Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Don't Touch My Bag: A Quickie

Here's yet another story that illustrates the importance of tipping a bellman or doorman: 

It was 11pm the other night. From 11pm-midnight, there's only one bellman on duty, so when it gets busy, they pull me inside to do various bellman tasks. This can be anything from delivering buckets of ice, retrieving towels, or showing newly arrived guests up to their rooms (in the industry, we call them "fronts".)

I never mind because I generally stop making money at around 9pm, so any opportunity to put a little extra jingle in my pocket is welcomed. 

Standing at my post, I was the middle of a fully-catatonic daydream about teaming up with Eli Manning in a celebrity golf tournament, when a front desk agent called me over. 

Front Desk Agent - "Doorman, I'm really sorry. Can you take this lady up? She's a little crazy." 

Doorman - "Sure, why the hell not?" 

She was a little white lady stood at about 5'1 and 200lb. I couldn't tell if she were homeless or a hipster, but she wore a pair of black basketball shorts and an old-school Philadelphia 76ers jersey.  The kicker was the neon-green windbreaker and matching hat, which she had the rim propped-up in the air. 

She looked like a pudgy, white, female version of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. 

I grabbed the keys from the Front Desk Agent, and cautiously approached her. She held a small duffle bag in her arms like a football, with two shopping bags on the floor. 

Doorman - "Good evening, ma'am. May I take that bag for you?"

Fresh Prince - "NO!!! JUST TAKE THE SHOPPING BAGS!!!" 

Doorman - "Okie dokie." 

We got in the elevator. I didn't care about her snapping. It was late and I had made decent money that day, so I was just intrigued by what she had to say. 

And, fuck, she had a lot to say:

Fresh Prince - "How many stars is this hotel? One? Four"

Doorman - "Three." 

Fresh Prince - "Yeah, that's what I thought. I stay at the Helmsley or the Waldorf all the time but tonight they didn't have any rooms and I was in the city taking pictures and didn't feel like commuting all the way upstate but I don't know of too many other hotels in the area so I went on expedia and booked this one but the lobby don't look like it does in the pictures and holy shit these elevators are slow!!!" 

Doorman - "Yeah." 

Fresh Prince - "What floor am I on? Eight? I usually stay on the 10th floor at the Helmsley or Waldorf but they didn't have any rooms tonight but I already told you that but no offense but those hotels are nicer than this one."

Doorman - "None taken." 

Fresh Prince - "Yeah I don't even know why I came here but I didn't feel like doing the commute all the way upstate and lots of hotels in the area don't have smoking rooms but this one does and the lady at the front desk told me that I have a smoking room but you guys aren't dog friendly are you?" 

Doorman - "No." 

Fresh Prince - "Yeah I didn't think so there aren't too many dog friendly places in the city except for that piece of shit hotel in front of Madison Square Garden but I never stay there because there are prostitutes in the lobby-" 

Ding - EIGHTH FLOOR!!!!

I galloped to her room with her chugging behind me, continuously chewing my ear off. I opened the door put the shopping bags down, turned on the lights, and turned to get the fuck out of there. 

Fresh Prince - "Hang on a sec!  I wanna give you a little something. Boy these rooms aren't as nice as the Waldorf or the Helmsley!" 

I stopped and waited. Because I love money. 

She placed the duffle-bag, ever so gently, on the bed and pulled out an impressive money-wad. I noticed that she keeps hers like I keep mine - singles on top. 

As she prepared to peel two singles off the top and hand them over, the duffle bag abruptly rocked back and forth. 

Then I heard the faint sounds of a little dog yawning. 

We both heard it, and stood in silence for a second. I looked at the bag, looked and her, then purposefully panned my line-of-sight down to her money-wad. 

She put the two singles back, then dug deeper into her currency and pulled out a ten. 

Fresh Prince - "You didn't hear that." 

I snatched the ten from her. 

Doorman - "Hear what?" 

And I left. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Doorman vs Chauffeur

I've never had a recurring dream. I never thought they existed till I finally started having one of my own a couple of weeks ago:

The dream itself is pretty simple - I'm in a bus terminal with a suitcase holding every valuable possession I own. (I don't have much, so when I say "every valuable possession", I mean my MacBook Air and an external hard drive that holds all of my writings and raw footage from #Doorman.)

For some odd reason, I go on various eating and shopping sprees, each time leaving my prized suitcase in the middle of the terminal for all of the homeless people to salivate over. Finally, after ditching my bag in favor of a cup of Cookies 'n Cream Dippin' Dots, I come back to find that my possessions were gone. After throwing a tantrum, threatening and pointing fingers at every homeless man in sight, one of them looks me dead in the eye:

Homeless Man: "Well, you kept leaving it out there, what the fuck did you think was going to happen?"

That's where I wake up.

Over the past year and a half, I've undergone a transformation. I spent my childhood and better part of my adulthood taking the passive route, which resulted in me getting bullied and walked all over. Even in my earlier blog posts, you can see a guy who is afraid to stand up for himself, but has something burning beneath the surface. This pent-up aggression was waiting to bubble over and make up for all those years of regret for not respecting myself enough to speak up when I felt I was being disrespected.

