the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The Longest Elevator Ride of My Life

So Jon and I are parking the car, and the parking structure is monstrous, one of those structures that goes five floors underground, and the only empty spaces are on the fifth floor in a remote cavernous corner.

And we don’t necessarily mind, because we’re going to see one of those arty movies that’s only playing at like three screens in the entire country, and parking doesn’t really matter when you get to see a movie that people in Oklahoma really want to see, but won’t get to see for a very long time because they don’t live in LA or New York. When you think about it, they live in Okla-fucking-homa, and I know that the wind sweeps down the plain and that everything is O-fucking-K, but they really should be living in LA. We’ve got arty movies here.

Anyway, we make our way to the elevator, and because we’re on the bottom floor of the monstrous parking structure, we have to wait a few minutes for the next ride. And Jon and I are looking at the three other people waiting with us, three complete strangers, and we’re all silent, and we’re all letting each other know through like telepathy or something that, yes, we’re all here for the arty movie. People like us, people like those who are waiting with us, we don’t have to talk about how cool we are. All you have to do is look at our arty vintage shoes.

So the elevator finally arrives and we all clamber in, all five of us, and the doors close and we go up only one floor. And the doors open to let in those waiting on the fourth floor and there’s this couple standing there totally making out, groping and fondling and everything, his back to the door, she’s facing the elevator.

And as the doors open she realizes that five people are watching this detailed reproductive display, so she stops kissing the guy and tells him to stop, stop, cut it out, stop, the elevator is here. But he really doesn’t care, he’s trying to get his game on, so he continues to grope and he’s very earnest about the groping.

And she’s getting annoyed, so she finally forces his hands off her body and stops him with one final “cut it out!” So he reluctantly gives up the groping and turns to enter the elevator and as he turns around all five of us in the elevator realize that this gallant groper is none other than Giovanni Ribisi.

And he realizes, shit, there are five people standing there watching this and he knows that we all know who he is, and so he gives us this pleading, furrowed brow that says, please, for the love of god, don’t ask me about the Mod Squad, I don’t know what I was thinking, can I please just have my dignity?

And all five of us are cool enough that we know better than to call attention to a celebrity. You just don’t do that here. Forget about people who refuse to speak English at garage sales, celebrities are the real victims in Los Angeles. Not only could he not get his game on, he couldn’t get his game on in front of five people who recognize him and have all questioned his legitimacy after he decided to guest star on Friends, who were all really touched by his performance in Saving Private Ryan. It was like he had just jumped off a diving board and belly flopped on the concrete below. It just hurt. It was hurtful.

We’re all hurting for him and no one is saying anything as he and his partner in reproduction step into the elevator, and the silence is hurting, and we’re all holding our breath, and I want to say to him, Gio, sweet Gio, it’s all good sweetie. We promise not to tell anyone.

But I don’t say anything, not a word. No one in the elevator is saying anything, and just as the doors are about to close some guy runs at the elevator and sticks his hands between the closing slabs of steel, forcing them open. And he steps into the elevator and sighs like, whew, glad I didn’t miss the elevator, and he’s standing face-to-face with Gio.

And like so many other uncomfortable moments in my life this one unfolds in slow motion. Like, everyone is breathing in slow motion, and we’re all thinking is slow motion guttural moans, oohhhhh gggooooooodddddd, pppplllllleeeeeaaaassseeee dddooooonnnn”””ttttttt. But the guy can’t hear us and we’re all standing there helpless, in slow motion helplessness, and he grins in slow motion, and he says to Gio in the same slow motion guttural moan, “Hhhhhhheeeeeyyyyyy, mmmmmaaaaaaannnnnn. IIIIIII lllloooooovvvveeeedddd tttthhhheeee Mmmmmooooooddddd Sssssqqqquuuuaaadddd!”

And Gio just stands there, in slow motion, nodding his head in slow motion, not saying anything in slow motion. And the doors finally close and we begin the trek up another three floors, all in the most fucking painful slow motion.

