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Official website of Seattle-area actor and writer Nathaniel Jones

L.A. Guy
-or-
Max Overdrive is Not Good with Women

Driving fast along the sun swept highways of southern California, we join Max Overdrive, the wind blowing his bleach-blond hair into a twisted flame of youthful energy. His cherry red convertible speeding past the pedestrians and tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of some famous star or a really hot California girl. Max throws his head back and laughs, catching the eye of some of these summer people with their sunburns and suburban ways. Suddenly, Max slams on his breaks, swerving to the side of the road.

"Hey, baby." He shouts to the totally bodacious babe he had noticed. She was tall, blonde, and had legs extending from her feet to her head, except for the pair of humongous breasts barely being held in by her sky blue bikini top. The sun glinted off of her deep blue eyes, barely peeking over the top of her designer shades. Removing her sunglasses, she leans over the side of Max's chick magnet car, giving Max a view he could only have dreamed of.

"Get out of my way, you jerk!" She shouts as she slaps Max so hard that he loses the pretty boy smirk he tried so hard to perfect in the mirror over the years.

"So, I'll see you around?" Shouts Max to the back of the bombshell's head. The chick glances back, just for a second, and just before forgetting the existence of Max altogether, flips him off half heartedly. Leaning back in his seat, Max uses the rear view mirror for the reason its name suggests, and checks the nice backside on the babe who, like every other one today, shot him down.

Not discouraged in the least, he peels back onto the road, with one of his signature fish tails, and screams onto the main stretch, burning rubber AND a hole in the ozone all at the same time. He grabs his Armani shades off the dash, and gracefully tosses them on his nose. Scanning the sidewalk for any more likely candidates, he notices in the left side mirror a small spot of dust, so he pulls over at the next car wash he sees, and gives his car a polish, for charity. Normally, the dust wouldn't have bothered him so much, but today he saw that there was a car wash fund raiser, which is nothing special, except that it was being run by some school or other's cheer squad, and anybody that knows anything about anything knows that whenever you give hot girls in tight clothes hoses and buckets of water on a hot day, eventually someone's going to get naked. Luckily for Max, there was a long line ahead of him, so he had plenty of time to watch the show.

However, after a few minutes, and the realization that he was not currently living in a porno movie, Max decided to give up and go home. He screeched into his driveway, and, since his babe hunting exploits had been unfruitful, he decided to give in to fate, and call his girlfriend.

"Hey, babe." He says casually into the microphone of his speakerphone. On a normal occasion, he would call her by name the first time he referred to her in the conversation, but for some reason her name was not popping into his head. He was pretty sure it was "Stephanie", but he was not one hundred percent sure.

"Take it off the speaker and actually talk to me, Max." Said his girlfriend. "I've got news."

News, to Max, was usually not a good thing. Usually it meant that either she had found someone else and was breaking up with him, had found out that HE had found someone else and was breaking up with him, or that she found that NO, it was NOT customary to video tape herself having wild monkey sex with 3 attractive women in large containers of Jell-o before it is morally acceptable for the boyfriend to buy the girlfriend dinner on the first date, and was breaking up with him. That last one had only happened once with some foreign girl, who, unfortunately, had figured it out before she actually had a chance to make the video.

"My cousin Kristin just came up from New Mexico, so I thought we could all go out and grab a bite, or something, 'kay?"

The very much relieved Max was, as would be assumed, very much relieved. "Sounds great. Uh, let me just-"

"Here. Kristin wants to say hi. I wouldn't show her your picture, so she wants to check out your voice, and see if you sound like a loser. Here she is." Interrupted Stephanie, who handed the phone over to Kristin.

"So, you're Jessica's boyfriend, huh?" Kristin said over the phone.

"Who?" Asked Max, somewhat confused at this. Then, realizing that his girlfriend was not, in fact, named Stephanie, but rather Jessica, and quickly thought out an extremely cunning cover. "Heh heh. Just kidding. So, you're from Mexico?"

"NEW Mexico. Say, your voice sounds familiar. Do you do radio?" Asked Kristin, trying to place the cocky, immature voice on the line.

"Well, I called in to Tom Leykis last Friday. I was the one calling in to get more women to flash me on I-5." Said Max in his most manly voice, and then realized what he was saying, and who he was saying it to, and hoped to quickly change the subject. "So, how ya like California?"

