Season 3 Episode 8
CURSED CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS: THE J-LO TRAGEDY
Season 3 Episode 8
CURSED CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS: THE J-LO TRAGEDY
Jamie Loftus takes us through 24 hours of fantastic brushes with celebrity 💅📸
Words by Jamie Loftus
Posted April 28, 2021
I. Demands Issued From My Boss, Jennifer Lynn Lopez
I’ve been working for Jennifer Lopez for a few months now. She’s nice enough. I come to her chambers around eight every morning, and am given a list of tasks to complete before the end of the day -- things like picking up nude lip gloss in shade “Champagne and Caviar,” try different skin products she’s uncomfortable using on her animals, see what Ana de Armas “is up to” to see if “the Affleck option is still open.”
I guess our relationship is… polite. I’ve been trying. This morning, I arrived exactly on time with a hard boiled egg, just like Jennifer likes.
“No,” Jennifer says to the egg, and I throw it away. This is our little routine.
“How can I help today?” I ask, smiling with expert control over my lips. If I overshoot on a smile, they tend to raise too high and reveal my decaying gumline.
Jennifer sighs. “I need three tubes of Champagne and Caviar for a party in Silver Lake tonight, and a present to bring for Kristen Bell. She’s throwing a fundraiser for something about zoos. I don’t know if she’s for or against. You’ll have to come with me in case I forget her name.”
“Whose name?” I ask.
Jennifer frowns, which she is able to do without moving her face. “Kaitlin Bartha.”
I nod sagely. I will earn my $45 this week. I will remind her what Kristen Bell’s name is all night if I need to.
“Sometimes I think I was meant to work for you, you know?” I can hear my voice shaking as Jennifer continues to look at her phone in two-piece leisurewear just a few shades different from the color of her skin. I’ve been working on this conversation starter for weeks. “Because I’m a J. Lo, too.”
This gets her attention. “What are you talking about?”
I wasn’t prepared for this. Sweat releases from my armpits, activating the smell from the previous day’s sweat I didn’t wash.
“Oh, just that— my name is Jamie Loftus.” Jennifer Lopez looks at me, unclear at what difference this makes. “And so in that way, it’s — it’s the same naming convention, so I’ve always thought of us as, you know, connected. With the first name and the beginning of the last names.”
Jennifer’s face tightens a little, which could mean anything in her emotional range. “Los Feliz at seven, meet the driver and I outside.”
If I were to complain about one thing about Jennifer (and I hate to complain), it’s that she doesn’t understand what an appropriate wage is. I’m afraid to bring it up with her, and take my $45 a week in the hopes that it will lead to something better -- in my fantasies, as a living statue in Demi Moore’s open floor plan second home, as I hear they get healthcare.
I leave Jennifer’s chambers silently as Alex Rodriguez’s legal representative brushes past me in the doorway.
My commute used to be extremely stressful until I quietly relocated to a sinkhole in Jennifer’s backyard, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. I dread the sorts of days that send me across the city without a car, but I’ve already planned how to get home tonight -- when Jennifer is ready to leave the party, which is typically around the third time she regales a character actor about how her mic at the Biden inauguration was ‘too hot,’ I’ll get in the trunk of her driver’s car. When we arrive back at her estate, I’ll wait forty-five minutes before unlocking the trunk with my fingernail and using the tunnel system that connects her garage with her garden for reasons I still haven’t figured out. From there, it’s a fifteen minute walk to my sinkhole.
Given today’s “I’m a J. Lo too” fiasco, it’ll be at least another three months before I bring up making a living wage. Fortunately, Jennifer’s sparse to do list and rent-free sinkhole make it easy for me to pick up work on the side.
I open my TaskRabbit app -- two streets away, there’s a GameStop delivery driver that needs a few packages in the neighborhood delivered on her behalf so she has time to attend her own mother’s funeral. I’m happy to help.
II. Delivering Delroy Lindo’s GameStop Package, Which Was Shipped Overnight
After my first Lime scooter fails, I deposit it in the ocean and find another covered in a thin layer of something sticky. Feeling new, I arrive on Delroy Lindo's street in Beverly Hills.
I appreciate that Delroy Lindo is the sort of celebrity that orders packages under his real name, and answers the door himself. This is the authenticity I crave. This is why I love the movies. I’ve never seen someone so thrilled to receive a GameStop package, and I was dating a fucking asshole when the first installment of “The Last of Us” came out.
“Wow, you’re not kidding about overnight delivery!” Delroy Lindo says.
