Friday, August 24, 2007

OT: Story # 3 - The Reverand Al Sharpton

Okay, this one's pretty quick but still fucking great. One of my co-workers Steve and I would occasionally satisfy our guitly pleasure by heading over to KFC to indulge in what at the time could still be considered a chicken. On our way we usually bullshitted about this and that, people we hated dealing with there etc.. This one particular day right as we were crossing 51st I look ahead of us and I saw the Reverand Al Sharpton walking towards us. It was lunchtime and if you've ever been to that general area around 1pm during a nice summer day its fucking loaded with peope. I was surprised I even notice him. It was just him an a colleague wearing nice suits walking like they were on a fucking mission. I leaned over to Steve and said: Whoa, Steve, Check it out- It's the Reverand Al! Steve looked up: "What?, Where!"

At that point we were about 10 feet away from him. As we came within earshot, Steve threw up his fist and blared: Reverend Al! STAY BLACK!! The Reverend let out a little grunt in recognition of his name being spoken but after Steve said the 'stay black' part I didn't hear shit else aside from the high pitch hyena laugh that spewed forth from my lungs. I pretty much didn't stop laughing about it and being marveled at the size of Steve's balls until I was back sitting at my desk noshing on greasy fried chicken. I think the only reason Steve didn't get his ass totally kicked was because he was Chinese. Lord knows if my cracker ass said some shit like that I'd mos def cop a beat down rrrreeeeaaaal quick!


OT: Story # 2 - Hippies, Drugs and Oatmeal Raisin cookies..

Two of my favorite characters I've ever worked with was the two old hippies that were part of some of the original crew of Rolling Stone Magazine that had come to NYC from San Fran. Their names were Patrick and Tim. Both guys were over six feet tall, Patrick kinda looking like Kris Kringle with long grey hair and Tim having a slightly more clean cut and super slicked back hair. Both men were extremely awesome and FUCKING HILARIOUS dudes. They were also WICKED scary when they got really angry.

I didn't really get to know Patrick too well since we didn't directly work together but I did bug Tim a lot whenever there was an error or some stupid shit that needed to be fixed. You have to keep in mind this was before digital when we were still working with film. We're talking old school paste up, NAPS and Press Match Proofs. Anyways, whenever I needed a period or word or whatever removed or added I would go to his enclave in the back room and have him scratch it out etc. That sort of shit would annoy him to no end so I ALWAYS made sure to provide him with lots of chips, cookies and brownies. Oh, I used to do all the ordering when we'd get catering which would give me the opportunity to stock up on certain 'necessities'. These necessitates came in very handy when you're dealing with a super large hippy with a monster case of the munchies. I mean, there would be times when I walked back into that room and I could feel the wall of weed smoke as I passed through doorway. Nevermind the pungent stench.

Tim also had this nasty habit of sneaking up on you. Not an easy thing for someone of his size to do. Though it was a blessing in disguise because what would happen is I'd be sitting there frantically working on something to make deadline, or bidding on some stupid shit on ebay, when all of a sudden this large hand with a Tupperware container full of fresh baked cookies at the end of it would suddenly be thrust in front of my monitor. It def wasn't one of those BOO! scary things but it ALWAYS threw me off whenever he's do that. The next great thing was turning my head around looking up to see this large 6' 4" greasy old hippy with the smiling look of an axe murderer on his face saying: "I just baked these this morning.. Oatmeal raisin with macadamia nuts.. I put a tab of acid in one of em'- but I don't know which! I always made it a point to take two.. Not just because they were un-fucking-believably good but also because I had a sneaking suspicion that the one day he wasn't joking, I'd get the dosed one..

While I didn't get to know Patrick too well, I did get to hear one of the occasional amazing stories from the days of yore. Like the one about how they would be so fucking late with the issues that they would actually drop the packages that were to be shipped to the plant OUT THE WINDOW to the courier on the street below. My favorite story Patrick ever told was the one about the man himself, Jann Wenner. Apparently, being the hippies they were and the fact that it was the 80's, they found themselves in the awkward position of being Jann's occasional drug connection. One day as they were toiling away Kent Brownridge, Jann's evil corporate twin bother (seriously imagine Mr. Burns) came in very angry and stated: "If the two of you sell any more drugs to Jann, YOU'RE FIRED! Patrick and Tim kinda looked at each other and were like: 'sssSHIT!' After Kent was satisfied that his threat was taken seriously he walked out. Then, not ten minutes later Jann walks in and says: If you guys stop selling me drugs- YOU'RE FIRED!! Then just like Kent before him he stormed out. Once again, Patrick and Tim looked at each other and were like: Oh mmaaaann, now what the fuck are we gonna do now?!


OT: Story # 1 - Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!

One of my weekly errands I used to do was to copy the quark copy desk files to a zip drive for Peter Travers so he could work on his movie reviews at home over the weekend. Suffice it to say Peter was a really awesome guy to sit around and bullshit about films with. On one particular occasion the movie: 'Being John Malkovich' came up for some reason. I'm pretty sure I'm the one who brought it up because the moment I did his eyes glazed over right before dropping his head down and burying his face in his hands. Upon seeing this my eyes lit up knowing there was a great story behind his reaction.

He told me that he had recently been away at some film festival award type thing and had a baffling encounter Mr. John Malkovich. As his account goes, he had left his room on the 20th something floor of the hotel and headed out to preview a film. After a few moments of waiting for the elevator it arrived. Upon opening he set a foot in the door and saw only one man standing in it. It was John Malkovich. Now, what you have to understand about Peter and I'm sure it's the same for a lot of other semi celeb reviewers, is their natural tendency to be slightly unerved by the apperance of certain actors. Esp ones they've reviewed poorly in the past. In this rare case, his apprehension wasn't because of a nasty review he had gived John Malkovich, but rather the fact that he had just seen 'Being John Malkovich' the previous night.

He said a wave of sheer terror struck him like a ton of bricks as he somehow managed to hold it together as he stepped the rest of the way into the elevator. As the door closed he looked over at Malkovich and observed that he was wearing a leisure suit of some sort and carrying a small ratty looking tweed brief case. Malkovich, realizing he was being starred at, looked back over at Peter. Hearing the words come out of his mouth rather than thinking about it, Peter asked: "What do you have in that brief case?"

Malkovich raised his brow intrigued at the obtuse question and simply remarked: "Would you like to see?" He then took Peter's silent non reaction to his question as a yes. Malkovich opened the brief case and inside was an unmarked video tape, a used dress shirt, two pairs of boxers along with some paperwork and a pencil. Satisfied that Peter had had enough time to observe what was in the case, Malkovich closed it without saying a word and returned to facing forward. Moments later the door opened and with narry a parting glance, Malkovich walked out into the lobby and dissapeared.

Peter, still nearly frozen with terror slowly walked out into the lobby where he was met by one of the movie publicisits he was good friends with. She looked at him and asked: "Hey Peter, you alright? To which he replied: "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.." and then walked off without saying another word...