a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Maybe It's the Former New Yorker In Me...

But I'm amazed that people in Los Angeles are so trusting. Specifically, people who leave their laptops unguarded on their coffee shop tables, while they toddle off to the bathroom for five minutes.

In Manhattan, your laptop would be gone in about 6 seconds. In L.A., I guess everyone assumes that everyone else is honest. And maybe they are, because I've never seen one swiped.

But I'd be curious to do a test. Someday, I'm going to go to a semi-crowded coffee shop, hang out writing for about a half hour, and then head off to the bathroom. And then my friend, who will have been sitting at another table, is going to get up, go to my table, fold up my laptop, unplug it, and walk out with it.

Do you think anyone will stop him? Will anyone say anything to him? And what will they say when I come out and find it gone?

I like the fact that Los Angeles is a more honest place than Manhattan (at least in some ways). But I think too much faith in people can be a mistake as well.

Yeah, living in Manhattan for 9 years made me cynical. Damn it.


At 7:10 PM, Blogger Bryan said...

They probably won't say anything.

There's a guy here in St. Louis that used to leave his laptop unattended all the time. He was so trusting that he'd leave all his stuff, go eat dinner and come back. Someone stole it eventually and he blew up about it.

I told him he wasn't being trusting about his stuff, he was being stupid.

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps 9/10 of the LA laptops have already been stolen once before, hence the blatant disregard of the owners leaving it unattended, since they figure they didn't own it anyway and will go with fate (just something for you to go 'hmmmmm' about, or 'wtf?')

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Now I'm imagining people swiping each others' laptops, and writing the next 30 pages of their screenplay, before it is swiped again and someone finishes it.

Maybe that explains "Stealth".

At 3:47 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Was this at Insomnia? I leave my laptop out while going to the bathroom there all the time, if there are regulars around that I know...

I used to take it in to the can with me all the time. Now only a small percentage of the time, usually if the crowd is unfamiliar to me.

If all us aspiring screenwriters can't rely on each other, what hope does this planet have?

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

No, it's usually not even in hip-coffeeshops-where-everyone-is-a-writer-and-knows-each-other.

It's usually in Starbucks, where one would think that people made itchy by the mediocre coffee are likely to do anything.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Calee said...

When I used to write in Java & Jazz on 18th st in Manhattan, people would ask me all the time to watch their laptops while they used the bathroom. Now, I seem to notice a whole migrating clan of people changing coffee shops whenever they have to pee..

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Harry Connolly said...

I have done this at the Starbucks near my house. Sometimes a guy has to take a piss.

I get homeless people coming in to that place, too. No one has taken anything. I did eventually buy a lock, but it's crap. It's slightly less effective than The Club.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Scoopy said...

Trust in Allah, and tie up your camel.

I've only been to a cafe to write once, and nature didn't call. However, it seemed like a safe place. It wasn't a Starbucks, though.


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