Monday, October 20, 2008


So there I am, at a urinal, getting breathed on. Kind of claustrophobic, like being in an underground parking garage.

I hate underground parking almost as much as I hate wearing name badges. But in downtown Los Angeles, you just don't have many options.

I know you're probably wondering why I've jumped to the topic of underground parking, but I really feel compelled.

The story about the Biltmore Rapist is far from over, though. He'll be back tomorrow... when I get to the part about the actual signing.

I once actually had a job on the docks unloading ships. I used to unload bananas and cars. Well... not at the same time. The cars had no bananas in them. The bananas came from Honduras, I think (it was a long time ago), and the cars were Mazdas, from Japan (shows you how long ago it was, because now the Japanese cars are made here in the US, where it's cheaper). Obviously, unloading cars was a lot more fun than bananas for a few reasons: the cars didn't have huge bugs in them, I got to drive the cars off the ship, and I didn't have to lift them (unlike crates of bananas). The ships that used to bring cars over from Japan were monstrous, and inside, the inner decks were only as high as they needed to be to fit in cars, so you'd have to walk stooped over... and the cars were packed in as tightly as you could get them.

That's what underground parking lots remind me of.

Okay. So, here's the thing. When I get to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel for SCIBA, I decide to park my car across the street at an underground parking complex. It was just a lot more convenient than parking at the Biltmore, where they employ edgy and stalker-like people.

So, I'm going down into the depths of hell after picking up my parking ticket, and the ceiling in the garage, as they do in these structures, gets lower and lower. Finally, before I get to the only level I'm allowed to park on, there's a sign that says: Clearance 6'4"

Okay. How the hell am I supposed to know how tall my car is? I don't even know how tall my kids are. Come to think of it, I don't have the faintest idea what size of shoes they wear.

Ahhh. Ignorance means you never have to go shopping.

Oh. And ignorance also means you probably shouldn't drive your car into an underground parking lot, either.

But I found out on Saturday that my car (well, it's a 4X4 with kind of big wheels and a roof rack) is a little taller than 6'4".

Yeah... I got wedged on the second level of hell on my way to the book show.

So you see... this is how the day begins for a complete loser such as myself. So it only stands to reason that I'd be hunted down by a urinal stalker before I even got to the signing table.

I know, I know... I promise that tomorrow I will tell about the actual book show.