Once that happened, I almost felt guilty every time I would tell someone off, or call someone out on their bullshit. It was a feeling that I've never really experienced. Though as time went on, I was able to recognize that this feeling of guilt was actually relief. I would go home, with an argument with a coworker or taxi driver fresh on my mind, knowing full-well that I stuck up for myself and did the right thing, and I would feel good about it. A far cry from beating the shit out of a pillow and calling myself a pussy as I cryerbated and wondered why I was the only male in my father's bloodline that didn't have a fucking backbone.

Then this good feeling overtook me. I began getting carried away. I began being a cock because I could. I began talking down to people that I felt were lesser than me - the cabbies, the town car drivers, the street scammers. I thought I could say whatever I wanted, because I was untouchable. I wore the uniform. It was my fucking sidewalk, and these cunts would play by my fucking rules. I, in essence, became something of a bully.

The funny thing about bullies is that they become so used to people being submissive that they're completely caught off guard when someone bites back. Which brings me to this story:

The hotel's loading zone spans about thirty feet. That's enough for 3-5 vehicles, depending on the size. At least two-dozen times a day, someone (usually a town car driver) will pull up and treat it like a rest area. It's my job to remove them. If it's 11pm, I don't give a flying fuck. If it's 3pm, then I have to move them, because at any given time, I could be dealing with ten cars trying to drop off or pick up in the zone. For every ten cars that I ask to move, at least five will give me an attitude, and at least two will refuse. This is why I get into fights. Every. Fucking. Day.

A white van full of movers wants to pull over and eat their halal food?

Fuck you, Doorman.

Some guido wants to pull over and have a twenty-minute phone conversation?

Fuck you, Doorman.

A town car driver wants to take a nap?

Fuck you, Doorman.

Every day. Without fail.

Fuck you, Doorman.

Being polite gets me nowhere with these fucking assholes. So I have to be a dick. And guess what? I fucking love it. My "excuse me, sir's" have evolved into "yo, I need the spot." I don't give anyone a second to explain themselves. If they're not picking up from the hotel, they're greeted with a "get the fuck out of here." It's wildly efficient.

What happens when I'm polite? I get a rebuttal. "Five minutes!" "I'm just picking up from around the corner!" "Oh, come on!" "Where's the sign? I don't see the sign!!!"

Nope, fuck you. This is my loading zone. Get the fuck out.

And it feels fantfuckingtastic. 

Though as the night goes on, and there's less action, I ease up. But on this particular late night, shit was busy and crowded. There was a car waiting to be picked up at the garage on one corner, with a limo and town car waiting for guests to be picked up. In the middle of everything was a black Escalade with New Jersey plates. They were plane-Jane license plates that didn't belong to any limo company in particular, so the odds of him having a legit pickup from the hotel were slim to none. Someone had to go, and it was him.

The window was open, and there was a bald Hispanic man in his thirties resting his head in the palm of his hand with an elbow out the window. He wore a diamond pinky-ring and a suit that indicated that he was some sort of high-end chauffeur.

Doorman - "Picking up from here?"

Chauffeur - "Nah, I'm picking up the Rosales family around the corner."

Doorman - "Can't stay here, I need the spot."

He looked at me like I was crazy. I smugly chewed my gum and stared at him. Looking around for another rebuttal, he spotted the fire hydrant in front of him.

Chauffeur - "I'm in front of a hydrant."

Doorman - "Which is in the loading zone. Come on, let's go."

Chauffeur - "Come on, man!"

I've mentioned before that I'm Puerto Rican. Only on the inside. My physical appearance, dancing skills, and success with women do not reflect those of a Latino in the least bit. While I'm proud of my heritage, it's not exactly something that I can wear on my sleeve. My Old Man is Irish, and that's usually what I have to go with.

Another important thing I must mention is that where I work, in my field and on this avenue, the nickname "Papi" is used constantly. Doormen use it to summon taxi drivers, Bellmen use it towards Doormen when they're collecting a debt, and the other way around. I use it every day, without thinking twice.

Doorman - "You're blocking the middle of the loading zone, Papi!"

This clearly sent a jolt through his body. I saw the fire in his eyes, and something immediately didn't feel right about my choice of words.

Chauffeur - "I ain't movin'."

Fuck this bullshit.

Doorman - "I asked you nicely! Are you gonna move, or are you gonna be a fucking jerk?!?"

I turned to walk away and he threw his hand up, shooing me.

Not to be defeated, I went and got security.

The security agent, making ten dollars an hour, now had to get involved with my bullshit.

He went over there, and I heard the Chauffeur yelling about me. I tried to keep my cool, but I felt my blood boiling. I felt like I did when I would let myself get kicked around in middle school. I felt my body get hot and my face flush like when I would let some kid from the projects punch me in the stomach and take my lunch away. From where I was standing, I could hear him yelling:

Chauffeur - "If he don't like it, I can take it up with him after work!!!"

My body took me over there before my brain could even think about it, and I was right back in his face.

