So in a spontaneous moment after work on this random Monday night of early November 2007, I got a txt message from my buddy Derrick. Slash was signing his book at the Borders in Torrance, with about a thousand people expected to show up. Derrick and I have a certain cerebral connection going on, and he held me an extra wristband that he’d picked up that morning. I was to meet him at the Borders at 6:30 PM. My cousin Alison had just finished Slash’s book and loved it, so I wanted to pick it up. I figured I owed Slash an apology anyway.
With time to spare, and with Slash being life’s subject for the next hour or two, I rolled into the Elephant Bar across the street to lube up with a large Bass ale and the mandatory couple shots of Jack. At about 6:19 PM, I closed out my tab and walked into the bathroom.
INT. ELEPHANT BAR MEN’S ROOM – TORRANCE – NIGHT
I’ve spent the last thirty-five minutes unwinding from the day, aiming to meet my wingman Derrick across the street at the Borders bookstore to pick up Slash’s book and meet Slash himself. Slash has been scheduled to meet an estimated one thousand people, indulging them in a classic in-store signing charade.
The men’s room at the Elephant Bar has one urinal, and one stall. Standing at the sink is a BODYGUARD. Standing at the urinal, hosing it down, is, I kid you not, Slash. He apparently had dinner here before the shindig.
ME: You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me. Could the world be any smaller?
The Bodyguard responsibly stands in my way, keeping a safe distance between me and the urinating icon in the leather top hat.
ME: It’s cool, dude. I ain’t gonna do anything weird or anything. I just need to apologize to Slash for a second. We go way back.
Slash zips up his $1500 dollar leather trousers and walks to the sink. He smiles in conventional “what’s up” gesture. Cleanly shaven, his silver nose ring glistens cheaply in the fluorescent restroom lighting.
ME: Dude. A few weeks ago. Five AM. Mirage.
Slash begins washing his hands in the sink.
SLASH: Vegas, right?
ME: It was late. We were out of it. I accidentally called you Flash.
SLASH: Yeah. I vaguely remember somebody calling me Flash that night.
ME: Well, it was me. Guilty as charged. Sorry, bro.
SLASH: No problem.
Slash dries his hands with a paper towel.
SLASH: So, uh, what are you doing in Torrance?
ME: Um, that’s actually a really good question.