So I’m walking toward the security line up at the Burbank airport when suddenly this Southwest counter type lady shoots by me and stops next to a guy in front of me. He looks normal enough: 30s maybe, Hispanic guy wearing jeans and some nikes. The only thing that held my interest about him was his unusual long-sleeve shirt. This wasn’t just any long sleeve shirt: it had a purposefully faded goat graphic on the back, some seemingly fashionable metal beads speckled on the shoulders, and to top it off says “Custom Made” in old English-y font spelled out across the shoulders (under fashion beads of course). This shirt blows my mind. I wondered to myself, is that really custom? Did he really request all those weird things? Or perhaps it is mass produced and ironic?
Anyways, shirt guy is about to get his ticket checked against his ID by a small older Asian ID checker lady, when this Southwest counter girl gets to him. Counter lass says breathlessly: “Are you Carlos Menica?!” The man, we now know as Carlos causally replies “yes.” With this breaking news, Counter lass excitedly hands Carlos some sort of Southwest informational pamphlet. “Can you sign this for me?!”
Carlos, always the gentlemen, says “Sure.” As Carlos signs Southwest’s map of America, Counter Lass glances at Small Asian ID checker and gleefully says “He’s big!”. Carlos gives a “oh you’re just too much, counter lady”-look and hands back the paraphernalia she excitedly thanks him and runs off. I am mildly amused by this interaction but even more so still transfixed by his bizarre riddle of a shirt. We enter the security line and during breaks from pondering his shirt, I watch the people around us to see their reaction to Carlos.
For the most part no one reacts to the questionable comedic presence in our midst. At best he gets a causal one-look glance from a few. This causal interest comes to crashing halt when a douchey overly-tanned touristy golfer type guy, I’d say late 20s early 30s, just lights up with a big shit eating grin when he sees Carlos. Now, Douchey guy is a ways in front of us in line but due to the winding formation of the security lines, every few minutes he is basically parallel with Carlos.
With his constant obnoxious grin and glow about him, Douchey gets out his cell phone and texts someone, surely sharing that he is in line with THE Carlos Menica! Once he has informed his various compadres, he puts his phone away and concentrates his energy fully on being in the same place as Carlos. His twinkling eyes disclose his racing mind. Just seeing and being around Carlos is not enough: he wants desperately to talk to Carlos. But what should he say? Oh the pressure! This could be his big chance to make friends with Carlos! Together make fun of Mexicans/retards/whatever other cool stuff Carlos Mencia does, to their hearts content!
At this point Carlos decides to put on the ipod buds and tune out, as we are still a ways off from having the opportunity to take off our shoes and have our belongings x-rayed. The line moves ever closer and Douchey guy is still reeling, still trying to think up something, ANYTHING, really good to say to Carlos and win his attention.
But oh no! We are getting very close to the heart of security…time is short! Douchey guy knows this. He knows now is the time to make his move. We progress forward to just the right moment for the stars to align: Douchey and Carlos are exactly parallel, close enough to touch. Douchey prepares for the precise moment. He looks intently at Carlos oblivious to the ipod, the strange shirt, myself or any of the people in line. It’s just the two of them, waiting for the instant of eye contact with his beloved Carlos! Douchey takes a deep breathe. This is his moment to shine! Time stops. Douchey opens his mouth, lets out an awkward/forced laugh to catch Carlos’ eye and says….
“Funny…” and then trails off as the crushing reality hits: Carlos hasn’t heard any of his brilliant attempt. With a final disappointed look of adoration, Douchey takes off his shoes and heads into security, away from his darling Carlos Mencia.