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Oliver Lights a Tree

By Stan Lerner
Published: Sunday, December 07, 2008, at 07:42AM

When you’re Downtown Oliver Brown, not much fazes you. But waking up with my hot nineteen-year-old girlfriend’s MOTHER naked in my bed did actually give me what felt like a flutter in my chest followed by considerable shortness of breath. I would have been completely distraught but for the fact that my girlfriend Misha’s mother is the former supermodel Paullina Portzakova, who I have already admitted to fantasizing about.

I knew somewhere in my consciousness that I shouldn’t have accepted the pill she offered me as an Aspirin substitute. However, like so many thoughts of this nature it struck me after the little white pill was already down the hatch with a pretty hefty escort of Johnny Walker Blue Label.

“I didn’t!”

She nuzzled my neck. “You did, and you did, and you did…”

“Ahhhh,” I moaned, as I covered my forehead with the palm of my hand. “You said it was Aspirin.”

“No, I told you it would make you feel better.”

“Well I don’t feel better right now. And it takes a lot for me to be disgusted with myself.”

She got on top of me and kissed me on the lips. “Too bad, because I like making love in the morning.”


“Really?” I asked, just before the indescribable began to happen again.

I know I shouldn’t have, but I figured Misha was already going to be upset especially given this was only a few days after I cooked up Mr. Gobbles for Thanksgiving dinner. I realize at this point the reader might be thinking that there’s no way I could talk my way out of such a colossal lack of judgment. But remember this was all Misha’s idea in the first place. Some of the blame is on her and I had already resolved to get her to see this more balanced point of view.

Later that day: I was writing my previous blog about punching out the Times’ architecture critic at the new and nicest Starbucks ever at L.A. Live when Lisa sat down at the twenty foot long community table I have now renamed the boardroom.

“Everyone at AEG is very proud of you – not one incident last night, Oliver.”

I sighed. “That you know about.”

“Oliver?”

“No, don’t worry nothing to do with L.A. Live, just a little problem with my girlfriend’s mom.”

Lisa’s tone was sympathetic. “It can be hard to get along with our significant other’s parents.”

“Yep,” I answered, thinking that getting along too well with them was actually worse.

“So what did you think of the event last night?”

“It was really fun. I think the Nokia is the best concert venue I’ve ever been in. You know when the Foo Fighters did that cover of “You’re So Vain,” it showed what the acoustics in that room can really do. And I think the whole pre-concert idea is good for the Grammy’s in general.” I lowered my voice. “John Mayer playing with BB King is kind of like me doing math with Albert Einstein—not the same league if you know what I mean. And I like John Mayer.”

“And how did you like Club Nokia?” Lisa asked, totally cheery and upbeat, because she completely had no idea of the giant cross I was bearing from what happened after the after party at Club Nokia.

“Great! It has a similar vibe to the room in Vegas that housed my last live show.”

“Have you ever thought about doing live entertainment again?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. I made a lot of money doing live entertainment, but it was so easy for me…”

“You know Oliver, it’s okay to be successful.”

At this point I should probably point out that Lisa started her career as a receptionist for a modeling school in Denver and living the American Dream – now runs L.A. Live.

“It’s been so long I’ve kind of gotten used to the way thing go for me.”

Lisa smiled. “After Grand Opening week, I want to talk to you. Maybe it’s time to bring back Downtown Oliver Brown Presents.”

The thought cheered me a bit. “Hey, a little money to go along with all my talent might be nice.”

“We’ll talk.” She stood up from the boardroom table in the middle of Starbucks. “And we have a seat for you at the tree lighting. So be on time.”

Now had someone mentioned to me that Britney Spears would be flicking the switch designed to look like a candy cane that turned on the fifty-six foot LED tree I wouldn’t have shown up at all. Not because I don’t like Britney but…

I was sitting in front of the red carpet minding my own business. There was a buzz of excitement in the air. Not so much because of anything that was going on, no the buzz was simply due to a feeling of community being gathered to watch something happen. Misha sat next to me—not holding my hand but allowing me to put my arm around her.

“I still can’t believe you slept with my mother.”

“I told you I don’t even remember the first three times.”

“I’m so mad at you right now. And don’t try to say it’s my fault because I was dumb enough to trust you.”

Funny because that was going to be my argument. “You said you wanted us to get along.”

“Oliver.”

“Well at least she’s over the boyfriend that dumped her. You have to at least acknowledge that I helped out in that department.”

Tim, the mayor, and a bunch of other important people walked by. Tim mouthed the words, “Behave yourself, Oliver.” Adam Corolla started to do his hosting, which frankly lowered the bar to a point that I thought even I couldn’t make things worse.

“You!” said Britney, stunned at the sight of me sitting in the front row—worse yet with my arm around Misha.

This caused Tim to miss pronounce the mayor’s last name.

Downtown Oliver Brown doesn’t get involved in politics except for giving a little advice to world leaders every now and then, and there is the whole Barack Obama appointment pending, but otherwise I’m not political. However, even a casual observer will notice that the mayor of Los Angeles has a bit of an ego, so getting his name wrong will probably be forgotten by him sometime around the beginning of the next Ice Age.

“You ruined my life,” Britney continued.

“Really, did he sleep with your mother too,” said Misha, adding fuel to the fire.

Adam managed to chime in something about Britney’s comeback being as unexpected as Downtown’s.

“You better be in my limo when I leave—in about five minutes from now. I have some things I want to say to you, Downtown Oliver Brown.”

I grabbed Misha by the hand thinking it was time to leave before I caused an incident.

“Oh no, you bring her too. She has to hear this story.”

She gave a big disingenuous smile to the fans, distracted and not capable of answering Adam’s question about her new album.

“Well Britney just flip the candy cane switch here,” said Adam, in that suave Pavarotti voice of his.

Now why they plugged the switch into the planter box that I was trying to climb through with Misha in tow, I have no idea, so again it wasn’t completely my fault that the tree didn’t light up when Brittney threw the switch.

“Oliver, you stepped on the cord.” Misha pointed at the unplugged plug.

“This is bad,” I said to her quickly reaching down to try and plug the tree back in. Thankfully it worked, the tree lit up and only a few thousand people and the live audience watching KTLA noticed the little glitch.

The getaway ended when Britney’s limo cut us off at Olympic and Flower. The back door opened and Britney, who was looking pretty hot by the way, got out.

“No you don’t. You two, in the back.” She pointed at the luxurious back seat and I noticed what appeared to be a well stocked bar.

I decided to get in pulling Misha along with me. I mean the circumstances weren’t ideal, but I had the sense that once all the yelling was done it might turn into an interesting night. A limo with alcohol, two girls fresh out of rehab, and Downtown Oliver Brown—very interesting indeed.

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