I little story I wrote within the first year of arriving in Los Angeles and working at a small game company… the characters are, indeed…characters.
FROM: Perry, Todd
TO: Distribution to ALL DATE: 12-05-95
SUBJECT: Burbank Animator Fears Lunch Truck
In the small CD-ROM development company of Vortex Media Arts, a man lives in fear everyday. Waiting. He looks up at the clock, then looks out the window. His eyes scan the area, trying to determine when the enemy will be attacking. Suddenly, the horns of battle sound, blaring out the cry of “La Cucaracha”.
The enemy assault vehicle turns into the parking lot. “OH MY GOAT!!!! ITS HERE!!!!” cries Greek artist, Dimitrius Rentzis as he jumps from his seat and runs out of the artists pool. The other artists turn to look at each other.
This is a continuing saga of what most professionals would call neurosis, and what the artists and other employees at Vortex have come to know as — Dimitri.
When asked why he was so afraid of the lunch truck, he nervously responded, “Because they always ask me if I have a girlfriend” — a response that adds more mystery than illumination on the subject.
“I don’t know why he’s so paranoid,” tells Gabi Payn, Head Animator, who has participated numerous times in such “harmless” pranks as putting dead, dried-up frogs and live grasshoppers on Dimitri’s desk. “He always seemed normal enough.”
AnnMarie Ashkar, who is a relative newcomer to the company, adds on, “I’ve always seen him as afraid of the lunch truck as most people are afraid of heights, or enclosed places, or . .. Snickers bars or, you know, when your going to sleep at night .. .. and . . . . and …. the walls start to bleed and the only way to make it stop is to recite Peter, Paul, & Mary songs and . .. and I don’t KNOW any Peter, Paul, & Mary songs.”
Roz Gibson, veteran Vortex animator, always perpetuates Mr. Rentzis’ fears. “I only was escorting him past the truck to get to his car, otherwise, he wouldn’t have made it to his therapy appointment. I always tell him to use the front door . . . I say, ‘Dimitri, use the front door, then you don’t have to talk with them'”. Later, it was found that doctors in the field of Psychology have found a direct correlation between fear of Lunch Truck and the fear of Do-It-Yourself Car Washes. When Roz was asked why she chose to help Dimitri live out his fears the response was, “They’re just Mexicans.”
Other artists have had similar comments:
Jeremy DuBow: “I feel that . .. you know .. whatever . yada yada yada”
Charles Garcia: “I really like the lunch truck . . they have good burritos,oh, wait . . that wasn’t the question, was it? Sorry, about that. Oh yes, Dimitri… I could never understand why he doesn’t like the Beatles . . “
Brenda Banks: ” . . . . . ” There was no comment.
John Gibson (no known relation to Roz): There is no REASON for this. He’s just psychotic . . . he used to torture his Grandmother, who is haunting him now … (in Dimitri voice) ‘Oh my Goat, she eez comeeng back to haunt me’. — at which point, Mr Gibson proceeded to jump around like a pseudo-apparition, which prompted myself and my crew to back away and judge the sanity of other workers at Vortex.
When the production staff was asked about the Dimitri Situation, this is what we found.
Mike Viner, producer, Simpson’s Virtual Springfield: “He’s from West Hollywood! Anyway .. he’s all Greek to me. And you know what they say about Greece — Where the Men are Men and the boys run scared .. Thank you, thankyouverymuch. Tip your waitress.”
Steve Nyguen: “He was supposed to hook me up with his roommate.” When asked about the roommate, Dimitrius went into a tyraid of Greek curses — “Patty used up awl my toilet paper it was horrible. I had to WALK to the store and geet some more. And then I saw a MAN in a WHEELCHAIR and he was having such a hard time breathing I was laughing so hard!”
And what to the executives at VMA think?
Rick Giolito: “He’s needs to be fucking committed Once! … listen to this .. he sent me flowers .. when my Wife was here. I said ’Listen, You Greek Fuck! If you want to send me flowers, the least you could do is wait til my WIFE isn’t around!!”
Fritz Brenner: “He needs to see what war is like…smell the gunpowder and burning flesh … he needs to see what REAL fear is…
like at Normandy or the Battle of the Bulge.”
Professionals have now narrowed the fear down to Greekus RoachCoachPhobis in Extremis. There has been no known cure, and it look like the cure for AIDS is more attainable. Til then…it looks like Dimitrius Renztis will be living with the constant adrenaline rush of paranoia that accompanies fears of totally ludicrous proportions.
Dimitri can be seen at Vortex Media Arts, but will soon be on tour of the Donahue, Oprah, and Rikki Lake shows. The
theme being “Men Who Are Totally Afraid of Everything Innocuous But Who Would Still Sleep With Aaron Spelling If Given The Chance”