Thursday, May 17, 2007

Freewayblogger: Hardboiled

Kid walks into my office, says he wants to be a freewayblogger.

I give him the once over and tell him to scram: "Stick to the demos shortstuff... you're wet behind the ears..."

"The hell you say..." he snarls back, "I got pictures..." and slaps a folder on my desk.

"Not bad... not bad... for a freehander. Where were these taken?"

"LA. A couple inland. Glendale, Burbank... I get around."

"Yeah... lemme see your socks."


"You heard me. Lemme see your goddam socks!" He pulls up his pants legs and there they were: foxtails in the argyles... lots of them. "Now get out."


"I said get out! Just walk out that door and never turn back. If you know what's good for you, you'll forget any of this ever happened. Go back to your demos, kid. Go back to your e-mailing and your vigils... or whatever it is you do. I'm telling you straight out: freewayblogging ain't the life for you."

While I was reading him the Riot Act, the kid just sat there and stared right back. "I ain't goin' nowhere." he said.

I had to admit, I was starting to like him. I reached into my desk and pulled out the bourbon and a couple of dirty glasses. "Have a drink."

"I don't drink."

"You do now." I poured, we drank. "You do any overpass work?"

"Some," he says, and pulls out a couple more pictures.

The phone rang while I was thumbing through the thumbnails, and my secretary's voice said "It's New York again..."

"Same guys?"


"Tell 'em to forget it..." I hung up muttering, "Goddam stickerjockeys...Christ, If I had a dime for every punk who came in here with a grudge against the administration and a fistful of stickers... So tell me kid. How come you're still freehanding it? Why ain't you got an overhead projector?"

"I want to, but it's a kind of small apartment, and..."

"I don't wanna hear it. Go onto E-bay and get yourself a damn OP. Get yourself a couple a two by fours and lean 'em against a wall. That and a couple of springclamps and you've got yourself a goddam art studio."

"Yeah, but my girlfriend..."

I had to laugh, loud. "I wouldn't worry too much about her kid... if you're set on becoming a freewayblogger, believe me she's gonna be the first thing to go. Listen, I like you. You've got potential, there's no doubt about it. But let's get one thing straight: If you're gonna be a freewayblogger you better be prepared to wave bye-bye to everything else, you got that? Your job, your family, your girl... and any little chippies you've got stashed away on the side. From here on in your life ain't nothin' but cardboard, paint, bungee cords and duct tape... one step ahead of the law and always on the run. You think you're ready for that?"

"Yeah. I'm ready."

"You're gonna have to carry cardboard, sometimes as much as ten pounds of it, and you're gonna have to carry it onto overpasses that are hundreds of feet long! You think you're ready for that?"

"Hell yeah."

I leaned back, smiled, and poured us out another round.

"Alright then... just one more thing. Tell me what you're in it for, kid. Your mama lose her place in the Big Easy? Baby brother doing a third tour in Anbar?"


"So you're some kind of patriot then... think you're gonna be the next Tom Paine... Paul Revere maybe? You think you and some cardboard are gonna save this country from the one-eyed monster in the living room? Strike a blow against the Sean Hannitys and Bill O'Reilly's of this world?"

"Nope." he said, "I used to believe in that stuff... maybe I still do a little... but that's not what I'm in it for."

"So what is it then? What makes you wanna be a freewayblogger?"

He held up his glass, contemplating the amber liquid in the light and then said, "Kicks, man. I'm just in it for the kicks."

I raised my glass to his and smiled, "I think you'll do just fine."

USA - 877
FB - 651


PTCruiser said...

Hilarious! I'm picturing you like this.

Annie said...

You left off the "being a nappy-headed ho" part.

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Anonymous said...

Hardboiled my ass. Thats stuff is SMOKIN"!!
Ya got chops, kid!

Anonymous said...

Best post ever....forwarding to my protege.