Doorman - "What the fuck is your problem?!?"

Chauffeur - "FIRST OFF - Don't call me 'Papi'! I ain't your Papi!"

There it was. I knew I felt wrong about something I said, and he pointed it out to me. "Papi" is something Latino men use as a term of endearment with their sons. It's something Latino women call their men. It's not something some fucking white guy in a stupid hat says to a Latino man when trying to ask them to do something. I was dead wrong in that regard. 

Doorman - "Fine."

Chauffeur - "Second, I ain't no fucking jerk. Don't call me a jerk!"

Whoa now, let's not get crazy here.

Doorman - "If you wanna act like a jerk, I'm gonna treat you like a fucking jerk."

Chauffuer - "Don't fucking talk to me like that!"

Doorman - "Like what? YOU'RE A FUCKING JERK!!"

Chauffeur - "DON'T YELL AT ME, MOTHER FUCKER!!!"

Doorman - "FUCK YOU!!! I'LL FUCKING YELL AT YOU!!! WHAT, YOU DON'T LIKE IT?!?"

At this point, security just stood back. I don't know if he was just letting us work it out, or completely unsure of how to get in between us.

Chauffeur - "WHAT TIME YOU GET OFF?!?!"

Doorman - "MIDNIGHT!!! MEET ME RIGHT HERE, BITCH!!!"

Chauffeur - "I'LL SEE YOU HERE, MOTHER FUCKER!! SOMEONE'S LOSING THEIR JOB TONIGHT!!!"

In retrospect, I'm not sure what he meant by that. Was he talking about himself? Like his employer will find out about a bloody fistfight that he has with a doorman when he's off the clock? Or was he talking about me? In any event, why would I lose my job if I'm attacked by some chauffeur when I'm exiting work? People say strange things when they're angry.

Security finally stepped in between us, and I retreated back to the door, where I watched him light a cigarette and stand his ground. Security wasn't going to pour more gas on the fire by making this guy move, so he just stood at the halfway mark till the guy left.

While all of this was going on, a car came to be valeted. As I explained the rules of the parking garage to the guest, shaky hands and all, a gross feeling had overcome me.

I felt like someone had lathered me up in IcyHot and poured a bucket of sand down my throat. Was I really going to have to exit work and have to fight this fucking guy? Was I going to walk out of here at midnight, with my hipster backpack, converse sneakers and "Better Call Saul" t-shirt, and brawl with some mystery chauffeur that I know nothing about?

And for what?!?! He stopped to rest in my little territory?!?! Who the fuck am I?!?!

And what if he came back with a gun or a knife? What if I walked out of here, expecting a fair fight, and this guy just shot me in the head? You know what would happen? The cops would scrape me off the sidewalk, and the next day my manager would cross me off the schedule and put the last guy in seniority in my place and EVERYTHING WOULD BE EXACTLY THE SAME THE NEXT DAY.

What the fuck am I fighting for? This? No, I'm done with this.

While a guest was mid-question, I walked over to the Chauffeur. He was about done with his cigarette, and had it cupped in his hand with his index finger and thumb. He didn't want to look at me.

Security went to stop me. I pushed him off.

Doorman - 'It's okay."

Chauffeur looked at me, but my calmness was evident, and he knew that I wasn't looking for any more conflict.

Doorman - "Let me just say one thing - I'm out here every day with people telling me to go fuck myself, dealing with cabbies and guests, getting no respect. I know what I said that offended you, and for that, I apologize. Wasn't my intention."

Chauffeur - "I'm not someone who tolerates being spoken to like that."

Doorman - "Neither am I."

I extended my hand.

Chauffeur - "I accept your apology. Next time be more careful who you talk to like that."

He took a phone call, shutting the window in my face, and drove away.

I just stood there and watched him go, feeling like I caved. I imagined him getting to his destination, telling whoever it was that he was picking up the story, then ending it with "and then he got scared and apologized to me like a bitch." In trying to defuse a situation and do the right thing, I ended up just feeling like a pussy.

Security - "You did the right thing, my man."

I couldn't answer him. I could barely speak. Having played the situation in my head over and over, I couldn't make sense of who was right and who was wrong. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what my tone was when I approached him. All I could recall was calling him "Papi" and his eyes going cold. Just as I did when I was just some pudgy little piece of shit kid, getting slapped in the face and pushed off the bleachers at school, I blamed myself for someone else's wrong doing.

After months and months of owning my sidewalk and talking down to people, playing the bully, I was knocked right back down to earth.

Thankfully. Because that isn't me.

After months and months of getting off on being a prick, odds are I was bound to run into someone who wouldn't tolerate it. Someone who was just like me - a guy with a chip on his shoulder, not about to let some smug asshole use his status to push him over.

I had it coming, just like I had getting my shit stolen by homeless people in my dream.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Doorman Screens His Pilot

It's taken me a few days to write out this past Thursday night. Mostly because I spent Friday nursing a Stage 5 Hangover, then had to work all day Saturday. Coming back to work after having, quite possibly, the best night of my career, was a total fucking bummer. It's funny, though - I was so disconnected and lackadaisical that I didn't realize my laid-back attitude had made me about $200 in tips. Goes to show that when I don't let things bother me and put a smile of my face, it improves my income immensely. But not to worry, I won't let that affect my conquest.

