Kal Penn goes back to his roots (and buds)

Ref: Kal Penn upgrades from the White House to the White Castle

The election of Obama to the Presidency was for many people an experience akin to that of a first-time raver. A tsunami of dopamine floods your skull, lighting ablaze every last neuron. And in that cresting wave of impossibly good feelings you have ideas. Some wicked cool ideas. Like, you know, what the world really needs is a Ministry of Cuddling and maybe a Treasury of Stolen Kisses. And if only, somehow, you could just talk to Osama Bin Laden and give him a hug. He would renounce terrorism, move to the Bay Area, open up a hookah bar (called 'Arabian Nights', natch) and become a DJ of some repute, known for throwing down chill Islamo-Arabic beats.

But now it's morning. This isn't Reagan's "Morning in America". It's morning in an abandoned warehouse along the industrial edge of Oakland. You are slouched in one corner on the cold, hard concrete. And in the stark light of day you see that the cool Jamaican Rastafarian with whom you had a brilliant conversation last night is decidedly neither Jamaican nor a Rastafarian. He is Ben, a middle-aged Jewish guy with fake dreadlocks, who works in the back room of the local herbal therapy store and lives in Mrs. Chao's basement in Chinatown. The slinky rave goddess who lit up the dance floor with you and with whom you had this really, really amazing connection is a pink-haired, slightly chubby 19-year old named Amber from Contra Costa county who is slumped over your shoulder crying because her baby daddy Hector just texted, promising her an ass-whooping because he came home from a night of gang banging to find their infant son alone with her preteen brother.

From the corner of your eye you see the DJ packing up his gear, throwing you an occasional disinterested look. Your eyes are crusty. Your throat is dry. You really need to take a whizz. Ben's drooling on your legs. You gently kick him off. Amber's now sobbing uncontrollably. You twist away slowly and let her slide off. You feel for the car keys in your pocket. Still there. You breathe a sigh of relief. You get up, stretch, look at your watch. It's 11:45 am. And you think, "I best get out of here. Gotta make a living."

And that's what happened to Kal Penn.

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Amar Parikh - April 3, 2010 11:00 AM // Humour , Politics