Erick is sitting at Larrabee’s Bar in West Hollywood with John, the Lefty Managing Editor, for their weekly Friday Happy Hour. This is a weekly event for Erick and John but occasionally co-workers from the e-zine will join them. This week it’s Miss Andrine, the e-zine’s office manager and John’s assistant Dana.
The quartet is laughing over the latest client antics, encounters with Simmons in HR and other events from the just-ended week when a small film crew enters the bar. Consisting of what appears to be a producer, a director, two cameramen and a sound guy, the group just walks in and immediately starts filming.
A late-twentysomething, who walked in just before the crew, becomes easily identifiable as the on-camera personality when he sits down a few stools away at the bar and the two cameras position themselves on either side of him.
Erick, John, Andrine and Dana look at each other quizzically as if either of them could ascertain what was going on with any actual knowledge.
A sound man positions himself next to Dana and raises his boom mike. Erick looks up and watches as the boom mike extends over his head, over Andrine’s head and over John’s head. It stops just a few feet above the on-camera personality’s head.
Erick calls out to one of his favorite bartenders, the hulking Ken. “What’s going on here?” he asks.
“I haven’t a clue,” Ken responds. “I just work here. I’ll see what I can find out.”
“Simmons must be in charge here,” Andrine quips as Ken finishes mixing a few drinks. “He likes to keep everything unnecessarily on the Q.T. – even from those who need to be in the know.”
“Which is silly because everybody already knows whatever he thinks he’s keeping under wraps,” John adds.
“Only because you share it with everyone,” Andrine chides.
John takes mock offense. “I only share what I think people need to know. It’s their company, too.”
“Simmons just comes from a different world,” Andrine concludes.
“And when is he going back to it?” Erick jokes. “Just yesterday I asked him when the 2012 holiday schedule was going to be released and he didn’t even want to tell me that.”
“What did he say?” Dana asks.
“That it’s still being finalized,” Erick answers. “I was like, ‘we’re coming up on the end of December. Someone has to know something.’ He just said that it needs to be signed off on.”
“He’s full of shit,” John responds. “I signed off on that last week. I’ll send it to you all on Monday.”
“Simmons isn’t going to like that at all,” Erick says unsympathetically.
“The only thing Simmons likes is his allusion of power and control,” Andrine charges. “But I can’t say he’s not good at his job.”
“He keeps us from getting sued better than Legal does,” John comments.
Andrine nods in agreement. “But that’s only because Legal likes to go to battle.”
John laughs and almost spits out his tequila cranberry. “True. Very true.”
“Maybe so, but he’s a tremendous pain in the ass,” Dana adds.
Ken comes back and fills up Erick’s wine glass. “All they would tell me was that they’re shooting a reality show.”
The five of them observe the film shoot for a moment. “What kind of reality show is this?” Erick asks. “All he’s doing is sitting at the bar, drinking his wine and texting people.”
“It must be for Bravo,” Kevin jokes as he walks off to wait on another customer.
John leans over to the OCP (on-camera personality). “Hey, what’s all this about?”
“I can’t really talk about it except to say that it’s a reality show,” the OCP says a bit condescendingly.
“Well, for something you can’t really talk about, it’s pretty disruptive and uncomfortable,” John replies with equal condescension.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” the OCP replies with a smirk and shrug of the shoulders.
John leans back over to Andrine. “He doesn’t know what to tell me,” he says mockingly.
Dana flags down a manager. “How long are these people going to be here?” she asks.
“Only a couple of hours,” he replies.
“How come there weren’t any signs or anything letting us know that there was going to be a filming tonight?” Erick asks.
“I’m sorry about that,” the manager responds as he excuses himself to tend to the filming and walks away.
Dana looks at Erick. “It’s a sign of the times. Instead of explaining themselves, people just apologize.”
Erick sees one of the cameras a few feet in front of him. He stares it down for a few moments hoping it will go away but it just stares him back down.
“Don’t worry,” the cameraman assures him. “You aren’t on camera.”
“How am I not on camera?” Erick asks. “It’s two feet in front of me.”
“Well, if you are, we’ll just blur you out.”
“I have a pretty big head. That’s a lot of blur,” Erick retorts as he turns around in annoyance.
A producer comes up to Dana and hands her a clipboard. “We caught you on camera. Would you mind signing this release?”
“Sure!” Dana says enthusiastically as she casually scans the paperwork and signs on the dotted line. “I’m going to be on Bravo!”
The producer walks over to John and hands him a clipboard. “Would you mind signing a release?”
“No,” John responds emphatically. “Blur me.”
The producer turns to Andrine. “Would you like to sign a release?”
Andrine takes the clipboard and scans it for information. “Can you tell me what this project is all about and where it will be shown?”
“I can’t do that, ma’am,” the producer answers.
“Then I can’t sign this, sir,” Andrine responds as she hands the clipboard back to him.
Erick watches as the producer walks away. “Um...Did you notice how he asked all of you to sign a release but he didn’t ask me?”
“You must not have the right look,” Dana replies.
“Do you really want to be in this shit show?” John asks.
“Of course not, I just wanted the satisfaction of telling him ‘no’.”
An hour later, the film crew finishes shooting and starts to pack up. Erick, John, Andrine and a few other annoyed customers begin applauding loudly.
As the crew walks out, the OCP walks over and puts his arms around John and Andrine. “Thank you so much for the applause. I felt like Leontyne Price!” he says giddily as he turns around and walks out.
“He’s joking, right?” John asks.
“Probably not,” Andrine replies.
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