Friday, June 15, 2007

A day to kill

I am not a tourist. You won’t see me with a camera or asking for directions with a wad of cash in my hands. I’m from the east and that kind of behavior is what I call 1-800-get-jacked. Unlike my first year on the festival circuit when I tried to be a good indie film visitor and make a lot of friends, I’m hell bent on havin’ hella fun and getting’ down with the locals. I don’t’ give a fuck if I offend someone or give Los Angeles a bad name, yeah like that’s possible with the likes of O.J. (you didn’t kill her, but if you did.. this is how you would have done it), Robert Blake (“I left my gun in the restaurant”), Mel Gibson (just because I made an anti-Semitic remark doesn’t mean the Jews aren’t out to get me), Michael Richards (“really, I have a lot of black friends…some of which don’t even work for me).

I broke the fuck out of my hotel room like I’d just left a body in the tub and headed to the lobby. I copped two street maps and had the manager point me in the right direction. I cued up some dope beats and walked my dogs up the Ave. (that means I was on foot for all you pale motherfuckers in the audience).

Jesus motherfucking Christ are the chicks hot in this town. I mean I really don’t understand how the fuck it is men walk around here and resist the temptation to whip their shit out and spank it….yes, they are that hot. But I’ve got the ghetto grimace on and the beats are playin’ loud.

I have two basic agenda’s on this excursion; one is to suss out the cell phone situation because ain’t no fuckin’ way I’m paying these international roaming rates – it’s like 75 cents a minute and they get to put a large object up your ass – and that’s not happening (well not unless you talk to me real nice and buy me a steak).

Now most of the Toronto motherfuckers don’t drive because the traffic is unbelievable in this town. Yeah I know that seems odd from someone who lives in LA… but in LA there’s traffic cause people have to buy drugs and make bail; what’s really going on in Toronto? A pick-up hockey game? A curling tournament? Well what ever the answer it doesn’t justify the non-moving traffic.

So I’m on the sidewalk hoofin’ it like the locals trying to be nice and fit in. So I get to the corner and the light is red. There’s a bunch of cabbies lined up on the side of the road. They keep staring over at me and then one decides to speak.

CABBIE
“Do you need a ride? You look tired”

What kind of shit is that, I look tired. You look like you need to switch hands when you download porn, but you don’t see me puttin’ your business in the street. Anyway I rap with the cabbies for a minute. A bunch of middle eastern cats who are parked near the Gyro truck and spend their time chain smoking and looking at women.

CABBIE
Cali ain’t got nuthin’ on the average Torontonian chick’s ass.”

These guys are a fucking riot I mean they don’t give a fuck, shit if this was a fraternity I’d rush them. So we chew the fat for a minute and I inquire about how to get a cell phone hook up and dude drops a few jewels (knowledge, jewels means knowledge…cause it’s precious). He ask me if I have a GSM phone and I say that I’m really not sure. He’s friends burst out laughin and I realize that I don’t know this because a) I don’t travel and b) I don’t pay attention…cause I’m a rich American who thinks he can buy his way out of anything (see…haters are everywhere).

Dude tells me that there is a way around the international roaming. He informs me that what I need to do is get my phone unlocked and then buy a Canadian SIM card for like $20 and then just do pay as you go. I was totally fucking amazed that I didn’t know this…shit I could have been running game from the second I landed. Since we were getting along so well I decided to ask them where I could buy some weed. Man you would have thought I had asked them toss each others salad the way the looked at me…guess they aren’t that cool after all.

Before I broke the unspoken rule of not asking about weed I did get pointed in the right direction to get my phone unlocked….so I decided I’d concentrate on that and worry about the weed later.

I was a little worried that I had walked passed the mall, well that was until I saw some Canadian skate rats hanging out near the entrance bumming cigarettes. Now I will say that they do kind of smoke a lot up here. I’m from Cali so I used to them rounding up smokers and shooting them so all of this cosmopolitan smoking is a bit strange for me.

