>>> Edited For Content
By staff writer Mike Forest
October 13, 2004

I had to take the bus into the PIC offices Monday. People on the bus are so interesting—and by interesting I mean, “people you wouldn’t normally hang out with under any circumstances other than having a gun pointed at your head.”

It had been an interesting weekend. Not interesting as in three-strippers-in-the-coatroom weekend or hung-out-with-rock-stars weekend, but the kind of weekend that leaves you knocked on your ass, asking yourself “what the hell happened?”

It started Friday night. A low-budget movie that I had worked on was premiering at a local theater. I had been looking forward to this for months. I had spent three sleepless weeks last summer working at my day job, working on set and coming back to my apartment to drink and sleep.

This was “it,” although “it” wasn’t really MY night. I wasn’t the writer, director, or even cinematographer. I did a lot of coordinating and managing. I worked with all the cast and crew at one point or another and liked them all. The only problem was, I realized as I walked up to the VIP party that I couldn’t remember half the people’s names. I was worried that no one would remember who I was, but I realized what a pompous ass I am as I blanked on name after name.

“Hey! How ya been?”

“Fantastic…uhhh, man. Really excited to be here tonight.”

Someone shoved a camera in my face. “Mike Forest, what are you expecting from tonight’s premiere?”

Hopefully I said something that wasn’t too stupid, trite, or incoherent, although I wouldn’t put any money on it. I didn’t remember her name either.

After that, I did the only thing I knew how to do: go outside and start chain smoking. My date, who was wearing a smoking hot dress obscured by my trenchcoat, sensed I was about to lose it and started telling jokes about the physically handicapped, and stories about the time she spent in Spain. It almost worked, but I was determined to keep freaking out. I do that well.

The time finally comes to go in. The movie is great. Everyone loves it. I watch the credits, looking for my name because I’m a big, selfish prick. I see my name in the “Extras” list. It’s spelled wrong. THERE IS ONLY ONE “R” IN FOREST! I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS SO FUCKING HARD ABOUT THAT! I was so upset, I stabbed the guy next to me.

Even better is the fact that later when my job title came up, my name was spelled correctly. The title next to my name was: Pre-Production Manager. Or maybe it was Pre-Production Coordinator. Doesn’t matter, neither of these are real titles. There is no such position. Besides, last I checked, “pre” means “before,” so all those long nights on set that felt like a nightmare didn’t really happen, which is good to know. We shot at a gentleman’s club (sleazy strip bar complete with shower) and bar that didn’t close until 2am. This means that we didn’t start shooting until at least 3am. I usually got to the set around midnight or 1am to start setting up and get things laid out. I left the set at 8:30am and went to my day job. I’d go home at 5pm to sleep, get up a couple hours later and start drinking, then go back to the set again.

“Pre” my ass. Oh well.

Making a quick getaway proved to be impossible anyway, because I got stuck shooting the shit with a couple people. No, I didn’t remember their names either.

“What did you think?”

“A vision!”


“My panties are moist.”

Fabulous. Must leave now. I grab my date and drag her hot, yet covered, ass out to the car. (Yes she was paid by the hour.) Damn. I left my lights on.

I’m driving my ex-roommate’s car while he’s hiking the Appalachian Trail because my piece of shit car died at the beginning of the semester. The car is fine except it has a few little quirks. One of them is that if you leave the lights on when you get out, it doesn’t ding.

If you’re driving Daddy’s Lexus or you're a stripper/drug dealer rolling in your SUV with fatty rims, then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ll explain. Don’t worry, I’ll go slow.

Imagine that your lights don’t turn on and off automatically. Imagine that if you turn off your car and leave your lights on, a special gizmo would “ding,” reminding your scatterbrained/stoned/stupid ass to turn the lights off so your battery doesn’t die. This car doesn’t have that.

So the battery is dead. We try to jump it. Nothing. Damn it, damn it. I found some random dude walking to his car, which would probably start, and stabbed him.

Fuck it, let’s go out and drink. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

The nest day, Shawn and I go out to try and start it. Shawn has one of those instant-start thingies, so I figure we can’t lose. There is a brief debate where we try and figure out whether it is a negative system or a positive system. The process for hooking the machine up is very different. Hook it up the wrong way and the car explodes. (I think.) We decide that it must be a positive system and clip the clamps on. It still doesn’t work. I’m tired of holding the hood up. Fifteen years ago, I'm sure the hydraulics worked great, but apparently no one thought installing a simple arm support in case of failure would be worth it. Now the hydraulics do nothing, and my arm is numb. I grab an orange cone from the trunk that I stole off the street one night while drunk and prop the hood. We hook up the cables the traditional way and try jumping it one more time.

Damn it. Where did I put the keys?

Pocket? Nope. Other pocket? Nope. Other other pocket? Nope. Front seat? No. Back seat? No. Shawn’s truck? No. Completely obscured cargo pocket that I just discovered? Nothing. Fuck.

That's right, they’re in the trunk.

Did I mention that it’s not my car? How can I ask someone to break into a car that’s not mine? I’m having visions of metal bars and a new girlfriend named Bubba. The tow truck guy is clueless and AAA can’t call a locksmith. So I stabbed him.

A simple brain fart cost me $66. At least I have a car again.

Next week: Bus stop etiquette.