Having said that, here some highlights of the Thursday night premiere screening: 

- We set up a generous amount of chairs in the screening room. With the overwhelming amount of people, we needed to split it into two separate showings, and filled every chair with at least 20 people standing in the back. 

- I had serious pit stains. Like exiled in the desert pit stains. I stopped at the hotel to pick up a few things on my way to the bar, and I had to ask housekeeping for a blow dryer to evaporate the first wave of sweat that protruded from my armpits. This only proved helpful for a short period of time, as the second I went back into the bar, the waterfall resumed. My animal friends made sure they let me know as I made an announcement before the showing.

So note to self: Slim-fit shirts and hosting an event that features the biggest gamble of my life/career don't mix. 

- The start of the screening was delayed by about 25 minutes. Why? We have no fucking idea. I had went to the bar on Tuesday to test the equipment and everything was copacetic. For some odd reason, the projector wouldn't display the screen on my laptop once we tried to set it up. I can say this now and laugh about it, but there was a good chunk of time where I thought I was going to have to go downstairs and tell everyone that I couldn't show them the pilot. 

PIT STAINS. 

What ended up happening (and I must have some higher force on my side) was we were in the upstairs office trying to get their really shitty computer to turn on to stream a DVD through the TV's at the bar. It would have made the quality of the movie look really shitty and it was the absolute last possible resort. Then the computer froze up and crashed. 

With no other options and my producer, cinematographer, and bar manager just staring at each other, wondering what to do next, a small miracle happened: 

Milan, the fantastic cinematographer, noticed a small black wire underneath a bunch of defective equipment. He ran, picked it up, and said, in his thick Serbian accent:

Milan - "Maybe small wire will work." 

He ran downstairs, with us following. 

Once he got back into the screening room, I noticed that more people had wandered upstairs, wondering what the fuck was going on. I tried to address them calmly, but it ended up sounding something like this: 

Doorman - "OK GUYS WE'RE HAVING SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES BUT I DIDN'T CALL ANYONE UP YET SO PLEASE GO BACK DOWNSTAIRS OK THANK YOUUUUUU!!!!"

Not my finest moment. 

Milan, just as he did while we were filming, calmly bailed me out by pulling out the shitty wires that I had purchased from Best Buy (which I will be promptly returning, you betcha), connecting this phantom wire that he found, and illuminating the image of the first frame of the opening credits on the screen. 

The sounds of applause filled the room, and I triumphantly raised my fist in the air, giving everyone a nice glimpse of the swamp underneath my arms. 

Doorman - "OK WE'RE ON!!! EVERYONE GET THE FUCK IN HERE!!!" 

I could tell that some of the people in attendance who didn't know me didn't take that statement very well. I assure you, I meant that in the most polite manner. It's just the way I operate. 

Everyone shuffled in, and we were on our way. 

After addressing the audience, all of my friends and family and readers who came out to support my outrageous attempt to make a career out of doing what I love, the lights went dark, and I finally unveiled #Doorman. 

Hearing everyones laughs, gasps, and nudging and cheering was a new high that I've yet to experience. I've performed on stage for years. I've done stand-up, improv, and many, many, plays. I've heard every laugh, every reaction imaginable. I can honestly tell you that it was the greatest feeling of elation that I've had to date. Hearing people react positively to your writing and acting is one thing, but hearing them react positively to something that you had to experience first, something that was initially painful but spun into something positive, is a whole new addiction that I'm looking forward to feeding. 

Pit stains. 

I was able to speak to almost everyone who came. I got to meet some really wonderful readers, which was incredible. One in particular was the friend of an investor from Australia. My Aussie reader donated $50 to the film after following the blog for a few months. She obviously couldn't make it, so she sent her NYC friends to come check out her investment. Her friends had a blast, we chatted and they were able to send over a good report back. That's how far this whole thing has reached out. 

The rest of the evening was kind of a blur, with the fucking Heat winning their second straight title and everyone drinking the night away. 

So from here, all I can really say is that the pilot is now being submitted to film festivals (five to date). On top of that, I'll be pitching it to networks. While the fun part has passed, I'm eternally grateful for the turnout and reaction from the other night. Now it's in bigger hands. I'll surely keep you all posted. 

On another note, I've been trying to find a way to end this #Doorman story. It's obviously based on real events, and I won't be making anything up, but I'm ready to move onto the next stage in my life. A fitting end to this chapter in my life is essential. I don't know where or when it will happen, but I'm hoping it happens soon. This has been a life-chaning experience for me, but all good things must come to an end. I don't want to be in my fifties writing Doorman vs. Taxi Driver: Round 50. 

So until then, thank you so much - for your support and readership, and for a killer fucking party on Thursday. Love you all very much. 

