Jizzy Pearl almost robbed! "Who’s behind the door?"
Jizzy Pearl, the real karate kid?
WHO’S BEHIND THE DOOR?
The old Dean Martin variety show in the 70’s had a segment where Dean opened a door and behind it stood a celebrity, one week it was Johnny Carson, one week Woody Allen, even our bumbling future president Ronald Reagan. What a treat. Not the same for me. I unlock my door and crackheads walk in, hookers walk in, the Dregs of society. I say to Thee, verily, Lock Thy Door…
In my books I have often spoken about my Downtown Los Angeles digs, 8th & Mateo, the old Hertz rent-a-car building right off Skid Row. I lived in a room upstairs right next to the stairway that led downstairs to the street below. It was everyone’s duty to keep that downstairs door locked but sometimes we forgot and that’s when shit would happen—the worst of the worst entered our sheltered little rock ‘n’ roll world.
One time I heard a knock on my bedroom door, opened it and there stood a crackhead mother w/child. She had those white slathering lips like the Dave Chappelle character but I was drawn to the child. Eight years old and already Wise, like Yoda, looking away in hatred and embarrassment as the mother described to me in graphic detail what sexual deeds she would do to me for ten bucks. She had the glazed look of the Undead, the Unclean, the Unimaginable. I gave her a dollar and told her to get lost. Then I locked the door downstairs.
One time I came in from the shower wrapped in only a towel and found a homeless guy standing in my room, surveying my meager belongings. We both surprised each other but he recovered first. Out came the Old Shuck and Jive…
“Man…” he said through the gap in his front teeth, “I was just lookin’ for a job!”
“No job” I said. No job here for you, no job anywhere. I hustled him downstairs and locked the door.
One time I invited a few friends over to jam. Robbie Crane, Brent Woods, this was in 1995 before we became good friends and band mates. I met them downstairs and saw that Robbie had a Jaguar. I thought ‘hope this car has an alarm’–nice cars have a tendency to get broken into around here.
We jammed some AC/DC songs and were having a good time when out of the corner of my eye I saw some strange girl enter the rehearsal room. She was a hooker, obviously, dressed as such, dirty and shaking from the drugs she was on. I’d left the fucking door unlocked again. She started to go-go dance to the music, like this was totally normal. The other guys started smiling, yeah whatever, I went over to her and tried to get her back out the door. “Out you go…” I said gently.
“Get your hands off me!” She said. She started to fight with me so I just screamed.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! GET THE FUCK OUT!” The other guys stopped playing as I grabbed her shoulder and pushed her dirty ass downstairs. When I returned the guys looked at me funny, probably thought I over-reacted. How could I tell them, you don’t live here man, you don’t see what I see. You get Girl Scouts coming to your door, I get bums and hookers and criminals fresh out of County. I bet this shit never happens in Toluca Lake.
Well a lot has changed since 1995. Financially anyway.
Last week I came back from a run, entered my apartment and closed the door but didn’t lock it. I live in a nice place, in a nice area–nothing bad ever happens here. I took off my sweaty clothes and was preparing to enter the shower when I heard my front door open. I thought maybe the wind blew it open so I grabbed my pajama bottoms and walked out into the living room where I found a big Mexican dude trying to steal one of my guitars. We both looked at each other for a nano-second, then it dawned on me that I was still NAKED.
“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?” I yelled, hurriedly struggling to push my legs into my pajama bottoms. He just stood there, a deer in the headlights.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” I screamed. He still hadn’t moved, drugged maybe? One of those Oxycontin people you see on Intervention? He didn’t have a weapon, my gun was in the other room, I’m not thinking straight I’m in pajamas for Fuck’s sake so on instinct I rushed in and karate kicked him right in the chest. He flew back and hit the other wall hard–THUNK!
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” He finally shook it off, opened my front door and walked quickly away. I stared at him as he walked away, my blood still up, freaking out, all this went down in less than 30 seconds—what do I do what do I do—I’m shirtless barefoot in pajama bottoms gotta GET SOME CLOTHES ON. I got my pants on, adrenaline coursing through me like white lightning and ran to the leasing office where ironically there was a new tenant, holding a box full of shit, today is moving day, what a great first impression…
“SOME MOTHERFUCKER JUST TRIED TO ROB ME!!” I screamed at the cowering leasing girl. She was no help so I found a maintenance guy, of course he spoke no English, well Thank God for Rosetta Stone I translated shitty Spanish to him and we both took off looking for the guy. But he was gone, baby gone. Off to find an easier Mark, leave the half-naked crazy tattooed guy alone…maybe it was my loud Voice that scared him, the Oxy, the shock, the kick, whatever. I called Robbie Crane immediately “PICK UP PICK UP” I yelled into his answering machine. I told him what had happened and he calmed me down, that’s what friends are for I guess. Fuck, nobody thinks this shit is gonna happen to them…
There is no moral here, maybe this is a cautionary tale. As the economy gets worse and people get more desperate things like this will happen more, break ins, shop-lifting, good people forced to steal and bad people just doing what they always do but in earnest. In a split second a gun goes off and your Life changes. You readers out there who have children, maybe it’s a good time to go out and get a baseball bat and leave it next to the door, because even though we watch the local news and say this will never happen to us it happened to me 4 days ago…
What are you gonna do when it happens to you?