December 2, 2008

From Ivory Tower to Bullet-Proofed Mansion

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I woke up yesterday morning and sat bolt upright from the cushy, puke-green sofa in my living room I had fallen asleep on earlier that night (morning?). Something was definitely not right. I pulled the notes I was using to write a rather fabulous English essay (due in approximately three hours) from my face and took stock of my emotions.
What was this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach? Could it be that third helping of my Jersey cousins’ stuffing from Saturday afternoon, rising ominously up from the depths? Perhaps it was the caffeine pills — I mean tic-tacs — I’d been popping like an addict for the past nine hours?
Listlessly, I ticked off the usual suspects, but somehow I knew none of them was the culprit this time. It wasn’t until I was halfway to class that I realized why I felt so uneasy, that the feeling threatening to ruin this beautiful morning was none other than a profound sense of Big Red guilt. I checked the paper and received confirmation in the form of the headline that screamed out at me from the Sports Section of USA Today: the New York Giants’ Plaxico Burress had shot himself in the leg at a club with a concealed weapon he felt compelled to carry everywhere (including a not so kosher sojourn across state lines) for protection.
What an ordeal! Reading about the terrible plight of Mr. Burress, I realized just how revolting my waspy, Ivy-educated sensibilities were — my life is way too easy. The cover story of this week’s ESPN The Magazine loudly decries the fact that “NFL Players are Still Living Scared.”
I knew that I would not be able to rest until I could truly empathize with the plight of this newest class of fearful, hunted citizens — and this simply could not be accomplished until I had driven a full 25 miles (at least) in their limos. Today, with a little help from some very good, very connected friends (I really owe you, Leigha) I made this desire become reality just in time for my last column of the semester (insert tearful goodbye’s hear). I hope you read my (completely honest and fact-checked) itinerary carefully and thoughtfully — may it enlighten your privileged little lives as much as it has mine.

8:05 a.m.
I wake up in some room of my modest, 35-room house. I am terrified. Who knows who’s out there right now, plotting my demise and/or the pillaging of my Miami mansion? I yell at someone in my posse to telephone my Miami mansion and make sure everything is safe. Then I repeat the process with my Long Beach bungalow. After several gut-wrenching minutes, I receive the all clear. Thank God, my security teams survived the night. For now. I roll over and go back to sleep. Hello, 8 a.m. is mad early!

11:12 a.m.
My iPhone rings with the fly sounds of Britney Spears’ new hit single “Womanizer.” (Note to self, I must have someone call Britney; it’s been way too long! We need to have a spa day.) I pick up the phone. It’s my new bestie Pacman; he wants to chill.
Yawning, I get up. After strapping on my slimming bulletproof vest, I assemble my bodyguards. I decide to take the Escalade. My head of security stops me — sadly, I cannot take the tricked-out model. Times are tough, and my gold-plated rims might attract too much attention.
Before leaving the house I strap on my 9mm. I don’t have a “current” permit to carry the concealed weapon, but I’ll be damned if some government agency thinks they can put a price on the safety of … umm … my family, of course!

2:37 p.m.
My entourage rolls up in front of the restaurant where I’ll be hanging with Pacman and his boys. Of course, the minute I step out of the car I am recognized, despite my new D&G stunna shades! A teenager rushes me with a sharpie begging for an autograph. I freeze, the sight bringing back horrible memories from a scuffle I recently endured while clubbing in Miami.
Luckily, before I can be reached one of my guys steps in and knocks the punk to the ground. Autograph that! My team rushes me into the restaurant before anything else scarring can happen.

6:20 p.m.
I am grateful to be finally back behind my double-reinforced steel gates and state-of-the-art security camera array. I kick off my Armani slippers, select the most recent Madden NFL for Xbox and slip it into the 65-incher in the west wing. A sudden noise outside causes me to jump and I grab for the panic button I have hanging, Flava Fav style, around my neck.
Then my beloved pug Killer walks into the room and I realize it was a false alarm. Relieved I sink back into the leather couch and concentrate on kicking some serious, virtual Giants butt.

11:45 p.m.
It’s time to brave the outside once more as I prepare for a night on the town with some friends. We’ll take my limousine, but just in case I send a decoy out ahead of us in one of my Beamers. We arrive at the club and find a crowd already gathered outside. Hesitating, we consult with my head of security to see if it is safe enough to leave the car. My man Steve tells us he thinks it will be O.K. Nervously, we make sure our guns are loaded and stuck securely in various holsters, mostly concentrated in the waistline area. The moment the car door opens we are mobbed, although the crowd dissipates as soon as that show-off LeBron shows up.
We head inside and settle into a dark corner, setting up a perimeter of six tables on all sides. A man shouts at Pacman, claiming to be seeking a picture, and is immediately tackled. Order is restored.

4:00 a.m.
Four clubs and two near-brawls later, it’s time to go home. I must say I am ready. My ears hurt from the dime-sized diamond studs they’ve been supporting, and my silk shirt’s starting to give me quite the nasty little rash. I swear, I have no idea how pros like Eli do it!
We walk to the limo, but I don’t see the curb looming up in front of my foot and I stumble. With a pop, my faithful firearm discharges into my right thigh. Not good! My security team rushed me into the limo and we speed across five lanes of traffic on the way to the nearest hospital. I endure the humiliation of numerous cell phone paparazzi who record me hobbling into the emergency room.

4:03 a.m.
I have my publicist call Leigha and beg for my old life back.