#Doorman 

#PitStains

PS- I announced this at the screening, but it's important to get the #Doorman hash tag trending. If you can say something about the blog or pilot using "#doorman" it on twitter, facebook, or instagram, I'd greatly appreciate it! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Doorman vs Taxi Driver: Round III

I've gone a long while without a huge blow-up with a taxi driver. Well, that's a lie - I haven't had a story come anywhere near me getting dragged an entire block by one of the more savage-y fucks. Again - I'm not saying they're all savages. These people work very hard. Most of them work twelve-fourteen  hour days, six days a week.  Most of them are bitter, just like me. I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you think my stories are bad, talk to a taxi driver. They have it a helluva lot worse than I do in terms of people mistreating them. 

It's a rivalry like the Yankees and the Red Sox, or Socs and Greasers. The Doormen, the preppies of this lower social class, the guys who play God of the sidewalk, and the taxi drivers who resent them for it. 

But just like the Red Sox and the Yankees, there's a human element that allows us to look past the rivalry. I'm sure, at some point, David Ortiz and Derek Jeter had a drink together and laughed at all of the pre-disposed bull shit. 

Taxis were used a bunch in my pilot. How was I able to pull that off? I asked one of my buddies. I've become friends with many of them. If you were to pass me on the street at any given night, you may see me trading in my singles for big bills with some regulars, chatting with one of the guys as they have a smoke, or bringing them to the bell desk to give them a bathroom key. We're all working out here, and when it's not busy, there's really nothing to fight over. So since my last Doorman vs. Taxi Driver post, I've eased up on them. 

However... 

There's that magical time of day where the shifts change. It happens between 4 and 5pm - right before rush hour.  Perfect time to not have taxis available. No one can get a cab when they're needed most, but hey, at least fat people can't put sugar in their extra large coffees!!! Am I right, New York??? 

No, really though- 

That part of the day is always the shittiest. 

I use the word "cock sucker" about every ten seconds. Every interaction is the fucking same: 

Taxi pulls up: 

Taxi - "Where they going?" 

I try to open door and hear the locks click. 

Doorman - "Penn Station." 

Driver begins to drive away. 

Doorman - "Cock sucker!" 

Once in awhile, they'll stop and ask why I called them a "cock sucker", to which I'll respond, "because you're a cock sucker." This usually starts most of my cabbie fights. 

It's even more fucking annoying when these pukes spot luggage and think they're going to the airport. They'll pull the cab over through two lanes of traffic, nearly killing ten people, only to have me break their heart when I tell them that the guest is going to Port Authority. 

Now, I get their plight. They want to snag a $60 fare before they call it an end to a 14-hour shift. I get it. The problem is, it ends up making me look like an asshole, which fucks up my tip. Most guests just think that I'm incompetent and I can't perform the simple task of getting a taxi to stop for me. Do you think they want to hit me off with a tip after it takes 20 minutes to put them in a cab when two dozen stopped to talk to me first? They're technically taking money out of my pocket, and homie don't play that. 

So it was one of those days. And I wasn't having it. 

A nice young couple needed a taxi to Penn Station at 4pm. At 4:20pm, I was still in the streets, acting like a raving lunatic and these people were beginning to really sweat that they were going to miss their train. I tried my best to explain it, but I was so worked up that it sounded something like this:

Doorman - "THESE ANIMALS HAVE A SHIFT CHANGE BUT IT'S ILLEGAL AND THEY WANT TO GO TO LAGUARDIA AND I'M REALLY SORRY BUT THESE GUYS ARE SAVAGES." 

Not my finest moment. But take a second to imagine having to do this every fucking day. 

One of these assholes pulls up in a minivan taxi. He sees luggage, and salivates at the prospect of getting a juicy JFK airport fare to take home. He also made the mistake of not locking his door. 

In a snap, I pulled the door open, motioned for the couple to quickly get the fuck over here, and ran to the trunk to dump the luggage before this fuckface could know where he was taking them. 

It should also be noted that his on-duty light was on, making it illegal for him to turn down a fare. 

My neglecting to tell him the destination immediately made him suspicious. He jumped out of the car. He was about 6'4, weighing in at about 130 lb., if you dipped him in molasses first. A gangly and funny-looking fuck, he dressed in one of those while lampshade-like onsies that some of the Middle-Easter drivers wear. Only his whipped around in the wind like a page from a newspaper when it's floating around gets interrupted by a stop sign pole. 

Cabbie - "Where they going?" 

I threw the two carry-ons in as quickly as I could, but he was onto me. 

Cabbie - "WHERE THEY GOING!?!" 

I knew immediately that this was going to end poorly. 

Doorman - "I dunno." 

Cabbie - "LaGuardia, JFK?"

Again, what he's doing is 100% illegal. You can't pick and choose fares, especially with your on-duty light on. 

Doorman - "Penn Station. Don't do this. Just take them." 

I was proud that I didn't say anything nasty, because I knew what he was about to do. 

Cabbie - "NO!!! No, take the luggage out." 

Doorman - "No, take the fare." 

I was doing my best calm-voice. The guests were standing right there and saw him being aggressive with me, and that's really the only way for me to come out of this in a positive light. 

