Thursday, March 11, 2010
It was 101° on the cooler, Hollywood side of the hill. I was headed deep into the always 10° warmer San Fernando Valley for an attempt to interview The Rock Star Legend who had canceled on me three times already that week. The Rock Legend’s people were in the habit of waiting until a few hours after I had been sitting around with a camera crew before they would cancel.
I was driving my old Volvo sedan. The air conditioning in the car hadn’t worked in years. I drove with the windows open, hoping the white hot breeze would dry out my sweat-damp business casual get up.
My first stop in the big valley was at the veterinarian. My elderly dog Stella had been at the vet getting a tune up and was being released that afternoon. The way the scheduling worked out, if I wanted to have her back home for the evening, I would have to pick her up on the way to the interview and bring her with me to the recording studio. She was a big, friendly gal. I knew she'd be welcome.
With Stella planted in the backseat, we merged onto the 405 freeway. I immediately smelled something bad coming from behind me and chalked it up to canine farts and kept driving. Soon the sulfury-burning-hair-dead-stuff odor was overwhelming my little oven on wheels. I glanced into the backseat and saw that poor Stella had liquid-pooped up the back of the car. She then had apparently walked around in it and then sat down in it. I tried desperately to get off of the freeway but was trapped in my lane.
I could see her in the rear view mirror getting hit with another round of poops and rolling around the seat in her attempt to clean herself off. Stella panted up at me with her dog smile. My backseat and its passenger were now blanketed in excrement. I was already running late to my meeting with The Rock Legend. Gagging and laughing uncontrollably (something I tend to do at inopportune moments), I called my dear friend Karen who lived close by. Through my gasps I explained the situation. She told me to meet her in her driveway.
I pulled up and Karen met us, armed with towels and a hose. She quickly opened the rear door, took Stella by the collar and lead her out. She wiped out the backseat as best she could. Then my poop pit-crew of one, closed the car door and with a knock on the trunk yelled for me to keep going. I raced to Sun Valley and made it to the studio only a few minutes behind schedule. I sat with the camera and sound guys and waited for the interview as the crap baked into the interior of my car.
Forty minutes later the call came from The Rock Legend’s management. He would have to re-schedule. Again.
I released the crew and got directions to a nearby car wash. It was closing time but I managed to talk the guys into detailing my backseat by cleaning out my wallet and handing them the contents. I drove back to Karen’s where she met me in the driveway and presented my freshly washed dog.
This reaffirmed three things that I already knew: Karen is an amazing friend, my career in television was fun but not glamorous, and I loved that crazy dog with all my heart.