Crispy Gamer

Jones and Teti Traveled to LA to Attend VGAs; Take $80 Cab Rides

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So I swore up and down that I wouldn't get on another plane this year.

An opportunity came up a few weeks back to head to California to be "Intern For A Day" at Ready At Dawn in Irvine (look for the story this week), and voila, through a series of frantically exchanged emails and phone calls, Teti and I both found ourselves enroute to the airport (he from JFK; me from YVR) to LA. Since we were already in the City of Angels, we decided to attend Spike TV's Videogame Awards on Saturday night. We didn't have tickets, but we figured that pair of sharply dressed, well-connected guys would have no trouble getting in.

How wrong we were.

I called in favors. I asked everyone I knew for help. The answer, time and time again, from other people and from Spike TV itself was: "You're on the WAITING LIST." (This is the way the Spike TV person described it, caps and all.)

Fellow Game Truster Gus Mastrapa had a ticket. Seems someone from Spike had actually invited him. This fact made Teti and I feel terrible. Well, it made me feel terrible. I can't vouch for Teti's feelings.

Teti and I decided to make the best of it. We put on ties, combed our hair, then treated ourselves on a rainy Saturday night in LA to filets and lobster tails and gin and tonics at the Pacific Dining Car.

Afterwards, we headed to a VGA after-party at a place that had low lighting, fancy drinks, and a dozen or so taxidermied deer heads, antlers and all, mounted on the walls. We sat alone at the end of the bar, talking about women and drinking gin and trying to see if we recognized any of the people filtering in. Eventually some journos arrived, followed by a few public relations people. Maybe it was sympathy for our ticket-less status, but most colleagues summed up the experience with these words: "You didn't miss much."

I also heard, off the record, that there were more than a few empty seats in the auditorium that were being filled by that mysterious awards-show group of people known as The Seat Fillers. (Which, it just occurred to me, would make for a decent Rock Band name.) Other attendees discussed the fact that the show didn't have a proper host, which made for a somewhat confusing, identity-less experience. Seems the person who generated the most excitement of the show was Mike Tyson.

The bar filled with my people--developers, writers, PR people, etc. I hugged and kissed as many people as I could. How I love my people. I lost Teti for awhile in the crowds. Then I found him. Then I lost him again. As the night wore on, industry people began to vanish. Suddenly, the bar was filled with Chinese people. I'm not kidding. The whole place was Chinese people. Young Chinese people too, with their dates, drinking these fancy drinks in the low light. This must be a preferred destination for young, hip LA Chinese. Finally, out of the crowd of Chinese people emerged none other than a nattily dressed Cliff Blezinski, a sexy lady on his arm. I said hello to him, gave him a quick, unprofessional neck and shoulder rub (I get touchy after a few gins). Then I found Teti decided to call it a night. We headed outside and found a cab, and braced ourselves, and our wallets, for the ridiculous sum we would pay to get back to Hollywood. No matter where you go in LA in a cab, it always costs $80. Always.