Hollywood Hayes: Adventures of a Corkman in LA

HOW long until this person goes crazy on me? is a fun game I like to play in Los Angeles.

Usually not too long at all which is why it feels like you’re constantly living on the edge here. Crazy people roaming like zombies.

I once met an older, shoeless Gene Wilder-looking guy at a coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard who was dressed in purple satin pyjamas and had Worzel Gummidge-style hair (similar to my own).

He was walking around, gibbering away to people, most of whom ignored him. He came by my table spouting away so I gave him a nervous, don’t kill me smile and a polite nod hello. Schoolboy error, being polite.

Worzel spent the next 20 minutes harping on about hemp, weed, the government, conspiracy theories, the Dutch, The Who, Led Zeppelin, chem-trails, Native Americans, if I liked his toe rings, would I like to see him do a dance and if I wanted another coffee. Typical LA small talk.

Even though he was half making good points he was also talking some ultimate gibberish.

I presumed he was just a crazy homeless guy until a waitress walked by and he stopped to give her $100. That’s odd. He did it again to another waitress. Do I get one too? No. Instead he gave me a curtsy and waved goodbye. What the f**k — who is this dude?

I asked the waitress, “Is he homeless?”

“No, he lives in a mansion in the hills. Used to be a big record producer.”

I thought he was crazy.

“He’s won Grammys.” Apparently trophies made him socially acceptable. Talent and money go far in LA. Good to know.

After that I stopped assuming people were crazy and instead just hoped they’re really talented. Sometimes it’s worked, most of the time, not really.

Tough when you’re trying to make friends especially, you never know if they’re sane and sound or going to do a backflip into crazy town at any moment.

There was that Cat Lady who invited me to a networking event — it turned out to be an orgy.

There was the Hippy Lady who offered me a job — It turned out she just had a leprechaun fetish.

There was the model who wanted me to go to her acting graduation class — it turned out she was trying to sign me up for a cult.

Then there was an English guy with an extreme anger problem who started sentences with “I’m not racist.... but”.

There was the Swiss guy who hated women and a Persian guy who bought me a drink then told me, “I’m not gay but if you wanted to come back to my hotel and try it once, I’m down for that. I’m not gay though”.

Nowadays I’m more leaning on the ‘everyone’s a nutter’ side of the fence so not as open to assuming they have more talent than crazy in them. My radar is pretty bad still. Got stung big time last Sunday.

I was Deejaying at a bar in West Hollywood during the day. Rocking. Jiving. All good.

And then, a blonde girl comes up to me, glassy eyed and snarling face. Take the good with the mad but I should’ve had my guard up. Requests a song I just played. I tell her no, she repeats her demand.

“Play me the new Macklemore song.” I just played it.

Red. Mist. Rage. Dawn. Fury.

“NO!” In the blink of an eye she pours her full drink all over my DJ equipment. Worst fear. Never think it’d happen. Sweet Lord. NOOOOOO.

While I grab the mixer and turn it upside down trying to save it, my buddy Travis who’s next to me leaps out of the DJ booth and chases after her. I’m in a state of shock. Half the controller isn’t working but music is still playing. Travis and the bouncers return with the girl who looks like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth.

“HE WOULDN’T PLAY MY SONG, HE WOULDN’T PLAY MY SONG!” Are you mental?!

“HE HAS AIDS, HE HAS AIDS!” Now everyone is looking at her in disbelief. Her friend appears apologising. Head bouncer gives Rabies Girl two options:

1. Go to jail for destroying equipment.

2. Go to the ATM and give me money for a new mixer.

“I don’t want to go to jail,” she says, almost in fake tears.

Bouncer asks how much a new mixer costs. I guess $400.

She goes. Gets the money. Hands it over still furious that I didn’t play the song. This girl is insane. But at least now she’s banned.

Music somehow played on for another while. Eventually the knobs and buttons stop working though. Crazy killed the buzz. Goodnight Irene.

Even better, a new controller actually costs $800 (I forgot how much mine was in the confusion) so that’s great.

Also, I’m now paranoid she somehow cursed me with Aids. So. Yeah. Maybe I’m crazy too.


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