"I LOVE ROCKS!"- A discussion on film and life with Obie Perez

Obie Perez is a barback at the club I work at in Chicago. He is also one of my favorite people. 
He's Puerto Rican by heritage but looks black, is an avid cyclist, collector of tattoos, has a flair for style and a personality that could be described as a combination of Redd Fox, Flava Flav and Samuel L Jackson in the Shaft movie. A fixture at most social gatherings and can be often found smoking cigarettes and philosophising on life. Some of his more interesting tattoos include Jetpacks on the back of each calf and "The Gun Hand" and "The Bad Hand" on his right and left, respectively. His current hairstyle is 5 inch "fro-hawk" but in the past has rocked everything from large and small Afros, no hair, as well as intricate designs chopped into his scalp. For one entire summer, he inexplicably wore a flat brimmed ball cap, gold chain and non prescription glasses. I told him he looked like a backpack rapper who was out to get the educated bitches. He did not find this funny. During the winter he can be seen wearing a pea coat with an upturned collar and a paisley ascot. He likes to wear white jeans year round. The really tight ones. One year for Halloween, he went as Robert Downey Jr's character from Tropic Thunder. He utilized neither wigs nor makeup and was a dead ringer. When he wears a suit, he looks strikingly like President Obama. 
He has acute narcolepsy, and falls asleep among friends so frequently that a facebook page titled "RIP VanObie" was made exclusively for posting embarrassing photos of him passed out. Drinking until 6 am almost every night does not help this. Once he fell asleep in a restaurant next to me before his food came and was still out when the table was done and it was time to go. Scared because I was broke and worried that I've have to pay his bill, I spent literally 60 seconds shaking him so he'd wake up. He finally came to and responded with "All right, all right, calm the fuck down," and then went back to sleep.
A few days ago we attended a matinee of the film "Prometheus" with a large group of friends. During several key scenes he spoke out loud in a normal conversation level his opinion about what was happening on screen, namely during a scene that implied sex was to occur off screen and when two Caucasian crew members' ignorant curiosity lead them to be killed by space snakes. I decided to sit down over drinks with Obie and ask his opinion about the film. This lead to multiple revelations such as him being an avid fan of SciFi, he is an advanced member of the Mile High Club and that he's paranoid of "The Man" . What follows is are excerpts from that conversation.

Me: Obie state you're name.

Obie: Really?

Me: Yeah. I'll make this official.

Obie: Obie Perez.

Me: So Obie, you saw Prometheus. Tell me the story of Prometheus. What is Prometheus?

Obie: Prometheus is..... Prometheus is a precursor to the original Alien.....Ripley, uh, Ridley Scott movie....Just based on the end, is a precursor to the original Ridley Scott, uh, space movie. The reason there's such a huge hype is because Ridley Scott, like, deterred from that and HAS NOT done a movie in that scope, of that genre, since, uh-

Me: He hasn't done a SciFI movie since Blade Runner?

Obie: Exactly

Me: So did you like the movie?

Obie: Fuck yeah, I did. But I had some major problems with it.

Me: What didn't you like, the robot?

Obie: No, no, no. The robot....the robot was cool. My one main complaint about the movie, and I've said this from the beginning was that the storyline was was too leading.

Me: Way to what?

Obie: Leading.

Me: Lenient?

Obie: Leading. Way too leading.

Me: Oh, ok.

Obie: The Story line, if you were like, I mean, visually, the movie was amazing, but if we're not being dazzled by the storyline, visually, the storyline is exceedingly leading..

Me: Ok, ok. So talk about the Spaceship. Talk about who's on the crew?

Obie: Again! Super leading. A gruff, Irish dude with face tattoos? After the fact, after the fact, I was like "Of course! Of course! He's the first person who's going to die." Because, because-

Me: What'd you think of him before he died? He had a Mohawk AND he had face tattoos.

Obie: He was cool, but like, he was like, really it was very, it was very easy to make him a candidate for, like, among the first to die. I mean, like he was very gruff and like standoffish at first, and then he's like kinda like having a panic attack and then it's like all of a sudden, like, now ya die. 

Me: Do you think the crazy irish dude with the mohawk and the face tattoos is the new crazy black dude, like in Apocalypse Now, the guys who were freaking out and saying stuff like "Sheeeeeeet man!" and firing machine guns?