Some things are the same where ever you go….like the mall. For a hot nanosecond I was impressed with this mall and it’s shiny, colorful stores that were new to me. About ten seconds later I was hot, annoyed with window shoppers who have to slow all of us down why they talk about shit that they have no intention of buying and what mall would be complete if there weren’t hot chick who refused to talk to me.

I spot the cell phone kiosk and I’m all business. I’m standing there for what I deem to be to long of a time because it wasn’t really that busy, but then I was finally waited on. It’s all good till I pull my Blackcherry out of my pocket; then it was “oh, no… we don’t work on those”…and that was not what I wanted to hear. They directed me to another kiosk and I’m off to find that one.

I walk a little further and get distracted by the panties in the window of Victoria’s Secret (my panty fetish is definitely one of the reasons I can’t keep a girlfriend)…but then I refocused and found the next kiosk.

Now I won’t come right out and say that this guy is shady, but I’m pretty sure he’s got Sookie’s cell number if you know what I mean. This guy is the definition of shady Grady. He’s got sweaty palms, won’t look me in the eye...and he keeps saying “my friend, my friend… how can I help you”? We skip the niceties and get right down to business.

COOPRDOG
So, a little bird told me that you unlock GSM phones

CELL PHONE GUY #1
You came to the right place my friend. I am the fastest at unlocking phones in all of Toronto!

Now, I’m not even sure that the telecommunication industry keeps a record of such a metric – but he says that he’s the man. That he can do it better than anyone (…and last time I heard that…I caught a nasty infection) so I figured what the fuck… let’s see what the turn-around time is.

So I pull my Blackcherry out of my pocket and he freaks.

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Whoa…um… you didn’t’ tell me you had one of those buddy.

First I was his friend, now I am his buddy….I don’t think this is a good thing. But I didn’t come all this way to get the run-around… so I challenged his manhood.

COOPRDOG
Wait a minute. Aren’t you the man? Aren’t you like the baddest motherfucker in cellphone valley? Aren’t you the Dirty Harry of wireless?

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Hey! There’s no need for that type of shit. We are having a typical negotiation!

COOPRDOG
Negotiation? Negotiation?... man what the fuck are you talking about? Dude, I’m tryin’ to get the hook-up so I can mack on some of these Toronto hotties, you feel me? So fuck the dumb shit, ya-mine! What’s it gonna cost to unlock this motherfucker so I can get in the game…all this texting shit is killing me! …and for the record, you couldn’t negotiate the release of your dick from your hand.

CELL PHONE GUY #1
I am not your dude and I am not your man. and I am not going to jail for you. …and my dick is so big than I can’t even use my hands… I have to levitate it!

COOPRDOG
Jail? Jail? Look, all I need you to do is unlock it….that’s all…Stop trippin’. It’s not even illegal, I own the phone. Besides, you do this kind of shit all the time…don’t even try to play me!

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Listen to you. Next thing I know you’ll be CNN complaining about my kiosk and “illegal activity” and then you’ll go to the UN and bitch some more before you vote on a resolution to bomb my Kiosk with “shock and awe”.

COOPRDOG
Ok, I think you are overreacting.

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Oh really? With your cowboy hat and your PSP! You Americans are like Amoeba’s with your shopping.

COOPRDOG
Listen buddy. I’m not trying to fuck your sister or sell your family into indentured servitude, I’m trying to get some cellphone service.

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Yeah, I bet that’s what Columbus said when he landed in this bitch.

COOPRDOG
Columbus, you’re gonna front me on Columbus?!? And when the fuck did he come up to Canada and start shit?

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Please, it was on his list…the snow just stopped him….You know you are a fan …I can tell! You probably march around in a big fucking hat kicking native Americans in the ass on thanksgiving, you baby killer! ….which is a bullshit holiday for the rest of the planet you beef eating republican!

COOPRDOG
Republican? You can’t even spell republican, bitch! Why don’t you go eat a gyro and find an orthodontist

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Ha, ha…a dental joke, you Americans have no material…that’s was funny the first time I heard it Bob Marley. Why don’t’ you go smoke a phat one and get the hell away from my kiosk.

