MICHEAL

MICHEAL

Lately, just for fun and because I’m weird, I’ve been giving every weekend a theme (i.e., No Plans Weekend, Let’s See a Million Movies Weekend, etc.) My initial inclination was to call this past weekend “Inconvenience Weekend”. Yet in the end, despite all indications, I’ve decided that the theme of this past weekend was not in fact “Inconvenience”. Before I explain why, let me tell you all the reasons why I originally planned to call it Inconvenience Weekend:

In anticipation of the upcoming Big Move-In with Drew, I’ve started listing some of my excess furniture on Craig’s List. On Friday morning, a guy emailed me and asked if he could come look at my futon. His name was “Micheal” — and yes, that’s how he spelled it (though on his answering machine it sounded just like “Michael”). I got two other inquiries that day, and I let each of them know that Micheal had first dibs.

So I waited at noon on Saturday for Micheal to show up. And waited and waited. Finally, I placed a “Where the hell are you?” call. No answer. I left a message, telling Micheal I was going to offer it to the next guy. Well, Micheal didn’t call back, and the next guy, unfortunately, couldn’t make it until 4 o’clock. He was a German guy who had just arrived for his graduate studies at UCLA and who reeked of cigarette smoke. REEKED. Sorry, futon, but if you thought the musty odor of stale Teddy Grahams from my apartment was bad, it’s about to get a lot worse. The German guy bought my futon, but it didn’t fit in his van, which also reeked of smoke — REEKED — so I had to help him disassemble it and carry it down. One futon sold, one day wasted. Inconvenience #1.

On Saturday night, I got together with some friends for dinner. Most of my friends live in my part of town, for which I am eternally grateful, but the charming and adorable Julie, a very important part of our group, lives in Santa Monica. Since Julie is outnumbered geographically, she always ends up coming over to the 323 area code to hang out. And so, every once in a while, the rest of us feel guilty and agree meet up in 310. Saturday was one of those nights, so instead of a quick trip to P.F. Chang’s on La Cienega, I schlepped over to P.F. Chang’s in Santa Monica. Inconvenience #2.

On Sunday was the AIDS Walk. (No, I didn’t participate, and not only that, but I’m about to whine about how this fine charitable event ruined my day by interfering with local traffic. If you’d like to continue to think of me as a nice person, please skip to the next paragraph.) The AIDS Walk blocks off streets in a wide rectangle around my neighborhood and pretty much seals off all traffic in West Hollywood for eight whole hours. As a result, a trip that would normally take five minutes instead takes eight hours and five minutes. Eight hours seems like a long time to close down a city considering the AIDS Walk is only 6.2 miles, but Drew thinks that’s because old people do it, and they have to close the streets until EVERYONE finishes. I’m touched that the elderly would join the fight against this terrible disease, but if we all chip in a little more, couldn’t we spare them the grueling eight-hour trek and open up our streets to traffic a little sooner in the process? Inconvenience #3.

Then, there’s the ongoing supermarket strike. (Props to Drew for buying the picketers at Pavillions a $50 Starbucks gift card. That’s right, Drew. I just told everyone your secret.) There are about 1,000 supermarkets within a ten-block radius of where I live, and 997 of them are off-limits due to my good liberal conscience. As for the others, Trader Joe’s is too weird, Whole Foods is too healthy and Gelson’s is too expensive. I just want to buy a box of Cocoa Puffs for under $6. Is that too much to ask? Eventually, I’ll break down and shop at those other places, but this weekend, I bought my essentials at the Target about five miles away. (And if that doesn’t seem far, remember that these are city miles — and AIDS Walk city miles, no less. The entire trip took about two hours.) Inconvenience #4.

Also, someone — and I won’t mention any names, but before we condemn him, let’s remember how nice he was to those striking workers — mistakenly downloaded some nasty unwanted software that unleashed an unmanageable torrent of popup ads on my computer. We’re still not sure exactly how this happened, but after hours of frustration and struggle and closing popup after popup, I think the problem has finally been fixed. I think. Inconvenience #5.

I won’t count Drew and I having to wait a long time for a table at our favorite restaurant as an inconvenience, because we go every week and we know what we’re in for. But getting seated in that new waiter’s section was not part of the bargain. Not only was he slow to take our order, slow to fill our order and just plain slow, but he was rude, and he messed up the order, too. Inconvenience #6.

Then, as we were leaving the restaurant, Drew held up the receipt and asked me if I noticed the waiter’s name. Well, no, Drew. No, I hadn’t. Drew pointed to the upper right-hand corner of the receipt, and there it was, giving me another of those brief, shining moments where all the world makes sense.

The rude waiter’s name, as it turned out, was “Micheal”.

Yes, Micheal.

Thus ended Micheal Weekend.

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