The acknowledgement of my existence wakes up a section of my brain that hasn’t been stimulated in weeks. I scramble to reply.
“Oh,” I say. “Yeah, it really does come the next day.”
Delroy Lindo looks over his shoulder, looking a little self-conscious. “I have to tell you -- wait, are you a gamer, yourself?”
“Oh hell yeah,” I say, lying so as not to challenge Delroy Lindo’s pre-conceived notion of me.
“I’m pretty new to it all,” he continues, gesturing around him. “Gaming, I mean. Christine’s nephew got her really into it a few years ago, and she kept saying she loved playing Po-kay-mon. I don’t know what I thought she was talking about. She talks a lot, and sometimes I would just say, ‘Okay, Christine.’ So we could keep the day moving, you know?”
Malcom X (1992)
I nod, trying to keep up. Christine, Christine -- oh, right. I watched every episode of The Good Fight after the second Moderna shot left me bedridden for three days. Christine Baranski. Playing Pokemon? That’s interesting. Delroy Lindo is still speaking, so I tune back in.
“-- and this little guy, he looks like a cat, or maybe a beaver? He’s bright yellow with stripes and says his name over and over, which sounds annoying but for some reason it isn’t. And I just love that guy. His name is escaping me right now.” Delroy Lindo takes the package from my hands and starts to peel the branded GameStop tape from it.
Get Shorty (1995)
“I really loved you in Get Shorty,” I say.
Delroy Lindo smiles placidly. “Okay.”
And I’m not even kidding, inside the package was three copies of Pokemon Quest for Nintendo Switch.
“Yes!” says Delroy Lindo, pumping his fist and turning to leave. After a moment, he turns back to me, remembering something. “Pikachu! That’s the name of the guy I was thinking of.”
The Parent Trap (1998)
III. Accosted at Dennis Quaid’s Podcast Studio
Either Dennis Quaid’s wife or daughter answers the door. “Thank God,” she says, yanking me into the room. “Do you know what a pop filter is?”
Dennis Quaid famously lives on a Montana ranch that he’d like to think is charming but is actually terrifying. His Los Angeles apartment’s energy gives me something between ‘Mike’s Hard Lemonade sponsored crypto startup’ and ‘barely soundproof podcast studio whose audio quality could be outdone by putting a jacket over your head.’
I am here to complete a podcast related task, and install Dennis Quaid’s pop filters for today’s recording of The Dennissance before his guest arrives. If completed, I will make $12 with tip before stopping at the Beverly Center for Jennifer’s three tubes of Champagne and Caviar.
Dennis Quaid sits at his mic, frantically saying every word that begins with the letter P he can think of.
“Pike’s Place, piss-ant, Postcards from the Edge!” he shrieks into the microphone and shakes his head. “It’s peaking hard.”
“Hey, the task rabbit is here,” either his wife or his daughter says to Dennis Quaid, and he kisses her just to the side of her lips in a way that doesn’t clarify their relationship to each other.
“Thank fuck,” he says, clapping me on the back of a t-shirt I got from a weed company at a free outdoor concert. “Let’s get these babies on before the guest gets here.”
I take the pop filters I picked up at Staples and start to fasten them to the two microphones as Dennis Quaid starts to speak with either his daughter or his wife about how he’s really coming around to seeing things Randy’s way. He glances over to me, and his features harden.
“That’s not a pop filter,” he says, so gravely that for a moment I doubt what my own name is, much less the fact that I’m definitely holding a pop filter.
“It is,” I said, “I just picked it up at—”
“So you’re telling me—” Dennis Quaid walks up to me in three steps for a distance that should have taken eight. “That this.” He slaps the pop filter out of my hand. “Is going to stop my p’s from peaking.”
Dennis Quaid’s daughter or wife looks over to me apologetically. “He’s really concerned about the p’s since Parker Posey had her episode pulled.”
I’m frozen in place holding the second pop filter. Should I just put it down? Should I leave? Dennis Quaid slaps the other filter out of my hand, and as he gets closer I can see a Rhode Island-shaped wrinkle pattern nested into the left side of his face.
“Mister Quaid, I think there’s been a misunderstanding,” I say, breathing heavy. Dennis Quaid puts his hand on his pocket — a knife? A gun?
“Hey man, sorry I’m running behind,” comes a voice from the doorway.
Pete Davidson, who leads with his frosted tips and sees Dennis Quaid in my face. “Is everything okay?”