COOPRDOG
First of all, it ain’t your kiosk you fuckin’ share-croppin’ electrical engineering drop-out.

CELL PHONE GUY #1
(Waving his fist): Fuck you I got three credits left, you Nazi bastards! I have completed a majority of the coursework, and you need to give me that!

At this point the other guy working the cart comes around the corner and see what the ruckus is.

CELL PHONE GUY #2
Hey is there a problem here?

CELL PHONE GUY #1
This motherfucker is making engineering jokes!

CELL PHONE GUY #2
Oh really! And what, Malcolm X has a problem with a brother gettin’ his degree?

COOPRDOG
A brother? Bitch you got less soul than a pair of stiletto heels…and that’s not what I said. …look I just need to get my BlackCherry unlocked, asshole!

CELL PHONE GUY #2
Hey! I don’t need this negativity at my kiosk.

COOPRDOG
I thought it was his kiosk

CELL PHONE GUY #2
It is our kiosk! He is my brother!

COOPRDOG
Yeah, that’s a surprise. Shouldn’t you guys be praying over a pipe bomb, while mixing nails and rat poison or some shit?

CELL PHONE GUY #1
(from behind the guy): Did he just make a terrorism joke? Are you fucking kidding me?

CELL PHONE GUY #2
Listen buddy! We don’t need your negative energy around here or your racist assumptions. You have taken a good game of “the dozens” and ruined it.

CELL PHONE GUY #1
Ghetto motherfuckers are ruin’ the game!

CELL PHONE GUY #2
For real!

Needless to say, I didn’t get my Blackcherry unlocked. And I have also realized that Canada is not the minors. These motherfuckers are for real (even their hustlers). And the kiosk cats were pretty funny (I do need to write more material though).

Ok, onto the next task…finding some foreign MF DOOM CD’s. This is really the only thing that kind of makes festivals worth it, going into every record store you can find and looking for imported and limited edition shit of your favorite MC.

So I crank up my MP3 player (Monkey Suite if you are curious, it’s the dopest when you are mobbin’ crosstown) …I got my stroll on…rhymin’ with MF DOOM with the hand motions and all (watch the video)… you know, representin’ the WESTSIDE! …and all that shit; when my Blackcherry vibrates…. It’s an incoming call.

I can’t answer it. I mean I need to answer it because it’s Madame Ceremony. That means she’s pissed…cause we have all agreed not to call each other since the roaming charges are like $2.99 a minute and you have to lick some guy’s ass (talk about expensive). But here she is calling again… ok, I need to listen to her message – something is going down.

MADAME CEREMONY’S VOICE
I don’t know what kind of trouble you’re getting into, but you need to come up for air. Your buddy, Det. Bud. is causing a bit of a problem at the airport. His text message was really cryptic. So if you can leave the local females alone long enough to find out if he’s about to be executed or something… I’d appreciate it. Text me when you know.

Jesus! What the fuck is going on? I hope he didn’t start no shit at customs… I should have warned him

COOPRDOG TEXT
Dude what’s going on?

DET. BUDD TEXT
I got pulled out of line and sent to immigration.

COOPRDOG TEXT
What does that mean?

DET. BUDD TEXT
It means I’m in a room with a bunch of other people who are being yelled at and interrogated.

COOPRDOG TEXT
Dude what did you say?

DET. BUDD TEXT
Man, I wasn’t even fucking around. I gave’em my Passport. She scribbled something and told me to “stop by” immigration…like this is a bar or some shit.

COOPRDOG TEXT
So now what..?

DET. BUDD TEXT
Hold on, they’re talking to me.

…it’s like four excruciating minutes before I catch another text.

DET. BUDD TEXT
I’m inadmissible to Canada.

COOPRDOG TEXT
What!!! On what grounds?

DET. BUDD TEXT
Because of my DUI. I’m not allowed to enter the country till 2010. But I’m already in Canada and they don’t seem to happy about it.