Obie: I would say yes, except for the fact that they're like, they were all scientists, and they, like you remember the part in the movie where he's all, "OBVIOUSLY!, like, I love rocks, obviously you don't give a shit about rocks, so I'm gonna leave, like, I want to go back to the ship!" And he was like screaming, "Obviously you don't give a shit about rocks! I love rocks! That's what I do. I'm a geologist, I love rocks!"

Me: Rocks is his jam.

Obie: So, "I want to go back to the ship!" And they're like, "all right, that's fine" So in that point in the movie, they were like, "All right, that's fine" so he like (unintelligible) then to the other guy, he's like "You want to go back to this ship?" and he's like "Fuck yeah, I want to go back to the ship" 

Me: And then they didn't, they got stuck on the place 

Obie: Thats why, that is a discrepancy that I have, because you fast forward uh, like 16 seconds from that conversation in that scene in the film, they all leave, and go back to the transport and they're leaving and these two guys, they still haven't found their way back. Problem with the storyline. Like, you needed to have two dudes in a scene to die and this is how you chose to do it.

Me: What did you think about the scene where they died? What did you think of the snakes?

Obie: No, no, no. Mogan. Mogan. The way they died was fine. My problem is. They was a team. My problem is how they got to the point to where they died. Like I said, there was a team.

Me: Like, they should be smart people but they act like dumbasses?

Obie: Yes! But also, they should have already been back to the vehicle. They left before everyone else. They left, running. I don't know what fucking wrong turn they took, but you should have already, like both you guys should have been driving, and been like "We're already out, you people should just jump on, because we're out!" Didn't happen. 

Me: What did you think of the white snake things?

Obie: They were awesome. They preset them, like when the group walked into the room, and like all of a sudden there were like worms coming out of the ground and like all the shit started melting and like, alright is this like biological warfare? 

Me: But, like when the guy's all "Come here, girl" and like trying to poke it, did-

Obie: No, that was like, stupid. That was stupid.

Me: Did you think those things looked like vaginas?

Obie: That was stupid. I don't think those things looked like vaginas. I that like, there's a plant , as big as me, that's like, walking out of a swamp, I'm not gonna go pet it. My actual, first response, if I was in that situation-

Me: You'd hit it with a stick?

Obie: No! Fuck you. I would get, I would have the flame thrower-

Me: No! But they didn't have the flame thrower because they stupid lady said, "No weapons! This is a scientific expedition" What'd you think of that?

Obie: You know what I disagreed with that? The whole "this is a scientific expedition"? Not only, because of the myriad of science fictions movies that I've seen, like any old or new Star Trek is, it's just always a scientific expedition, that does not mean, that-

Me: Shit's not gonna get real?

Obie: Shit's not gonna get real. Getting back to the second Alien, remember when they were like "No frag cartridges", remember.

Me: Oh yeah, they were all "What are we supposed to use, harsh language?" 

Obie: And they go back, and they had back ups.

Me: Hey, remember who died first in Aliens? The black guy. (Pvt. Frost) 

Obie: Wierzbowsk? 

Me: No, it wasn't Wierzbowski. But I do remember them yelling his name, "Wierzbowski! Wierzbowski!"

Obie: "Wierzbowski!Wierzbowski!" And like the cameraman-

(a series of Aliens quotes proceeds with the two of us shouting them at each other)

Me: What did you say when the two guys got attacked by the white vagina snakes? You said something out loud. What was it?

Obie: I started laughing. 

Me: No, you said "Fucking white people," didn't you?

Obie: Well yeah, because I was like, again, that was one of the points in that movie where, before it actually happened, I was, I'm pretty sure that was like, "Yeah, only a white dude would be like, 'Oh, she likes me! Oh, she's beautiful'" Only a white dude would like, walk up to a random, a PLANT that like, grew in the past 5 seconds and say, "Oh no, this is fine," and then die from it. 

Me: Do you think if it was the Asian co-pilot he would have that differently? 

Obie: No.

Me: He would have done the same thing? What about the captain? Stringer Bell. He wouldn't have done that.

Obie: The Captain was awesome, dude! The captain did everything right. The Captain was the fucking hero.

Me: He was a badass?

Obie: He was a hero. The Captain refused to get out of the ship, he got off the ship, went into the structure, got everybody who was in there out, and then, and then, and then, crashed their ship into the leaving ship.