And the slow motion doesn’t stop until Jon and I are sitting in the theater 10 minutes later, but it feels like 45 minutes later because of all the slow motion. And we look at each other like, did that just happen? and like, some people can be so insensitive, and we feel better about ourselves because we’re never insensitive.

  • Heather #2

    2002/10/15 at 9:06 am

    The elevator is just plain uncomfortable anyway. But hey, thanks. Because of your gift for prose, I was able to take that journey with you. Ouch! (Do you think Gio will be alright? Maybe we should check on him. You know, just in case.)

  • Shoefly

    2002/10/15 at 9:11 am

    I really hope Gio reads this.

  • Glen

    2002/10/15 at 9:27 am

    What would you have done if Gio had been on your Five Fame Fuckers list?

  • eggbert

    2002/10/15 at 9:31 am

    well, was she worth it or not?

  • Ex-liontamer

    2002/10/15 at 10:01 am

    Hmmm. I think Mr. Ribisi acted quite dispicably no matter what his resume looks like. I think making out in public is tacky in LA, OK, or NY. As far the bumping-into-celebs-tip: I once was the hand-in-the-elevator door guy. I ran into Andre Braugher at the Safeway and gushed about his work. He just nodded in slo-mo and corralled his young daughter away, saying nothing. That was a major idot moment for me. If I find myself near anyone famous again, I’ll just nod and smile. They know they’re famous, I know they’re famous. Enough said. Or, well, not said.

  • Heather #2

    2002/10/15 at 10:14 am

    Sooooo want an answer to Glen’s question.

  • Ryan

    2002/10/15 at 10:20 am

    I don’t think *either* of Nicole’s two dads would have approved of Gio’s actions outside the elevator. Even Joey, “the cool dad,” would have strung him up by his toes.

  • Matt

    2002/10/15 at 10:23 am

    gallant young gio ribisi/
    is acting a little bit sleazy/
    if he waits ’til later/
    a full elevator/
    is spared — such discretion is easy.

  • Muraii

    2002/10/15 at 10:35 am

    You have the positively worst luck running into celebrities. I’m tempted to look on your exploits skeptically, but then again, it’s a great read, so I don’t really care. If John Travolta can serve the Scientological cause(s) and tackle the nuances of being an alien life form, you can run into Shannon and Gio.


    2002/10/15 at 10:39 am

    I honestly had a dream last night that I was in your house, using your bathroom, and raiding your prescription medicines. You were talking to your two Spanish cousins, in Spanish I might add, about a dresser you found at a garage sale. I hope I dream about Gio tonight!

  • Naaman

    2002/10/15 at 10:46 am

    Elevators are bad enough when they’re not in slow motion. That’s why one should always carry an elevator remote control.

  • aprilgem

    2002/10/15 at 11:00 am

    Elevator remote control? Now I know what I want for Christmas.

  • Jen

    2002/10/15 at 11:33 am

    You have the strangest celebrity sightings.

  • matty

    2002/10/15 at 11:34 am

    friends is some of gio’s finest work, actually. add that to my own guitly pleasures list. friends.

  • erin

    2002/10/15 at 11:58 am

    hahaha. It reminds me of the time I saw Hillary Swank shopping for shoes. I casually whispered to her that I was really moved by her movie and let her be…I then fell dumbstruck at the notion that I hadn’t said WHICH movie. My boyfriend at the time laughed…saying “I’m sure she wasn’t thinking about her cinematic display in Karate Kid 4. Wooo…

  • jedrek

    2002/10/15 at 12:01 pm

    Here’s my question: Were you going to see Heaven?

  • julie

    2002/10/15 at 12:20 pm

    poor giovanni, if he only knew the infamous dooce was standing in the elevator! hehe. oh that was a great story, heather. yeah, giovanni is totally on my star fuckers list. have you *seen* “first love last rites”? rawr.

