Thursday, July 11, 2019

A $5 Hollywood Story

Yesterday I bench pressed 200 lbs.

Or two bills, in the vernacular of the iron head.

That's not bad for a guy of my advanced age (44). On the other hand it's not great for a guy of my advanced girth. But in my defense I just got started with my heavy lifting routine. And this, the starting, is the more interesting part of the story.

You see I had been shopping for a squat rack/weight combination for several weeks now on Facebook's marketplace. I didn't see the need to drop serious money on new equipment when slightly used weights would certainly suffice.

Turns out lots of people are selling their Olympic weights sets. Almost all of them live in faraway places like Cucamonga or Valencia or Thousand Oaks. Moreover, it seems, many of them have gnarly looking pitbulls who guard the weight sets or just happen to photobomb every picture.

In any case, I balked. That is until two weeks ago when I spotted an ad from a fellow selling 275 lbs. worth of rubber coated weights (the better kind) as well as a tree to store them on. He wanted $225.

Perfect I thought.
More perfect, the guy lived on the border of nearby Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
Even perfecter, I recognized the face and the name of the gentleman who no longer had a use for the equipment.

Out of respect, I'm not going to divulge his name. Suffice to say he is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in Hollywood. A household name to anyone who owns a house, particularly if in that house you find a flat screen TV.

Even though I'm a civilian with a very limited IMDB page, I've been in Los Angeles long enough to know that people like this don't deal with people like me. They have assistants. And if they're high enough on the food chain, their assistants have assistants. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself exchanging direct Facebook messages with this industry titan  to set up a place and time to seal the deal on some slightly used gym equipment.

My wife was dumbfounded by all this and insisted on going with me to make the pick up. She was certain there was a mix up and that we'd be going to a Public Storage facility to meet a PA named Crystal or Brittany or Jazz.

But no, we keyed in our code, passed through the security gate and came face to face with the man who will forever be responsible for my rock hard pecs. Truth be told, he couldn't have been nicer. He was funny, charming and according to my wife, "a lot better looking than I thought he'd be."

Here's the best part.

Having loaded the last of the plates in the trunk of my Lexus, I cracked wise, "...all I need now is a Speedo and a tub of coconut oil." 

We returned to his garage where I then whipped out my wallet and peeled off a stack of twenties I had just retrieved from the ATM. I handed him eleven crisp twenty dollar bills. I was $5 short. Shit.

Debbie offered to grab her purse and get the remainder of the balance. She came back from the car empty-handed. "Sorry, I don't have a five."

It was at this point, and not a second earlier, that he said, "Ah, don't worry about it."

Keep in mind this is a man who has made millions and millions of dollars writing thousands and thousands of jokes. But for my wife and I, none will be funnier than that.

We went to buy 275 lbs of weights.

We came away with something better, a story.

1 comment:

george tannenbaum said...

That's fantastic.
I didn't realize Shecky Greene was still alive.