The life of an internet comedian is a whirlwind of excitement. If you’re not at a gala dinner to support the preservation of owls whose name may include the word “tit” but not in an obscene fashion, you’re spinning hilarious quips into 140 character gemstones on Twitter, then constantly refreshing to see who replied or retweeted you and helped validate your existence for a few moments. Oh, it’s quite the ride. Of course, along with this comes the magnificence of celebrity; brushing elbows with the world’s elite. Yes, celebrities are better than you and I because they have been on television. Have you been on television? Don’t answer, I won’t have time to read it.
Every so often, as writers, we get invited to cover luxurious events, movie premieres and golden jubilees. Recently, we were on our way to cover the opening of Moneyball when it became clear that getting to the theatre for the red carpet event would be a difficult task when it happened the day before and we had forgotten about it. Oops. Like any reasonable professional, the course of correction for this oversight was clear – cheap booze from Trader Joes.
The bus came quickly and the ride was as smooth as the finest Chinese silk, straight from the puckered anus of the most refined caterpillar. Upon reaching the stop conveniently located a mere block from Trader Joe’s, I departed from my public transit comrades’ company and sought out some discount bourbon that I felt would make my evening a little more festive as I planned another week of Holy Taco galleries and answered the site’s fan mail with veiled threats and outright threats.
Upon entering Trader Joes I was met with the familiar smell of Joe himself – exotic spices from the Orient and a touch of sweat. Kind of what you’d expect a child in a shoe factory to smell like, if he’d managed to use that month’s salary to buy a ginger snap. Other customers milled about purchasing unsweetened green tea, trail mix and other preposterous products of that ilk. None of that for me, it was the single malt Imperial bourbon whiskey that was calling my name. To be fair, a Trader Joe’s employee was the one calling me after I accidentally knocked over a display of Toscano cheese, but he didn’t know my name so I refused to listen.
As I perused the store’s selection of liquors, emboldened by the knowledge an underpaid servant was now cleaning my artisanal cheese mess, I paused to ask a fellow alcohol enthusiast if the Aberlour would quench my thirst better than the Imperial, only I worded it thusly “How fast will this get me shitfaced?”
To my surprise, the gravelly voice that replied to me with a simple “it’ll get you where you need to be” belonged to none other than famed thespian Ray Liotta. Mr. Liotta, as you no doubt know, is the star of such films as No Escape and Operation: Dumbo Drop. I was taken aback.
“Are you Ray Liotta?” I asked. It was a stupid ass question at best, because he was clearly Ray Liotta. Also, no one likes being asked who they are. Generally the only people who ask you to confirm your identity are the police or idiots on the phone. I had made my first misstep in our new friendship.
Liotta may have smiled or sneered and said “yes,” making eye contact only briefly. Was he becoming testy? Did he realize he should not have initiated contact? I had to act quickly. How does one best know for writing internet articles about sex toys and the Black Eyed Peas (but not together. Not yet anyway) make a good impression on a man who has co-starred on film with Whoopi Goldberg?
“I wrote a pretty popular article about sex toys once,” I say, placing a hand in my pocket. Tactical error, that.
Mr. Liotta bade a hasty retreat, which makes sense even to me, and I was left holding my bourbon. The Aberlour sounded good so I took two and shortly followed after Mr. Liotta looking to not only explain myself but take some time to arrange a play date for us later in the week. Of course, being men, we wouldn’t call it a play date. That would be asinine. It would be Boy Time.
Having only watched Liotta on film, you may be surprised to learn he possesses some manner of Spiderman-like intuition or “Liotta Sense” if you will, which allowed him to stealthily avoid me with apparent ease thence forward. By the time I finaly caught sight of him he was leaving the store with several packages of breakfast burritos. Good choice, Ray. Good choice.
I was detained in line behind some filthy hippie who was trying to find out if there was gluten in his trail mix, as if anyone on earth would mourn his loss should he eat gluten (it’s poisonous, right? Why on Earth would they add that to trail mix? Add more raisins instead) and by the time I made my purchase, Ray had vanished forever. As I rode the bus home, I was wistful, and lifted my head with an impossible hope every time the bus stopped and the door opened to allow on a new passenger. “Ray?!” I’d say quietly, as other passengers moved away from me. But it never was. Ray Liotta probably has a car. No bus for him. No sir.