Then he went and said this: 

Cabbie - "NO!!! Take it out, you fucking BUM!"

Bum? 

Doorman - "Did you just call me a bum?"

He grabbed the suitcases and took them out. 

Now, what I did next probably wasn't the most mature or professional thing. 

Cabbie - "You fucking BUM!!!" 

Remember a while back when I said that I chew gum at work because it helps get out my aggression? It also comes in handy for revenge. 

With the minivan taxis, you can climb in through the trunk and into the backseat, so with the trunk wide open, I can throw something from the back, through the little window that divides the cabbie from the customer, and have it land in the front seat. 

What do you think I did? 

Doorman - "Bum... Bum?!?! Ok, watch this..."

I, ever so calmly, took the gum out of my mouth, curled it up in to a little ball, and lobbed it into his front seat. 

I wish I could tell you what his face looked like, but I was too busy ducking from the fist that he threw at me. 

Just in time, I was able to dodge his attempt to punch me in the jaw. I never in a million years thought it would actually happen, but a cabbie finally took a swing at me. 

More shocked than anything, I didn't swing back, but just stood there.  

Doorman - "Did you just try and punch me in the face?" 

I guess he surprised himself, because he also just stood there with his fists in tight, veiny balls. Knowing full-well that he's fucked for attempting to assault me, and seeing that he'd lost his nerve to try and hit me again, I decided it would be fun to fuck with him: 

Doorman - "I'm calling the police." 

The second I took out my cell phone, the man went fucking ballistic. 

Cabbie - "I DO NOT TRY TO HIT YOU!!! I TRY TO KNOCK HAT OFF YOUR HEAD!!! YOU FUCKING COCK SUCKER!!! YOU ASSAULT ME WITH YOUR GUM!!!" 

I would never call the cops for something this stupid, so instead of dialing a number, I tweeted something along the lines of, "Just had an interaction worthy of 'Doorman vs Taxi Driver: Round III. Stay tuned." I had already won, and this whole situation was amusing me, so I, ever so calmly, pushed it a little further:

Doorman - "I don't know why you tried to hit me. All I wanted to do was get my people to the train station!" 

This made him turn to the sidewalk in hopes of a supporter. He was going fucking crazy, and I was loving every minute of it. This is every tip these assholes blew for me. I was taking one back for the team. 

Cabbie - "THIS MAN THREW HIS GUM IN MY FRONT SEAT. IT HAS YOUR DNA ON IT!!! IT HAS YOUR DNA ON IT!!!!" 

It has my DNA on it. 

Doorman - "Okay, so when the cops get here, you can give it to them to have forensics analyze it." 

Cabbie - "MOTHERFUCKER!!! FUCK YOU!!!" 

He ran like a bastard to the car, and dove head-first into the front seat to find the gum. The sounds of his muffled screaming from inside the car as he kicked his dangling legs like Winnie the Pooh stuck in a giant yellow log has tears of laughter streaming down my face as I type this out. 

I figured this would be a good opportunity to let my guests know that I was still trying to get them a taxi. 

Doorman - "Sorry folks, this guy is a real monster." 

They were fucking loving this. 

Guest - "Dude, no worries." 

Cabbie emerged from the car, triumphantly hoisting my gum in the air with his bare hands like he'd just won a fucking Oscar. 

Cabbie - "THIS IS THE GUM!!! THIS IS THE GUM RIGHT HERE WITH YOUR DNA!!!" 

With no supporters and no airport fare, he realized his defeat. He took the gum with him, probably to take it to court, and got back in his vehicle. But not before showering me with more profanities that would make pimp blush. 

I got my people into a taxi, and the guy threw me a five. 

Guest - "Thank you for the New York moment." 

My pleasure. 

For the next hour or so, I couldn't help but laugh at the though of him in a courtroom, representing himself, and presenting a ziplock bag marked "Exhibit A" holding a little red piece of Watermelon Trident to the jury. 

Was I wrong for doing that? Yeah, probably. But nobody calls me a fucking bum and gets away with it. 

I reported his taxi for refusing a fare while on-duty, and as you learned in the original Doorman vs Taxi Driver post, he has to show up to the hearing no matter what. 






I think I proved victorious in this one. That puts me in the lead:

Doorman - 2

Taxi Drivers - 1

Friday, June 14, 2013

Doorman Screening Info and Cheat Sheet

Hello fine people, 

By the looks of the place and current RSVP's, we're likely at capacity for Thursday, June 20th. If you're still interested in coming, send me a message and I'll let you know if there's a cancellation. Again, only dicks RSVP and don't show. If you need to cancel, please let me know as soon as possible. Don't be a dick. 

The location is Old Castle Pub:

160 W 54th St (at 7th ave)

Please arrive at 8pm at the bar downstairs, where there will be happy hour specials. When you arrive, tell the host at the front that you're here for "Doorman." Eat, drink, have fun and schmooze. At around 9:15-9:30, we'll all shuffle upstairs to the screening room, where there will be another bar for our pleasure. After the screening (10 minute runtime), we'll have the upstairs bar to ourselves to party for the rest of the evening. Should there not be enough room for everyone, we'll split the screening into two groups. Again, it's only ten minutes long. 


