AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 5/04/2004 09:58:00 AM ----- BODY:

Fo Shizzle

Bow to the wow, I'm partying with Snoop Dogg. He's all pimped out in a purple silk shirt, thick mink coat, lots of gold chains, and a fedora with an outrageous quail feather sticking out of the band. Aviator shades. He's behind the butcher-block table of a swank apartment, mixing margaritas in a blender. There are people all around me, and they're all standing, either conversing or dancing in this absent way that I know is all the rage, but makes them look like someone's forcing them to dance at gunpoint and their hearts aren't in it. Even though there are swank modern-art chairs and loveseat-looking things all over, there seems to be a rule against sitting. I lean against the table across from Snoop instead. "What'll it be, what'll it be?" he singsongs, and Nate Dogg calls across the room, "What you think, dog? Gin and juice!" "Negro, please," Snoop says, shaking his head. The heavy rings on his fingers click and clink against the glass he's filling with frozen margarita for a pouty girl wearing way too little clothing. "There ya go, baby, you enjoy that," he murmurs, then turns back to Nate Dogg. "Gin and juice was like five, six years ago, playa," he tosses over in Nate's direction. I'm bored. I don't belong here. I don't feel like jiggling my boobs for passerby or arguing over cocktails that are also the names of rap songs. Just as I'm about to give up and leave, though, I spot a set of keys on the table near the cutting board with butchered limes piled up on its slick wood surface. The keys are attached to a keyring that's shaped kind of like the Batman logo, but made of some kind of gray synthetic rubber, with a complex system of tiny little buttons all over it. I pick it up. You're not supposed to press buttons if you don't know what they do. You're not supposed to pop zits or pick scabs or anything else that's irresistible either. I have to angle my thumb carefully to avoid pressing more than one of the tiny buttons at once. I press one. Nothing happens. I press another. There's a muffled shout of music from outside the swanky apartment. I recognize the tune instantly--it starts with that high whiny reedy noise, the bass kicks in, and then there it is: "AIN'T NUTHIN BUT A G THANG, BABY..." Whever it's coming from, it's LOUD. It sounds like it's right outside the door. Even Snoop is unconsciously grooving along. Then all of a sudden he snaps to attention, dropping the knife he's been using to slice more limes onto the counter. He squints toward the outside music. "Aw..." he flips his hand in a dismissive gesture toward where the music is coming from and shakes his head. "Damn, man, I hate when that happens. Some dumb bitch done turned my car on." I drop the keychain. "Well, I, uh..." I stammer and back away toward the door slowly. Struggling to be subtle, I let myself out onto the stairs, closing the door with a soft click. I walk down the stairs to the private entrance to the parking garage. When I open the door, the music is like an assault. It's emanating like toxic radiation from the gleaming black Monte Carlo with the plush red interior about 20 feet away, so loud you can feel it like wind against your face. ONE, TWO, THREE AND TO THE FO'! SNOOP DOGGY DOGG AND DR. DRE IS AT THE DO'! READY TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE SO BACK ON UP CAUSE YOU KNOW WE'RE BOUT TO RIP SHIT UP!! It's so loud you could scream into it at the top of your lungs and not hear yourself. AIN'T NUTTIN BUT A G THANG, BAAAAABAY! TWO LOC'ED OUT NIGGAZ SO WE CRAAAAAZAY! It's so loud, the bass replaces your heartbeat. DEATH ROW IS THA LABEL THAT PAAAAAYS ME!! Oh, my God. It gets worse. Because I'm the "dumb bitch" that pressed the little button on the keychain like a curious five-year old, now I'm going to have to go turn the fool thing off, lest I be considered "uncool" in Snoop Dogg's house, a social death sentence if I ever heard one. I can picture my friends now: "You got the chance to party with Snoop...and you fucked it up? Because you couldn't resist a keychain? ...I'm sorry, I gotta go." And so I must actually get closer to the beast. They say the Eskimos have a thousand words for snow. There needs to be another million synonyms for loud before I can begin to describe the effect of the music ringing off the concrete walls of the parking garage. I'm afraid that my gums are going to disgorge my teeth at any moment. I begin to wonder if enough bass boost can cause a fatal arrythmia. But I've made it this far. I take a deep breath as if I'm going under water, and dive into the front seat of the car. The noise overwhelms me as I reach blindly for the volume knob. My probing fingers finally settle on something round, which I turn counterclockwise for all I'm worth. For my troubles, I'm suddenly thrown into the steering wheel. The car is now bucking under me like a rodeo bull, the music now threatening to blow out my eardrums. I put my hands over my face and moan with realization: I've just turned...the fucking...hydraulics the goddamn car. "Bethy." My mother is shaking my shoulder. "It's 25 of." That means it's 6:35 am, which means my alarm has been screaming its head off, completely unheeded, for 35 solid minutes. "Mmm..." is my witty reply. "Bethy." She shakes me. "Mmmm!!!" I retort angrily. "Did you have a story last night?" "Mm hmm." "What time did you get in last night?" I struggle to locate my tongue. "Mmm...midnight..." I sigh. "Geez. Do you have another story tonight?" "Mmm-hmm." "Well, you better get up. Where'd you bury your alarm clock?" I begin slapping around in the blankets with one hand. Then I find it. Right under my pillow.