This is a piece of fiction that asks the age old question “What happens when Vin Diesel goes to the DMV?” It was written by Vince Mancini, Managing Editor of Filmdrunk.com. You can follow him on twitter @filmdrunk. Now, behold, as Mr. Vin Diesel takes you on a journey inside his mind…inside the DMV.
My time was tight. As if it ever isn’t. They said I had to be in Prague in 86 hours. They. Always wanting. Demanding. Never pleased. Never content.
Shoot a commercial for ASS body spray, they said.
So be it, I said.
“So is this gonna air stateside? Europe only? Who’s in charge of Asian and Latin American rights?” my assistant shot back.
Trust me, kid, there aren’t many things you can rely on in this screwed up world, and you can deposit that in the First Bank of Truth. But a good assistant? Well. That’s the breed’s exception. The mutant. The anomaly. The wolf in the shark tank. People are dogs. But somehow I’d found the one who’d sleep on his dead master’s grave stone. If I’d done something to deserve him… it must’ve been in another life. God knows I haven’t done much good in this one. Who has? But when fortune flashes that fickle smile at you, you better smile back because that bitch don’t smile often.
Then I guess we have a deal.
I put on my sunglasses.
“…and my boy doesn’t go anywhere without script approval, plus our own makeup and scalp people – paid for by you, of course. Plus first-class accommodation for all support staff, up to and including each day of the shoot, plus rehearsal, plus six…”
I could only take so much of it. Their chatter like white noise in my ear buds. It wouldn’t change anything. It never does. Nothing ever changes. Not really.
I’d slept for what seemed like days. Dreaming about a woman. A beautiful woman. A supermodel. A beautiful, wounded supermodel, who could never understand.
Clap clap clap.
This is how he woke me. Soft applause and a warm towel on the face.
“I brought your oatmeal and cigarettes.”
Berries, I’d said. But sometimes life doesn’t happen the way you plan. You have to make a call.
“And drink your wheat grass. Look, don’t freak out, okay, but we have to renew your passport. Here, open wide.”
Of course. Life has a way of shutting you up when you don’t like what it has to say. Of spooning you oatmeal when all you want is a cigarette. I looked around the room. Took inventory. All the things I wouldn’t see for another four to six hours. My DJ booth. The barracudas. My snowmobiles. My new skysurfing board. The rock-climbing wall. The zero-gravity lounge. My hypno-jacuzzi. I wanted to shut my eyes and not open them again until the world made sense.
What about Mia? I… I need to know she’ll be all right.
“Look, your tigers will be fine, I promise. You need to do this, okay? I’m sorry. They said it had to be you in person.”
They. They never have good news. Always wanting. Always demanding. Never pleas-
“And please don’t make a scene this time, okay? I’ve got tank top/shade combos laid out for you in the air hockey room, you can pick one out after breakfast.”
Breakfast. They say it’s the most important meal of the day. So be it. But what do you eat in a world where it’s always night?
“And since I know you’re gonna ask? Yes, you can wear the roller shoes.”
Dawn was coming. With a vengeance.
“But no rail grinds.”
Does a dog… ask permission… to lick himself?
“I don’t even know what that means.”
Just gimme my cigarettes.
It’s simple, really. Sometimes a man needs to see smoke leaving his mouth to remember he’s got the fire inside. Burning. Like a dragon. Or a chimney. But more like a dragon. And it was time for this dragon to fly.
Can we open the windows this time?
“Sure. But no paintball.”
Arrival. Ground zero. It was time. Time for me to make an entrance. The only way I know how. I coiled like a spring. Or a rattlesnake. Ready to strike.
“Boss? I hope you’re not thinking what I…”
Barriers are meaningless to the battering ram.
“Hey, man! What’re you doing? Are you crazy? You’re gonna hafta pay for that. Damn, man, who’s gonna clean this up? …And yo, that was an automatic door. …I didn’t even know that was possible…”
Mission accomplished. I dug a glass shard out of my leather vest. I make this look good. And I don’t even care.
So be it.
I hear my assistant chattering again, like a monkey. A dancing monkey. Wearing a hat.
“…Plate glass of that size – what’s that, five by ten? That’s gonna run you about $450. This should cover it, plus your expenses. Sorry about the trouble. Anyway, we’re gonna head on inside. “
Rule number 10, hotshot: When in doubt, always bring backup.
I cracked my knuckles. Rolled my neck. Ready for anything. Keep it cool. Stroll through like you own the place. Because I could.
“Okay, just relax. Here, have a seat. Your number is 763.”
Of course. Don’t kid yourself, kid, they’ll take your name and eventually you ain’t nothing but a number. Until one day, your number comes up. Or a fat man, just waiting to die.
“Hey, Mr. Diesel, mind if I get a picture?”
Always bet on black.
He doesn’t understand. They never seem to understand.
More monkey chatter.
“Here take an autographed glossy. Sorry, we’re in a bit of a hurry, his schedule is just really, really grueling these days.”
Gruel. Like the texture of the fat man’s skin above his sweat socks. That’s right, walk away, fat man. There is no place for you here.
And then it happened. You can avoid it as long as you want, but there comes a time in every man’s life when he has to arm wrestle with destiny.
“763, that’s us. Let’s go, window 14-C.”
14-C. What did it mean? What did it matter? What did anything matter? I skated my way over. We’ll see who has whose number.
“Rich” said his nametag. But a real man doesn’t need a nametag to tell him he’s rich. You can tell be the look in his eye, or the toucans in his sunroom. Well, Rich. Looks like it’s now or never.
They tell me you’re the best.
“Ha. I’m, uh… Yeah. I’m pretty good. I mean, I guess. Hey listen… are you gonna keep the boa on? I’m not sure I’m allowed to let you wear that in the picture…”
Does a lioness… use her claws… for picking berries?
“Huh? Okay, man, wear it, whatever. What the hell do I care, right?”
He shook the hair out of his face.
“But you’re definitely gonna have to put that cigarette out in here.”
I blew the smoke in his face. I’d been blowing smoke in everyone’s face. For as long as I can remember. Ever since I was kid. Since I was a baby. Since I learned to smoke.
Some people aren’t cut out for this lifestyle.
“Christ. I swear to God I’m gonna come back with a rifle one of these days… Aight, look, man, just stand on the fucking X, okay?”
Just as I thought – X marks the spot. Xtreme. Triple X.
Wait a second…
It all felt a little too perfect. God – or Chance, or Destiny, or whatever other stripper name you want to call it – thanks to him I was blessed with a nose for setups, and this one stunk like the crack of the fat man’s ass. Rich sensed the realization in my eyes as it dawned on me, clever bastard. He tried to blind me, but I was too quick for him. You can take a cheetah out of the jungle, but not without claw marks. I leapt across the divider. A joke of a barrier, really, but who was laughing? Rich sure as hell wasn’t.
WHY AM I HERE? WHAT’S YOUR REAL NAME?
But Rich wasn’t talking. Of course not. They’d shut him up good. But why?
Another flash. Not light this time, but… pain. A sharp sting in my neck, followed by numbness. Sweet, sweet numbness. It spread as I turned… to face…. My assistant?
But, Todd? …You?
“Just relax, buddy. I should never have brought you here,” he said as he lowered the weapon. “In twelve hours everything will be back to normal.”
Vision… melting. Darkness. Disembodied voices.
“…here hand me the dart. Make sure you don’t stick yourself with it… Perfect. Put this on it. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. No, really, it’s fine. This happens all the time…”
I came to in a Learjet, thirty thousand feet above the Mekong delta. They wanted me in Kuala Lumpur in three hours. They. Always wanting. Always demanding. Never pleased…