Mel’s Diner revisited – “Strong frame, Bro”

Stephen Nash left about a week ago after having stayed with me for the previous week.  It was good catching up with Stephen.  Last time, I’d seen him was in 2005 in NYC, during Halloween weekend out of all things.

 Stephen is a good dude and one of handful of dating advisors whom I could introduce to my normal friends who are not involved with the scene.  It was also good having him here as it was helpful having someone to bullshit around with to momentarily distract my mind from the Dreamweaver news. 

 Over the weekend, we spoke at the “Toolbox” seminar, got a chance to catch up, watched “I love you, Man”, (Great film, reminded me of so many dating teachers I’ve come across, except girls like this guy) and ended up a very infamous location on his last night’s stay in town:  Mel’s Diner!

 It’s surreal walking in Mel’s Diner for anyone who went through the “Project Hollywood” days.  I’ve probably been there half a dozen times or so since so I’ve had time to assimilate.  It’s just an average Diner with Average food on Sunset blvd that happens to be open 24 hours.  Why, you could go on a road trip from LA to NYC and see a 1000 diners across the way.  So, what the f*** is the big deal about Mel’s?

 Well, first, it’s in Hollywood on the Sunset strip.  That means that, in this particular diner, on any given night you may catch any of the following: couples on dates, club-goers, drunks, musicians/artist types, flamboyant gay guys, tourists, pseudo-celebs, creeps, weirdos, cross dressers, and “Pick Up Artists”. 

 Heck, you may see all of the above during the same night!   Mel’s is the place where they can convene under 1 roof.   This is the beauty of Mel’s diner, while it looks like you’re walking into a normal Diner anywhere in America past midnight, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to see.  Hmmm…except truckers.  Mel’s doesn’t house any truckers, which are usually the staple of any other diner….

 I could tell it was a sort of a shock to Stephen walking through the door.  It took a moment to absorb it all, glancing around.  We sat down in a booth next to the window overlooking the parking lot.  Same booths, same view, the menus look nicer though they offer the same content, and the same food. 

 Some parts of the universe adhere to the adage of “The Only Constant is Change” and some parts of the Universe adhere to the adage of “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Mel applies to the latter.  Some of the waitresses are still here from 2004.  God bless their hearts; they’re patient people to put up with so many drunks for so many years.  

 We notice a group of 6 groups close by.  A few of them were a bit on the heavier side, not obese but not fit either.  Stephen and I glance over, we look at the table for a second or two, our heads then slowly turn back so that we are once again facing each other. 

There is a 1 second pause, and almost simultaneously, the both of us break into doing an impression of a rather famous “PUA” from the Project Hollywood days:

C: “Hey man, 6 set over there!”
S: “Yeah, man, it’s an easy one!  Take it.”
C: “You go in first man, strong frame! ”
S: “Yea, blow it up!  That set is yours.  Take the girls back to the house man.”
C: “Yeah, dude, you open man!  I’ll come and wing you.”
S: “Do the 80s dogs opener!  Do it man!”

 This exchange went on for about 20  seconds before we started laughing out loud like maniacs at the diner.   Because that, in essence, used to be Mel’s experience.  It was the quintessential representation of the conversation that would have taken place in 2004.   All of that was the microcosm of what Project Hollywood was all about:  External Validation supported through the endeavor of Picking up girls.

 Here is how it went down for almost everyone there: Roll out on a Friday or Saturday, and do whatever you could to pull some girls back to the house; if they didn’t want to go, you stopped at Mel’s for a quick bite or a smoothie, then point to the house on the hill (Which can actually bee seen through the window)  and if you  managed not meet any girls to for whatever reason. Then Mel’s was your last ditch effort for Salvation.  Your eyes would scan the room, looking at any girls eating at any of the tables.  It didn’t matter if they were standing around, in groups, whatever.  Mel’s was Custer’s last stand for a Pro Ho resident. And if that didn’t work, you walked up the hill back to the house, arriving back as though your entire night was a loss.

 And if you managed to not get any solid phone numbers on top of that, then you felt like the biggest loser.   That’s’ the way it was, and that’s why it was unhealthy and that’s why if you’re following in those footsteps, you’re probably somewhat miserable.  Well, there is one exception and that is if you’re part sociopath.  Sociopaths can thrive under conditions that strain anything resembling a normal psyche. 

 The Mel’s experience was one that everyone had been indoctrinated in, and sometimes, there wasn’t any scheme behind it.  Sometimes, it was just to get some food.  It was a 2-minute walk.

 We exchanged a lot of good stories, memories of accounts, and lots of, “Hey, remember that time when we……….”  and “Remember the time we met those 2 girls at the Standard on a weeknight and brough them back to the house, and Neil came out of his room trying to swoop in and we had to shut him out by…….” and “Remember the time…………….”

 Not all was lost with that experiment.  It was a period of experimentation and for the most part, no one (At that time) really got into a destructive path of Drugs and Alcohol.  In the meanwhile, there were a few guys who were good dudes and some long lasting friendships were formed.  On the same token, “Project Hollywood” never really had a chance from the beginning.  It’s hard enough for 5 relatively normal guys to live together under one roof as roommates, let alone “PUAs.”  It’s why I have my standard answer to the question, “Hey, how can you make the idea of living in this sort of a project house work?”

 The answer is, “Don’t live in one.”  (If you live in a “Pick up” house, get the fuck out.  Immediately.)

 All that aside, it was good seeing Stephen again.  Hard to believe it’s already been 5 years since the days of “Pro Ho.”  I know that it was tougher for some of the other guys who lived there, and yet, you could look back at it as a positive experience of growth, learning to deal with adversity, and making a few friends all at the same time. 

Mel's Diner - Open 24 Hours