Monday, January 17, 2011

The worst part about flying in to LAX is not the canned air, itty bitty seats, surly waitresses flight attendants or not being able to find a comfortable position in which to sleep - it's that at least fifty percent of the people on the plane are either in the entertainment business or attempting to get into the entertainment business. And they can't WAIT to tell you about it.

The people who are in the business are dying to talk about it, but want to make you drag it out of them because it makes them feel so important.

The people who aren't in the industry will tell you every detail of every project they have ever worked on, regardless of the social cues you are giving them, on the off chance that you might be or know someone who will be able to help them get into the business.

Last night, walking down the ramp in Dallas towards the plane, I wonder who I'm going to be stuck next to for three hours - will it be the Australian girl carrying a guitar? Or the elfin girl carrying two yoga mats? Or the creepy musician guy with a fedora and facial piercings? The suspense is killing me*.

I check my boarding pass and the numbers on the aisles. 10B. A middle seat. Great. The only thing worse than sitting next to one person is being sandwiched between two and having to battle for at least one arm rest.

I arrive at my row and see that the window seat person is already in place. And he's approximately the size of a loveseat, taking up at least half of my seat. Oh, and did I mention that dude's wearing sunglasses (at 9:45 at night), a big diamond earring, brand new Nikes and a spendy watch? Because, yeah, he is, so it's obvious that he's one of those "industry" guys. Great. Not like I've had an emotional exhausting week and am really not in the mood to play sycophant to some California-sized ego.

The cabin doors aren't even closed when he asks if I'm going to LA to seek "fame and fortune"... because, apparently, with no makeup and scroungy clothes, I look like a 19-year-old model/actress? Not that he cares, he's just looking for some way to bring up whatever he wants to bring up.

I tell him I'm not on a fame-quest, just live North of Santa Barbara. I ask if he's seeking his "fame and fortune" and he proudly brags that he's already found it and pauses so I can ask what he does.

He tells me he does "a little of everything" and is currently working for Mtv.

Were this 1987, that would be super duper impressive. Since this is a channel that has eschewed music videos in favor of paying hundreds of thousand dollars to booze-soaked tanorexic gnomes and teenagers who can't grasp the concept of birth control, I don't know that working for Mtv is all that cool anymore.

Since I haven't watched Mtv in approximately a billion years, I start guessing "reality" shows that he could be on. Finally, frustrated with my lack of hipness, he breaks down and tells me he's on "Rob & Big". I recall seeing the title of it in the channel guide, but other than that, I was clueless. I try to feign interest, but it's half-hearted at best.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a prolific question-asker, always looking for the interesting details or redeeming qualities of someone's life and... there just wasn't anything there. He was a pleasant enough guy, but wasn't any more charming or interesting or funny than anyone else. I don't mean that in a "why is he famous and not me" kind of way, I mean that in a "why aren't people required to be... something to be famous"? Although, if I didn't have a D-list celebrity anecdote to blog about, I would have had to write about all the fart jokes from this weekend, how my sister does an adorable impression of my dad, how cute my stepmom is when she gets drunk or how I totally remembered that mosaic tile wall at LAX from one time when we dropped off my dad at the airport when I was 5 or 6.

*by "suspense is killing me" I mean that I'm feeling a level of dread normally associated with dental appointments.

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