October 22, 2004
I needed to close the shop for a minute and get the
frat boys some weed. I got my roommate Javad on the cell.
"Yo, Jivi," I said.
"Remember you bought a bag of weed from the neighbor and it turned
out to be manure?"
"Yeah, how can I forget that? That bastard is gonna pay for it when
he's released from the county jail," Javad said.
"Hey, you still got the manure?"
"Yeah, it's sitting somewhere in the
"Do you think you can drop it off
at this address in Malabo?"
"Why? Do you need to fertilize some plants?"
"No, I just might be able to recover your losses."
"No shit?" Javad said.
"Yeah, I got these guys here that
can't tell the difference between piss and tequila and
they sure as hell can't tell
the difference between weed and a pile of shit."
"You Da man. I'm there," Javad said.
I walked back to my station. A lady in her thirties
approached and asked for milk!
"Sorry, did you say milk!?"
"Yes, milk," she said.
"Would you like something in it?"
"Are you sure? You mean just plain milk?"
"Yes, my faith doesn't allow alcohol," she
"And what faith is that?"
"Well, good for you and bad for me," I said.
"What do you mean?"
"You know, if everyone was a Bahai, I would go out of business."
"That was a racist remark. I don't appreciate that," she
"Yes, you need to stop makin' fun
of people's faith."
"I wasn't makin' fun of your faith."
"Yes you were. I can spot sarcasm from a mile away," she said.
"Are you for real?" I asked.
"Yes I am. You think just because someone doesn't consume
your poison, that person is subhuman? You think you're so
cool because you suck on that disgusting bottle, don't you?"
"Was that a question or a comment?"
"It's because of men like you that we have wars and crimes
against humanity," she said.
"Wait a second. I think you're taking this a little too far."
"And there is nothing more unattractive
than a man with a bottle of beer in his hand. And nothing
is more sickening than a man who
I opened my big
"Listen lady, I'm sorry if I insulted
your thing... "
"You know, your faith. I meant no
"Yes you did. You belittle people to feel good about yourself."
Okay maybe she had a point.
"Listen, I'm sorry. Okay. Enjoy your milk."
"Fuck you," she said, slamming
the glass on the counter and walking away.
I noticed that
the host lady
me from the
was not good.
the bar, and
to me. I'm
"Listen, I'm sorry about that," I said. "I really
didn't mean to upset your guest."
"Oh, don't worry about her; she's
a bitch. Got anything juicy so far?"
"Well, let's see, some of your guests
hate Jews, some are cocaine addicts, your little son
is alcoholic, and I pissed in some guys' drinks;
that, nothing unusual."
"Okay, keep your ears open and let me know if you hear anything
worthwhile," she said.
A sharply dressed gentleman
in his early fifties walked over to my
"Grand marnier, please."
"Do you believe these people? The amount of arrogance; it's
sickening. I swear I'm ready to move out of this town," the
"I hear you."
"After all I have done for them.
I mean, I have invested my life and money to save them."
"Save them? From what?" I asked.
man looked at me like I was mad.
"You obviously don't know who I am!" the man said.
"Well, since my face is beamed into millions of Iranian homes everyday,
just about everyone knows me."
"Are you a movie star?" I asked.
"No, my damn agent can't get me a
part. With all these movies they make in LA about terrorists,
you would think my agent could land me a small part," the
"Then, how are you famous?"
"I'm the owner of one of the most popular Persian satellite
TV stations in LA. You must be the only Persian who doesn't
"Oh, yeah. You look kind of familiar.
I think I recognize you. I love your shows."
"Thank you! I prepare intensely. I
feel like Jay Leno; I have given my life to my art," the
"Yeah. Must be nice being well-known," I said.
"It's hard work. It gets annoying after a while. You feel
like you can't go anywhere. Now I know what Jack Nicholson
"So, like, how do you feel when so many eyes are on you? Do you
"No. My job is to bring freedom and
democracy to Iran. I'm a motivator. I love it."
"Say, do you have a job for me. I always wanted to be on TV," I
"Sure. What can you do? Can you juggle?"
"Yeah, I need entertainment--something that attracts younger crowd.
Can you sing and juggle at the same time?"
"What's your talent?" the man
"I can make fart noises with my armpit."
man stared at me for a while as if he were picturing
me making fart noises with my armpit.
"I'm not sure if Persian audiences are ready for that yet.
What else can you do?"
"I can break-dance."
"Perfect. Give me your card. I'll
have Khordadian call you tomorrow. You guys can get together
and come up with couple of
dance numbers. You'll have your own show--one hour a
week. Just get in there and dance 'till you drop'.
came up to the bar.. He had a
"Coming right up. And how're you doing tonight?"
"Don't ask," the man said.
"What's the matter?"
"Girl trouble," he said.
"Well, that sucks."
"Yeah; have you been in love?"
"Yeah, have you been so in love that you couldn't eat
or sleep? So in love that you couldn't think anymore?"
"Not really," I replied.
"Let me tell you: it's not pretty--especially if she turns
out to be a bitch."
"Oh, one of those," I said.
"Yeah, she ruined me. I was one of the hottest Persian singers in
LA. I opened for Black Dogs in Vegas. There was a talk of me opening
for Googosh. But she ruined me. My CD sales went from thousands
to zero in six months. The Black Dogs don't even talk to
"Man, sorry to hear that. Where did you meet her?"
"In a club. I was performing one night and there she was, gazing
at me. Beautiful face, gorgeous little nineteen-year-old body,
so full of life," the man said.
"What the hell! Did you say nineteen?