"It's all right, I guess."

"You guess?"

"Well, a few hours ago, I was walking here from downtown when some a-hole in a nasty red convertible tried to pick me up. I was like, EWW! I mean, it's not like he was even hot or anything! So I flipped him off and walked away." Said Kristin with disgust as she remembered the earlier occurrence.

"Waitasec- Where did you say this was?" Stammered Max, who was beginning to guess who this guy was.

"It was down by that one highway, I don't know the name of it, but it was alongside the beach." She said, trying to remember more details.

"And this guy: what did he look like?" Asked Max, looking at his reflection in the window.

"Well, you know, he was, like, the typical snotty California rich kid, ratty blonde hair, tan (from a can, probably), really nasty teeth, bad breath."

Max opened his mouth, trying to see his teeth. Sure enough, he had a piece of something or other in between his front teeth. He cupped his hand in front of his mouth, trying to smell it. It smelled okay to him, but he popped a few altoids, just in case.

"You know the kind, right? So, I can't wait to meet you. When are we getting together?" Asked Kristin.

Realizing the implications of his current situation, Max knew that he had to think of something, fast. "Uh, Kristin? Could you put Stephanie back on?"

"Stephanie? Who's Stephanie?" Asked Kristin.

Noting his mistake, he tried again. "Ha! I, uh, just wanted to say what you would see. Er, see what you would say. I meant, of course, to say Jenni-, uh, Jessica." He said smoothly, or so he hoped.

"Oh. Here she is."

"What is it, Max?" Asked Jessica.

"Well, this is funny." Started Max, thinking fast of an excuse to get out of dinner that night. "You're going to laugh, really you are. You see, I just realized that. . . tonight. . . I have to. . . do this thing. . . and I can't get out of it."

"What "thing" do you have to do tonight? I thought you said tonight was fine."

"Well, you see, I thought you meant a WEEK from tonight, and that's the only time I have free, so I guess we'll have to, uh, call off dinner until then." Max said in one breath, hoping against hope that she would buy it.

"Oh. Next week? But Kristin is going back home tomorrow night!"

"Oh! Is she? Well! That's really a big shame! I wish there was something I could do, but. . ." Breathed Max, relieved.

"Well, what do you have to do? Maybe we could get together either before or after it starts. When did you say it was?"

"When?" Stammered Max, realizing he was not quite out of the woods yet. "It's all night. I mean, it goes until really late. You'll be asleep by the time it's over."

"Awe, it's a special occasion! We can stay up just this once." Urged Jessica, trying to get Max to give in.

His defenses weakening, Max was in a rut trying to figure out just the right thing to say at this pivotal point in the conversation. This was it, all or nothing, and the words he decided would likely chance the course of his entire life. Not really grasping the importance of this moment, Max decided to do the one thing that he had never expected to do in his whole life: tell the truth. The question, of course, then became: which truth?

"You see, the thing is... is that... well, see..." stumbled Max as his brain stood frozen in such a way that not even the 90 degree temperature could thaw it. "I... can make it." Max exhaled heavily. The heat was off, or it would be until the actual event, when the heat would be turned way up.

"I knew you wouldn't let me down, Max. I love you!"

"Uh, yeah, hey Kristin, the traffic's getting a little crazy, so I'm gonna let you go, but I'll see you later, ok, bye bye."

"This is Jessica. Hey, wait Max, I -"

Pressing the "disconnect" button on his cell, turns off the car's engine, and glides over the side of his convertible, landing neatly in his cobblestone driveway. He looks around, and sees that, much to his disappointment, there was no one around to appreciate how truly awesome that jump was. It occurred to him that if he got back in the car, he could wait around until one of the neighbor girls walked by and repeat his stunt. Maybe if he were lucky, the neighbor girl would be so impressed that she'd drop the restraining order. But Max has bigger fish to fry, so he sets the alarm on the convertible and heads inside.

"Marion Alphonse Overdrive!"

"Mom! How many times do I have to tell you, everybody calls me 'Max.'"

"Oh, what, so now you're name isn't good enough for you? Is that it? You know your great grandfather used the name Marion his entire life, and did you ever hear him complain? No, he liked it, and if it was good enough for him, may he rest in peace, it's good enough for you."

"It's a girly name!"

