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September 24, 2009

Hollywood Explained Part III

I repeat at the beginning my last paragraph of my previous post, which details how meetings in LA go down. Then I continue with the secret information you need to know to survive Hollywood.

So the person walks towards you, shakes your hand and tells you how much they love you. Then you say how much you love them. (Sometimes I say, “I’m in love with you. Is that weird?” which sometimes gets a laugh and sometimes does not.) Then you stand there until they tell you where to sit.

DON’T SIT UNTIL THEY TELL YOU WHERE TO SIT!!!

Why? Because seating is another form of parking and there is nothing – NOTHING – more important in Hollywood than parking. California is, of course, a car culture. More so than any other place in the world, what you drive is who you are. Your car is the single most important determinant of social class in Los Angeles. Far more than clothes. That’s why you might see a photo of Jessica Simpson wearing a pair of sweatpants and a baseball cap but you will never see her getting into a 1998 Chevy Malibu. Briefly, here is the vehicular pecking order in Los Angles in descending order:

• Maserati, Alfa Romeo (Bentleys and Rolls are other exotics  are also okay, but you kind of look like a douche in them unless you are a retired game show executive or a dentist.)

• Mercedes, Land Rover, BMW (These are the preferred autos of the rich and powerful because they make a statement. The statement they make is: “I am rich.”)

• Jaguar, Escalade, Lexus (A run down the ladder. Still good, but a little passé. You don’t want to be passé in LA.)

• Hybrids (Hybrids are a great way to say “I love money but I love the earth more.” That way, you can get away with actually not having a lot of money because people think you’re sincere in your love for the earth.)

• Any convertible from the last three years (Convertibles are still considered cool in LA.)

• Any imported car from the last three years (If you’re going to have a random Honda Civic, at least let it be of recent vintage.)

• Any American car from the last three years (People in LA are liberals. Liberals hate America. Therefore people in LA do not drive American cars. To do so is gauche, which is not an American word.)

• All other cars (At least they have wheels. That’s the best you can say for these people.)

• Public transportation. Nobody takes public transportation in LA unless they are an alcoholic, homeless, or a rock musician, which is the lowest of the low.)

Because car culture is so important, parking has evolved its own caste system. Simply put, the more important you are, the better your parking space. A parking space’s worth is determined by its proximity to the front door. The closer you are the more important you are. Only in Hollywood are the closest parking spaces reserved for the sturdiest people instead of the handicapped. After all, what would be the point of having the best car if you are parked so far away that nobody can see it?

These spots are reserved. Nobody else can park in them. Ever. Their names are painted on the curb. Even if the person is in Bangladesh working with the impoverished (which happens all the time in LA), that parking space is reserved for when they return. It is kept free of debris and old chewing gum. The parking space is as inviolate as a Pharaoh’s tomb and lo those who enter its sacred space.

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The Naked Redhead

Hell yes, the sturdy should get preference. They don't need as much exercise as the gimpy.

Zane

So funny and true. Let's not leave Porsche off the list, though. Panamera owners want their due, alongside of the Cayenne-driving moms of LA.
My kids' elementary school parking lot is filled with Aston Martin Convertibles, Ferraris and Mercedes Benz G-class. And everyone's car is black or dark silvery grey. If you see a car of color in LA (or all along the coast down thru to SD), it's a rental. I can't speak for east of the 5 freeway. It is pathetic that people are defined by their cars here, but it is all so true. I drive a MB. Black. 1 yr old. With all the extras.

Zane

I wish I hadn't put that last part on there, but it automatically just comes out, having been born there and all. At least I didn't give the full garage rundown of what's currently in use in our household. I held back.

Paul

Around here, if you score a spot right by the door of wherever you are going, it's accompanied with the statement "Movie star parking! *AS* I deserve."

Stacey E

I was in Hollywood about a month ago in a rented Yaris with Florida license plates. I suppose that screams "loser".
Did you know that the freeways have no discernible speed limit signs, yet, if you aren't driving about 80, everyone else gets mad at you? I didn't want to be on their damned freeway, anyway.
Screw you, California.

Ryalye

I steal cars so I'm never seen in the same one twice, and I park them on sidewalks because I'm a girl and I can't park. Also, I'm Asian. I'm not really Asian, but my license says I am. Maybe it's not a "real" license, but nothing is real in this town anyways, so that's okay.

Jenny

I am in the third to last tier. Sounds about right. :/

Chris

L.A. sucks. Chicago is better.

Leah

I'd like to see someone from LA with their LA car drive in Boston just for one day. In January. :) My Jeep has been hit 9 times in 7+ years in the Boston area. Boston drivers do not claim they drive better than LA, but they do drive things that a few dents don't matter.

Desiree

What about Vespa riders??

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