Los Angeles, California Gary Coleman Flanked by Strippers

E3 is like a high school reunion, only it happens every year and it’s much much louder.

For those who don’t know, E3 is a big dumb videogame convention that happens here in LA. It’s an absurd spectacle of sleaze and desperation in which it’s not uncommon to bump into, say, an aging Gary Coleman flanked by strippers.


Actually, inmany profound ways, that image pretty much sums up the show.

All the videogame companies pay silly amounts of money for a few fleeting square feet of space on the showroom floor. They frantically compete for attention — not by demonstrating the merits of their products — but by cranking the volume of their booth displays as loud as possible and distracting hapless nerds with the never-ending supply of indigenous and affordable booth babes.

Booth babes are a special breed of female that can only be found in Los Angeles. Their skin is made of naugahyde and they think everything you say is hilarious.

Anyway, for reasons I can’t entirely recall, I chose this industry as the one in which to attempt to make a living. And in doing so, I’ve worked with hundreds of people over the years who are obligated, as I am, to converge for this event. So you run into folks.

I spent the day cataloguing the ways in which people avoid prolonged exposure when they encounter each other at the show. My favorite observed techniques are:

– Wave to a person from a distance while looking in another direction. It is preferable, when doing this, to be actively engaged in a completely separate conversation. This diffuses the threat of having the new person come up to you, while letting them know you’re far too busy to talk.

– Say hello while walking by, then continue to walk away as if you’re in a car and unable to stop. The key is to shrug at the person, as if to say, "I’d like to stop, but I have no control over my legs."

– Today I witnessed a more subtle variation on the fake-cell-phone-conversation ruse: instead of picking your phone up and pretending to talk, you wait for the other person to pick up theirs, then walk over, shake hands, and make a quick getaway before they hang up.

I had several of these used on me today, and I used them on others as well. The handful of times that I decided not to, I regretted it. Running into someone on the E3 floor always ends badly. It’s like trying to have a conversation at an orgy…which I imagine would be very difficult.

I haven’t recovered my laptop. I’m close to giving up and moving on. The morning after it was stolen, I canvassed all the pawn shops in Seattle and gave each one a description of all the items stolen with corresponding serial numbers. I told them I would buy back as much as they could get. I also reported the laptop stolen to Dell and they locked the Windows XP key. I filed a police report and checked with their pawn detail. If it shows up at any pawn shop in the country, it should theoretically get flagged and I will get a call. I also checked with their evidence room to see if it had turned up with any recent arrests.

No luck.

I did some research on Google and found there’s a 2% success rate in recovering stolen laptops. It is most likely sitting in the basement of some drug dealer’s house right now. I don’t know where it goes from there – overseas perhaps, or maybe there’s some kind of chop shop for computers that they send it to. But only someone very desperate or very stupid would dump it into one of the legitimate channels where it would eventually come back to me.

I recognize that’s all of interest to no one. For some reason it soothes me to detail my diligent yet futile efforts.

Anyone got any laptop recommendations?

For those wondering about my future wanderings, I’m firming up two trips for later in the year. One is a road trip across the US and the other is to Central America. I’ll post a rough itinerary of tour dates for the road trip in the coming weeks. Please let me know if I’m passing through your neck of the woods. I’ll be happy to dance for a couple beds to sleep on.

16 Responses to Los Angeles, California Gary Coleman Flanked by Strippers

  1. pete

    i’m an avid fan of your website and travels. I am terribly sorry about your laptop and hope that someone who watches this site can find it soon. I am leaving for a road trip on june 2nd out west and will blog the entire trip..you should check it out. (thanks for the inspiration). Please contact me about your road trip as I would love to discuss your travels with you. If you want to come by orlando florida, you will definately have a free bed and we can get you dancing with mickey.

  2. jen

    if this makes you feel better i had around 800 bucks stolen from me once. depressing. my ps2 recently got broke during a fight– now i dont have a ps2. I’ma wait for ps3 and get that….:(
    I get to do a lil travelin nex summer also; to germany, france maybe somewhere else i cant remember.
    good luck.

