HOME   BACK to the Columnist INDEX NOV-DEC 2003 ISSUE

"You see, when a city is low on funds, the quickest way to make money is to write tickets - lot's of tickets."
The Big Move












TOMMY JAMES made the Big Move to Los Angeles.

#13 IN A SERIES . . . . . NEW BIG MOVE EVERY MONTH! It's been very apocalyptic in Los Angeles of late. Fires all over... you'd think the OJ verdict was just overturned. I was glad to get out this week as I just finished headlining a week at the Boise Funny Bone. But now it's time to go back. Go back to a city in smack dab in the middle of a budget crisis and burning like my balls after I hooked up with that Tri Delt whore during my senior year at Syracuse.

Syracuse, the 2003 NCAA Basketball National Champions. I like the sound of that. Syracuse alums tend to be a tight bunch. We get together the last Tuesday of each month at Trader Vic's in Beverly Hills and a recent graduate came out to my show in Boise just because she heard the local DJ busting my balls over the fact that Orangemen football sucks this year. He was right, they do.

Syracuse alums also get together at Dublin's on Sunset (Yes, the same Dublin's that has comedy every Tuesday) to watch the increasingly horrendous Orange football squad lose to some of the most mediocre teams in all of college football. But it's fun to get together, regardless of how atrocious the coaching is. (Somebody please start a petition to get rid of Coach Pasquiloni)

It's fun that is, if you aren't living in a city that's on fire and in serious deficit. You see, when a city is low on funds, the quickest way to make money is to write tickets - lot's of tickets. And that's just what I got a few weeks ago, while watching the Syracuse defense make gridiron heroes out of a bunch of clowns from Pitt.

I know many people who are irresponsible and reckless when it comes to parking meters, opposite side of the street parking and permit zones. Not me though, I'm more anal than (insert your own punchline.) I always make sure that I'm parked in a legal, non-permit based zone and if there's a meter I put change in it. I'd rather pay fifty cents or a dollar than a forty or fifty dollar ticket. So as I got out of my car a few Saturday's back, I carefully read the street signs and walked from my car to Dublin's certain that they couldn't cite me for anything. I was wrong.

You see, I was parked on a slight decline, maybe twenty degrees at most. And if you remember from driver's ed in high school, when parked on a decline, you must turn your wheels inwards toward the curb. I did that. But evidently, my wheels weren't turned ENOUGH to satisfy this scumbag meter maid. What'd he do? Pull out a protractor? Are you kidding me, my wheels weren't turned enough? There's no doubt in my mind that this ticket was written in an effort to win the daily contest amongst cohorts. My bogus ticket probably got that bastard a $15 gift certificate at Applebee's.

How could you take a job as a meter maid? How could you apply to be the guy that wake's up each morning and the only purpose of their day is to screw over the law abiding (for the most part) residents of the town? You don't fight crime. You fuck people over. That's it. That's all you do. And what does the help wanted ad read?

"Help wanted. Looking for a miserable sonofabitch, willing to put the screws to each and every person in town. No conscience necessary. Must enjoy outdoors. Good handwriting a plus. If you're the type of asshole we're looking for, call us at..."

And then you show up for the interview. How do you think that goes?

"So, Mr. Wolf, you say you're a self-centered prick, could you give me and example?"

"Well, I always tell children there's no such thing as Santa."

"That's very good. Anything else?"

"I mow my lawn at six in the morning and I always leave my dog barking outside all night."

"Terrific. I think you're just the kind of asshole we need on our meter maid team. Now before you start, you're sure you'll have no problem writing meaningless tickets for people that don't deserve them?"

"I'll ticket my mother's car."

"Great, be here tomorrow at 8:00 AM, you miserable scumbag, you."

So that's Los Angeles in a nutshell. Parking tickets and fires. Oh, and still nobody of any importance willing to read my spec scripts. All that networking with Syracuse folks hasn't gotten me anywhere. I've got several now including, King of Queens, Curb Your Enthusiasm, That's 70's Show, The Man Show, Taxi, and the recently canceled Lucky. Anyone know someone looking for new writers?

And anyone know why my fantasy football team sucks? Or why Alfonso Soriano can't hit a curve ball? Or how 'bout why NBC caved to the bandwagon morons and canceled Coupling and yet still kept some of their other crap on the air? But I digress. Gotta catch a flight back to LA now. Checking out of the condo and on my way to BOI in fifteen minutes. See you when I land back in LA - my home.

See you next month. HOME Back to the Top