So this is how it happened according to Grandpa...

Nearly two years ago I attended a work Christmas party at a place I'm no longer employed.  Let's just say I got a little smashed and the night ended with me wandering lost along the streets of downtown LA...

I flew home for the holidays and shared the story. Later that day, my grandfather decided to retell it.  He didn't exactly get everything right.  Here's his version:

And here's what really happened:
(Remember--this was TWO years ago--I'm all grows up now!)

While it's not true that women were banned, it IS true that the party didn't allow significant others-something Liz likes to remind me of consistently.  Truth be told my current company doesn't allow significant others at the holiday party either.  In fact the only time I've ever worked somewhere that allows you to bring a guest, Liz went back to visit the fam early for the holidays and missed the party.  (I won an iPod Mini at that party and gave it to her as a bonus xmas gift).  ANYWAY...

The party was a friday night and began after work.  There was plenty of free booze and dancing.  It was a lot of fun.  When it ended around 10 everyone hopped to at least three more downtown bars.  The Library Bar, Seven Grand, and The Golden Gopher.  I remember things clearly through the second one.  After that point there's a lot haze and holes filled with the words of others.

Apparently I walked outside Golden Gopher to get a cheeseburger from the roach coach parked in front just before the bar closed (this predated the recent age of gourmet food trucks in LA) and something happened to make me want to walk away.  So I walked.  And walked and walked.  My memory clicks back in about nine blocks from the Golden Gopher in downtown LA.  It was around 230AM at this point and I really am in the middle of nowhere.  Abandoned warehouses all around.  There weren't even any cars.  It was very very sketchy.  So I start calling Liz.  I'm leaving messages.  I'm panicked.  At some point I tell her, "If you don't pick me up NOW, you will find me dead!" I never tell her where exactly I am because I don't know where I am.

Then a cab drives by...AND it stops!  I hang up on Liz.

Not really sure 1. why a cab was driving by and 2. why it picked me up.  But of course I'm getting in!

A brief bit of backstory...

At the start of the office party, everyone who needed it was handed a cab voucher.  So the entire night I'm thinking I have this cab voucher that can get me home.  With a tip it's over $80 to get from downtown to my house in Hermosa Beach.

So I get into the cab--voucher in hand--and ask the driver to take me to Hermosa Beach.  Off we go!  About ten seconds after we start moving I see the sign in a 500 point helvetica font attached to the back of the seat in front of me....



I look at my Voucher.


I look at the signs in front of me again.



I check my wallet.   Twelve dollars.

Uh oh.

My phone rings.  I can't get the phone to work so I hang up.  It rings again.  I answer. It's Darrin. OK, this is weird...it's after 230.  Why's he calling me?

Turns out Liz had been playing Rock Band with him online before she got my lost husband call so he was still up.  And after I accidentally hung up on her four or five times, she asked him to make an attempt.  I start ranting about the voucher.  I'm very loud about the fact that I have far below the needed cash and only a voucher.  The driver glances at me in the rear view but keeps going. I hang up on her again midrant.

This whole time Liz had been a worried wreck speeding in her car towards downtown to find my lost ass.  Darrin gives her word that I'm alive and "well"...so she turns around and heads back to the abode.

I'm sitting in the back of the cab silently until we're nearing my house.  I tell the driver that I only have a voucher.  "No vouchers!" he says and pulls the car into a parking lot at a McDonalds near my car.  He locks the doors and we sit there.

I now get a little WEEEEEE bit belligerent.

"I'm going to call the police and tell them you're holding me hostage!"

"OK. You should do that."

So I call....yes...911.  Fortunately at 3AM in Hermosa Beach the cops have already forced out all the bar drunks so I don't think I was disrupting any more important calls.  (They showed up in less than two minutes too!)

Their car pulls up next to the cab and two guys in uniform get out.  The cab's rear doors unlock right before one of the cops pulls a door open.  I get out and he frisks me. I'm sure I argued about that but didn't resist when he said it's normal procedure.  After the frisk I show him the voucher and explain the situation.  I added a bit about doing the right thing by taking a cab rather than drive.

It's clear at this point that they don't think I did anything wrong and they release holding me.  One of the cops finds the 12 dollars in my wallet and asks the cab driver, "Will you accept this $12 for the fare?"  The total on the meter at this time was over $70 at this point.  Now we're across the street from an ATM machine so the cab driver could have insisted, but instead he says OK, gets my $12 and drives off.

I thank the cops for their help but they insist on driving me home--it's only two blocks away.  I live at the bottom of a steep street and right when the cop car rounded the corner to my street something incredible happened.  Just as they let me out, a pickup truck sped backwards up the hill and hit a parked car in front of the police cruiser.  We're all just shocked for a second.  Both cops and I don't move.  Wow...THAT was random.

They send me away and investigate this bizarre car crash.  I walk down the street and Liz is standing on the porch waiting. Half her face says 'glad your alive' while the other half says 'what did you do!?"

As I walk up the stairs she asks, "What is that all over your shirt?"

I look down and my entire shirt is covered in mustard.  Like so much mustard that I had to have poured it all over myself.  "Oh that, that's the mustard."  And I walk by her straight to bed.

The cops investigated the car accident for over an hour eventually hauling off the driver.  I'm sure that wasn't a friendly ride like mine.  Turns out the dude was drinking at a party on our street and was going to drive home to a house only a few blocks away.  His night ended with a DUI on a barely travelled quiet street.  Talk about bad timing.  I think he could have cabbed it for less than twelve bucks too.

And the mustard?  I learned on Monday morning when I ordered that cheeseburger at the roach coach, I almost immediately dropped it and it slid right down my shirt--covering me in mustard.  My embarrassment set off the chain of events that followed.

So lessons learned:
1. Make sure the cab takes your voucher
2. Don't back up a street after you've been drinking
3. Use mustard sparingly after 2AM

Oh and...
4. Always have grandpa tell the story.

1 comment:

bstiles said...

very funny. I'd forgotten about this. Love your granfathers version