“People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world…”
— Barbra Streisand
Just when you think you’ve reached maximum la-la-land level, when you think, I can’t take any more, don’t want to hear what was in who’s stomach when they died; just when you scream to yourself, all right, already, I don’t WANT to see ANY. MORE. PHOTO. MONTAGES. Just when you think: Los Angeles is a bad, bad place, full of bad, bad, very bad people — something wonderful happens that reaffirms your faith in humankind, yes, even those poor wretched souls who choose to live in LA.
Here’s how that happened to me:
My son T.J. (23) is in LA for the summer. He’s working as a production assistant on a show produced by E! on the Style channel called “Clean House.” He loves it and, up until yesterday, was able to finagle being a house guest with various co-workers. But yesterday, he had no place to hang his hat and, when I called to say hey (no, I was NOT checking up on him — well, maybe I was, so sue me, I’m his mom), when I called to see what his sleeping arrangements were, he said: Don’t worry, mom, I think I’ll just sleep in my car tonight.
Sleep in your car??!!! IN LA??!! Not my son, no way!
I told him to use my credit card and gave him the number. Naa, that won’t work, he said. He’d already tried (that’s my son) and seems that the folks in Hollywood and LA need a faxed copy of the card, copy of the driver’s license of said card holder, a signed letter stating that yes, I give xxx person permission to use my card to spend the night in your establishment SO HE WON’T HAVE TO DIE IN HIS CAR AT THE HANDS OF LUNATIC THUGS ROAMING THE STREETS OF LA!!
The trouble with the Faxing was: it was 11:38 p.m. Boise time AND I don’t happen to have a home Fax machine.
I told T.J. not to worry, I’d get on the computer, Google some motels nearby and call. Surely I could explain the situation to a sympathetic motel manager, surely I could find someone with a beating heart, even in LA.
For the first half-hour, I was so wrong. Call after call, person after person: Sorry, that’s our policy. If you could Fax all the info we need, that’s the only way. I understand — you DON’T want your son to sleep in his car here, but… I can’t help you.
Then I called The Chariot Inn, 818-507-9600. In a sad, dejected, pleading yet hopeless voice, I explained the dilemma. There was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone. Well… he said, It’s not our policy, but let me speak to my father (the manager). Dad got on the phone and we agreed that if I sent an email (genius!!) granting permission for T.J., along with my name, address, etc. — well, that would work.
I was deliriously overjoyed and grateful and felt an overwhelming love for my fellow man, known only to me as “C.M.” (English was a second language to these salt-of-the-earth gentlemen).
I fired off an email, C.M. called me back to let me know he’d received it and all was well. I called T.J. who, sheepishly thanked me and said I was the best mom in the world. (Guess he wasn’t so excited about spending the night in his car in LA as he’d let on).
And I was able, finally, to go to bed, close my eyes and sleep. Perchance to dream — of the wonderful place we live in and the glorious heroes we all bump into.
And if any of you dear readers are planning a trip to LA this summer (God love you), please call my friend C.M. and book a room at the Chariot Inn. It’s “conveniently located to all major freeways,” close to Burbank (The Tonight Show), The Comedy Store and within 0.02 miles walking distance to more than 60(!) restaurants. And, oh yeah, it’s got a pool.