Stacy The Vato Slayer
It was The L.A. Lakers vs. The Houston Rockets at The Staples Center. Poptart’s wet dream. Poptart being a native Houstonian was ecstatic we were able to get tickets. We went with Poptart’s friend Robert, and his girlfriend Jen. They were all from Texas, and I was the lone Cali native. I know that this means that I should have rooted for the Lakers, but my father was a dyed-in-the-wool, Larry Bird lovin’ Celtics fan, and he had made sure to instill a hatred of the Lakers in me since birth. When I was a child, he would give me breakfast and say, “Here’s some cereal, sweetie. Now take your anti-Lakers vitamins.”
It was a good game and considering we were rooting for the Rockets on Laker turf, those around us were having a good time at our expense. There was even a Hebrew school sitting in front of us and the banter that went on between Poptart and the young boys was highly entertaining. These kids may have been young, but they were quick on their feet. I think one of them even threw a yamaka at my future husband.
The Rockets eventually lost but Poptart got to see them play in Cali and he was one happy Tart. The four of us had taken the Los Angeles Subway from the Valley so that we could drink some beers at the game and avoid the traffic. The subway was new and it was beautiful. Unlike most things in L.A. it hadn’t been tagged yet. But let’s be honest, it was just a matter of time.
As we were making our way to the subway platform the four of us were laughing and having a good time. Then we heard a “Go Lakers,” rally cry. To truly get it, you have to say it in gangster style spanglish: “Gooo Lakersssss.” Poptart and Rob found this hilarious, and jokingly repeated the call of the mini gangster. “Gooo Laaaakers.” And that’s when a 17-year old Lakers fan puffed up his adorable little homeboy chest and said, “You got a problem man?”
“No, man. No problem,” Poptart said, trying to keep a straight face.
“What, you got a problem, Homes?” The mini-gangster said again, more aggressive this time.
“Dude, we’re just having fun. Relax,” Rob told him.
“I’m West Side, 3rd Avenue, Homes,” mini gangster informed us, while waving his fingers in Poptart’s face.
“I don’t speak sign language, dude,” Poptart said, and then Rob informed him that mini-gangster was throwing up gang signs.
“Oh. Okay,” Poptart said, and burst out laughing.
We tried to ignore the Littlest Laker and we made our way to the subway platform. But this guy was persistent. Now he was in our faces. “West Side, 3rd Avenue, Mother Fucker!” he growled again, posturing in front of Poptart and Rob. We were glad to know his address, just in case he got lost and we needed to mail him home to his mother, but this was seriously getting old. No way were Poptart and Rob going to fight a 17-year old kid, but he wasn’t going to go away. Jen started looking a little nervous. The platform was full of people, but each and every one of them suddenly seemed to be fascinated with their shoelaces. Typical.
The kid kept telling us his address and we kept telling him we didn’t care, as we had no intention of sending him a Christmas card. After about ten minutes of this shit something just snapped inside me. I can’t explain it, but I had just had enough. I looked at all the people just staring at us and doing nothing and I looked at my friends and my Poptart and I lost my shit. Standing a good 6’1” (I was in the HOTTEST stilettos), in an Indian skirt, tight black shirt, and long red hair a-flowing, I just Freaked The Fuck Out.
I stepped in front of Poptart and Rob who had been keeping the Jackass away from Jen and I.
“Back. The. Fuck. Up. Or I will END you. And then you have to go back to West Side, Third Avenue, and tell your homeboys you got your ass kicked by a girl. Is that what you want? Because that’s about to happen. Your choice.”
This seemed to stun him. He looked like I had just asked him to give me the square root of “potato.” He just stood there looking up at me in total shock. It took him a couple of seconds to weigh his options:
Option A: “Walk away.”
Pros: Not getting my ass kicked by a girl.
Cons: Backing down to a girl.
Option B: “Punch her in the face.”
Pros: Save pride by not letting a woman talk to me this way.
Cons: Dude, I just hit an Amazon. And now she’s REALLY pissed off.
