When I drove famous people’s cars I would go through their shit. Find mundane objects that would take on some higher meaning because of their proximity to celebrity. Like for instance Justin Timberlake had an ancient iPod with a click wheel in his Audi. Tyrese Gibson (the non-Ludacris black guy from Fast & Furious) had a Monster Energy drink sweating in his Maserati cupholder. And Bradley Cooper’s C wagon was disappointingly clean and devoid of moist panties but I went through his glovebox and looked at his proof of insurance.
When I can’t think of anything to write I wish I’d kept my college valet job in LA. I could have launched an anonymous blog with pictures of litter like a Wrigley’s gum wrapper, but because it was a gum wrapper from a Jenner’s floorboard then it would be ogled. Put something online that people ogle and you get yourself some goddamn blog stats. Get yourself some godamn blog stats and leverage yourself a motherfucking coffee table book deal. Get money from a coffee table book and have a kid valet your car at a party in the Hills and sue him if he takes pictures of the inside.
Standing outside and hearing the laughter behind the gates is the most motivating shit you’ll ever experience. It gives you little fits of insanity. You don’t deserve to be inside chattering, so it makes you want to go home and work. Grind away on something that might get noticed. But you gotta put your hours on the curb first. So what you do to handle it is bring a suit jacket to the job. Throw it on over your valet vest and look like a rich young prick instead of the poor young prick you actually are. Walk into the party to “use the bathroom” and just stay in there. Chat up the security, guys who used to play for the Packers and guys who have been hit by Taliban snipers. Take a shit inside a cavernous black marble bathroom with toilet paper as soft as angel feathers and a separate jacuzzi room inside it. Scoop a plate of mini-quiches. Dance with rich girls who don’t know you’re a peasant. Get a shot of absinthe by the pool and then go back out to park Lambos. Joyride said Lambo in flagrant violation of the no-joyriding rule, which they should have expected. You’re sooner going to convince gravity to stop working than convince a red-blooded adolescent not to floor it while wrapped inside $200,000 worth of automobile. Just know that if you ever become wealthy, a child with absinthe inside of him is going to max out your car’s RPMs in a residential area.
A typical night in Hollywood, circa 2009: stand near Zooey Deschanel while she argues with her (now ex) husband about what lot their car had been parked in. See Brett Ratner roll up with four women and wonder how a man can be so cocky and so fat at the same time. Probably because he was still coasting off X-Men: The Last Stand three years after it came out. Probably because nobody told him that that movie isn’t the kind of thing you can coast on. See Keifer Sutherland come through with an ascot and sunglass lenses the size of pancakes. Laugh at him and called him Queef-er Sutherland. See paparazzi sprinting after David Hasselhoff’s car and wonder who in this world still gives a shit about pictures of David Hasselhoff. Sometimes, see Brad Pitt or Vince Vaughn from far off but they have a cordon of guys around them like Secret Service.
One Saturday night we did a party for this guy descended from the Wells Fargo founder and he came outside wearing a crown and gave us each a hundred dollars. A fucking crown. The night after that was the Emmy’s and we worked the Chateau Marmont. On the curb we saw Colin Firth and Lindsay Lohan and Sarah Silverman and Aziz Ansari and two guys from Entourage. I also got a reciprocal head-nod from shitty iPod-owner Justin Timberlake. Then Erik and I slid into the Chateau after our shift and drank at the Mad Men afterparty in a bungalow. We said we were crew from Two and A Half Men and tried to weasel our way to an after-after party with this girl but she was still sober and unfortunately capable of skepticism. Rich people have superpowers. They sense your lack of polish instantly.
Outside the Chateau we discovered Erik’s car had been towed and we were stranded in Hollywood until dawn. Which is nowhere near as cool as it sounds. It’s just liquor stores and check-cashing joints and pools of sick orange light. A hooker with teeth that bent inward stalked us around and dropped a condom on the sidewalk, asked if we had a place to go for protected sex. We declined but gave her points for the bold condom drop. Made a note to try it ourselves one day in a club.
Just like the Wrigley’s wrapper we got points for our proximity to celebrity. Go get stories at work. That’s how you be the most interesting guy in a group. Until you turn 22 and your celeb sightings start to set off people’s deadbeat alarms. A few months later I ran away to China. Now I have another few years until my English teacher stories set off the deadbeat alarms. Whatever; things could be so much worse. I could wear sunglasses with lenses the size of pancakes and prance un-ironically around my property while wearing a crown. I think I’m the clear winner here.