The pilot is based on and makes references to these posts (After reading through some of my earlier work, I'm kind of proud of how much stronger my writing has become. Ok, I'm done patting myself on the back.): 

More Fath Pleathe

Moronic 9/11 Inquiries

The Lonely Road to Midnight

My Name is Nunzio 

Notepad Art

Doorman vs. Taxi Driver 

Oh, You Wrote a Trip Advisor Review? You Must Be Really Smart. 

Ugly Americans 

Looking forward to seeing all of you and thank you so much!!!!

#Doorman 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Doorman Screening RSVP

Hello Friends, Readers and Investors, 

After two rigorous months of planning, raising money, pre-production, filming, and post-production, my "Doorman" pilot is almost locked. And guess what? I'm fucking head-over-heels, madly in love with it. And I know you will be, too!!! Only problem is, I won't be able to publish it online for at least the entirety of 2013, as I'll be submitting it to a ton of film festivals. Once it hits YouTube, it becomes ineligible for festival play. 

So here's the deal- 

I'm going to do one free screening in NYC on Thursday, June 20th. I haven't picked a venue yet, because I need to get a feel for how many people will be there. The screening will happen anywhere between 7-9pm, and there will surely be an after-party. The pilot runs ten minutes, so length is obviously not an issue.

I need serious inquiries only. You can bring as many people as you like, but I just need a definite headcount by the end of the week. So if you RSVP at the email address below, please tell me how many peeps you're bringing. All are welcome. I mean that. Don't be shy. Once I get a head count, I'll book the venue and let you know where to go. It will be in Manhattan. Deal? Deal. Please don't RSVP "yes" and not show. Only dicks do that. Don't be a dick. 


RSVP by Friday the 14th to TBoneHotel@gmail.com

Love you all and I hope to see you there!!!

#Doorman


View the Trailer Here

Thursday, June 6, 2013

#Doorman Pilot Update

This is how my day started:




This is how my day ended:




A short while after my broken toe (which was, ironically, caused by a fucking door), I hobbled to Penn Station and took the train out to Red Bank, NJ to visit my editor, Greg Caiafa (who is also playing the 2nd lead and co-producing this with me). We've been coordinating as much as possible  since he took over, and having now seen the rough cut of the film, I'm proud to say that it has exceeded my expectations. I fucking love it. I really, truly mean that. There isn't a single frame in the film that I didn't just gush over, wondering how the hell we were able to pull this off with the shoe-string budget we had. It's funny, sad, honest, and painfully personal - just like the blog. 

What happens now:

Sorry to disappoint, but it will not be on YouTube for quite some time. I initially wanted this to be a web-series, though after reworking the ending in the writing process, I'll be submitting it to as many film festivals as possible. It's a stand-alone pilot, one that introduces the Doorman and those who inhabit his world, leaving the viewer wanting to see more. It also has a satisfying enough ending to work as a ten-minute short film. Once something is published on youtube or any other broadcasting website, it becomes invalid for festival-play. I'll be submitting it to festivals for the rest of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014.

So please - if you're in the NYC area on June 20th, try and come out and see the pilot. It will be at a bar in midtown (more details to come.) I'll be there (obviously) drinking beers with everyone (even more obviously). It will be free, and all are welcome to come and bring guests. Believe me, I've been itching to just post the fucking thing, but I know it has the potential to do extremely well in the festival circuit. So save the date. Thursday, June 20th in the evening. Stay tuned. 

I also had a little fun with a still from the pilot using Instagram. Enjoy!!! 


#Doorman 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Suzy the Twat: The Ugliest American - Part III

Click here for PART ONE 

Click here for PART TWO

Doorman - "That's so fucking stupid. How could I possibly be in on something like that? It doesn't even make sense. What, am I going to call the cabbie after she gets in his car and say, 'yo, this white lady is gonna leave her purse in the car by accident, if she calls me, I won't say shit. Then we'll split everything evenly, along with Leroy the decoy on the street.' You know?"

Raul just ran his fingers through his fu manchu and looked at his watch. 3:00pm. Quitting time.

Raul - "Coño, I'm going home. Don't let that little bitch get to you."

We shook hands and he left. The night guy, a towering monster with triceps the size of car mufflers who I call "Bane", arrived. I didn't fill him in on what happened, because it was festering in my head.

Was Raul fucking with me? She sounded very serious on the phone. The more I thought about it and replayed the tone in her voice over and over in my head, the more it made sense. Her questions were all accusatory. "I need my purse back." "Oh, I get it." "Oh, you remember? Interesting."

Bane distracted me by showing me a picture of his newborn son. He had a thick head of black hair and looked just like his dad, minus the professional wrestler-like frame. We talked about his becoming a father for a bit, and I was able to temporarily put Suzy the Twat out of my head.

About an hour later, she arrived.

