Shaq Invited Me To Smoke Hookah And I Turned Him Down Because I’m A Complete Moron
Shaquille O’Neal is, without a doubt, one of the biggest celebrities on the planet–both literally and figuratively. So when I had a chance to smoke hookah with him when running into just him at a lounge in Los Angeles, you would think a witty, somewhat bright individual like myself would never pass that up, right? Wrong…and here’s how i made one of the biggest regrets in a long time.
First, the backstory.
One of my best friends from high school, we’ll call him Stevie, works directly with Shaq, with the big fella even giving him some love by shouting out his name in public forums–though you wouldn’t know it unless you knew my buddy’s name. So when I got word from my Uber driver in L.A. that The Big Aristotle was sitting in a corner booth by himself at a hookah lounge, I immediately told him to reroute my ass so I could name drop my buddy and grab a pic with the future Hall of Famer–yet I got more than just that.
After seeing Shaq at the UK-UCLA men’s hoops game last week–which is why eight of my friends and I were down there in the first place–I had never thought I would actually run into the guy outside of the arena.
Following the game and taking one too many shots to think straight, I suppose, one of my friends, his wife and her sister hailed an Uber back home to our place about 35 minutes away from UCLA’s campus. It was then that we got word about Shaq, deverting from our path home to meet him at the hookah lounge.
Walking up to him, I had a goofy ass grin knowing that he’d recognize the high school buddy’s name I mentioned earlier who works with him, so I knew we’d at least have some bullshit small talk.
I introduce myself and say, “Hey, man, sorry to bother you, but one of my best friends is Stevie, I just had to come say hey.”
He responded with, “My Stevie? Well, what are you doing now, just passing by or do you want to stay and smoke some hookah with me?”
It’s at that moment that I froze up like Ralphie from A Christmas Story while sitting on Santa’s lap, as my mind went blank and I seemed to lose the simple function of saying yes.
Not one to get star struck, I just went brain dead, not knowing if it was that last Fireball shot that sent me to that place or the fact that the girls were still in an Uber as us dudes had the choice of staying to hangout with fucking Shaquille O’Neal!
Stumbling over my thoughts and the ability to give a reasonable explanation to him, I simple said, “Nah, man, we just got an Uber back to Malibu, so we’re gonna hit it. But let’s take a selfie for Stevie.”
Such a basic bro move. One that I thought I was better than.
Apparently, though, grabbing a picture with one of the top-10 best Ballers ever is better than hanging out with him because, you know, canceling an Uber is such a difficult task.
For the rest of the weekend, I never lived the decision down, getting shit about an Uber being more important than an epic story with Shaquille O’Neal. What a dumbass, I am.