Tag Archives: fiction

THE MUSLIM AND THE JEW

In a time, seemingly long ago, a time before the fax machine, cell phone, and Internet there was a great metropolis called Los Angeles. And this metropolis, because of its year-round pleasant weather and friendly inhabitants attracted people from all over the world who wanted to visit and in many cases move to such a wonderful and welcoming place. This is a tale of two people of this time and place, one a native, strong and sure, the other, a well-mannered visitor from half a world away, both young men the details of which concerning them, once told, will forever change the world—the year was 1982…

Sam sat with two of his new fraternity brothers at their favorite falafel place in the heart of Westwood Village, laughing and eating an amount of food one might expect to be ordered by a much larger party. Sam, although a freshman at the great institution of higher learning known as UCLA, had already established a reputation for having an enormous appetite—not just for food, but for all things. In most students, a prodigious appetite for all things worldly would give others pause, however Sam was without having to say so, different. He came to the University with credentials, which established him as not only possessing the greatest of athletic prowess, but an academic record and intellect unequalled in all of the land. Yet, he thought little of these matters. And on the rare occasion on which he spoke of his gifted state of being he would only say, “Someone cannot take credit for that, which they haven’t earned. God did not make all men with equal abilities, but God did make all men and therefore we are all equal, in that, all is owing to God.” And then he usually continued, “Anyone up for some pizza and a movie?”

“So are you going to the game this weekend?” asked Val, a tall, thin, young adult of Romanian descent.

Sam nodded, still chewing on a bite of falafel. “I have a ton of homework I haven’t started on, but that’s never stopped me.”

Steve, a premed student with grades and a physique second only to Sam’s shook his head. “I don’t know how you do it? You’ve been out every night since orientation. And you drink cocktails during your lectures…”

Sam chuckled. “Oh c’mon, I did that once or twice. I don’t condone drinking,” he poured some Jack Daniels from a small bottle into his Diet Coke and continued, “in lectures. And on a serious note: it’s more important to feel information than to know it. Anyone can memorize names and dates, Steve—the what’s of the world. But the why’s of the world, that’s where true wisdom is found. By the way is this baba ghanoush great or what?”

And as naturally as the conversation had been flowing between the three fraternity brothers it stopped, as all three sets of highly intelligent eyes came to rest on the not so large figure, which stood before them—something like none had seen before, a slight of build Arab boy with a large suitcase in each hand.

“Excuse me,” he said in perfect English, with a tone more polite than the fraternity brothers had ever heard. “I’ve lost all of my money and I’m very hungry and you seem to have a large amount of food, can I trouble you for a small portion, just a little bit?” And before they could answer he continued, “I come from a very wealthy family—I’ll be able to pay you back for whatever you give me,” he concluded with a confident smile and twinkling bright eyes.

Sam looked the stranger, whom he guessed to be their same age, up and down, but Val spoke first. “You’re definitely not from here, are you?”

The young man laughed. “No, I’m not from here, I just arrived this morning from Saudi Arabia. I’ve come to America to further my education and learn your customs. But the place I was supposed to stay at was very bad, they rented my room out to another student and they said that they couldn’t give back the money my father sent them in advance, for thirty days. So I have no money, no food and no place to stay.”

Sam moved a falafel to the empty place at the table and pointed to the vacant stool next to him. “Well my little Saudi Arabian friend, you better eat something…”

“Thank you so much, you’ll see, you won’t be sorry.” He extended his hand. “My name is Mohamed.” Continue reading

NO ENCORE FOR OLIVER

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: Downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. Of course it should come as no surprise that “The Adventures Of Downtown Oliver Brown” made the list more than once. It was a hell of a year!!! 

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“Whooooo Shiiiiiiit!!! Look what the cat done dragged into Vegas!!!!” screamed the large, handsome, cowboy looking fellow that had come to greet us at the airport.

            I staggered off of Stan Peters’ Gulfstream V and watched as the cowboy fellow lifted Stan off of the floor in a hug that would have crushed a hearty Grizzly, no doubt. Hopefully you’ve read the last blog where the drinking binge that resulted in the flight to Las Vegas with Stan on his private jet began. Because Stan’s Gulfsream is well stocked with fine Scotch the drinking had continued unabated until the moment where our story continues:

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            “James Whiskey Peet the third, I’d like you to meet the best and possibly most dysfunctional writer in Hollywood, Downtown Oliver Brown.”

            James Whiskey Peet the third, crushed my hand with a vice like grip. “Well any friend of Stan Peters the scummiest and most powerful producer in Hollywood is a friend of mine.”

 I pried my hand loose. “Are those real six shooters you’ve got strapped on there, James Whiskey Peet the third?” 

            He pulled the pearl handled, diamond studded, beautiful instruments of death with the skill of true shootest and fired off a couple shots each into the air. “Damn right they’re real—writer boy. And call me Whiskey Peet! Now enough of this shiiiiiit hop in the car and let’s go play some cards!” Then wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “Bet you don’t have any cars like this in that faggot, liberal city you just flew in from.”

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            I took in Whiskey Peet’s Rolls Royce Phantom stretch limousine. It actually made Stan’s normal Rolls Royce Phantom look small. My eyes had some trouble focusing but eventually made their way down to the front of the car where they came to rest on an enormous set of what appeared to be solid silver steer horns.

            “This is a fine automobile Whiskey Peet. I take it that it’s equipped with a bar?”

            He slapped me on the back. “My boy! My boy! Get your ass in there and see for yourself.”

            Whiskey Peet shoved Stan and myself through the back door where we were greeted by a bunch of girls wearing nothing but chaps and cowgirl vests…And a guy named Dave.

            “Girls these are my boys from the coast!” The girls all said, “hi” on cue and made various comments about how cute we were. “And boys that’s my buddy Dave The Jew!” Continue reading