"Lots of guys are named Marion. Look at John Wayne."

"Mom, I haven't got time for this. I've got problems of my own."

"Darn right you've got problems, young man, follow me."

"Mom! Can we do this later?"

"Later? LATER? Look at this." Said Max's Mom as she led Max to the kitchen. "See those dishes? You told me that you would wash them. You know how long ago that was? Three days! Look at that, you see that pot right there? That's mold, because you love your car more than your mother. Mold, because you think that you're the only one in this house with problems, well answer me this, Marion, did you ever have to deliver a 10 pound baby boy, only to find out that he thinks of you like a disease? Well?"

"Look, I'm sorry! I'll do the dishes when I get home!"

"Oh, I see, you're going off again with that girl of yours? I tell you, she's not good for you."

"You can say that again." Mumbled Max as he headed straight out the door that he had entered not five minutes before.

"Oh, I see, you're going off again with that girl of yours? I tell you, she's not good for you. Hey, get back here, Marion, I'm not through talking to you! MARION!"

After pulling back out of the driveway, Marion Overdrive drives directly to the place where he always goes when he needs to find inspiration: the mall. He pulls into his favorite handicapped parking place, the one nearest the food court, and sticks the handicapped sign that he stole from some guy with crutches onto the rear view mirror. (In Max's defense, I should add that according to Max, the guy with crutches looked like he was faking it, anyway.)

Anxious to impress the preteens that swarmed the mall on this sunny afternoon, Max once again leaped the side of his car, however this time it was not so much of a "glide" as it was a "jump halfway, hit the shin, and crash to the ground." Needless to say, it gathered attention, just not the same type that he was going for. But Max, the cool guy that he is, shakes it off, and strides into the paradise of shopping possibilities that the mall offers. Amidst the signs of 20%-Off, buy-one-get-one-free, and 0%-financing-until-spring-of-next-year, Max Overdrive is in his element. Replacing his shades on his nose, he struts through the food court toward the main strip.

Not really sure what he's looking for, Max enters each store, looking for some clue to tell him what was the answer to his current woes. He nears the end of row, fearing that perhaps the time spent in this shopping haven was a waste. He began to head back towards the food court to get a drink and head out, when he spotted an advertisement hanging on the window of a popular make-up and accessories shop.

"Make a Splash This Summer with a New Look from Southern Color-fornia Hair Products!"

This advertisement, Max realized, was the answer to all of his problems! This advertisement, nothing more than a picture accompanied by a catchy slogan, had the power to change the path of Max Overdrive's entire life. It was as if the ceiling had opened up, God looked down and smiled upon Max, and sent a heavenly hair care bottle to save him, as a choir of angels sang a catchy jingle. All he had to do was go in, buy a bottle of hair dye, change the color of his hair, get something different to wear, and then that girl would never have to know that Max Overdrive and the jerk in the convertible were one and the same!

And then, just like that, the ceiling slammed shut, God looked away, and angels took a water break. The convertible! Even if Max were able to change his looks, she would surely recognize the car. However, Max decided to continue on with the plan, and cross the next bridge when it came up. He walked into the shop, and crossed to the hair care isle.

For those that are unfamiliar with the basic layout of your average Southern Color-fornia display of hair dyes, allow me to put it into terms that most people can understand. Okay, that's impossible. Think about it like this: imagine every possible color any sane person would possibly want to dye there color to, double that number by ten to account for every color that no person, apart from carnival folk, would ever consider. Now, take that number and multiply it by every possible length and consistency of hair. Whatever number you're at now, double it, and you get a basic idea of the number of possible products available. After forty-five minutes examining the endless possibilities, Max eventually decided on the burnt umber for short, thick, low-grease straight hair, because the girl on the box was better looking than the others. Confidently, Max strutted toward the checkout stand with his purchase in hand, when he heard the distinctive sound of "The Thong Song" played by the tinny beep of his cell-phone ringer.

"Max here. Talk."

"Heeeey, Max. This is the love of your life. Tried you at home, your mom said you had gone out to arrange her funeral or something like that? Hey, is there something wrong?" Asked Jessica, obviously quite alarmed.

"Oh, no, forget about it. She's freaking out 'cause I didn't do the dishes. What's up?" Said Max confidently as he tried to match the voice to exactly which 'love of his life' this was.

