Monday, June 13, 2011

Fantasy Karaoke Bar

WARNING: This post is long. And there's barely any pictures to keep your interest. There's no way to sugar coat it. But, I'd like to think it's worth it. Just try and make it through... And if you know us, just picture all this happening. I swear it makes it 132904804 times better.

Clint and I got married on a Friday night because there were some conflicts with Saturday night at our venue. Luckily, it gave us an extra day for our honeymoon because our cruise didn’t leave until Sunday. We planned on seeing a bit of Los Angeles with that extra day, but we weren’t quite sure how we were going to get around. 

One of our friends has family who live in LA and he arranged for us to have a car when we got there. His present to us was a private shuttle to his mom’s apartment where a car would be waiting for us. Sounds perfect, right? I mean, after the UnCool video, Clint may’ve well been a celebrity so the treatment seemed completely appropriate... ;-)

It would’ve been neat if we had just thought it through, but Clint didn’t think I needed to know. That’s why he left out any sort of detail and just said, “Don’t worry about it. You’ve got enough to worry about,” every time I asked him what the plan was. It wasn’t until we were in LA on the curb, waiting for the shuttle, that Clint told me the whole plan. I saw a lot of holes in it, but I was hoping my analytical little brain was just over thinking it.

I asked Clint to call TJ’s mom to figure out how we were going to get the car back to her apartment, but he just kept telling me not to worry about it. He finally called her once we were in the shuttle. In is an important word here. No. Turning. Back. TJ’s mom said, “Oh, you can take the car for the night and then just drop it off the next morning and take a taxi to the port.” My wheels started turning, but Clint mind was still parked in the it’s-all-perfect-spot.

We casually asked our driver, Franklin (the best driver in the whole wide world), how far away the apartment was. He said casually, “Oh, Beverly Hills... it’s about 30 or 45 minutes away.” Then I asked how far we were from Long Beach/our hotel. Franklin said, “Oh, gosh. That’s about 30 or 45 minutes the other direction.”

That’s right, folks. We were going to end up an hour and a half away from our hotel without accounting for LA traffic. That meant we were going to have to drive ourselves through the heartless traffic of LA down to our hotel, eat dinner, go to sleep, drive an hour and a half back to the apartment, and pay over $100 for a taxi to take us 2 miles from our hotel.

I cried. A lot. I was angry because I was wiped out from the wedding and just wanted to rest. And let’s be honest. I’m a tad bit of a control freak so I didn’t like that my plans were messed up. So as I cried, Franklin turned up the radio a bit, like any man would in an awkwardly emotional situation, so Clint and I could talk. We went through every single scenario we could think of to solve the problem. I wanted to just scream, “TURN THE CAR AROUND AND TAKE US TO THE HOTEL!!!!!,” but Clint wouldn’t let me. TJ had gone through the trouble of booking this shuttle for us and we needed to use the car for at least a little bit.

We thought about just sucking it up and going through with everything, but I just couldn’t do it. Then we said we would take the car out and around Beverly Hills for a little bit and then take a taxi back. We asked how far away all the touristy stuff was from the apartments and Franklin said, “It’s really close. It’s only about 20 minutes away.” What is it with LA people and their sense of time? Twenty minutes away is NOT considered really close in my books. So that nixed that idea.

After hitting dead end after dead end, we finally settled on the fact we just couldn’t take the car. Franklin cleared his schedule for the afternoon and said he would take us around LA on our way back to Long Beach for no extra charge so we could still see all the sites. I told you he was the best driver ever... or he just didn’t want me to cry anymore. Regardless, he rocks in our book. Our plan was to get the keys from the security guard, stick them in the car (it had a keypad lock), and leaving with Franklin.

We called TJ’s mom when we got there and she told us John would be waiting to give us the keys. Clint and I got out of the car and were chatting by the apartment door when we heard:

(sing to the tune of Happy Birthday)
“Happy honeymoon to yooouuuu. Happy honeymoon to yooouu. I bet you really want me to stop now... Happy honeymoon to youuuu.”

We turned around and saw a man straight out of a bad comedy movie walking toward us. He walked like a zombie. He had a horribly out of control comb over. He wore Dwight-Schrute-esque coke bottle glasses. He was wearing a horrendously bright Hawaiian shirt with neon salmon shorts, knee high white socks, and royal blue and yellow puma sneakers. If that doesn’t give you a good visual, I don’t know what will.

He was clearly not a security guard, but Clint managed a courtesy laugh and introduced the two of us. He said, “Yea, I figured,” and moved on in conversation. No introduction. He let us into the apartment, and Clint went directly into the bathroom, leaving me with alone with John (he finally told us his name). I had absolutely nothing to talk about, so I went to look out the window and took this picture.

I wish so badly that I had thought to take pictures of the apartment to get John in a few shots.

Turns out John is just a friendly neighbor who checks on a lot of the residents cars and apartments while they’re out of town so he was responsible for giving us the keys.

So we’re in the kitchen, waiting for John to finish rambling about who knows what and just give us the keys to the car so we can get on our way.  He kept talking and talking, giving us all sorts of phone numbers and peoples names, none of which we understood. He wrote these all on his business card. As we were walking out to the car Clint asked what he did in LA. He said he owned a Fantasy Karaoke Bar. I don’t know what that is, and I really don’t want to... but check out his business card.


So we get to the car and say goodbye. That’s when John tells us that he’s going to ride with us to make sure we get out of the complex.

Seriously, could this afternoon get any worse? We felt like we were in a bad comedy like Meet the Parents where nothing ever goes right.

I forgot to mention this earlier, but we were in one of the biggest apartment complexes in the world. That’s not a scientific statement, but it literally took us driving 5-7 minutes to get from the gate to the apartment. So his offer would’ve made sense had we actually been leaving. Clint and I locked eyes and we officially started flying by the seat of our pants.

We quickly said not to worry about it, that we could get out just fine. He insisted. So we all hop in and drive over to Franklin and get our bags. Talk about an awkward car ride. Two minutes felt like twenty. I casually said I needed to tell Franklin to move our luggage. I hopped out and whispered as fast as I could, “Wemetacrazyman. Gottapretendtomoveluggagetogethimtoleave.” Clint swung the car around and Franklin greeted him with an extra-formal, “Here, let me help you with your bags sir,” and added in a whisper, “She told me the plan.” More proof that Franklin rocked. We took all our bags out of the van and put them in the back of the truck so we could quickly move them back to the van. John said we were stupid and they’d get stolen in the city so we had to move them again to the backseat of the truck.

John finally said he was leaving after we convinced him we were fine and he walked in the complete opposite direction. As soon as he was out of sight, Clint threw the bags on the ground, sped away and parked the car. We had to put the keys back in the apartment, so Clint ran to the apartment, opened the door and...

JOHN WAS IN THE APARTMENT! I have absolutely no idea how in the world he got in there. He must’ve pulled a Harry Potter and just apparated in there. He and Clint had a stare down while they both tried to figure out what was happening. Once he got his wits about him, he said, “Hotel called. Gotta be there by 4:00. Bye,” threw the keys, and ran out.

The. End.

If you’ve stuck this far, I really hope you found that as hilarious as we did.

This was all in the first 24 hours of our marriage. Talk about relationship building.

Oh, and to top it off. We told TJ the story when we got home and he said “You could’ve just not gone. It wouldn’t have hurt my feelings one bit.” Awesome. Just. Awesome.

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