Jeff Pearlman

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Kay Hanley, iced coffee and the 40-mile drive

Kay Hanley (left) and the writer, moments before a long drive.

Kay Hanley (left) and the writer, moments before a long drive.

So last night, in a Quaz first, I met up with Kay Hanley for an iced coffee at Swingers, a really, really cool diner she’d recommended. I actually was there to sit and edit my latest Showtime manuscript—I arrived at, oh, 7:30 and worked. We hung from, oh, 11 until midnight-ish.

I digress. Kay was wonderful, and as we spoke the waiter kept returning with refills. In the span of an hour, I believe I had three iced coffees. Or—yikes!—four.

When it came time to leave, we said our farewells and (caught up in manuscript hell and Letters to Cleo wonderment and Doc McStuffins magic) I never thought to use the bathroom. So I start driving—and it’s 40 miles from Los Angeles to my hotel in Costa Mesa. And I drank A LOT of coffee. And there’s a ton of construction on the 405. And I drank A LOT of coffee. And, ahem, a Creamsicle milkshake. And about four glasses of water. And there’s nary an open McDonald’s or gas station to be found. And I really, really, really drank A LOT. And I’m starting to squirm. And curse a bit. I turn the radio up, to distract my mounting agony. But it’s a bunch of talk and an Air Supply song. A friggin’ Air Supply song! And I really, really, really, really sucked in a lot of liquid.

And there’s a cup.

An empty, plastic cup.

It’s calling me. Taunting me. Wooing me. “Use me, Jeffrey … take advantage of my emptiness.”

Literally, the cup is speaking to me. With a slight British accent. And I drank, oh, so much. And the construction. And Kay Hanley. And the coffee. And the water …

And I (egad) pissed in the cup.

And I felt great.

And I felt relieved.

And then I hit a speed bump.

  • Mike

    Costa Mesa? I’m in Costa Mesa. Guess I’ll have to prowl the coffee shops and try to track you down!

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life