"Oh. Ok. Uh, oh yeah, hey, you totally cut me off earlier before I had a chance to set up a time where we could get together tonight. What time is your thing over tonight?"

"What thing?"

"I don't know, you said you had a thing tonight going till late."

"Ooooh, yeah, that thing. Well, uh, it looks like it won't go as late as I thought. Whatever time is good. Oh, wait let me check the, uh, agenda." said Max as he flipped the box of hair dye over. He read: 'For best results, apply after towel drying hair, allow 1 - 2 hours to set.' "Uh, Jamaica?"

"What'd you call me?"

"Um... what's that? Uh, the cell phone is breaking up." Lied Max in a feeble attempt to stall until he could think of her name. "Maybe you should call back later, uh, Jensmahnstica." Attempting to slur many names into one was a trick that Max had discovered a few years earlier, when he found out that if you slur your speech enough and end up saying something close to the real name, you can blame it on static and rarely could anyone tell the difference.

"Oh, ok. But hey, real quick, about what time should you be done?

"Well, I don't think it'll be too much longer. Maybe a couple of hours."

"Oh, really? That's perfect! Kristen and me probably won't even be done shopping by then, anyway." Shouted Jessica into the phone. "We're probably gonna leave the mall at around seven."

"Wait, wait, wait. You're at the mall?"

"Uh-huh."

"Right now?"

"Yeah..."

"Right now, at this moment, you and Kristen are at the mall, and you're shopping, and you'll be done in a couple hours?"

"Yeah... Max, what's up with you?"

"What, me? No! Nothing, I'm perfect. Me? Cool. Right. You're at the mall. That's cool, you're cool, I'm cool, everything's cool. Where are you in the mall?"

"Um, right now we're sitting on a bench outside, uh, "Kiss And Make-up". Why?"

Max Overdrive felt his heart suddenly kick into hyper speed, his brain throbbed with pain as he looked toward the checkout stand where the clerk was handing the girl in front of him her purchase in a plastic bag, blazing in huge red letters the fateful words, "Kiss and Make-up." Sneaking a peak out into the mall, Max caught a glimpse of Jessica and Kristen, sitting on a bench just as she had said. Although she had changed out of the bikini and into something that showed off just about as much, Max immediately recognized Kristen as the girl he had been shot down by earlier that day. He stared at her cleavage for a few moments more, just to be sure that it was her, until he was fully satisfied that he had identified her correctly. Then he stared for a few moments more, just for fun. And then for a few more moments. And then a couple more. He was about to begin adding more moments, when the clerk, some guy with crutches, beckoned him over. He rang up the order, handed him the receipt, the bag, and sent him on his way, but not before asking, "Have I seen you somewhere before?"

"Me? No, I don't think so."

"Hmm. I guess I must be thinking of someone else."

"Yeah, I guess so." Max said half heartedly as he realized the he was less than ten feet from where his girlfriend and his eye-candy-slash-potential-death-trap sat. He remained cool, pretending to be interested in the variety of lip glosses and sparkle gels that stood in a rack beside the checkout stand, until eventually the girls got up and walked away. To avoid any possible mistaken run-ins before he had a chance to try out his abilities as a master of disguise, Max decided that rather than waiting until he got home, he would change his hair color in the mall bathroom, just down the hall. He strolled casually into the men's room, and up to the sink. Pulling his saving grace from his bag, he glanced over the instructions, "wash hair, towel dry, massage gel into hair, rinse, repeat, bla bla bla." He pulled out the tube of color, tossed the box, and proceeded to wash his hair in the sink using the hand soap and paper towels. He wasn't able to really dry his hair, but Max figured it was good enough - after all, this was a life-or-death situation.

He sqeeshed the gel around his head for a few seconds, rinsed it out, and repeated until the tube was empty. He rinsed a final time, and reached for the paper towels. He turned the crank, and... no paper towel. He turned it more, but still to no avail. There were no more paper towels anywhere in the room, so he decided to go on to the toilet paper, only to discover that the single roll of toilet paper had been strategically placed right in the middle of the toilet bowl, and urinated on repeatedly, amongst other things. He was left to his last resort - vigorous shaking.

