it was the day of rest, i had just finished reading the bible

and then phone rang

unlisted number

familiar voice

can you come over here and pick up some suitcases and drive them out to las vegas


right now.

the bible is pretty clear about not working on the sabbath, but theres great debate as to whether thats a saturday or a sunday

and even Jesus made some exceptions

i didnt consider this being tempted because technically it says to work six days and take a day off on the seventh and technically im unemployed.

how much are you paying?

a lot.

whose bags are these?

rich people’s.

i put on shorts and a cubs hat and collected the bags. there were lots of them.

they filled up my trunk, my back seat and my passengers seat.

were drugs in there? weapons? stacks of cash?

that was none of my business.

all i knew is they were paying more money than i had been paid in months and if i died or got arrested or got shot, at least id have a stupid story to tell in the world famous.

and even though it irritated me that i didnt know what i was transporting, what worried me more was i wasn’t going to arrive in sin city until 1:30am

i was worried because i get sleepy when i drive long stretches, alone, late at night.

i learned this when i drove around the country a few months into my reign at LAist.

often i would pull over after a late lunch and take a nap, but still i’d get sleepy again at 7pm and have to find lodging

there would be no stopping for this assignment.

but i did make one stop. two. one for gas and another for a Beyond Beef burger at Carls Jr and a large coke.

that burger was vegan and it was so tasty i want another one asap.

i listened to artie lang’s second book, Crash and Burn (2013) as i sped through the night, which was compelling but it’s not the type of stories that put you at ease since they’re mostly tales of him fucking up his life via drugs and drinking and lying and sleeping and being a total ass wipe to everyone around him.

but it did keep me awake.

at midnight i made it to the famous Baker thermometer where i took a great picture of a pretty girl once upon a time. back then it was broken but the other night it was working perfectly. my car was telling me it was 100 degrees out there in death valley, at midnight and the giant thermometer was more conservative: 99.

i took a pic.

then i texted the luggage owner. i said “im 90 minutes out, right on time.”

he texted back. “thats great, when you arrive i will be asleep but my daughters will be up. in one of the bags is medicine. important medicine. please text them when you get here.”

but the number was clearly international and i said, “im not sure i can call that on my phone.”

originally i was told to leave the bags with the doorman but the doorman wasn’t gonna give me any tip. and if ever a guy deserved a tip it was the one driving all night like springsteen delivering the cocaine i mean medicine

but it didnt happen.

i texted when i arrived. the guy said great, thanks.

he texted the dark colored praying hands emoji

and that was that.

no drama obama.

i deposited the cash in the atm the next day and drove home the long way, still fueled on the adrenaline of breaking all the common sense rules of accepting gigs

and being a little more desperate to say yes to anything than im comfortable with.


Is the Billboard magazine cover for sale or are they just haters?

Why do magazines – especially Billboard – hate Lil Nas X so much?

Is the story of a gay, 20 year-old rapper with a country song that has set the record for being on Billboard’s Hot 100 the longest in history (18 weeks) not compelling enough to put on its own cover?

Is it because he’s probably a one-hit wonder? Isn’t that the case for most hits? That didn’t stop them from giving PSY the Elvis treatment when he was just #2 on the same chart.

Billboard dragged its feet and only put Daddy Yankee in its cover after his run of 16 weeks… but they finally conceded on their year end mop-up issue. Will Nas X have to wait until December?

But seriously, why no love for the kid who bought the beat for the year’s monster jam for $30 and roped in Miley Cyrus’s dad and later a K-Pop boybander to keep the party going? Are they hating the player or the game?

He literally hit the high score on their bullshit scoreboard and they stubbornly refuse to give him his well earned props. Why?

It makes me wonder if the cover is for sale. Has his label, Columbia, refused to pay – rightfully? Is that how Billboard works? Is that the obvious conclusion? Are they forever embarrassed for manually removing the song from the Country chart in March? Did he not handle that with enough class?

Which raises the question: exactly how many weeks must a brother have his song atop the Billboard Hot 100 until Billboard places him on the cover? How many millions of views must his video get? Is 254 million not enough?

Billboard isn’t alone. Last week Rolling Stone had the chance to do the right thing by putting the Southern rapper on its cover as part of its New Artist issue but instead chose the teen spirit, Billie Eilish, who is def worthy of praise — but as Babe Ruth said when a reporter asked him in 1930 how he felt about having a larger salary than President Hoover, the Bambino quipped, “I had a better year.”

Nas X is having the Best Year Ever and yet Rolling Stone didn’t even put his name on the cover of this month’s issue.

Shout out to the magazines who have given him his rightful props. Leading the pack is Teen Vogue who for the last few years have consistently done the right thing. In June they were the first to give Nas X the cover story treatment. Since then Dazed, Hits, and British GQ have followed suit, but the pithy play has been pathetic to say the least.