Me: Would you have done that? If you were in his place and there was an alien ship was headed toward Earth to kill all of mankind, would you kill yourself to save all of humanity?

Obie: Yes.

Me: Hell yeah?

Obie: (nods)

Me: Would you straight up, like you and your two dudes-

Obie: No, I would do it just like they did. Like, "Impact eminent." Shit's like, "Hey guys, Hands up!"

Me: "Hands Up!"

Obie: "Hands Up!" We're on a ride.

Me: Would you play music while you're doing that?

Obie: Fuck yeah!

Me: What music would you play?

Obie: Queen- Another One Bites the Dust.

Me: (laughing) Wait! You would kill yourself to Queen, Another One Bites the Dust?

Obie: Fuck yeah. 

Me: Wouldn't you play, like We Are The Champions or some kind of positive anthem like We Will Rock You? 

Obie: No

Me: But you're saying that to yourself. That's like the ghost of Freddy Mercury laughing at you're funeral, and he's already dead. 

Obie: Another One Bites the Dust.

Me: That's your go out jams? What did you think of Charlize Theron? 

Obie: .....Hot, amazing.........

Me: What did you think of her character?

Obie: What did I say? 

Me: "Hot, amazing?"

Obie: What did I say?

Me: What DID you say? Talk about THAT scene. 

Obie: He said, he said, so she comes in and she goes to touch the virtual screen and it goes "UNGT!" and the Captain's playing an accordion and he says, "You know this used to belong to Stephen Stills?" and she's all "Am I supposed to know who that is?" and then he's all, "Hey......You a robot?" That's what he asks her. 

Me: No, no. Doesn't he say, "If you want to get laid, all you have to do is ask"?

Obie: Yeah, yeah. "You don't have to pretend to read the screen if you want to get laid."

Me: Have you ever said that to a girl?

Obie: No, because I've never worked on a space ship. 

Me: No, I mean have your ever said, "If you want to get laid, all you have to do is ask"?

Obie: Uh, yeah. Actually I have. 

Me: Does that work? 

Obie: Yeah, actually. 

Me: Did you feel that scene was realistic?

Obie: Yeah, that scene was awesome, dude. 

Me: Did you think shit was hot? Do you think they had hot sex?

Obie: Fffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuck yes. 

Me: Hot Christmas sex? It was Christmas day.

Obie: It was Christmas morning sex.

Me: Hot as hell?

Obie: Fuck yeah! He split that shit, dude.

Me: Lit that shit?

Obie: Split that shit.

Me: Didn't you say that if you ever go to space, the first thing you're gonna do is have sex? 

Obie: Zero gravity sex.

Me: Well, I mean that's assuming that you're going into space with a hot woman. I mean, no one-

Obie: Whoah, whoah, Mogan, Mogan, C'mon. Mogan, Mogan, Mogan, c'mon. As a dude, you're in space, kinda, it doesn't really matter if the chick is like, super hot. 

Me: If she was totally busted, like somebody like Susan Boyle you'd still just-

Obie: No. C'mon, it's like a normal guy thing. I'm going to regulate this down. I mean, if they assign a female, you're going to go with who's most attractive-

Me: Ok, so you're in space and you're with the female who's most attractive, how would you go about instigating this zero gravity sex? What would you say? 

Obie: I would go the cheese route. I'd be like, "Hey. Have you been here before?"

Me: By here you mean space?

Obie: Oh yeah. 

Me: Ok, let's role play. Im a lady and you're Obie. We're in space, just floating around space. 

Obie: Have you been here before?

Me: Space?

Obie: Yeah.

Me: No.

Obie: I have. 

Me: You've been to space?

Obie; Fuck yeah,

Me: How've you been to space? When did you go to space?

Obie: I'm certified.

Me: Certified in what?

Obie: Certified flight. Certified flight coordinator. 

Me: What? You fly fucking Jet Blue or something?

Obie: Yeah, have you flown fly Jet Blue?

Me: Yes I have, it's wonderful. But we're in space.

Obie: Yeah, but they do space too. I mean, we're in space now, so that answers your own question. 

Me: Fair enough. So continue. Seal this space deal.

Obie: Mile High Club? Kinda takes it to a whole other level.

Me: And that's just, space panties off and that's it? 

Obie: I mean, c'mon. You know what Mile High Club is?

Me: Yeah, it means having sex on a plane. 

Obie: You ever done that, had sex on a plane?

