I won’t get into “why,” but I was stuck overnight in Los Angeles (specifically the LAX area), and decided I was going to pull an all-nighter so I can catch the early flight. Much to my dismay, the options around the airport at 2:30 am were limited. My only real option was a Denny’s.
I wandered over to the Denny’s and noticed it was surrounded by two strip clubs and a hotel with a hourly rate. I knew that this was going to be an experience in it of itself. When I went inside the diner I saw that the restaurant had two sides, filled with a group of people wearing all blue, a group of people wearing all red, and a group of people who wear all purple. Since I grew up in LA, I wasn’t clueless about what I was walking into. The entire place was filled to the brim with gangs from different parts of the area. Generally when I see something like this I would expect fights to break out, but everyone was keeping to themselves and eating. I decided if they felt safe, I have nothing to fear, so I took a seat on the bar stool and ordered some really gross greasy food (it was amazing!).
To my right was a group of guys who were all wearing purple colors. I didn’t know which “group” purple belonged to since I only know the gangs that were around when I was a teenager. One guy looked at my jacket and saw my Automattic jacket, and I was wearing my ‘Happiness Engineer’ T-shirt. I’m sure I stuck out like a sore thumb.
The purple guy finally asks me “Hey man, what’s with the hoodie? Which crew are you with?”
“Crew,” I said “well…I’m part of the store crew,” which is the name of my team at Automattic.
“The store crew, shit man, can I buy some beer from you then?!” The purple guy starts laughing.
I can’t help but laugh back cause hearing people laugh usually makes me laugh too, even though the jokes are often on me.
“So where’s your hood at,” he asks. Normally a question you ask when you try and figure out a gang’s ‘territory.’
“Well, we don’t really have a hood, persay…we live all over the world and gather a couple times a year and do our thing.”
“Holy shit man, youz are like a secret group, like cross and bones or some shit.”
“Sort of like that…I suppose…..”
“Like, do you guys like….go banging and shit, or what?”
“Nothing like that, but we do use software that has taken over 20% of the internet.”
“holy shit man, that sounds crazy.”
“It is, it really is…..hey, do you like to blog?”
I start showing my new friend how to use WordPress, and the guy starts coming up with all kinds of ideas. I hear comments like:
“Dude we can put our demos on the site!”
“Fuck man, we could put those hot pictures of your girl on the site!”
“We can build a site for our friend who died!”
Before I realized it, I had a crowd of people looking over my shoulder watching me show the guys how to use WordPress. Blue, Purple, and Red….they all watched….And it was pretty cool.