July 11th, 1999
Yo-hoo from Los Angeles,
Well I'm safe and sound at Bently's but about 10 hours ago I was sure my life was in danger of being cut short.
As soon as I had grabbed my stuff at baggage claim I was approached by 4 young Asian men who kinda sorta "insisted" I go with them.
"Derek Barnes?" one of them said.
"Uh . .yeah?"
"You're going with us."
And that was that. I have never been kidnapped before but it was everything I thought it would be. I was squeezed in between 2 of the guys in the backseat of their car and off we went. At the time I kept thinking to myself that at least they were nice enough to put my bags in the trunk. Then I kept thinking that they considered my luggage evidence and would dispose of it later.
"So," I gave 'em my best Derek Barnes "where we going?" grin. They just turned up this rave music really loud. I hate rave music.
Nobody said nothing. (ain't double negatives fun?) One of the guys on my left had this really neat tattoo of a 50's robot on his shoulder and it kept undulating as he flexed his bicep. I don't think he was flexing for my benefit, maybe he was nervous.
So we rode for a while without any small talk and finally pulled up in front of a Chinese restaurant. I got out and was greeted by yet another member of this young Asian gentlemen's club. This one was bigger than the rest and wearing this green bandanna around his head. I didn't bother to tell him that head bandanna's weren't in style anymore.
"You Derek Barnes?" he asked in a real low, I'm-a-bad-ass, kinda voice
"Yea" I answered in a real high, please-don't-kill-me-and-throw-my-body-in-a-sewer, kinda voice
"How would you like to be my guest for lunch?" he said as he shook my hand and lead me into the restaurant.
Well it's hard to say no to an offer like that especially when you've been kidnapped. So I said sure and we went in and had some of the most amazing Chinese cooking that I have ever had in my life.
Turns out this guy is hooked totally into the web and had heard about me. The restaurant is owned and run by his Uncle who had an amazing battle in his kitchen a coupla weeks ago. The local LA press wouldn't touch the story with a ten foot pole and the Uncle was growing a little desperate that maybe he imagined it all and was losing his mind. When I announced I was going to LA I became the answer to this guy's problem.
So check out the newest entry into the 'pedia. It contains the whole story. Pretty amazing. And if you're ever in LA make sure and check out his Uncle's restaurant. It's got the best Goo Goo Gai Pan I have ever had.