One of my favorite things to do recently is to sleep in the Spacemobile in a parking lot in Palos Verdes, the rich-people's community at the top of the Peninsula Hills south of Redondo Beach.
Yes, it's true. Let me explain why.
1) Back when I worked at the Aura Club, somehow I got put into their membership computer… for eternity. Now, I can't go back to the Aura club near my house because they know me, but I can go to the one in PV, where they don't. Or the one by the airport… or the one in Palisades... As much as I hated working at a gym, it's nice to know my four-month tenure spawned a free life-membership to ten of the nicest clubs in LA.
2) PV, being full of rich people, has a really nice library, and since all I do these days is write screenplays and Pre-Algebra textbooks all day, it's a great place to work.
3) So PV is a good place to spend my day writing, working out, writing more, etc... But I can't stand driving up there during the day when it's all trafficky. The solution: drive up the night before. Sleeping in the Mobile is like sleeping in a mobile-home anyway - or perhaps a hermit shell - a small price to pay for 30 less minutes in traffic.
4) It seems I can't get out of bed anymore unless that bed is in the back of a Eurovan in strange parking lot.
Now I know what you're thinking - Is it legal to sleep in a van in a mall parking lot? Well, according the law… it's one of those gray areas. It's a public lot, and there aren't any signs saying you can't, but nobody else really does it… It's hard to say. But the more important question is, Will I get caught? And the answer to that question is a definitive No. The cops have better things to do than inspect a Minnesota Spacemobile in the Giraffe area of the Mervyn's parking lot at 3am. If there are cops in PV. As for any security guard that may be on duty…
I AM a security guard. In fact I was a parking lot security guard for six months. And if there's one universal tenet of all parking lot security guards, it's the Path of Least Resistance. The goal of a security guard in general is to do as little actual securing as possible - so you're not going to go stirring up trouble over every random car that parks in your lot late at night. The van's all curtained up anyway - there's absolutely no way to tell if there's anyone in there. It's not like I'm going to come to the window if he knocks, anyway. What's he gonna do, break in? There aren't many things you can do to get in trouble as a security guard, but breaking car windows in the lot you're protecting is one of them. Is he gonna call the police over a closed-up jalopy Eurovan? The Spacemobile has been described as many things, but "intimidating" is not one of them. OK, maybe it does look a little like the Libyan terrorist van from Back to the Future... and in fact that very scene might have shot in that exact parking lot… But it's too turquoise! And the Spacemobile is clearly German, not Libyan. It doesn't even have a gun turret. Not yet, anyway. Though Christmas is coming...