As you may have guessed, our little friend chose “B.” Chalk it up to testosterone. He pulled back his right arm and I braced myself for the blow. That’s when I felt what can only be described as a strong gust of wind past my right shoulder. The next thing I knew, Mini-Gangster was on the ground and in his place was an adult sized, real life gang-banger yelling, “West Side 3rd Avenue? Welcome to Compton, Bitch!”
I’ve spent all but three years of my life in California and I couldn’t locate the neighborhood of West Side and 3rd Ave if you gave me a map and a compass. But I can tell you exactly where Compton is. And my new best friend from Compton proceeded to “explain” to our little antagonizer that Compton was, indeed, a far superior place to live. I wanted to hug my new friend, but he was, um, busy. So when the subway pulled into the station, we all got on the train and I was just happy to have escaped without any personal bodily harm. I have since had all of my junk mail forwarded to addresses in the neighborhood of West Side and 3rd Avenue, and I have sent thank you notes with kind little green buds to my friend in Compton. I have to wonder if those guys have received my gifts?
Once we were on the subway, Rob began calling me “Stacy the Vato Slayer” and the story and reputation has been with me ever since.
Fast forward to two years ago: Poptart and I are now married, and we went to a small dinner party at our friends Tracy and Brian’s house with another couple, Amy and Matt. As he is prone to do, Poptart tells the infamous story of Stacy the Vato Slayer. I hate this story. He knows this, but he still insists that it is an “awesome” story. So he ignores my death stare and proceeds. Sure, go ahead and throw your wife under the bus. Or subway. Whatever. I’ve known Tracy, Brian, and Matt for as long as I’ve known Poptart, and they seem to get me. They can appreciate the humor of me challenging a 17-year old gang intern to a fight. The only X-Factor is Amy. I hadn’t met her before that night, and she seems confused by my ninja skills. But she’s Matt’s girlfriend/fiancée, and Matt is awesome. It’s cool.
Cut to 4 months later. Matt and Amy are now engaged and are having an engagement party at a posh penthouse downtown. I got dressed up; went to my hairdresser to get something awesome done with my hair that only she can do, and took my “normal” pills for the evening. I was on my very best behavior. There was no fighting, drunken debauchery, dry heaving, pot smoking, or cursing of any kind. I ate with a fork. I wiped my face with a napkin. I made the appropriate small talk. I was the perfect model citizen and I was so excited to reward myself with a real drink and a smoke.
Towards the end of the evening, I was standing with Poptart and we were saying our goodbyes. All the while I am patting myself on the back for a job well done. A room full of Republicans, and I didn’t get into one “Gore Won!” argument. We finally made it to Amy and Matt, when Amy introduced me to her mother.
“Mom, this is Poptart, Matthew’s long time friend, and this is his wife Stacy, the girl from the subway I told you about.”
I was stunned. For the first time in my life I was at a loss for words. I don’t even think I said “Nice to meet you” to her mother. Right in front of Amy and her mother I looked at Poptart and gave him a look that took his insides out, rolled them up into a little ball, and stomped on them. I then said to him, “I can’t believe you told that story!” Poptart, being the much better mannered of the two of us, told her mother is was nice to meet her and ushered me out the door while I twitched in anger and disbelief.
The wedding invitation arrived, but we were unable to attend. For one, we had a prior engagement scheduled with family and friends that was already booked. For another thing, they were getting married in New York. They’re both from California. If they had gotten married in California, we could have stayed with my family. But no. They had to choose NYC, which meant that we would have to max out three different credit cards to afford travel, hotel, and bribes. It was mostly the whole “prior plans” thing, but I’d be lying if I said the expense didn’t play a role in our decision to decline. We RSVP’d that we could not attend, and we chose to send an expensive gift in our place.
A couple of weeks later, I was invited to the bride’s luncheon. In New York. Really? I had figured that my whole “I won’t be in New York during your wedding” argument would have eliminated me from this discussion. So again, I RSVP to the e-mail on the invitation that we were not going to be at the wedding and that I was sorry I was going to miss the bride’s luncheon. The bride’s friend asked me if I could fill out the card that was included with the invite. On the card I was to write a note about something inspirational, or a personal message about love. I just sat there and stared at the card. There were really so many things I wanted to say. But I kept my inner thoughts to myself. Almost…
Never forget to kiss each other goodnight!
The Subway Girl
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