That's Why I Keep in Such Good Shape
Ranter: Asian-American fellow of about 50, wearing loose Hawaiian shirt, speaking to silent tablemate.
Location: Koda, a sushi joint on Sunset Boulevard
Time: 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night
Topics Covered: What great artists know, the cost of democracy, horrible people, beer theft, car chases, the failure of the police, the admirable physique of the ranter, what in life is worth protecting
Did Rant Include Advice on Whom You Should or Should Not Fuck With? Yes, implicitly
Hawaiian-Shirted Badass: I was like Kerouac or Cassavetes or one of them. I would hang out with the ordinary people and get down, soaking it up. That's where the reality is, and great artists know that. Some of those people, though ...
[Hawaiian-Shirted Badass is briefly drowned out by 50-something Rock-&-Roll White Guy at sushi bar, who invites me to sample his coconut-crab appetizer.]
Hawaiian-Shirted Badass: Look, this is a democracy. This is the U.S.A. And everyone has their rights here, no matter how horrible they are. Like at the street fair, those two Latinos — they have their rights. That fat guy at the flea market, even him. Last week that guy came in here and stole a case of beer. What did I do?
Sushi Chef: You ran him over.
Hawaiian-Shirted Badass: I ran him down. In my car. I chased him, and I caught him, and I got the property back. You have to do that today. We have to do that today. You think the police will do that?
[Portions of rant drowned out by Rock-&-Roll White Guy, who dishes about relationship difficulties and offers sample of second appetizer. It's tasty.]
Hawaiian-Shirted Badass: That's why I keep in such good shape. I don't work out just to look good. It's to say, "Don't try that around here." Someone has to protect the neighborhood. The community! What we have built!
[Rock-&-Roll White Guy mentions he was the drummer in '80s pop-metal band Autograph.]
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