  • ed f

    2002/10/15 at 12:27 pm

    hey that’s fuckin funny. i went to see an “arty” show at the “arty” unnamed theater myself, on saturday. and sat in tickets line behind jake Ghellenhal, or however you spell his name. he was buying tix to go see the tupac/biggie movie. same situation for me: i see him trying to blend in, all unassuming. i’m picking up on and trying to boost his “i’m a semi-famous up and coming hip actor who doesn’t want to be seen” force field. but the friend i’m with has a nasty habit of telling famous people that “he likes their work” and he does to mr. jake and sure enough, the force field is broken. and after one idiot says something, they all gotta say something. i slinked away, in horror only to run in to the midget chick from “The Year of Living Dangerously” and that actor that plays that director in “Mulholland Drive” in the theater. but that’s a whole nother story….

  • jimmypage

    2002/10/15 at 12:29 pm

    this one, d00ce, is a masterpiece. i forget… was gio on your five fame fuckers list? if not, does he make the list, now that you’ve seen him with his game on? -jp

  • Em

    2002/10/15 at 12:33 pm

    I am going to move to LA now just so I can go to cool movies and see celebrities – in all their weird..ness. Ahem. But now, because I read your blog, I will know better than to act like a total ass if I ever see a celebrity! 🙂

  • keneumey

    2002/10/15 at 12:43 pm

    It was the Laemmle, Sunset 5, wasn’t it?

  • Sarah B.

    2002/10/15 at 1:04 pm

    Okay, first of all, I KNOW. I know. I do. I will. I promise.

    Secondly, I wonder if it was his wife, or just some parking garage hoochie.

  • ryan

    2002/10/15 at 1:22 pm

    agrees with Heather #2 that we need an answer to Glen’s Question… what if he was on your FFF list?

  • jennifer

    2002/10/15 at 1:40 pm

    “parking garage hoochie” tee hee. I wonder if she has that on her resume? Did she look hoochie-like?

  • megchem

    2002/10/15 at 1:47 pm

    Isn’t he married with a frickin kid? Am I the only one shocked by that…hmmmm

  • Dooce was too busy drooling (dripping?) to say anything. I think DJ B. Diddy was, too.

  • Tina

    2002/10/15 at 2:02 pm

    Good story! I used to be (and still am, sometimes) a big fan of Giovanni. I’m kind of grossed out to think of him like that, too bad. But he’s still cute! I would pay to see him groping some lady in an elevator. Okay, not really. And, no, he’s not married anymore, but he does have a kid.

  • LK

    2002/10/15 at 3:54 pm

    i’m rather fond of “Gio”s work in an episode of The X-Files, where he played “lightning boy.” i do agree that ms. dooce has the strangest celeb sightings!

  • bonitaapplebum

    2002/10/15 at 4:35 pm

    tony hawk propositioned me once when i was 19 years old & working at a cheesy midwestern restaurant. i denied the hawk, but kept the cocktail napkin with his hotel room number on it. ah, what a legacy i will leave my grandchildren!

  • Keith

    2002/10/15 at 4:39 pm

    I saw Jason Alexander at The Grove a few weekends ago when I was going with a friend to see “Blue Crush.” (No comments.) I had to suppress a rather strong urge to grab him by his lapels and ask him why in God’s name he was pimping himself to KFC.

  • The Inmate

    2002/10/15 at 5:26 pm

    So much for not telling anyone, Dooce. Oh well, it’s only your large and devoted fanbase anyway, right?
    About “Gio” -cringe-….I seem to recall him being only cast in mildly retarded roles. Except for the Mod Squad…then again the entire movie was, so the argument stands.
    Whether the tale is truth or the latest child of your fertile imagination, I do find the telling brilliant.

  • Me

    2002/10/15 at 6:37 pm

    I once saw Kristen Sze, the bootylicious reporter from the ABC affiliate in Philly (now she is at KGO-7 in the Bay area) on Roosevelt Blvd. in the big news van eating Chinese food with chopsticks while the cameraman was driving like a maniac. Kristen Sze!