It was slow, so Bane and I were just standing there, talking. I saw her walking from down the block, and I felt my body getting tight. I started to grind my teeth. As she got closer and closer, I prepared my defense, and was going to give her a piece of my mind for even insinuating that I was thief.

But she walked right up to Bane.

Suzy - "Are you the man who gets taxis?"

Bane - "Excuse me?"

Scoff.

Suzy - "Are you the man who got me the taxi to Bloomingdales?"

I've been helping for two weeks, courteously taking her shit and controlling every instinct to tell her to go fuck herself. I got her the taxi to Bloomingdales. After two weeks of interactions, she couldn't tell me, an ordinary-looking 5'10 guy, apart from a 50-year-old man who looks like a Puerto Rican Mike Piazza, and a 6'5 mountain of a man. All she saw was the fucking hat and uniform.

Doorman - "That was me, ma'am."

I felt my face get flush and my hands get shaky, the same thing that happens to me right before a fistfight.

She turns to me, still cold as ice.

Suzy - "I'm the lady you spoke to on the phone."

Doorman - "I know, did you find your purse?"

Then she gave me that look. It was the same look I gave to the kid who helped steal my bike in the project building I lived in when I was little. It was the same look your parents give you when they know you're lying about something. It was the same look you give to a used car salesman when he pulls a bait-and-switch. Without saying anything, I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was completely convinced that I was, in fact, somehow responsible for her purse going missing.

Suzy - "No."

She takes a good look at my name tag, then turns to walk into the hotel. Bane opens the door for her. She doesn't say thank you.

Bane - "What was that about?"

Doorman - "I'll be right back."

I ran like a bastard down the steps to the locker room and pulled out my keycard.

My hand shakes uncontrollably...

As I sat on the locker room floor, with Marty looking over me, I couldn't help but think of one thing:

My parents happen to live around a lot of older, widowed women. My Old Man, my brothers, and myself have been shoveling snow for the entire block for twenty years. Now that we're out of the house, my Old Man, who is pushing sixty, has now taken on that responsibility on his own. He spends an hour shoveling his own property, then the next five on the rest of the neighborhood.

If Suzy the Twat moved onto the block, he would shovel her snow without question. And he would expect nothing in return. That's what my family does - we shovel snow for old ladies. We take the time out of our day to walk a 92-year-old woman to her taxi. And we expect nothing in return.

That's the way I was raised.

I could go on about the money I make and how I've never stolen anything in my life, but that's irrelevant. What Suzy did was lump me into this category that she has in her head, this inferior form of human being, this servant, this lowlife, who helped steal her purse. She attacked my character. She reduced me to some petty thief. This completely broke me.

Marty grabbed my bloody hand and helped me up.

Marty - "Oh, terrific."

I let him wash his hands first, then I cleaned up my knuckles.

We both sat down. Neither of us said much. My hand was still bleeding, so I wrapped it up with some paper towels.

Doorman - "Don't tell anyone about my little meltdown."

Marty - "Of course. I just wish I could have seen it. The smashing sounded fantastic."

I'm not sure if I can properly illustrate the relationship men have with smashing things, so I won't.

The locker room door opened, and the Bell Captain - a handsome, clean-cut, older black man - walked in and surveyed the mess.

Bell Captain - "The fuck happened to my locker?"

He looked at me, red face and bloody paper towel wrapped around my hand.

Doorman - "I have no idea."


I didn't see Suzy the Twat after that, but there's a post-script to this story: 

She left the next morning. The Bell Captain had personally gone up to her room, brought her now three monster suitcases full of shopping down to the lobby, arranged a car service, stored her bags while she got breakfast, retrieved her bags, then brought them out to her car that he arranged, and loaded the trunk.

She took out her brand-new Louis Vuitton purse, removed the brand-new Louis Vuitton wallet, and shuffled through her money as the Bell Captain waited for his tip. She pulled out a ten, then put it back. She pulled out a five, then put it back. She pulled out a dollar bill, looked at it, then handed it over. It was the only tip she gave anyone during her two-week stay. She got into the black town car and left, hopefully to never be seen by any of us again.

The reason she was being personally helped by the Bell Captain was because she had made a formal complaint to management that morning. She complained that in her efforts to find her lost purse, the "Doorman" (she called me by my real name) was very unhelpful and indifferent. She also believed that he may have "withheld information" about the whereabouts of her purse.

Management spoke to me about it, and I told them everything. As you may have picked up while reading the story, her argument was fucking absurd, and it was dismissed immediately.

I kept an eye out on Trip Advisor for a few days. Sure enough, her two-out-of-five-star review came in hot off the presses. She slammed the hotel's lack of recycling bins, ugly bedsheets, and, most importantly, incompetent staff. Suzy the Twat closed her triumphant tale with the Doorman and the missing purse scandal.

The more I read her bullshit, the more sorry I feel for her. I really mean that. I actually feel bad for her. When you see someone traveling alone, acting like that, and just being a completely miserable sack of shit, you can't help but wonder what has brought her to that point. I just hope that whatever it is, it never happens to me.

I also hope that she doesn't have the privilege of living near a family like mine, and that she has to shovel her own fucking snow every winter.