Between the end of Oscar season and the beginning of prom season, business got so bad it looked like maybe 35 or 40 percent of the limo driving work force would be wiped out. This would have been a catastrophic blow to America’s entertainment industry.
I mentioned how bad things were one night to a client in the backseat, the multi-talented actor/director Tim Robbins. I wanted him to sign my petition – demanding that they call in the National Guard to drive and maintain the limos in the interest of homeland security rather than let such a crucial sector of the economy go bust.
But it was as if he hadn’t heard me.
All he said was, “Ping-pong.”
He started out muttering. But it got louder and louder.
“Are you okay, Mr. Robbins?” I felt I had to ask after half an hour of him screaming “ping pong” and slamming his fist on the console in my backseat.
“Ping-pong sucks!” he yelled through the intercom. “I hate f---ing ping pong!”
“If you say so, Mr. Robbins,” I said.
I kept quiet after that, figuring I’d better not bring up the dire plight of America’s once-proud limo driving industry.
“Twenty-three years down the drain for some little f--- with a paddle,” he said when we reached the hotel. “I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment. I can’t sign your petition. You’re on your own.”
As he left my car, I feared more than ever for the future. It seemed like everybody else in this country was getting a bailout or a helping hand. What about limo drivers!
Thank God for the Republicans.
They came into town all winter, booking me solid. I ran them up to the Reagan Library and they came out of their conferences fired up about winning the next election and getting America off the skids.
Every time, on the way back into town, someone would chuckle and say, “Let’s have a tea party. We deserve it after all our work.”
I wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. But these were smart guys with college rings on their fingers, and I didn’t understand a lot of the deep and serious matters of vital interest to this country that they were debating in the back seat.
The tea parties I regularly took them to were always at the same address in West Hollywood as the Club Voyeur, which is, ironically, a strip club and whether or not they serve tea I can’t say.
They’d pile out of the limo, saying stuff like, “I hate Harry Reid” or “Lock and re-load, fellas” and tell me to wait while they went inside and worked out some policy positions.
I was only left to think that surely so much brainstorming is a good sign of a healthy democracy.
As a limo driver, I’d like to thank all the Republicans who helped me and my brethren turn the corner during this economic crisis. At least some folks in Washington were interested in putting money into the pocket of the little guy.