Overheard in LA

Scene 1:

Sunset Boulevard, late afternoon. A disheveled-looking man is slumped against a souvenir shop window, asking passersby for change.

Another man is walking down the sidewalk. He’s about 5’5″, with a raggedy white beard, stringy hair and ruddy face, wearing a faded Hawaiian shirt, dirty khakis and flip flops. His legs are slightly bowed, and he walks with a limp.

Man 1: “Hey, brother, you got any change?”

Man 2: “All I’ve got is hundreds, sorry.”

Man 2 shuffles across the street, as Man 1 looks blithely down the sidewalk toward the next passerby.


Scene 2:

Urth Café, Melrose Avenue. A hip West Hollywood hangout for aspiring actors / writers / directors and the occasional celebrity. A line of people waiting to order snakes around the counter. Two 30-ish guys engage in animated conversation.

Guy 1: It’s the best idea, I swear, it’s going to take off. So great. You won’t believe it.

Guy 2: Yeah? So, what’s the premise?

Guy 1: Okay, so there’s this guy. Okay? And he’s a boxer, right? But get this: He’s obsessive-compulsive! So he can’t throw a punch until he’s been hit 10 times! He just can’t do it!

Guy 2: Really, wow.

Guy 1: Yeah, he counts ’em up in the ring, he has to get hit and hit — Bam! Bam! Bam! — and only after 10 times can he throw a punch at the other guy! It’s hilarious, right?

Guy 2: Ah, I’ll have the tuna sandwich, please.


Scene 3:

Brunch fundraiser at a Hollywood home. A well-heeled crowd mills about, snacking on catered breakfast items and sipping mimosas. Small groups cluster around tables, talking about the writers strike, movies, and other “industry” topics.

At one table, a woman spots a man she knows. She stares for a moment, trying to place him, before approaching.

Woman 1: Haven’t we met before? You look so familiar. Did you ever live in Washington, DC?

Man: Nope, never have.

Woman 1: Hmm, that’s weird. I swear we’ve met, and I don’t think it was in LA. I haven’t been here that long.

Man: Mm-hmm.

Woman 1: I could have sworn I played softball with you, actually. You totally look like this guy I played softball with in the early ’90s. God, what was his name?

Man: Not me, sorry. I don’t play softball.

Woman 1: Well, you’re, like, this guy’s doppelganger or something. Really, it’s incredible. I look at you and it’s like I know you! I wish I could remember that guy’s name, though. What the hell was it?

Man: Mm-hmm. Okay, nice to meet you.

Man leaves. Woman 2, who has overheard this conversation, approaches Woman 1.

Woman 2: Darling, don’t be an idiot. Don’t you know who that was? He’s the guy from Entourage. He plays Ari’s assistant. That’s why you think you know him.

Woman 1, mortified: Oh. Shit. Oh my god, that was stupid. I wonder if he gets that all the time?

Woman 2: Probably.

Woman 1: Hmm. Well, you know, I finally remembered the name of the guy he kind of looks like. Should I tell him?

Woman 2: Yeah, go tell him.

Woman 1 heads off to find the actor.

Woman 1: Hey, um, for what it’s worth, my friend just explained to me that I probably know you from Entourage. Duh! Of course I watch it and I feel so silly! Sorry.

Man: Oh, that’s okay.

Woman 1: Anyway, there really was a guy who looks like you! I remembered his name: Burke Wong.

Man: Burke Wong, okay. Great.

Woman 1: So, anyway. Um, okay. That’s it. Nice to meet you!


14 responses to “Overheard in LA”

  1. what i want to know is whether the final picture is burke wong or the guy from entourage.

    and is burke supposed to be a reference to edmund burke or something?

  2. Scotty says:

    Sad to say it but I LOVE the obsessive-compulsive boxer idea. Does that make me a doofus?

  3. Scotty says:

    It’s not even the D.C. and softball references that give you away–it’s how you write your own dialogue PRECISELY, EXACTLY in your own speaking voice and language that makes it so clear!

  4. swells says:

    whoops, that was me.

  5. Scotty says:

    But I’m still me in comment 2 — the potential doofus.

  6. Overheard in LA:

    “…and then he says to Wil, ‘I’d never let a kid on MY bridge.'”

    “Really? What a jerk. That’s probably why J.J. won’t let him be in the new movie.”

  7. Scotty says:

    Overheard at Cal State Long Beach:

    Two young female students siting outside a classroom in the political science wing. I assume they’re going over the material before their first exam of the semester.

    Student 1: Roe vs. Wade is the abortion one, right?
    Student 2: Yeah, I think so.

  8. Dave says:

    You should pitch this post as a screenplay.

  9. LP says:

    #1 – That’s Burke Wong, looking much happier and more animated than he did when I — oops, I mean, Woman 1 — was cornering him at the fundraiser.

    #3: I can still hear myself saying it, and it makes me cringe every time.

  10. bryan says:

    re: #9 and #1 — oh, wait, did i get it wrong? i thought burke wong was the softball guy. he’s the entourage guy? what the @!$% do i know, indeed. maybe they’re alternate dimension doubles.

  11. LP says:

    Woops! You’re not wrong, I am. That’s the Entourage guy, not Burke Wong.

    He just really looks like him. Ha.

  12. Tim Wager says:

    I bet Burke Wong hears that he looks like the Entourage guy all the time.

  13. I bet Burke Wong googles this comments thread someday. Hi, Burke!

  14. S and S says:

    Overheard at our house: “Hooray for Obama!”