may or may not have met the other night waiting to buy a twelve of Bud Light at the local corner market. Maybe we left her little Beemer Z3 in the market parking lot because you really can't cruise the wet nighttime city streets in a US$50,000 piece of German engineering. She's had Manson so there's something definitely dangerous and a little tainted about her despite the outward flawless porcelain appearance, like a strawberry birthmark on the inside of her cheek. But for reasons I don't understand there was that thing with J. Lo so I'm not exactly 99.44 pure myself these days. Maybe she's picked up on that, maybe she likes a dude who'll throw down a twelve of Bud Light next to a starlet who's pointing at a pack of Virginia Slims.

After what seems like miles and miles of uninterrupted green lights on Hollywood Boulevard, a red finally slows us down. A black H2 rolls up on us, its tinted driver's-side window slides down. It's quite dramatic.


And craning my neck just a little bit, I can see his broomhandle paramour Calista fiddling with the knobs on his stereo, mouthing to him, who's that?

Like she doesn't know. Like there isn't a black-and-white photograph of me on his vanity mirror with the eyes scratched out with the tip of a safety pin and clips of the transcripts of our previous run-ins on his huge oak desk and explicit instructions to his personal assistant to always,always forward my calls to his cell, even if he suspects I'm just going to flush the toilet and hang up again and he's just going to smash his fist onto the craft services table and send a plate of cold cuts clattering loudly to the sound stage floor.

Before I can utter a derisive "Indy" sidelong into the H2's window, Rose's hand comes down hard on my knee and the car lurches forward. If you believe the obnoxious advertising campaign, an H2's made to drive over things like abandoned bunkers and purse-size, floofy dogs rather than accelerate on a damp Hollywood Boulevard.

If the nighttime streets were not so damp and glistening, he would have been eating the dust kicked up by our little car. Amateur driver Ford obviously does not have the all-wheel drive engaged and his ride spins out onto the Walk of Fame sidewalk, leaving a skidmark on Red Buttons' star.

Rose and I find a Denny's further up the road and I leave her to order some freedom toast so I can excuse myself to the surprisingly well-appointed men's room.

Somewhere on the fancy side of town, Ford's cellphone is ringing, is answered, and is filled with the sound of the counterclockwise roar of a Denny's commode in its full fury.

The freedom toast is that much sweeter and fluffier because Rose keeps asking me why I'm smirking. I don't tell her, and I don't tell her that in five minutes I'm going to excuse myself again when the check shows up and not return until I'm sure she's paid it. I read somewhere that Manson pulled this on her at The Palm so this move is money and a homage to those that have gone before me, even if they sometimes dress in women's clothes and run around in a pair of creepy fake tits.

My cell rings. H. Ford is calling and he's put straight through to voicemail.

Rose laughs and offers me the first mint off the check when it comes back, paid, and in a flash we're back out on the wet nighttime streets.

[This piece is being simulcast at Bob from Accounting]

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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