Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Prius Ahead of Me

[ Originally published June 8, 2006 on MySpace ]

On my way to work this morning, I ended up behind a Prius at the intersection of Wilshire and Highland. (Are there enough Priuses on the road by now to balance out the environmental destruction from all the Hummers?) Now, although I myself would like to have a Prius (or whichever hybrid car), the first thought that pops into my mind whenever I see one is "Hippie Hollywood Wuss." I'm not proud that that's the first thing I think of. Have I been brainwashed by Big Oil? Or maybe Big Tobacco? Probably Big Tobacco. Always Big Tobacco.

Well, it just so happens that, in this particular instance, the driver of the Prius ahead of me actually IS a hippie Hollywood wuss. He had a vanity license plate that read "IMDB_ME." I'm not making this up. Furthermore, the border surrounding the license plate said, at the top, "Or go to my web site..." and at the bottom, ""

Wow. No, seriously... wow! Now, I'm as much of an attention whore as anyone else in L.A. (you don't run a blog and not want people to pay attention to you), but this crosses the line. I mean, why not just have someone manufacture a bright red arrow that you can attach to the top of your car so that it will always be pointing down at the driver's seat. Then you would KNOW that all eyes are on you.

SIDE STORY: A couple years ago, while on a run for work, I ended up behind a convertible with a Colorado license plate that read "SCRNWRTR." Now, as someone who pays attention to more than just the actors in movies, I thought I might be able to recognize this guy. And since he was in a convertible, I figured it would be pretty easy to get a good look at him. Unfortunately, I was unable to pull alongside him. In my quest to get as good a look as possible of him in his rear view mirror, I inadvertantly gave this man the impression that I was riding his ass. So, right there in the middle of one of the busiest sections of Lincoln, he brought his car to a complete stop, stood up slightly from his driver's seat, and very dramatically swooped his body around to shoot me a glaring look.

Nope, I didn't recognize him.

Now, apparently this guy was pissed at me for tailing him. I almost started to feel guilty. But then I reminded myself -- and, by God, I wish I could have told him to his face -- that when you advertise yourself, when you go out seeking attention, fame, and glory, you're going to have to deal with, you know, attention, fame, and glory. If this guy hadn't hi-lighted the fact that he was a screenwriter by stamping it into sheet metal on his car, I would have had no idea. He would have been just another asshole on the road, getting in my way as I tried to make a delivery to someone far more famous, important, and rich than he is. If you go out seeking attention, you don't have permission to be pissed off when you get it.

End rant.

Today, I had no intention of similarly tailing this Prius. There was no way it was going to be someone familiar. People who are already famous don't need to put "Look at me, I'm famous" decals all over their cars. Do you think Leonardo DiCaprio would put an "IMDB_ME" license plate on his car? (But how cool would it be if his plates said "DEE_CAPP"?) I did, however, have no choice but to IMDb him when I got to work. I needed to see the tool who demanded this much attention. And wouldn't you know it?... previous circumstances had conspired to actually make me familiar with this guy.

On the night of the second season finale of "Lost," I had a small gathering of fellow "Lost" fans from work. One of my guests informed me that she knew someone who worked on "How I Met Your Mother," and went on to say that it's a quality show. I've heard many times that it's a quality show, and I had been meaning to check it out. A few nights later, when I was flipping through the TV schedule, I saw a listing for "HIMYM" and decided to record it.

The episode was about New Year's Eve, and the ensemble cast wanted to hit five different parties, and then return to the best of the parties by midnight. At one point in the episode, they see Moby walking down the street and start talking to him. They invite him into their limo and take him to one of their parties. As the man starts talking crazy and pulls out a gun, they discover that he was, in fact, not Moby.

And if you IMDb J.P.Manoux, you will discover that he is, in fact, Not Moby on "How I Met Your Mother."

How crazy is it that I've only seen one episode of that show, and it just so happens to be the episode featuring the glory-hound in the Prius ahead of me?

There's a screenwriter named John August. John August is a scrnwrtr I'd actually recognize if I saw him in the car ahead of me. (Come to think of it, John August bears a bit of a resemblance to Moby too.) August does Q&As for aspiring screenwriters on his website. When they ask him if moving to L.A. is a requirement for success, August is fond of pointing out that, in L.A., the guy in line behind you at the grocery store could very well be a reputable producer. You just never know who it is you're crossing paths with out here.

John August

But the people who really want you to know can just get vanity license plates for their cars.


  1. Oh, good grief. Manoux's website is the most pretentious thing I've ever seen in my life.

  2. I can't wait 'til this guy sees that he has hits linking from this blog post and then he reads this blog post. But you're right, that' what you get for calling attention to yourself.

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