This past weekend I competed in the annual Greater Los Angeles Scavenger Hunt, an unsanctioned event that some of my friends in Los Angeles put on every year.
Now before you jump to the conclusion that I am a total nerd here (which, btw, I prefer the term geek), this is a serious competition with some major money at stake. We all take this very serious. We also take our team uniforms very serious and this year we all dressed up like Justin Bieber (but ended up looking more like Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber – google it, find the website, you will see what I mean).
After all of the clues had been deciphered, items found, stunt photos taken and more than a few cocktails at the finish line (Here Lounge in West Hollywood) I got to thinking … in the great scavenger hunt for happiness in life, have I found what I am looking for?
Clue No. 12
A publicist, a doctor-turned-call-girl, a teacher, a chef, an aspiring filmmaker and a lip-syncing redhead didn’t have the staying power of the classic tenants, a doctor, a fashion designer, a photographer, a one-time stripper, a handyman, a social worker and several ad execs. The new landlord died twice: once in the 90’s and then again in 2009. Although most of the people changed, the exterior didn’t. Take a team photo in front of this complex.
We live in lots of places but we rarely call them our home; well, not until we connect with our friends and neighbors. I’ve been lucky enough to have only made three big moves in my life. I grew up in Fresno, lived in San Diego for 13 years and now I’ve been in LA for almost four years. Currently I live just two blocks from the actual street named Melrose Place … but the home we were looking for wasn’t right around the corner.
“I found Melrose Place, it’s at 4616 Greenwood Place in Los Feliz,” my friend Ryan - who just recently moved to Los Angeles but is learning to call it home - exclaimed. “Where the hell is Los Feliz?”
I’ve been lucky enough to call every place I have lived home and I’ve got the friends to back it up. Success on scavenger hunt? Success! Success in life? Success!
Clue No. 11
A picture of your whole team with someone with a Prince Albert. And yes, we need to see clearly the Prince Albert.
So we were looking for dick, and not just any dick, one with a Prince Albert. In the great scavenger hunt of life I suppose we aren’t looking for just any dick, we are looking for a prince.
While we were shuffling through clues at the starting line, I think my friend Charlie’s mom said it best when she quite accurately pointed out, “If you can’t find a Prince Albert in West Hollywood where can you find one?”
Personally I found my Prince, aka Nick in San Francisco. Now he may not have a Prince Albert (and for the record I am totally OK with that) but he’s the Prince that I wanted to find and trust me, I’ve seen plenty of dick in my days. Success on scavenger hunt? Fail. Success in life? Success!
Clue No. 20
When this location first opened in the late ‘20s, actors were viewed with such disregard that they were often turned away, but this spot welcomed them until it converted in the 1990’s. If you’re a new kid in the hunt surely you’ll be a victim of this clue. As a last resort you should ask yourself where might Julie McCoy send you?
“It’s something first timers in the hunt won’t get,” my teammate Sean insisted. “It's something that we would have done wrong our first time around last year.”
“No, new kids are the younger people in the hunt, they don’t know who Julie McCoy is,” I countered.
“Who’s Julie McCoy?” the youngest member of our team, Eric asked, proving my point.
My friend Alex would kill me if I didn’t figure this out and I was on the right trail, “She was the cruise director on the Love Boat. She always told guests to go to the Lido Deck because that’s where the fun was!”
I complain far too much about how busy I am and how much I am on the go. From trips to Puerto Vallarta, Chicago and yes, even Fresno or when company comes to visit me in Los Angeles, I am always having fun. Sometimes too much for my checking account, but never-the-less, I am having fun! Success on scavenger hunt? Fail. (I was looking for a Lido Bar which I should have been looking for Lido Apartments) Success in life? Success!
Clue No. 25
Call sheet from any movie or show that was in production in 2010.
In Hollywood this isn’t hard to find, especially when one of your teammates happens to be a writer’s assistant.
On the flip side, this one was a reminder of something that I’m still working on, the missing item in my personal scavenger hunt here in Los Angeles. It’s my career. I’m having fun working for a studio, but I am about as far away from my dream job as a writer here as I can possibly be … but I’m working on it. Success in scavenger hunt? Success! Success in life? Still working on it.
The finish line
If only life was as simple as a scavenger hunt where you have 6 hours to find 50 items and solve 37 riddles and get yourself across Los Angeles in traffic to take pictures at all of the locations.
On the flip side, I’ve got a lifetime to solve all of the little riddles.
So far I don’t think I am doing so bad. I’ve found love, I’ve got more amazing friends than any one person should be allowed to have and there is no shortage of fun in my life. As for that last little piece that has to do with my career? My job these days is what I call a work in progress. I’m working hard and making progress. Last week I handed over a pilot script to an executive producer of a show that’s been on the air for almost 10 years … so maybe I am going to find everything that I am looking for after all.
Travis D. Bone is a Los Angeles based writer and a graduate of the University of California at San Diego. After spending 13 years in San Diego where his journalism efforts earned him a San Diego Press Club award he took his chances on moving to Los Angeles to become a television writer. Now he’s working in finance for a studio, so that didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. On the upside he’s still writing, still single and still living it up splitting time between Los Angeles and San Diego. In short he’s got a lot of stories to tell.