The Sunday Telegraph (Aus), September 27, 2009
Lounging poolside in LA, Wil's bogus brush with a stewed Hollywood dude leaves him sucking up a truly excellent adventure
by Wil Anderson
Apart from star spotting, one of the things I love about visiting Los Angeles is the interesting names of the local businesses. One night, I walked past - Nanna, I assure you, I only walked past - a strip club called Crazy Girls.
Now, while 'crazy' may be an adjective I look for when buying a mobile phone, it's not necessarily a quality I look for in strippers. Sure, she might give you a lap dance, but she might also ring your wife, stalk you, then boil your bunny.
It's not the only misleadingly named business I came across Another day, a van sped by with 'Emergency Rooter' emblazoned on the side. I guess we've all been a bit desperate at times, but I don't know if I would have ever described it as an emergency. I certainly didn't know that was one of the options you could select when you dialled 000: "Hello, 000, please state the nature of your emergency."
But as amusing as the business names were, it wasn't what I'd gone to LA to see. I went to spot celebs and, for a while, my mission had been spectacularly unsuccessful. At one stage, I thought I spotted Celine Dion's silhouette but, up close, it turned out to be a council worker holding a 'Stop' sign.
Little did I know that, as I sat by my hotel pool, my bad luck was about to change. The pool seemed surrounded by beautiful half-naked people without jobs: the type who set their alarms to make sure they're there early and don't miss one minute of lying around all day.
Imagine my surprise then, when a homeless person plonked himself down at the next table. At least, judging from the crumpled suit, scraggly beard and stench of booze, I assumed it was a homeless person - until I did a double take.
Turns out my 'homeless' friend was none other than one of the biggest box-office drawcards in the world: Keanu Reeves. Excellent!
It was clear Mr Reeves was either at the start of his day or the end of a very long night; his voice was croaky but his relaxed drawl was unmistakable. He called over a waiter and asked, "Can I have a Bloody Mary please, dude?" (OK, I'm almost positive he didn't say "dude" but, somehow, when I remember the story, I hear him say it anyway.)
The waiter, however, was in the mood to make this excellent adventure a bogus journey. "Are you staying at the hotel, sir?" he asked, snottily.
For a minute, I assumed he'd mistaken the Hollywood star for someone who should be holding a sign that said: ·Will say 'dude' for food." But the look on his face showed he knew exactly who it was and was merely on an ego trip.
"If you're not, I'll need to take a credit card for security purposes."
Yeah, I thought, because Keanu Reeves is going to do a runner. He's only worth about $300 million. What do they think will happen? He'll be sucked into The Matrix? If it were Winona Ryder, maybe, but Keanu?
Reeves must have been thinking the same thing because, after the drink arrived., he took one sip, signed his bill and left. That's when it happened.. Before I had time to think, I felt my hand reach across to the table and grab his drink. Then, as if in slow motion, I felt the straw touch my lips, and I sucked.. I sucked like Keanu in The Lake House.
Yes, I drank his Bloody Mary. Forget Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon; I'm now spit sisters with Keanu Reeves. That might seem gross but, on the upside, if I came home with swine flu, I'd know I picked it up from a bona fide superstar.