(I’m Nick Nolte. The dirty bum.)
I’ve spent 3 nights on the job with Why Cook? and I really like it. I wish I made like a billion times more cash, but I love being out on the town and meeting new people. I’m becoming besties with the finest hosts, bartenders and valet services in town. AND, there is guaranteed to be at least one amazing story every night.
My first delivery was actually pizza. Three small pizzas and a salad for $90. I arrived with the order, outside the gates of a home in the hills, hoping that my clothes would absorb the smell of the food and I could pretend like I had also eaten at Il Fico, Beverly Hills.
Me: (Buzz gate buzzer).
Me: “Hi! It’s Lauren from Why Cook? with your pizza!”
Man: “Did you drive or walk?”
Me: (Confused and holding pizza) “I drove here, and now I’m standing.” (Eh?)
Man: “Ok! Come on in!”
The solid wood gate slowly swings open to reveal the equivalent of The Emerald City. My mouth dropped open briefly until I remembered my job was to hold any and all pizza horizontally. A long pebbled driveway wound its way through a massive lawn with a large pond, lush greenery, giant old Oak trees and several other buildings on the property. The house – enormous and kind of German/Switzerland-y. A gorgeous brick and thoughtfully appointed patio. Ginormo carriage house. Maserati.
Me: (Ding dong).
Man: “Hi there!” He’s very friendly. He looks like “someone”. A lot of wealthier older men in LA look like “someone” to me…
He invites me in. I look around. Billions of tiny portraits sit atop counters, pianos, buffets and side tables. There are a few dogs running around. A woman lounges in a dark TV room, dappled in flickering blue light. They are in their jammies.
I’m too preoccupied with the workings of the credit card receipt, signing, and acting like I know what I’m doing, that when he explains to me how to get back OUT of the gate, I can only recollect “Light, tiny button, left side, bushes.”
I thank him for the generous tip and strike out on my ridiculous walk back down the long driveway. I’m feeling good. I just made my first delivery!
I reach the gate and see the “light”. Check. Then I think “left side…bushes” and am greeted by a GIANT WALL OF IVY where the button should be.
Cut to the couple, watching their security cameras, as I feel around the brick wall, covered in hundreds of years of ivy, like a person haphazardly looking for their contacts. I am determined to find that button. I will NOT walk all the way back to the house, interrupt jammies pizza TV time, and make a fool of myself. I’d rather do that alone in the ivy, on the security tape.
Finally, my fingers find a box the size of a Triscuit and a button smaller than a baby tooth. I press it. Sweet Lord in Heaven. The gate creeks open.
I enjoy driving around town and seeing the sights. Looking at “money” is pretty fun. The traffic’s like Mario Kart, but with Porsches and Bentleys. Catching glances from the clientele on Rodeo – fun. Getting really good at harmonizing with Adele on the radio – also fun. It’s almost like bastardized going-out-to-eat. I get to experience the atmosphere of an upscale restaurant and then smell its aromas in my car for a good 30 minutes.
I gotta tell you. I have thought about whether someone would notice a few rolls of sushi missing from their $300 Sushi Roku order. Or a couple less fries with their Jar Prime rib-eye. Sometimes I talk to the food, wafting warm and comforting through my economy car “YOU ARE KILLING ME”.
Then I crank up the radio, plug the address into my GPS, and go buzz another beautiful mansion in the hills. I got a job to do.