So, it's been a while since my last post, so if you were looking forward to me NOT being a lazy piece of shit, sorry to let you down, and you don't know me that well. We're hardly friends. I did finally have something I thought I'd write about though, which was my crazy weekend.
As most of you know, paying your bills with comedy & writing alone is not the easiest thing, so between gigs or writing jobs, I spend a lot of my time driving for a rideshare company around the city because the money is great and I've met some awesome people thus far. I've taken over 1000 rides, so I've met somewhere between 1000 and 4000 people in the last 9 months that I otherwise wouldn't have.
The thing most people ask/assume when talking on rides is generally in the vein of "boy I bet you have some of the craziest stories," or "I bet you get all kinds of material" from driving, but the truth is, and what I've always responded with is that it's pretty uneventful. Everyone is really great, nice, respectful, polite, and fun. I've made some friends, established some potential business contacts, and met some cool folks that work in the industry that I might collaborate with some day. The people experience is far more valuable to me, as it does kind of put you at ease knowing that, for the most part we're all the same; just trying to carve out a happy life for ourselves, and do something we can be proud of.
I say that normally, which I believe I paid the price for this weekend, because I feel like I've had every possible shit-storm happen inside the last couple of days.
There were two scary fares, but I won't go into much detail there. It's just not as entertaining or thought provoking. The last ride I did Friday night though was one of the craziest situations I've ever experienced.
I picked a couple up at a night club on Sunset Blvd and took them to an after party in the Hollywood Hills. As generally happens when making a late night party drop off, the guests asked me to wait for them for a bit, in case the party sucked, they could come out, jump in my car, and go home without having to wait for another driver. I happily obliged. As 10 minutes turned into 15, and later 20. I continued to wait. Most people were leaving, so I figured my party was saying their goodbyes.
One couple had wandered out about 10 minutes into my wait, and were hanging by the car parked in front of mine on the street. It seemed like the usual after-party chat with the lady sitting in her drivers seat, and the guy chatting her up at her open car door. I thought nothing of it. About ten minutes in, he leaned in to kiss her good night, and I saw the car start to pull away, and then immediately stop with his legs lifeless hanging out the door. The woman immediately started screaming for help.
My first reaction was honestly how involved I DIDN'T want to be. No one else came to her aid, and about a dozen people stood on the steps and just watched while refusing to help or investigate. She made eye contact with me, so I immediately felt obligated to go help.
My first assumption was that the dude had maybe overdosed, or had a medical emergency, and that we would have to call the police, or an ambulance to help. Boy was I wrong.
When I ran up on the door, she explained to me that this dude was indeed attacking her with the intent of raping her. I was left with a mili-second to decide what to do, but as he made his next attempt to force himself on top of her, I tried to grab him around the waist and pull him away. He broke free.
This dude was about 6'3, and was definitely on meth, ecstasy, or some combination of the both. He looked me in the eye with this incredibly devilish smile, and continued saying "no, it's ok, I'm just saying goodnight to her" as she screamed in terror. I was terrified as well, as the dude easily could have turned his aggression towards me at any moment, and I definitely would have been fucked up. I'm not a little dude by any means, but I'm an out of shape 250 on a good day, and was in flip flops to boot; not known as the aggressive ass kicker footwear of choice.
My 2nd attempt was at a full nelson, which I remembered from wrestling I watched in the 80's. That was quickly shrugged aside. My fear level and adrenaline immediately rose up, and I realized that if I didn't somehow end this attack, it wouldn't have gone well for either myself or the girl. BTW, the crowd continued to watch from afar as all this was transpiring.
My third attempt was going to be final. I kicked the dude in the back of the knee, causing him to stumble back, and when he did I jumped on his back placing him in the tightest rear-naked choke I could possibly attempt to execute. My weight alone was enough to cause him to stumble to the ground, allowing her to slam her door shut and peel away. I jumped up ready for him to attack me, but I honestly think he came to for a second, realized what was happening, and just took it as a defeat and started walking down the hill. I couldn't have felt more lucky.
I immediately check with the girl as she circled around to see that I was OK, as I verified with her that she was too. She had the police on the line, who decided that despite the assault taking place, because the guy had been defeated and moved on his way that they weren't going to come out. Mind-blowing. She thanked me for intervening, and drove on her way home.
I turned back to the crowd of people and immediately replied "thanks for the help guys!" They immediately dismissed their lack of involvement by complimenting my "heroics" as some of them said. I was immediately angered by this.
I didn't feel heroic. I'll be honest. I resented the woman for making me get involved. I resented the crowd for leaving me to it. I hated every second of the attention, and I felt dumb for putting myself in danger. I immediately thought of people that I saw on TV for doing "heroic" things, and thought how so often they seem incredibly humble, and realized "are they humble, or do they truly resent those that they were forced to help?" Is how I feel normal?
So why did I do it, you ask?
Because nobody else was going to.
Who knows what would have happened, or how things would have escalated. I just reacted in that moment, and did the best I could to try to do the right thing. I got lucky that it wasn't worse, but I also felt glad to know that I had that in me. That when push came to shove I would do the right thing. I then thought about how many parties like that my girlfriend goes to, with guys that she trusts, that she considers friends, and how that if that happened to her, I would HOPE someone would try to help her. I was saddened at how little the numbers supported that, and by how many people would look on and justify their lack of action by blaming the woman. They'd say things like "she shouldn't have gotten high with him, she shouldn't have led him on, she shouldn't have let him walk her to her car." The list goes on and on. And BTW, all of those things are right, and things she could have done to avoid all of that. But no matter how much people can put themselves in danger, it doesn't stop the fact that this dude was possessed, and without intervention would have committed a horrible crime on this girl without batting an eye.
Saying that someone putting themselves in danger justifies the crime, is like saying "if you don't want to be robbed, don't live in a shitty neighborhood." While I agree with that logic to an extent, you also sometimes don't know how dangerous it is until it's too late. I now see that side of it too.
Anyway, I drove another dude home from the party who's car never showed up. He worked in the business, and explained to me that the guy I thwarted was actually a well known celebrity's brother. I'll refer to the celebrity as "Ocean Phoenix" to maintain anonymity. He also looked like the nihilist guys from "The Big Lebowski," which made it comical at the same time. The guy told me that what I did was "heroic," in which I mocked him incessantly for, because fat men in flip flops aren't super heroes. I'm sure Kevin Smith would back me up on that.
After the whole thing went down, I was left with conflicted feelings. I didn't feel proud, or shameful. I didn't feel like what I did was right or wrong. I feel like it just was, if that makes sense.
On one hand, I felt like really did a good thing, and felt like I should be happy that I thwarted an attempted rape by Ocean Phoenix's brother.
On the other hand, I totally felt like I missed out on a pretty sweet gang bang with Ocean Phoenix's brother.