Max flung his head about wildly; colored water flew all around the room, landing on the walls, the mirrors, and Max's favorite white t-shirt. By the time that Max had completed repainting the bathroom, his shirt was covered with streaks and drops of pink dye, as well as his jacket, his pants, his shoes, his face, his hands, and every solid object. Max stared into the bathroom mirror in horror... pink? PINK? He searched frantically through the trash can until he pulled out the box of dye... sure enough, rather than picking up the "Burnt Umber," Max had picked up the "Cherry Blossom Pink." He tried to wash the color out of his hair, but ended up doing nothing more than adding to the amount of dye that had soiled his shirt. He thought for a moment, and decided that if he could somehow sneak out a back door, he could get to his car, drive home, and somehow think a way to get past this pickle. Then, the phone rang.

"Hello?" mumbled Max as he gazed in agony at his head of hair that looked like it belonged on one of those girly Saturday morning cartoons where everybody has pink hair.

"Oooooh, Max! I love you!" Cooed Jessica on the other end.

"ooooo, I love you, too, who's this?"

"It's Jessica. Maaaax, I think it's soooo sweet of you to drive all the way out to the mall like this just so you could meet Kristen sooner!"

"Oh, yeah, baby, I... I did what?"

"Me and Kristin were going to head home, but we saw you're car in the parking lot, so we stopped. So THAT's why you wanted to know where we were! You're so sweet."

"Oh, yeah, well, you know... yeah."

"So I just called to tell you that we're already out here by your car, so you don't have to keep looking for us inside."

"Right! Cause that's what I'm doing right now. Looking for you."

"Well, I'll see you when you get out here. I love you!"

"I lmvme too. Bye bye."

"Ok, bye."

Max pressed the disconnect button. His time was up. His fate was sealed. He had no options other than go and meet his doom. He walked dejectedly out of the men's room, through the mall, through the food court, and out the door. He walked confidently to his convertible, and said,

"Hey."

The girls didn't say anything at first - both stood, stunned, staring at the pile of pink that sat atop Max's previously macho head.

"Oh my gawd. What did you do to your hair? And your clothes?" Asked Jessica.

"Oh, what, this? Uh, it's the new thing. I saw it on M-TV. I swear." Max swore. "Didn't you see? I think Carson Daily had this same color."

"You hate Carson Daily." Jessica pointed out.

While the conversation was going on, Kristen was still trying to figure out where she knew this strange guy from. Not work... not school...

"Yeah, well, I did it for you, baby!"

"Well, you better UN-do it for me, because that's nasty. Kristen, did you SEE this?"

Not from her area at all... from here? Why would she know anybody from here? Unless...

"Oh my gawd! Jessica, this is the guy I told you about! That tried to hit on me!" Gasped Kristen.

"No!" Protested Jessica in disbelief.

"I swear, it's the same guy. He just has pink hair and pink clothes now. Hey, you know what I think? I bet this a-hole thought that he could trick us by dying his hair so I wouldn't recognize him."

"Is that true?" asked Jessica.

"Well..." stammered Max, nearing the edge of his cool.”Parts of it may or may not be true..."

"Is the part about you hitting on Kristin and then dying your hair to avoid her true? And I swear, if it is, your HAIR isn't the only that's gonna dye today."

"I'll take the fifth, and point out that I am innocent until proven guilty." Stated Max, quoting the only facts that he learned in civics.

"Maybe in a court of law, but this is a court of love, and I find you guilty as charged. The punishment? This!" Screamed Jessica, and with flying fists of fury, she hauled off and punched Max so hard that two of his teeth become one with the universe, and the punishment is repeated by Kristen - only harder. As he female companions walk away, Max slumps up against his car. His face dripping with pink, face numb from pain, he opens the door and falls inside. He pulls out a washcloth from his glove compartment, wipes off his face, and replaces his shades on his nose. Looking at his reflection in the rear view mirror, he thinks, besides the pink hair, and despite a major dental emergency, he doesn't look half bad...

Peeling out of the mall's parking lot, Max cruises down to the waterfront. Placing the pedal to the medal, Max races along the roadways of southern California, the wind blowing his pink hair into a sort of bizarre shape that resembles cotton candy on fire, as he zips past the tourists as they follow their Maps to Star's Homes. Max throws his head back and laughs, for all that these summer people know, they have yet to know the animal magnetism of Max Overdrive, the L.A. Guy. But, my friends, there is time. There is time.



2009 - Nathaniel Jones