Monday, April 13, 2009

The Price Is Right

"The Price Is Right," is the long running game show that tests the knowledge of its contestants on the price of various commodities. It debuted in 1956 on NBC and ran until 1965, was then revamped returning to the air again as "The New Price Is Right," in 1972, and is currently running on CBS. It is hosted by the comedian Drew Carey.
It is produced at the CBS Studio complex in the appropriately named municipality, Studio City, at the corner of Fairfax and Beverly.
Our industrious and adventurous case managers, Erin and Paul had made arrangements with the production crew for a group of us to come and participate at a taping this morning.
We were scheduled to leave promptly at eight, once again using multiple cars to get us all there, but at the last minute intern Paul called the lovely intern Erica informing her that he was sick and not able to make it, leaving us one car short.
After watering the plants of our garden I reached the agreed upon staging area a little before eight making me right on time. Erin and Paul showed up and I got to meet Erin's best friend, the lovely Julia. Erin and Julia are of the same height, and Julia's shoulder length blonde hair contrasts nicely with Erin's soft brown. We shook hands, and Erin, Paul, and Julia disappeared into their office. At eight-thirty I was still waiting around, watching a news story about Navy Seal snipers successfully rescuing an American ship's Captain being held by modern day "pirates," off the coast of Somalia. This was done by simultaneously shooting the three kidnapers in a small life boat, a moving target, shooting from a moving platform, in the dark. No small feat. All three pirates were killed, and our new President already has blood on his hands.
Erin, Paul, and the lovely Julia eventually emerged (I've stated before that Erin is very lovely, and now I find that her friend Julia is too, which makes me wonder if all New Jersey girls are of similar nature. Please wait one moment while I check Wikipedia. It seems they are), and the decision was made to utilize the Metropolitan Transit Authorities massive bus system to get to the studio.We had 14 people to move, and we began our journey by catching the 18 bus to the corner of Fifth and Wall, the very heart of Skid Row. We were an ungainly and undisciplined group, with Rodney insisting we take the 16 bus, which would get us closer to the studio than the 720, an express bus, but oh so slowly.
At one point Paul was worried that our group was not large enough to guarantee us getting seats in the studio, and several attempts were made to recruit some of the street people hanging around the Los Angeles Mission to go with us. None had the shows identification requirements however, so none joined us.
When a 16 bus finally arrived, Rodney and a few others got on, there was some type of altercation between the driver and an exiting patron, Erin hesitated a bit too long and the buses door unceremoniously closed in her face and the bus took off, separating our band of brothers.
Welcome to my world.
I've written extensively about the MTA and my love/hate relationship with it as it is my sole mode of transportation. Let me just say this, the example of the customer service provided by the MTA sited above is not uncommon.
Rodney and the others got off the bus at the next stop and walked back to rejoin us.
As far as our little group was concerned let me quote from the Vince McKewin screenplay of the film, "The Replacements," uttered by the great actor, Jack Warden (his last movie before his death in 2006) as he watched a professional football team's practice session" "I've seen more organization in a monkey house shit fight."
Let me just say that we got to the studio a twinge too late to get any seats for either the one o'clock taping, or the four o'clock show, which turned out to be a good thing as I didn't really feel like waiting that long to do a favor for this show, as it's audience is its main attraction.
Instead we all walked back to Third and Fairfax where Erin and Julia wanted to purchase some tasty beverage's at the Starbucks located there. I went in with them and used the two dollar ploy on Erin. I had four dollars on me at the time, half of that in the form of a two dollar bill. I showed it to Erin. "Oh don't get rid of that. It's too rare. I'll buy your coffee." Works every time.
Third and Fairfax is also the location of the Farmers Market. Wikipedia tells us that: "The Farmers Market is a heavily trafficked area of food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors, and produce markets. It's also a historic Los Angeles Landmark and tourist attraction, first opened in 1934. The Farmers Market features more than 100 restaurants, grocers and tourist shops, and is located just south of CBS Television City." I remember my parents taking me there as a small child. We walked through the many stalls and Erin bought a quarter pound of beef jerky.
"You're going to blog about this, aren't you?" Erin asked.
We then walked south to Wilshire Boulevard, caught the 720 back to downtown, where we visited the Los Angeles Central Library, before splitting up. Erin and Julia to eat lunch at Wolfgang Pucks, Paul and I returning home, the rest of the gang having previously left.
I'm sure I had a better time on our field trip today than I would have if we had attended the taping. And it was wonderful to get to know Julia a little bit, and I had a good talk with Paul as well.
Before we split up I made sure to tell Erin the correct bus to take to get back to her office.
"The 18 will get you all the way to Alameda, the 53 and 62, you'll have to get off at Central."
That seems clear and precise to me, doesn't it to you dear reader? I even repeated the instructions so Erin could return safely to her place of work.
After changing clothes I returned downtown to make some purchases. I took the 18 back and as I got off the bus I espied the lovely Erin and the lovely Julia walking on the harsh sidewalk.
"What bus did you take?" I asked.
"The sixteen, which stopped blocks away, and we walked."
These two will be driving to Arizona later in the week. I wish them well.

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