  • Tara

    2002/10/15 at 6:49 pm

    Fortunately when I first moved to LA, I was informed quickly by my relatives that already lived there that you do not call attention to celebrities. In the years I lived there…well you can imagine how many I saw. No sightings quite as interesting as yours, though. When I moved back to the Bay Area (Marin County), I found that a lot of people up there did not keep their cool, and I was a bit surprised at that, considering that for such a small county, we had a lot of celebrities (and even more just over the bridge in SF) – it seemed like *someone* lived just down the street from you.

  • rebecca

    2002/10/15 at 6:57 pm

    my my, that was probably the most interesting elevator ride i’ve ever heard of!

  • feelafel

    2002/10/15 at 7:24 pm

    Were you there to watch Heaven? Because that could have really added to the slow motion effect, as everyone wondered if they should ask: “Heeeeeyyyyy, Giiiiooo — thhiiiissss mmooovvviieeee gooonnnaaaa sssuuuccckkk llliiikkkeeee Moooddddd Sqqqquuuaaaddd?”

  • ChibaCity

    2002/10/15 at 8:32 pm

    Bill-fucking-board, that’s what you are, dooce. My god, humans are strange, funny creatures. LA, house of fun, house of mirrors that it is; and, like, you know, it’s just got to be all of those apostate Mormons sipping lithium-laced mint juleps. “[P]erfectly blank, like a sky-blue paint chip submitted by the contractor of the universe”. Thanks, this is screamingly funny, as always.

  • pretty_paranoia

    2002/10/15 at 8:49 pm

    that was fucking awesome man. that story rocked. i wish i could tell stories like that.

  • Giovanni

    2002/10/16 at 12:24 am

    heather… i stopped being a ‘gallant groper’ because i saw you there in the elevator. when our eyes met, for that brief moment, all i could thing about was when we used to hang. just cuz i’m getting my game on with someone else, must you be so biiter? -gio P.S. i always hated it when you called me that.

  • islander

    2002/10/16 at 2:08 am

    Having been referred here by the lovely and talented Rosebaby, who also writes like a twisted angel, I must confess a lack of cultural experience. Never heard of this Gio guy. Didn’t know they’d made a movie of the Mod Squad although I’m old enough to remember the TV series and thinking that Peggy Lipton was pretty hot. So I Googled on his name and got all these cheesy fan sites.
    Apparently he’s into Scientology, of all things.
    Remember when elevators used to have operators?

  • Igor

    2002/10/16 at 2:19 am

    Is there any further information available on whether Giovanni Ribisi successfully engaged in sexual intercourse with the object of his affection later that night ?

  • Sandy

    2002/10/16 at 4:23 am

    You are right about Oklahoma…we don’t get the arty movies and we do get wind.

  • lapdog

    2002/10/16 at 5:18 am

    So what we all really want to know is: Did Gio have a discernable woody when he got on the lift? How discernable?

  • Sanchez

    2002/10/16 at 5:46 am

    I think some flagrant self-depreciation is good.

  • James

    2002/10/16 at 5:47 am

    Dooce, girl, you can tell a story like nobody’s business.

  • stacey

    2002/10/16 at 6:02 am

    I’m curious if the parking garage hoochie mama is the mama of Ribisi’s little girl. He’s supposedly a married dad. Slimy.

  • Vera

    2002/10/16 at 6:37 am

    Nobody mentions Gio in Suburbia? He was so hot in that. Naked, too.

  • Kelly

    2002/10/16 at 9:12 am

    How strange but cool to live in a place where you bump into celebrities on a semi-regular basis. By the way, I’m one of the 3 million unlucky souls who currently lives in Oklahoma, and am desperately trying to get out! Any suggestions from those who’ve succeeded?

  • Beerzie Boy

    2002/10/16 at 10:26 am

    How much would you charge Gio for a Pottery Barn couch if he asked you in Spanish?

  • Angelique

    2002/10/16 at 11:21 am

    okay, so first, i have to know…. did he at least look like he was doing it well? he didn’t pull some shitty ass kiss out of his pocket, did he? secondly, i really want to know who this hizzo was in the garage… was she cute?

  • pinky

    2002/10/22 at 8:02 am

    Good thing you didn’t tell Giovanni that you wouldn’t tell anyone.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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