It was last Tuesday early afternoon, and my fiance says he needs my help scouting out a dive bar for a movie he is working on. He tells me… “It can’t be a recognizable dive bar, it has to be a bar no one will find common place.” I grab the Cannon, put on my best walking shoes, and jump in the car. We drive around the city, but hardly any bars are open. “What goes on in this town?” I ask. “What time do bars open? It’s already 1:30p.m.” We continue driving and as the afternoon ripens we come across three or four bars, but nothing dive-y enough. Each time I get off the car, walk into the watering hole and spill the same mumbo jumbo about scouting for a film and wanting to snap a few pictures to see if the director would be interested, if so someone will return with a contract and go over pricing. Most people are not phased by this info, others act as if a golden egg has just hatched before their eyes. Then we find a little bar on a main street on the cusp of East Los Angeles and Montebello. I walk in and there is NO ONE to be found. No one sitting in the dive nor standing behind the bar tending to it. I say out loud in the nicest voice I can find inside my throat “Hello.” No response. I then say “Hi.” Nothing. I keep looking around. All the chairs are dressed in plastic. There are black and white framed photos of Ricky Ricardo, and Vicente Fernandez adorning the walls along with a huge gold fake Rolex watch that serves as a clock. There are pink artificial flowers in vases that have not been dusted in years. It looks like a grandma’s tacky living room that has been frozen in time from the 50′s or 60′s. In my mind I’m doing somersaults thinking this could work. Then at the back of the room I notice a long rectangular window with a little puff of white floating across it. I walk towards the window to get a better look. Standing on my tippy toes with my neck reaching to the ceiling, I peak in. What I see I can’t believe. I observe a tiny, fragile, little OLD lady barley able to move. In my head I calculate she is in her late 80′s maybe early 90′s. My heart breaks, thinking who ever left this lady here to man the bar is a for sure CREEP! I now start giving my greetings in Spanish, thinking maybe she didn’t understand my arrival announcement in English, or worse yet she can’t hear. I start thinking how am I going to explain to this lady that I am scouting for a film. As I’m dreading the conversation….. she starts to make her way from the back. Moving at a pace slower then any snail, she thinks about the next position of her footing as she holds on to the wall and all along never makes eye contact with me. I say hello again…. she doesn’t acknowledge I’m there. I figured she was blind and deaf. Then she starts to pass where I’m standing and turns around in a swift motion and just SLUGS me with all her might right in the chest! I never saw it coming. I got so sad and upset at the same time. Nothing like this had ever happened to me.
A.) I can’t hit her back she is a tiny little lady.
B.) She’s crazy or drunk or both.
C.) I did nothing to provoke getting punched.
I immediately start yelling in a high half crying pitch “Why are you hitting me?” As I’m waving my arms trying to block the next swing. She has me trapped and is relentless. Then by the grace of my youth I see a little window of opportunity to make a run for the door. I zoom out of there only to hear her footsteps following on my trail. I look back and she is running after me and she’s not slow anymore. She stops at the door of the bar and is screaming all sorts of obscenities to me in Spanish that are the equivalent to “get the f@^* out of here you good for nothing broad.” I dive into the car (no pun intended) and am horrified. Wow! What the hell just happened? It took a minute or two to register as I replayed the whole thing in my mind again and as it was sinking in all I could do was shake my head thinking “Pinche vieja loca.” I told the guy I live with I was not happy and I was not going to scout anymore, even if it was the middle of the afternoon.
As we arrive home I’m still shaken up from the hell I had just been through when lo and behold a box of wine is sitting there on my door step waiting for me. It was a sign from the wine gods that it would be best if I opened that box and enjoyed a glass right then and there. Entwine was the name on the bottle. I popped it open and poured a cup of merlot. As I sat on my porch staring at the vessel I noticed it had a list of food pairings on the back. Perfect. Another way for me to shut off my brain and just let the bottle do all the work. Thank you Food Network and Wente Vineyards for joining forces to make life easy with your new wine. It surely saved my afternoon last Tuesday.
No compensation was received for this post. I was provided with a sample of Entwine’s merlot for my review. The story and opinions are my own.