Me: No

Obie: Yeah, well, so how about killing two birds with one stone. You know, having sex on a plane and also straight up having sex in outer space.

Me: And just like that? That's it?

Obie: Mogan, you'd be surprised what you can get girls to do if you like, just say it. 

Me: That's true. I would be surprised. 

Obie: I mean, I've done it and I was surprised. 

Me: What, you've had sex on a plane?

Obie: Oh yeah. 

Me: YOU HAVE!?!?!?!?!

Obie: Fuck yeah, dude.

Me: What, like multiple times?

Obie: Three times.

Me: On like a commercial flight?

at this point another person interrupted and asked if Obie was already in relationships with the women he'd had sex with on airplanes, and that if he was that it "didn't count". I personally disagree with this opinion because fucking on a plane is awesome regardless, but am never the less including this note to clarify the context of where the conversation goes next.

Obie: One girl I was in a relationship with. The other two, one girl I knew beforehand and the other one I met.

Me: On the flight!?!? 

Obie: Yeah,

Me: Ok. Tell me about the one you met on the flight.

Obie: Well, I was in the military and I was on a layover in Pennsylvania on a free flight from Cali-forni-ah, and-

Me: But you had sex on the plane in the air?

Obie: Yeah. It was a free flight-

Me: Ok, so you guys were chatting before you got on the plane.

Obie: Yeah. I was coming back home from California and because it was a free flight I had a layover in Pennsylvania so we passed Chicago and then I had to come back. She was on the flight from when I left Cali-forni-ah and was going to New York and so like was all the way over to the layover in Pennsylvania and then she kept going and I went back to Chicago. 

Me: So where did you have sex?

Obie: On the plane between California and Pennsylvania.

Me: In the bathroom?

Obie: Yeah, in the bathroom. Duh. 

Me: Wait, so how did this go- I mean how did you work this out? Did you work this out on the flight? So you guys are on the flight, sitting next to each other?

Obie: Yeah

Me: Ok, so it wasn't like, you hit the fight attendant button and that was the signal-

Obie: No no no no no

Me: So it's not like she's in A7 and you're all the way back in D28.

Obie: No no no no no. We were seated together and she was like, "I have to go to the bathroom" like, kinda like.

Me: She was like, "I have to go to the bathroom," nudge nudge,  elbow?

Obie: Yeah. And I waited, I waited, maybe, like 10 seconds and then I went to the bathroom. 

Me: Ok. Did you do like a secret knock or anything.

Obie: I just knocked on the door.

Me: And she just opened it on up.

Obie: Yeah. 

Me: Whip it out?

Obie: Yeah. 

Me: Doggystyle?

Obie: Allstyles.

Me: Airplane style?

Obie: I kept going till I ran out, so-

Other Person: I think there's like, only one fucking move you can do on an airplane. 

Obie: Uh no, actually there's not.

Me: Was it sexy as hell?

Obie. It was fucking amazing, what are you talking about?

Me: Airplane sex.

Obie: Dude! I was like, 22. 

Me: Oh, so it was like (smack smack smack smack).

Obie: It was a movie! It was a movie! For me, it was like "I'm in a movie! I'm in a movie!" It was amazing.

Me: What was that movie called?

Obie: I don't know. I kept waiting for, like, uh, uh-

Me: If they were to, if Ridley Scott was to make a movie, about Obie having sex on a plane what would it be called?

long pause

Me: Prometheus?

Obie: No, it would be called, it would be called, it would be called.....um.......Darkness Strikes. 

Me: What would it be called?


Me: Wait, so there should be three movies. One for each time you had sex on a plane. Is the first one called Darkness Strikes?

Obie: The first one's called Darkness Strikes. 

Me: The second one, called Darkness Strikes Again?

Obie: Nah, It'd be-

Me: And the third one will be called Darkness Strikes in Africa? You know, like Shaft. Shaft in Africa. 

Obie: Horrible. Have you seen those movies? Those movies are horrible. Kunta Kinte and shit-

Me: Maybe Darkness Strikes' Big Score? Ok, so back to the movie. So when she came in to that room, was she trying to get laid. I mean, did she come into that room with an agenda? 

Obie: She was trying to get laid. Think about, think about how it was set up, and like how he immediately, he immediately went to that and she didn't like- think about it, think about it, how many times in your life-

Me: She blushed a bit, didn't she? I mean, she's a stone cold bitch, right-

Obie: She did not, she did not, she wasn't like, "Throw that back," you know. Like she was contemplating it, right? 