"Yes, nineteen. She messed up my life. I left my wife of thirty
years for her; my children don't talk to me anymore; I lost
my house, car, everything," the man said.
"Man, how old are you? You must be in your fifties."
"So what?" the man said. "Just because you are
in your fifties, that doesn't mean you're dead."
"She must have been your daughter's age," I said.
"Actually my daughter is twenty-six."
"Let me get this straight," I said. "You met a
nineteen-year-old in a club and left your wife for her?"
"Yes; love knows no age. It happens, but now I know. She used me
to get to the Black Dogs. The whole thing was a scam and I fell
for it," the man said, crying.
"Here, have another beer--on me."
"Thanks. Now if you excuse me, I'm
gonna go talk to that sixteen-year-old over there. I
think she is checking me out," the man said,
walking back into the house.
"Amigo, what happened to the weed? Have you got it?"
"Yeah, let me go check."
back to my truck and found the dried out cow
shit in a plastic bag, sitting in the back of my truck.
behind a tree.
"Yo, dude. You really gonna sell this shit?" Javad said.
"Oh, man. You scared the crap out of me. Yeah, it's sold."
"You rule. I'm outta here," Javad said.
"Okay. See you."
I ran back to
my station. The nervous frat boy was
tiptoeing by the bar and chewing on his fingernails.
"Here it is. The best in town."
"Jose, my main man. This is gonna be so good. So, like, we're
new at this. So, how do you do this?"
"It's like in a Cheech and Chong movie, roll it and light
it," I said.
"Cool, man. Here's the cash. Love
"Yeah, peace out."
The frat boy
ran back inside. An older gentleman with
an entourage of younger Americans in black suits walked
"Are you an Iranian-American?" the man asked.
"Have you registered to vote?"
"Why not?" the man asked.
"Not sure. Should I?"
"Absolutely. I'm running for the US
senate on a Republican platform. I'll be the first Iranian-American
in the US senate, and
I need your support. I need every Iranian-American to
register and vote for me. I'll bring real changes to
which will benefit the Iranian-American community."
"Would you like to hear about my programs?" the man asked.
"Well, I'll tell you anyway. I will
push to rid Middle East from all Arabs -- I mean terrorists.
I will push for a regime
change in Iran. I have the endorsement of Iranian-American
Moslems, Jews, Bahais, evangelical Christian right, Israel,
and the Coalition
of the Willing. I'll do anything to free our homeland.
I'm going to rent fifty airplanes and fly to the Caribbean,"
"You mean to Iran," I said.
"No, fuck that. I'm going to the Caribbean for vacation."
"Oh, I see."
"I need your vote. It's time for us Iranian-Americans to matter.
It's time for us Iranian-Americans to influence policies," the
"Yeah, sounds good."
"Good. Now, on a personal note, I
hear you got some good pot in the back. Be a good Iranian-American
and get me some. I smoke a
little for medical reasons, of course," the man
"Yes, of course."
"Nice meeting you and don't forget to vote for me."
"You got it."
The man and his
entourage walked away.
Well, it was one o'clock in the
morning and the host
lady wanted me to punch out. That would give an hour
to sober up and head back home. I
counted the money in the
tip jar: a whopping
4 dollars and three pennies. I started
and take it
back to the truck. I placed the last box
the truck and
headed back to use the restroom.
I walked in the restroom and found
"Hey, Jose, this is some good shit, man. Where did you get it?"
"Only the best for you guys," I said.
"Man, you got to tell us where to get some more, dude."
"My neighbor. I'll have him contact you when he is out," I
"Cool man. We love you, Carlos."
"Yeah, that's what your mama said."
"Did you just say, 'that's what your mama said?'" one
of the boys asked.
"No, sir. I said, have yourself a
The restroom smelled bad. It was as if
a big cow had taken a dump the
size of a bowling ball in there. I washed my hands
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I said.
"Hey, man, let go," the kid said.
"First you lie to me to get drinks and now you're stealing
"Man, let me go. You're hurting me."
"I should kick your ass. You think you can just walk in here and
"Man, you better let go or I'll scream."
"Scream? I'm gonna turn you in. You're going to jail
tonight, you little fart," I said.
"Man, I ain't kidding. You better let go."
"Oh yeah, what are you gonna do? Huh?"
kid dropped the bottles and started screaming, "Rape
...! Help me ...! Rape...!"
"What the hell!"
"Help...! He's rapping me...! Help!"
All the people in the party ran outside and came to
the back. I found myself staring the partygoers in
while holding the
kid by the neck. A few of the guys jumped on me and
the host lady,
crying, "He told me to
come back here with him. He
candies and he
my neck. He wanted to rape
"He is lying," I said.
"No I'm not. He's a child molester,
mom. He's an awful man," the
"Don't believe him. The kid is making up the whole thing.
I caught him stealing drinks. I swear."
"He is lying, mom. He told me that he wanted to play priest and
alter boy games," the kid said.
"Mom, I'm scared. Please take him away," the kid said.
"I show you scared, you little bitch..."
I was picked up by the host lady's servants and tossed
a shed. The police arrived a few minutes later and before long, I found myself
"You know what they do to child molesters
in jail, right?" the
"Oh, man, you be a very popular fellow in there."
"Yeah, you'll have frequent visitors at night. They'll
love you in there," the cop said.
"Is that right?"
"Yeah; just wanted you to know," the cop said.
"Well, thank you and blow me."
"Did you just say, 'thank you and blow me?'" the
"No sir; I said, thank you for the warning."
My bartending career came to an abrupt halt that
night. No Iranians in their right mind hired me after
admitted later that
he had made up the whole
story, after his
long juvenile record was
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