Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lynnie The Big Lebowski

Lynnie The Big Lebowski, his wife and me.

by James Jarvis
from his book Bring Me Your Love

    My journey through the darker side of the Hollywood glitter machine started with a phone call from my colorful Ft. Crookside neighbor, Lynnie, asking for a little favor.

    Before that phone call, escort girls were like rare tropical plants: I had read about them in textbooks, heard about them on late night talk radio, seen them portrayed as jokes on TV and as glamour girls with golden hearts in oldie movies, but I had never actually seen one.

    There were rumors a few of them lived at Crookside, but in those days I wouldn't have known a hooker from a runway model. The strawberries who regularly paraded through Crookside don't count. They do it for crack, not for money, and what they do is not really sex, either.

    "James," my Crookside friend Lynnie rasped over the phone in his usual cigarette-stained, rustic, Lon Chaney voice, "whatryadoon tonight?"

     L.A. nuisance bells went off in the back of my head. In my neighborhood, "whatryadoon tonight" translates into "can you give me a ride somewhere?"

      "Usual shit," I answered carefully, "Bikini parade is over, I'm on my 187th day of that Charles Bukowski wake . . . startin' to run outta booze, man. Maybe a poker game over at Kathy's. Why?"

      "You remember I told you about my job driving girls?"

      I remembered. Half the summer he had told me about his discovery of escort girls as a solution to his sexual frustrations and the other half about how he had finagled a job driving other call girls as the solution to the financial stress the prostitutes had brought him. Driving call girls around L.A. to make enough money to get serviced by other call girls in the same agency had a certain symmetry to it, but I really hadn't believed him.

      I had to hand it to the guy, he had an admirable knack for persistence. Surfing on acid in the 60's hadn't stopped him. Participating in the horrors of Vietnam as a medic hadn't stopped him. A daily regimen of VA prescribed psychotropic drugs hadn't stopped him. And no matter how many times the peevishly short-tempered bikini-clad poolside maidens told him to fuck off, he still believed that some enchanted day, some glorious and pheremoneous summer day, he would actually get laid by one of those wannabe starlets.

     Lynnie plied his trade day after day, month after month. The VA sends him a hefty check every month and mails him his drugs straight to his apartment (to keep him from hitting on the VA nurses, janitors, patients, veterans or any other female passersby) so Lynnie has plenty of time to hunt the wily and elusive loose women of Crookside.

      Then a wondrous thing happened one day, he said, when he was browsing the yellow pages looking for golf equipment. Lynnie said he discovered rent-a-pussy. Shortly after discovering that he could order tall women, short women, pepperoni and black olive women right to his door like pizza delivery, Lynnie ran through his savings account and cashed out his stock portfolio.

      Lynnie was a loyal customer, though, and continued to call his favorite escort service long after he had run completely out of money. The Dragon Lady escort madam finally gave him a job driving her girls after he kept calling her offering to "gladly pay her Tuesday for a 'massage' tonight."

      "Can you do me a favor and drive one of my girls tonight?" he asked in that fateful phone call, "I've got an acting class at 9 that I just can't miss. My acting coach will kill me if I miss another class. She said she'd cut me out for sure, James. She's one hot lady. C'mon, man. You'll make about $100 and you don't have to do anything. Really. Sleep or read a magazine, whatever you want. Just be there by 8."

     It sounded okay to me. Within the hour I was on my way to the Park LaBrea apartments on Hauser to meet my first L.A. call girl: Chloie.
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