I’ve only met one pimp. In my younger and unemployable days, afternoons were free for movies, and living in Los Angeles, there was every option. American Pimp, the great, darkly hilarious and slimy documentary from the Hughes Brothers, was playing at the New Beverly at 2:30. That is, it was playing at 2:30 according to Movie Fone. I didn’t have regular internet access, life skills, or a newspaper back then: Movie Fone was it and I arrived bang on time, not worrying about getting a ticket because even in LA, a town with more free time per capita since the gold old days at Versailles before things got sharpened, there were going to be seats available for 2:30 on a Monday.
But Movie Fone had fucked up. Not only was American Pimp not playing until 5:00, but its exact opposite was playing: Shoah. There is no language on Earth that contains a word to describe the melange of emotions this kind of situation engenders. Humans have not evolved to switch gears quickly enough to substitute a five-hour tour through hell for a smirky tour through Newark. There are absolutely no Kool and the Gang songs in Shoah whatsoever and bringing it up at the Seder table is not advised.
Plus, the movie had started two hours before. Even if my brain wouldn’t fuck off out my asshole in order to avoid the emotional torsion that would result in walking into Shoah with no warning–it goes without saying that I am as high as it was possible for me to be at the time given the states of my cash flow and the illicit market, namely a guy named Brian I used to meet at El Compadre’s for margaritas that were made from melted lithium batteries and peyote–the film was half-over. I wouldn’t be able to follow it. It was bad form to whisper to other people during Shoah.
“Who’s that guy? Hitler? He’s the baddie, right?”
I also enjoy a mult-combo money-saver snaky-pack with Whoppers at the movie theater and even I couldn’t rightfully walk into Shoah with that bullshit in my hands. Y’know what? Hitler wouldn’t have even done that.
Billy would do that.
I walked back to my car, keys clutched in my hand. (You need to do that while walking in Los Angeles or you assume the status of pedestrian and are legally huntable.)
A man walked towards me, strutted to be precise. His suit and shoes and hat brim and tie were the exact same shade of blue: the platonic blue: FUCKING BLUE, MAN–like the sky was wearing jeans and named Stella and was the past tense of a verb that makes me giggle. His shirt and pocket square were crisp in the warm California sun, creamy white like the fedora and the handkerchief.
Sweet mama Johnson and her baby Magic, the handkerchief! He used it to hold a cane: he held it in a casual crumple that you could tell took hours in front of a full-length mirror to perfect.
Now, my fellow Enthusiasts, you must never judge a man by his electric-blue suit and walking stick, but I had a feeling he was not two hours late for Shoah. I stopped him.
“Hey, man. American Pimp isn’t playing until 5:00.”
He looked disappointed: I suppose pimps found afternoons as difficult to fill as I did at the time.
“Damn,” he said. “Movie Fone fucked up?”