I spotted Tim Leiweke, the president of AEG, out of the corner of my eye. I had just sat down at Starbucks 11th and Grand to finally focus on a script about a writer who moves Downtown to get away from the pretentious idiots in Hollywood. The irony of course being that I was there to write a script for Stan Peters, the subject of the cult classic book “In Development”, the story of Hollywood’s most powerful and scummiest producer. If you haven’t read “In Development” go over to Metropolis Books on Main Street and get a copy. Anyway, there’s Tim putting some sweetener in his coffee. Sensing an opportunity for a blog I shut down my laptop and approached.

            “Hey Tim.”

            “Hey Oliver, starting early today…”

            “Oh it’s just a little script thing I’m behind on.”

            “Actually, Stan Peters mentioned that you were writing a script for him…”

            “He did?”

            “Yeah, when he dropped off the check for one of the Penthouses at the new Ritz Carlton.” My head swooned at the news that Stan would be living so close to Lucky Strike, he’d definitely want to join the league I’d been working on.  “Apparently there’s no recession in the movie business,” Tim continued. But I was having a hard time concentrating. “What if he winds up on my team?” I thought to myself—bowling with the guys would never be the same.

            “Tim, not to change the subject, but I really think that there’s a unique opportunity to cover LA Live. I know everyone is going to write about the architecture and the money and on and on. I want to write about the humanity, the impact on the community from the perspective of a writer who actually lives Downtown…I want to hang with you during opening week—I’ll be your shadow.”

            Tim tried his best not to laugh, but wound up choking and spitting out his first gulp of java. “Oliver after that incident at Lucky Strike…”

            “I swear I didn’t know she was engaged.”

            “Not that incident…”

            “Oh, well how could I know that, that was there entire allotment of Cristal for the year. And Stan was paying so I didn’t really think anything of it when I ordered all those bottles.”

            “Not that incident either…”

            At this point of the story I should explain what exactly Tim was referring to. I do so with considerable consternation that Tim was aware of such and unfortunate incident. No doubt Stan Peter’s had something to do with it.

            It all started at the Hard Eight Lounge, where so many of my misadventures have begun. I was dancing with Eden (see previous blog Oliver Strikes Out for description of hot she is) when the legendary Lucky Luke walked up to me.

            “Oliver you’re going to the Conga Room with us tonight—it’ll be a good adventure.”

            “The Conga Room closed in 06, daddy. Went broke or something,” I retorted.

            “No, the new one Oliver.”

            “There’s a new Conga Room? Why?”

            “C’mon Oliver it’ll be fun.”

            “Same CELEBRITY OWNERS?” I don’t care much for the celebrity scene, but have to admit that Jimmy Smits is pretty good on Dexter this year.

            “Oliver you’re writing a script for the most powerful and scummiest producer in Hollywood, what’s wrong with some celebs owning a club.”

            “First of all I haven’t actually written that script yet, although I did accept an SL 500 so now I feel partially obligated. But I just don’t want to see Downtown turn into Hollywood. With celebrities comes the Hollywood attitude. And I just don’t think Downtownsters, like yours truly, want that around.”

            “Listen, come with us tonight and give them a chance—for me.”

            I agreed, but only because Eden finally said, “I’ll go home with you afterwards and teach you the meaning pleasurable transcendence.”

            Later that night I meant to go to the Conga Room, but I ran into John the General Manager of Lucky Strike.

            “You’ve got time to roll a couple of lines,” he said, being very cool about me and the boys drinking their year’s allotment of Cristal just a few nights before.

            So the next thing I know it’s two in the morning and John (the GM) has joined Joe, Stan, David and myself for our final game—winner takes all.

            Now mind you I had a couple of dozen drinks at this point so I can’t really be blamed for accidentally taking John’s turn in the tenth frame…”

            “No, Oliver it’s not your turn,” shouted Stan in a panic.

            “I don’t believe it,” was all Joe could say.

            I didn’t understand all the commotion over my tenth frame seven ten split. But then looking at the scoreboard it hit me like a giant Conga drum. I turned to John who was, well, shocked.

            “I think I just messed up your perfect three-hundred-game,” I offered with considerable remorse.

            John held up his hand, “I’ll just do a reset. It’ll be okay.”

            Relieved, I sat down on what I thought to be a couch, but turned out to be the control panel, which erased all of our scores and caused the main computer to crash. John was a sport about me ruining his perfect three-hundred-game, but I have to admit I walked out of Lucky Strike feeling a little down. Fortunately, Eden was walking out of the Conga Room at the same time.

            “Oliver, I’ve been looking for you all night.”

            “Am I late?” I asked.

            “Yes,” she said scornfully.

            “I could use some pleasurable transcendence…I ruined John’s perfect game and crashed their computer system.”

            “Oh Oliver,” her arms were around me and her breath was hot in my ear, “I’m sorry. I’ll make you feel better.”

            Hopefully it all makes more sense now.

            I sighed trying to think of something to say to Tim before his coffee got cold. “Well if you’re talking about the whole three-hundred-game thing and breaking the computer and all—I can only promise that nothing like that will happen again. And, I’m friend’s with Steve Jobs so I can hook them up with some new computers if they need them.”

            Tim’s a nice guy, so while it was clear he probably wouldn’t go bowling with me anytime soon he did hand me his card. “Oliver, send me a proposal and I’ll make sure Lisa gets it. Lisa’s in charge of LA Live so it’s really her you should be hanging out with…And Oliver no more shenanigans, if anything goes wrong at the tree lighting because of you…

            “I promise Tim. I’ve turned over a new leaf…”

            “Murderer!” shouted Misha, my nineteen-year-old off and on again girlfriend.

            I turned from Tim to Misha.

            “Where’s Mr. Gobbles?” she demanded to know. “You said he was a rescue.” (read Downtown Oliver Brown’s Thanksgiving story for more info on the turkey Misha is referring to)

            “He was. I rescued him from the freeway next to the arboretum,” I said turning back to Tim. “I promised my sister I would cook something and I couldn’t keep the thing in the extra bathroom any longer, my neighbors were complaining about the noise.”

            Tim shook his head. “You just better not do anything to mess up our tree lighting—it’s a very expensive tree, Oliver.” And with that Tim walked away leaving me to face Misha alone.

            “Oliver after what you did to Mr. Gobbles how can I trust you to keep an eye on my mom?”

            “What mom?”

             “My mom’s boyfriend broke up with her last night and with the whole manic depression thing she’s got I can’t leave her at my grandparents they’re too old to deal with it.”

            “I don’t know…” And then she was hugging and kissing me. She has the softest lips. “Okay, I’ll keep an eye on her for a few days.”

            She kissed me on the cheek. “Then I forgive you for Mr. Gobbles…I’m going to go get her.”

            I sat down and began writing a proposal for Tim to give to Lisa, rather than the script I was supposed to be writing about the writer who moves Downtown to get away from the pretentious idiots in Hollywood.


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