Me: Yeah

Obie: So that's when like, I saw, I was like, "They're gonna have sex." Like seriously, like, based on her reaction to him, that's why I was like, that's my response to that-

Me: Do you think she felt weird knowing her dad was on board while she was having sex?

Obie: No, because, because, because, no no no no no, because as far as like the rest of the movie, as far as the audience is concerned, you weren't supposed to know that he was already on board-

Me: Yeah, but I'm talking about, she's-

Obie: No no no no no no no-

Me: You know, she's like "It's Christmas, Stringer Bell's gonna lay the D"- 

Obie: You're talking about deep character assessment-

Me: Well, yeah

Obie: And also, and also-

Me: She didn't give a fuck? She's a cold ass bitch? 

Obie: No fucks were given

Me: She's a cold ass bitch?

Obie: What did I say?

Me: No fucks were given. But was she also a cold ass bitch? 

Obie: She was a cold ass bitch. 

Me: What else was I going to ask about the movie? Um, did you like the robot?

Obie: I liked the robot, because the robot reminded me of the old robot. But as soon as, as soon as, and like with the old movie, it was like really really real, like protracted, as far as, like your opinion regressing with the robot. 

Me: He was a pretty evil robot. I mean he was poisoning people-

Obie: No, like the whole movie, like the problem was it was like for me, like it was too obvious. It was too obvious. Like when he poisoned the dude, I already, I had already, I saw that coming.

Me: What did you think of the dude with fucking worms coming out of his eye and shit? If worms came out of your eye, would you-

Obie: That was the guy he poisoned. That shit, that shit. It was like- I already saw that coming. That was a problem for me. I mean like, I love movies, that was the point of me going to film school, and as soon as, as SOON as, I see something that like, remotely takes me out of the storyline, I automatically, I AUTOMATIC LY am completely out of the storyline, and like, in film school, I'm like, I know how they did this, I know this fact and I know this fact and I know, I'm just critiquing it completely, and that's not the point when watching the movie.

Me: Ok, um, any final thoughts about the movie? You liked it.

Obie: I liked it. I liked it. I liked it alot. I liked it alot. The only thing that I would say is, if you've watched previous Alien movies, don't assume, don't assume that this is a precursor or that fits into any timeline based on the other movies. Accept it and digest it, as is, based on the world that Geiger and, um, whoever the director is, have created, and then enjoy it from there. It was very well done.

Me: I also want to ask you, you have jetpacks going on on the backs of your legs.

Obie: I do.

Me: What inspired those? Is that a love of SciFi?

Obie: Is a combination of a love of SciFi and the fact that I've been a cyclist in the city of Chicago since 2000-

Me: So like, your jetpacks make you fly?

Obie: Yes. 

Me: Are those the jetpacks from The Rocketeer?

Obie: No they're not.

Me: They're not? Did you design them yourself.

Obie: No, I came up with the idea and I talked to my visual artist, and he came up with them.

Me: So one's colored and the other isn't, right?

Obie: Yeah, but that just means that one is done and the other is not. 

Me: Ok, that's cool. I don't think I have any other questions. I think that's about it. Any final thoughts?

Obie: Ugh, watch Prometheus, it's an amazing movie-

Me: Do you think they're going to make a sequel? 

Obie: They're totally going to make a sequel. 

Me: You gonna go see it.

Obie: Yeah. 

Me: You gonna go watch the shit out of it? 

Obie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I love the story. I've loved the story, from like the original, and I love the story now, and yes, I will definitely watch the sequel. 

Me: Right on. Well thank you Obie, for having this conversation.

Obie: Right on.

After I completed the interview, I realized there was one more subject I wanted to touch on.

Me: So you brought Jim Beam into the theater. That's pretty standard for you? Do you always bring Jim Beam into most movies?

Obie: Nah- I'm not answering that

Me: Do you just-, No?

Obie: No, I'm not answering that.

I then turned the recorder off  to avoid a "This interview is over!" moment and Obie explained to me that after all the cray shit he'd talked about, the idea of bringing whiskey into a movie theater was far too incriminating and would only result in trouble. When I asked him who from, he acted as if I should already know, like not saying "weed" over the phone. As of this writing, I have not received any notice from the MPAA or the ATF. 


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