Dennis slides back into charismatic Everyman mode in a second flat, spreading his arms wide. “POP filters, huh?” Dennis Quaid says. Pete Davidson is visibly nervous, but smiles and takes a coconut water from beside his mic.
“Cool, cool,” he says, and sits down. Dennis shoves me aside, and I’m able to regain my balance before hitting the wall.
“Thanks anyway,” he says. His daughter or wife hands me $12 from her back pocket, all damp from the ass sweat in the boiling hot apartment.
Pete Davidson shrugs as if to say there’s nothing he can do even though there very much is -- this attitude is hurting me right now but will probably hurt him more in the long run. I don’t have time to worry about it.
I take a few bags of Pop Chips from the kitchen and leave.
50 Shades of Grey (2015)
IV. An Unwelcome Lunch with Dakota Johnson
I leave Dennis and Pete to an interview that, I learn weeks later, ends both of their careers, and take the sticky Lime scooter to the nearest Sephora. At the Beverly Center location, you need to walk past a red lip display to get to the nude tones that Jennifer Lopez, my boss but not my friend, needs.
“Jamie?” I realize the woman I just passed at the red lip display is Dakota Johnson, an old friend from when she hit me with her car a few years back. “Do you want to get lunch?”
I am left with no choice but to get lunch with Dakota Johnson at Eggslut. I can't tell if she considers me a close friend, barely an acquaintance, or is either being extremely honest with me or lying about everything she says. I can't tell if she likes me or not. My guess is she doesn’t.
“What did you do today?” she asked.
“I got shoved into a wall by Dennis Quaid,” I tell her.
“That’s a more relatable story than you think,” she says between bites of egg slut.
“Do you love Chris Martin?” I ask.
She thinks about this for a moment, eats the yolk of an overeasy egg in one bite, and swallows it whole. “I dunno,” she says.
Being my friend might be a joke. But between her and who? I end up paying for lunch with two thirds of my weekly salary.
Sex And The City
V. I Am Kim Cattrall’s Waitress on the Worst Day of Her Career
I’m back on my Lime scooter in ninety degree heat, egg sluts boiling in my stomach.
My friend Mariah needs someone to cover the last few hours at the bistro she works at in West Hollywood, and says that it’ll be worth my while — Kim Cattrall usually comes around this time, and is supposed to be an excellent tipper. With three tubes of Champagne and Caviar in my pocket, I’ve got just enough time before Kristen Bell’s party either for or against zoos to make it.
Kim Cattrall comes in at her usual time with a jazz musician who is either nineteen or sixty years old. She seems upset, which I can tell from the fact that she keeps saying “I’m upset.”
“What can I get for you?” I ask, tempted to tell her that she carried Sex and the City on her back but I know that she knows that.
“I’m upset,” she replies. “I’ll have the beef bourguignon without the burgundy. And three shots of tequila. If you’ll excuse me --”
Kim Cattrall, who I should have mentioned is dressed in a floor-length gown, makes a beeline for the bathroom, leaving me with the jazz musician of indeterminate age.
“And what can I get for --” I begin.
“Samantha got killed off the Sex and the City reboot,” the jazz musician says, distraught. “She just found out. I’m afraid she’s going to shove my hand down a garbage disposal again. I’m lucky that I was able to get my severed fingers on ice in time last year. I -- I’m just going to have water.”
The jazz musician can’t finish his sentence. Kim Cattrall returns, and I feel certain that whatever she was doing in there, she did not wash her hands after doing it.
“Let’s be quick about it,” she says, and I consult with the cook briefly to learn -- we have no beef bourguignon. None at all, and I have to tell Kim Cattrall this at the same time as she’s openly and loudly threatening to run Sarah Jessica Parker over with a Zamboni.
I approach her carefully, and the jazz musician’s eyes catch mine, clearly panicking at the lack of expensive soup in my hands. Kim is in the middle of explaining how she could get a series regular job on Grace & Frankie in the drop of a hat if she wanted, but it’s the principle of the thing that --
“Excuse me, Ms. Cattrall?” She turns to me, eyes wild. “We don’t have any beef bourguignon.”
A few weeks later, Kim Cattrall’s jazz musician was found on the side of the road in an abandoned Tesla, both his hands shredded to the wrist, almost as if run through a garbage disposal. The remainder of Cattrall’s and my interaction has been redacted from this extremely public record until the court case is complete -- the only thing I can legally confirm is that the altercation left me with a fistful of Kim Cattrall’s hair in my left back pocket, in what I maintain was necessary self-defense.
