Friday, July 06, 2018

Blind Item #15 - Elegant Degradation – A Himmmm Blind Item Story – Part 8

Turns out my buddy Doc had been having a very, very busy day indeed.  Specifically – ripping off drug dealers.  First? He pocketed several thousand dollars worth of drugs from the first two guys.  The same two gentlemen to whom he'd already owed several thousand dollars before this day.  Next? He'd apparently taken that stash (and after doing some for himself which he'd tried to hide by diluting the powder); went to trade it for another type of drug to the European gentlemen now joining us.  Technically, they were Albanian.  So now here we were in a Burbank motel with not one, but TWO sets of very pissed-off drug dealers.  None of which had anything to do with me.  So much for the glamour of Hollywood. 

Ben caught my look of shock and said: "That's what I was trying to tell you ever since we got back."  Gee, thanks.  So noted.  Now the man who was obviously the chief of the Albanian delegation looked to me for answers…that is, once Mr. Mountain had (to my chagrin) explained I had offered to cover Doc's debt to them.  This man wanted answers, and the pistol he made sure we could all see in his waistband seemed to make me want to give them to them.  I explained who I was; about my birthday; and about my "friend" (now a very loose term) named Doc who was trying to throw me a birthday party, complete with party supplies.

"You don't look like a coke head, or a junkie", correctly surmised the big Albanian.  "Excuse me?", chimed in Doc. "It's called Substance Abuse Disorder and it's not nice to besmirch your own customers".  I shot Doc a look that reminded him I was inches from ripping his pancreas out and beating him with it.  I did not blink.  He just mumbled something beneath his breath; and slinked into a very small shell.  I apologized to the men, then I explained that I wasn't the addict in the room.  I explained that I was more of a Rum drinker, but Doc's intentions were at least good in trying to give me a gift.  "We will take $15,000 to cover the product, debt, expenses, and…trouble", the Albanian said.  To which Mr. Mountain added, "after we get our $10,000 first."  So apparently, in order for all of us to go home – intact and soon – I now had to come up with $25,000 cash.

One of the Albanians began to beep, and he pulled out a pager from his pocket.  He showed the display to his two partners.  They all smiled big and said what I hoped meant "good news" in Albanian.  I didn't care so long as they stayed in good spirits.

"Sorry guys – forgive me since I don't normally handle these things, but I'm guessing you want that money in cash right?", I asked.  They did a double-take almost as if they weren't sure I asked that question. "Uh…yeah", said Mr. Albania.  "In one lump sum, no checks or credit cards", he smiled.

I thanked them.  Doc tried one last shot at making himself known again, by reminding all of the drug dealers there that for many years they were happy to take his money; to take his bonuses; and to overcharge him.  They'd made fortunes from his friends and connections too and he didn't think it was too much to ask for them to show a little respect to him and his earning potential.

It was then one of the Albanians smiled at Doc, put his arm gently on his shoulder and said: "Agreed.  Which is why you and your friends are all alive; your family is alive; and you are not bleeding to death right now.  We give you credit, you steal from us, and you lie to us."

"Shut up Doc", I said.

We had a little pow-wow with my friends sitting there on the bed.  We had a few serious obstacles: A) It is just after Fourth of July in Hollywood – everyone's out of town.  And, B) It is Summer/July in Hollywood – so everyone's out of town.  Then, C) Even those who are stuck shooting in town? It's Summer, July, and after the Fourth so…you guessed it.  They're on vacation out of town.  The bank offices are closed, as would be all business offices right now.  Even so, cashing a $25,000 check would never pass IRS muster.  Between myself, Ben, Jess, and Duke we could pull down MAYBE about $5,000 in cash from ATMs at this time of evening.  In these days before smartphones and PayPal there was little else we could access.  There were lots of people who'd spot us the money, but good luck with a passable story once they saw Mr. Olympia in tow. 


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اقوال وحكم
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