Jammer Goes to L.A.

Seeing the Franchise from Another Perspective

Starring: Jamahl Epsicokhan (critic-turned-pitcher; narrator), Wade Steinberg (best buddy; travel manager), Joe Menosky (pitch inviter; co-executive producer), Ashley Miller (objective pitch adviser), Mike O'Halloran (tour guide), Bryan Fuller (pitchee; executive story editor), Tim Lynch (retired critic), Ted Liu (final test-pitch victim), Brannon Braga (incidental meeting guy; executive producer)

By Jamahl Epsicokhan

July 7, 2000

Introduction | Preparations | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Day 3: March 12, 2000

8:00 a.m. WELCOME TO THE LAST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR TRIP — Days 1 and 2 droned on and on, so I promise to keep Day 3—the least interesting and eventful of this trip's report—brief.

Basically, we're done here. I've pitched my stories, we've seen some of the area, and all that remains is getting on the plane and flying back to the Windy City. The only question left at this point is whether we'll get to have that sit-down chat with Joe. He told us yesterday that he'd call us when he wakes up. We told him we'd be getting up around 8:00, so we're basically waiting for his call. About 8:30 we call him, seeing as we have to hit the road soon. Answering machine. We leave a message. It's looking like he's not going to call in time, and even if he does there's not going to be time for breakfast. Ah, well.

Surprisingly, these photos, taken mid-flight through not the cleanest window, turned out fairly well. Above: The mega-view of Los Angeles shortly after takeoff to the west over the ocean, as we circle around and head back east over the coast. Below: The limited view of a much, much smaller segment of the Chicago area, taken during our descent into O'Hare International Airport several hours and two time zones after the photo on the left, as early evening and cloudy skies make for a darker view.


9:30 a.m. CHECK OUT — We hit the road, planning to get breakfast on the way out of town. We leave the cell phone on in case Joe wakes up in time to call us.

It's only fitting that we end up coming full circle for this trip: Our last stop in L.A. is the same as our first stop—that McDonald's on La Cienega Blvd., about which I'd better register a gripe seeing as on this particular Sunday morning it's the most incompetent operation I've ever seen. I literally stood in line for 30 minutes waiting for everyone in front of me to be helped, and it wasn't THAT many people. And when I finally ordered my food, not only did they not get a single item on my order correct, they didn't even give me the right change back. I was hardly going to whine over 15 cents, but can't anybody count these days?

While we're standing in line, Wade's cell phone emits that aforementioned Nokia tune. It's Joe, who just woke up. Guess we won't be having that sit-down, seeing as we're catching a plane in an hour. Joe says maybe we can hook up in the Windy City if he flies through on his way to Italy. (As I write this on July 6, I've had frequent correspondence with Joe, who is to my knowledge still in L.A.) So this particular storyline doesn't have an ending, at least not yet. But I managed to work it into all three parts, because I'm good about continuity. Heh.

By 10:30 we're doing the closing details; refueling the car, returning it to the rental place, getting our shuttle to the airport. I should probably take this time to ask what it is about drivers in L.A. and their irrational use of their vehicles' horns. People honk their horns frequently, for no apparent reason, when there's no traffic to speak of, and no one doing anything that would prompt impatience. Just an observation. And since we're talking vehicular trivialities, Wade says I should mention that the Buick Century has too low a front bumper extension; it scrapes the ground all the time on minor driveways and other such changes in incline. If you're in the market for a new car, take note. (What am I, Consumer Reports?)

11:15 a.m. LAX — On the plane. Next stop, Chicago. I'll let the pictures tell the story for the routine return flight, because they actually turned out reasonably.

6:00 p.m. CST, CHICAGO — That's it. Our trip is over. Back to Central Time and 45-degree weather. (Amusingly, as I write this, it's a stiflingly humid 85-degree summer day here in Illinois.)

Thanks for letting me drone on and on needlessly about this trip. It was an experience and an eye opener. Like I said at the outset more than two months ago, this report is documentation I'll look back on fondly in five or 10 years, and I'll be glad that I wrote it all down in such excruciating detail. Hopefully it was somewhat entertaining for third parties in the meantime. If that's not the case and you've still managed to make it to the end, then you are a SUCKER. HA! But thanks anyway!

Later, lamerz!

Next week: A report on the Korn concert Wade and I went to on March 16 in Chicago. Yeah, right.

Go back to Day 2

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1 comment on this post

Alexey Bogatiryov
Thu, Mar 19, 2009, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
Reading this 5 years later was very insightful into how Hollywood operates. I envy you that you had a chance to truly influence the content of ST: Voyager. Why did you not pitch an idea about an early return to the Alpha Quadrant and having the Maquis part of the crew thrown in the brig?

Anyway-cool trip! Did you ever make a second pitch over the phone? Do you still keep in touch with the former co-producer?

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