Monday, October 08, 2007

I Brake For People Who Call Me 'Miss'

I rarely get angry in the moment. I think of the perfect thing to say later, when I’ve calmed down and obsessed about it for 17 weeks. It’s because growing up, if I got mad I got punished and someone named Dad wouldn’t speak to me. I learned to hold my tongue. So of course the first time I get angry in the moment is with a celebrity. On the street. In front of a crowd of people eating at an outdoor terrace. In my neighborhood. Four days ago.

I was walking to the supermarket and saw five girls up ahead, talking loudly and blocking all but four inches of the sidewalk. Three of the girls could see me coming but the other two had their backs to me. As I got closer I noticed there was a guy filming them. There wasn’t any room for him or his crew to stand so they were in the street, that’s how much space these girls covered.

They looked like touristy types, maybe on a school trip? I guess they didn’t have a place to walk where they came from. Maybe they lived in a pasture or a Dairy Queen or just drove their cars straight into stores. Here in a city of 10 million people, we have this little thing we like to call a “sidewalk.” As I approached I waited for someone to signal to them that they were blocking the foot traffic but no one did. So I gave the one that took up the most room the hand on the back touch and said, “Excuse me,” and kept on going. She whirled around and shouted, “Did you just PUSH me?”

Definitely tourists. In LA people apologize for blocking you and in New York that’s the only way to walk down a street. The hand on the back, minus the ‘excuse me’ of course.

I walked back to her as all the people eating on the terrace stared at us. Quietly.

“I said Excuse Me.”
“No, after you pushed me you said that.”
“I didn’t push you; I put my hand on your back and said Excuse Me, and you moved.” I now gave her a shocked look and spread my arms out to the side which we all know is the universal sign for Capiche Dumbfuck?
“NO, after.”
“No one could get by you!” I yelled. I was actually yelling.

Now one of the blondes shot me the stink eye and said “Go away” in the same tone a 6th grader uses to ward off her annoying younger sibling.

I probably said something really mean like “whatever” and took off but did the old New York trick of looking in the shop windows to see if The Bully was going to come after me. As I walked away a man came out of the restaurant and told them all to beat it.

I walked on and heard someone running behind me.
“Miss… oh Miss.” It was a male voice, so I thought The Bully had sent her boyfriend after me. I stepped up my pace. But he kept yelling ‘Miss’ so I finally stopped. I brake for anyone who doesn’t call me Ma’am.

“Listen, we caught that on camera and would like you to sign a release form so we can use it.” In Hollywood, where everyone here is in show business and knows the drill, I noticed he left out a few details.

“Why do I have to sign it?”
“Uhhhh…so you won’t sue us.” Now see, I knew that, but I had to force him to say it.

“What’s it for?” I asked, knowing he should have told me that in his opening salvo.
“A reality show.”
WHAT reality show?”

They give you as little detail as possible in the hopes that you’ll sign because you’re desperate to be on TV.

“Bad Girls Club.” Jesus. Not even real celebrities. Technically not even real TV.

“Oh, so that explains those bitches.”
“Well, it’s not called Good Girls Club.” He laughed nervously.
“Do they have to use my name?” Because now I was thinking this could be funny, me yelling at these bimbos and them yelling back, and I was wearing my sunglasses so you couldn’t tell it was me. My first breakthrough in anger and it would be televised for all of my future therapists.

He consulted the release form and said they had to use my name.

“I’m in Screen Actors Guild so I can’t do it.” Unless of course they paid me. I didn’t mention this because then he might offer me $100. But if he asked how much I wanted then I would ask for $500, which would almost cover my New York Bloomingdale’s bill.

He looked over the release again.

“Oh, yeah, right here, it says we can’t use SAG members.”

“Sorry.” I said and walked away. I’ve still got 16 weeks to think of the perfect thing to say.

End of chat.


  1. Anonymous7:42 AM

    Where is the book on sidewalk etiquette, because sidewalk blockers and three abreast walkers drive me batty. I would have plowed through them on purpose and kept walking. And, "Go away." ???? Jay-sus. I think you're response was classy.

  2. Anonymous11:38 AM

    If they were filming without a permit, then you should call the City of Los Angeles Film Department and get them fined. A reality show should also have a permit. To quote the 50s science fiction film, "They are EVIL and they must be destroyed." This is why trained actors aren't working.
    Martha Jane

  3. lia, I wish I'd had you with me, we could have torn those bitches UP.

    MJ, take time out of my very busy schedule of lounging around and make a call? Don't think so.....

  4. you shoulda tripped her...she's a bad ass anyways but witha busted ankle how far can anyone run? oh can't run either ;)

  5. Where have you been??
    My gramma and spelling have reverted to normalcy.
    For me.

    I've missed the tutoring....

  6. I like fiesty. I predict the show will flop w/o you.

  7. Suzy, you are awesome! Great story.

    Soon those beeyotches will realize who they were mean to, those meanies. In doing so, they will also revere and honor your name.

  8. infantry dad, just moved on to reading other blogs. Now I'm swamped. Good luck to you.

    The mickeys, that show is in their second year. I guess I won't be missed, huh?

    lannalee, your words, God's ears.