I am thrilled to announce she will be appearing as a series regular on the upcoming season of Grace & Frankie.
I take the 2 Metro line to get within walking distance of Kristen Bell’s house, and silently pray that Jennifer will not be able to ‘smell the bus’ on me like she did last time.
VI. Josh Gad Corners Me At the Party
After disposing of the Lime scooter and frantically rubbing the stickiness off on a brick wall, I arrive in front of Kristen Bell’s Los Feliz home, just down the street from a gentrified brunch place where I was once lightly threatened by the showrunner of the world’s most famous cartoon. Jennifer’s driver Jeremy snatches the three tubes of Champagne and Caviar through the window of the limousine, and I can hear Jennifer’s voice hiss from the back that the gloss smells like “a fucking bus.”
“Just meet her inside,” Jeremy mouths to me. I wonder if he’s as in love with me as I am with him. I enter Kristen Bell’s house, and it smells like Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea fragrance inside. I feel a little nauseous -- that’s the Dakota Johnson egg sluts talking.
I don’t make it three steps inside before he spots me. It’s Josh Gad, eager to entrap the nearest woman taller than him in a conversation against her will.
“Annie, right?!” he asks me. I’d seen him pull this act before -- it was “Annie, right?,” then a too-forward arm touch, then three consecutive hours of polite smiling. It was incredible to watch if it wasn’t happening to you. I once saw him hold Penelope Cruz herself hostage for an entire New Year’s Eve. Her knees buckled.
“It’s Jamie, actually,” I say, and abruptly turn to walk away. Josh Gad catches up quickly, and I feel his hand firmly touch my upper arm. I was trapped.
“Have you heard about these NFTs?” he asks.
I have, and I can’t think of anything I want to talk with Josh Gad about less except for --
“It’s basically the most epic thing to happen since the GameStop stock shortage,” Josh Gad continues. Yes, that was the only thing I wanted to talk about with him less. “Anyways, NFTs are these things called Non-Financial Tender and --”
Josh Gad does not understand NFTs, which would ordinarily be a compliment, but he also is very thoroughly convinced that he understands NFTs better than anyone. He’s wrong, he’s completely wrong, I’ve only skimmed a Business Insider article about NFTs and he’s so fucking wrong about them.
As Josh Gad tells me that NFTs are like “Neopoints” but “to buy teenage ideas,” I force myself to hold my tongue -- the only thing that could make this worse is Josh Gad finding a reason to argue with me. As Josh Gad tells me that NFTs are “most likely a publicity stunt for the next Deadpool movie, I think,” I clench all my holes until they seal. Hours pass. A bartender never asks me if I want anything, but Josh Gad somehow drinks four IPAs without moving or taking a pee break.
Midnight approaches. Jennifer Lopez has ignored me all night, knowing the dangers of being roped into a conversation with Josh Gad, but finally needs to ask me something. She interrupts Josh Gad just as he’s about to say “a little controversial opinion about cancel culture.”
“I need Kristen Bell’s gift,” Jennifer tells me.
Shit. shitshitshitShiT. I did not get Kristen Bell a gift, between the elation of Delroy Lindo remembering who Pikachu was to the dangerous encounter with Dennis Quaid to the cognitive dissonance of Dakota Johnson’s eggs to the lack of beef bourguignon for Kim Cattrall and the current distress I was experiencing at the clammy hand of Josh Gad. I’d forgotten.
“Jennifer, I -- from one J. Lo to another, I --” I reach into my pockets frantically, willing for a hostess gift to appear.
Josh Gad begins to talk to Jennifer Lopez about which side of zoos Kristen Bell ended up falling on, but went silent when Jennifer raised her hand to shush him. She really is amazing. She really deserves what she has. She has really earned it, is truly a triple threat.
“Well?” she asks.
I reach into my back pocket, desperate, and finally wrap my fingers around something and pull it out. Jennifer is just as shocked as I am to see what’s in my fist -- a healthy chunk of --
“I got her some of Kim Cattrall’s hair,” I say.
Jennifer narrows her eyes and snatches the artist formerly known as Samantha Jones’s hair from my hand. Moments later, I hear Kristen Bell’s appreciative murmur -- “I’ve always thought of myself as a Carrie, but this is so sa-weet, Jennifer-uh.”
The click of Jennifer Lopez’s limousine trunk lock is the sweetest music I’ve ever heard. Finally, I can rest. My sinkhole calls.