Friday, July 2, 2010

Pimping My Ride - Part 6

I’d been back to the summit of the La Cienega hill long enough only to learn that Babs wasn’t speaking to me and that Temp’Este had quit the business out of frustration again when several of the girls suddenly kicked off their impractically sexy footwear, and began dashing off in as many directions as there were girls. A flotilla of LAPD squad cars suddenly roared around the corner. The next thing I knew — not literally, of course, but only in the sense of it happening very quickly — I was in the back of a squad car with Babs, who still wasn’t speaking to me, and a girl in circulation-inhibitingly tight orange hot pants who turned out to call herself Taureanne, presumably after her astrological birth sign, and to be unusually friendly. Indeed, her friendliness was such that I waived my usual rule about not consorting with anyone who regards astrology as anything but purest crapola. She patted my knee reassuringly as best as she could in handcuffs and whispered, “Chill out, hun. This happens all the time.” I guessed my quick, shallow breathing had made evident my considerable agitation, but her condolences weren’t enough to compensate for her misspelling of hon, which, years later, one would actually find spelled properly on Facebook maybe once in 20 times.

The two cops in the front seat had had me as their passenger for 10 minutes before seeming to realize I was there. The fact that I was, as usual, in my jogging clothes, seemed to give them the impression that I’d been an innocent bystander, and I couldn’t see how correcting them would serve me. They wanted to know if I was a Dodgers fan, and of course I was — and in fact had been since age 11, when I’d stood in line at a local department store in Westchester to get the autograph of second baseman Charlie Neal, who might have been the first black person with whom I ever interacted. Neither cop was old enough to have heard of him. It’s a troubling moment in one’s life when he discovers that doctors and cops are his juniors.

It turned out we weren’t being taken to the police station for booking, but to a party for local police and firemen. If their ring fingers were to be believed, both the cops were married, but maybe their wives had come to find them repulsive; it happens!

I imagined that when we reached our destination, a Presbyterian church on Venice Blvd. in whose basement the party would be, the cops would apologize for having inconvenienced me, tell me to have a good night, and let me go, but it turned out, to my considerable alarm, that I would be expected to discreetly….entertain any cop or fireman who’d decided to pitch for the other side, if you take my meaning. It was one of those rare occasions when I wished I’d sweated more profusely during my nightly jog, and that I’d neglected to apply deodorant earlier in the day.

There was a wonderful Thai and Chinese buffet set up; apparently the proprietors of several very good local restaurants viewed catering these impromptu orgies as one of their expenses of doing business. Several drug dealers the cops had told could either come to the party or go to jail circulated among us offering various illegal substances, the most popular of which was of course cocaine. I got myself a big plateful of excellent pad thai and tried to keep moving while I ate it for fear that one of the cops or firemen might want to party with me. My luck finally ran out when I finished and went to see if I could get a glass of chilled Pellegrino with a wedge of lime from the bar. The two firemen who took turns with me in a corner of the basement apparently reserved for those of nontraditional appetites weren’t particularly gentle, and it was actually very painful, but I got through it by keeping in mind that it would have been worse to have been arrested, and that, when there’s a fire, these guys put their lives on the line for us.

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