COOPRDOG TEXT
Shut the fuck up, you’re serious?

DET. BUDD TEXT
Dude they just caught some dude lying and then the chick snapped her fingers and these big motherfuckers with guns just came in and grabbed the guy. Dude I think I’m about to get tortured….ok.. I gotta go. This shit is getting’ hella real, hella quick.

Ok, this is nuts. We didn’t even bring weed. What is the deal with Canada?

I decide to text the Madame and let her know what the deal is

COOPRDOG TEXT
Ok, so…they’re denying him entry because he has a DUI.

MADAME CEREMONY
Lol…shut up!

COOPRDOG TEXT
Dude I’m totally fucking serious. They are interrogating him.

MADAME CEREMONY
Interrogating? Did he do something?

COOPRDOG TEXT
No, he got pulled out of line…

Suddenly I get a text from Det. Budd..

DET. BUDD TEXT
Ok so…even though I’m inadmissible to Canada because I have a “propensity for over consumption”…. They will overlook that and issue me a temporary Visa for the low, low price of $200 – American.

COOPRDOG TEXT
So it’s a shake down?

DET. BUDD TEXT
It’s all a shakedown. College, Marriage, auto loans….yes, these bitches are money grubbing bastards just like our federal Government…surprise, sur-fucking-prise!

Now there’s the Det. Budd I know.

DET. BUDD TEXT
You know what. You need to find some herbals cause I’m really gonna need to roast a bowl when I get through with these mother fuckers. You know? Fuck Spielberg, Fuck Hollywood and Mother Fuck Canada

I started laughing aloud as I read his text.

DET. BUDD TEXT
Ok.. I said that last part out loud…and that may have signed my death warrant. So if I can get out of here without being raped or having a limb amputated…I’m really gonna want those buds …so get to work.

Talk about putting the pressure on. Now I have to make shit happen

Like a man possessed I began to roam the city. Now keep in mind that the festival starts in a few hours and I still don’ know where the venue is… not to mention that I have done little if any publicity… but that was kind of by choice… but more on that later.

Now being that I am a weed smoker I’m intensely paranoid about being arrested for attempting to buy a controlled substance. If you are female and looking to score.. it’s a bit easier because people tend not to get offended…cause they like talkin’ to chicks. It’s a bit different for dudes though. I’ve seen people get extremely offended when asking them where to buy weed…so you have to be discrete.

I opted not to ask any of the Skate punks because they might just wanna see you act stupid to get some weed…and send you to a biker bar or some shit. And I’m not fucking with no more cabbies or kiosk cats, lest I get heckled yet again.

So what I decided to do was find a record store that had lots of underground (and also pro-marijuana) beats and hand out and see who “appears”. Well I was in this one store for nearly 40 min’s. I was the only one not wearing a suit other than the DJ. Toronto is weird like that. I mean I like that it’s so diverse that you get people in suits lookin’ at hardcore underground beats…but it does make it tough to proposition someone to buy weed. So, I decided to ask the DJ, cause I know she knows who’s holdin’. I should point out that I don’t tend to like female DJ’s – not that I’m sexist, but most of the female DJ’s I’ve met are just cute…they can’t cut. So, I tried to hide my anti-female DJ bias and be cool.

As I approached with all my shit, she stops mixing and begins to ring me up. She comments on my love of “The LP’s” (The LootPack). I was initially amazed that she these cats…but what do you know, Hip-Hop is world famous. We rap a little more and I invite her to my screening…she says she might come. Then I ask her if she kinda, sorta knew anyone who might have some herbals. She looked me dead in the eye and said “yeah, me”.

And just like that I got hooked up for a ¼ and was out the door. Man, Toronto is cool like that.

I broke back to the hotel room….burned one and then grabbed a bunch of shit and broke out my maps to find this venue. It turns out it’s 5 blocks from the hotel…..that was money.

I took a few screeners and some postcards and headed to the venue. I had the buds in my pocket in case Det. Budd showed up sooner than expected.

Let’s hope the screenings are better than today.

COOPRDOG

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