  3. Dan

    You are my hero. or something like that. I think I may follow in your footsteps once I get a job. have to have one to quit!

  4. Steph

    E3 sounds fun for your average hardcore girl gamer (not). I’ll be there with bells on when the scantily clad booth boys show up. Sorry about your laptop, man. What’s your laptop budget? There are a lot of good ones out there, with all kinds of different features. I’d say for the money, and the value, and the versatility, an Averatec is nice enough for travelling and work and whatnot. Not an ultra gaming whack video super uber r0xxor machine, but is mega fine for travel and easy on the wallet.

  5. Pete M.

    Hey! Sorry to hear about your laptop not being recovered yet. I think I may have a recommendation. But doesnt Dell have a laptop replacement center or a replacement warrenty? Well, anyways, you could always buy a Dell Inspiron 1200, but you should look around to find the best offer for you and one you would find suitable as well. As for E3, from what Ive seen, it was just awesome. Im looking forward to going there one day.

  6. Meredith

    hey matt
    ive seen the video on recomendation of a friend and read of your travels. way cool buddy. if you pass through san francisco perhaps we could dance in golden gate park with a bunch of hippies (YAY!)

  7. Meredith

    hey matt
    ive seen the video on recomendation of a friend and read of your travels. way cool buddy. if you pass through san francisco perhaps we could dance in golden gate park with a bunch of hippies (YAY!)

  8. Julien

    Hey Matt!! Your video is so great. It really made me wanna get my ass off my chair and start moving around. Personally, I’m in Stuttgart in germany right now… I wanted to ask what the title of the background music is in your video. It’s very known and I’m sure ppl asked u a thousand times but I’m asking again..
    Bon voyage!!!

  9. Jason

    Thanks for the blessing of dancing II, I got some good dancing shots in Tokyo last week. Next stop, Korea, then back to the States. I’ll send it to you when I get back.

  10. Dude

    can you check on land prices in Costa Rica for me? A nice little plot on the beach. I heard that’s the place to buy now.

  11. James

    I like how out of all the entire god damn places youve been to, MY PARTICULAR STATE FROM THIS PARTICULAR COUNTRY has to be the one that steals your laptop. Way to represent, asshats, now Matt will probably never come back. I hope a python wraps around your penis and squishes it. I hope it hurts super bad too.

    sorry if i was graphic.


  12. O'Malley

    Hi Matt,

    thx for your video and your website. Me and my mates, colleagues had a good time watching it nearly every day.
    It always makes us laugh our asses off.

    Greetz from cologne in germany (see you dancing there soon!)


  13. Yvonne Ellefson

    The music in the background of the video is Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest.

    And hi Matt, from Bob and Yvonne. We met you when we were diving Sipidan as part of our 2 month southeast Asia honeymoon. After your video demonstration there, next time we stopped in Singapore we picked up the same Canon digi camera and underwater housing. We also got some great underwater photos with our big Nikon rig (actually three of Bob’s swept an underwater photo contest in the digital novice category and won him a free trip on a live-aboard dive boat.) Anyway, here’s a photo of you looking very dour (presumably due to the unauthorized theft of your soul.)

  14. Dragonfire

    Once again I uploaded the music from the vid for all of Matts fans to enjoy.

    Get your free copy of Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby mini cd

    01 – Sweet Lullaby (extended remix).mp3
    02 – Sweet Lullaby (q-bass remix).mp3
    03 – Sweet Lullaby (apollo 440 rem).mp3
    04 – Sweet Lullaby (single remix).mp3
    05 – Sweet Lullaby (a la EFX sing[1].).mp3
    06 – Sweet Lullaby (ambient remix).mp3

    Sweet Lullaby (Mini Cd).rar (34.5 mb)

    At link to megaupload.com

    All tracks are [email protected] kb/s

    The file will be there forever or until no one gets

    it for 30 days ,then and only then will it be

    deleted from the server.


    (p.s Matt, you should pop by to Scotland , I can see you in my minds eye doing your dance to the skirl of the pipes and our arachnids are only wee small beasties. *ggg*)

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