EXCLUSIVE: 'My Name is Earl' Creator Greg Garcia Leaves Behind a Real Piece of Inspiration for 'The Guest Book
By Jennifer Drysdale
Greg Garcia is back at it -- this time with The Guest Book, an anthology series centered around a cabin in the woods that different guests visit each week. Though the guest stars (like Jaime Pressly, Jenna Fischer and Michael Rapaport) are consistently hilarious, the story lines only seem to get more outrageous -- a testament to Garcia's incredible imagination and guts to actually write these stories in real guest books in cabins around the country.
Each episode of the 10-part TBS series is based on a real story that Garcia wrote as a way to cure his writer's block while working on My Name Is Earl -- and left to "freak out the next guest." Here, Garcia includes and excerpt from "Entry Eleven," a real story he left behind in a guest book on vacation.
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This was an entry that I wrote when I was in Pismo Beach which is about three hours north of Los Angeles. I thought it would be funny to write an entry from a spoiled celebrity who ended up renting these people’s little house by the beach. This turned out to be one of the longer entries and as it goes on and on the guy becomes more and more of a jerk and I slowly reveal who he might be. It also gets a little gross which, while some people have told me it’s their favorite story, it proved to be a little too much for my mother. After reading this story she made it very clear to me that it was not her favorite. But they all can’t be your favorites right?
I don’t often use the website VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) because of the line of work I’m in. Being in the entertainment industry I usually stay in nice hotels or have someone book me a house to rent. I find that it’s easier to travel from place to place when people don’t know who they’re dealing with. I enjoy my privacy. That’s why I used a fake name when I booked your place. Being famous has its perks but sometimes you just want to get away and be a normal person. That’s why I came to Pismo Beach. To be normal for a few days. Turns out, it didn’t suit me.
First of all, your place is a dump. Okay, maybe dump is a bit harsh but it’s very tacky. Fake flowers? Really? I mean, in your description of the place it says “Luxury.” I would love for someone to explain to me what is luxurious about plastic flowers. The bathrooms are terrible. Pink tile? Really? Where are we, 1992? And that little painting on the wall behind the stove that’s supposed to look like an open window? I felt like I was at The Olive Garden. Just in case you were complimented by that, you shouldn’t be. The Olive Garden is a pigsty. And you might want to change the description of your place on-line. I quote, “Location… location… location… location… There is not a better home that has a better location. We are steps away from the beach, pier, ocean and sand.” Let’s break that down shall we?
First of all the saying is “Location, location, location.” Three locations. That’s all you need. The use of the fourth location makes you look like an idiot. And your use of the word “home” instead of “house” in the second sentence is wrong. A house is a structure. That’s what you are renting. A home is something that is made by the people living in the house. My beautiful family makes my “house” a “home.” Get it? But these are little things. My big problem is the phrase “steps away from the beach.” To me, that should mean no more than ten steps. Have you counted the steps? There are 102 steps from the front door to the sand. That’s 204 steps round trip. Today I had to go back and forth to the beach 19 times. That’s quite a few steps. Quite a few.
Enough complaining about your place. I’m obviously in a bad mood and to be honest your place could have been the Four Seasons and I still would have had a miserable time. You know why? Because your house is in Pismo Beach. What I thought was a quaint little beach town turned out to be the armpit of the California coast. We got here this morning. Drove up the coast from Los Angeles doing about 90mph and were here in under three hours. We were hungry and the kid needed to get out of the car for a little while so we stopped at the Rock and Roll diner. Have you been here? Someone took two train cars and turned them into a diner. This would not normally be a place I would visit but given that the other choices in the area were a gas station that looked like a meth lab and a Mexican restaurant that looked like a gas station, we sat our butts down in the dining car and started to look over the menus. The waiter came over and sang this familiar song: “It’s you! Oh my God, it’s you! It’s you!!” Ugh, she was a big fan. Apparently Saturday Night Live was her favorite show and got her through some tough times in her life blah, blah, blah. From the looks of her current occupation and health (she was tubby) I would say that the tough times aren’t over. I hope she has a new show to get her through her miserable life because SNL hasn’t been good since I left. That may sound pompous but it’s true. I mean, Bobby Moynihan is funny sometimes, but that’s about it.
Luckily, I was able to talk the waitress into an autograph instead of a picture so we didn’t attract a bunch of attention. I didn’t want to be stuck taking pictures all day in a train car slash diner. I ordered the tuna melt (my trainer has me on a high protein diet) and a green salad. The sandwich was okay. The salad was awful. Funny thing happened when I was at the diner though. I’m waiting for the check and I get a text from Adam Sandler. Hilarious. I can guarantee you that no one eating at the Rock and Roll diner in Pismo Beach has ever gotten a text from Adam Sandler. Ever. That has never happened. We were having a laugh over that when the waitress came back with the check. I showed her the text and she was offended by something Sandler had written. I guess if you don’t know Sandler it could come across as racially insensitive. Anyway, we left her a 25 percent tip, which I’m sure she’s still bragging about and we headed into downtown Pismo Beach.
The first thing I was struck by was the amount of RVs parked everywhere. Everywhere! What kinds of people drive a house on vacation with them? White trash, that’s who. This was a bad sign. Because the worst part about white trash is that they love me. I mean, they LOOOOOOOVE me. Can’t get enough. Not from my TV stuff, from my movies. White trash people love to plunk down eight bucks and sit their a** in a theater seat to watch me. Always have. So I knew it was going to be a sunglasses and baseball hat vacation. There was no way I could go out in public without a disguise. But whatever. That’s the job right? I hate it when really famous people complain about being recognized. We all knew what we were signing up for. If you don’t like being recognized in the Admiral’s Lounge at the airport, stick to doing plays and flying coach. But if you want to make some major coin, get used to being on TMZ…
The Guest Book airs Thursdays at 10:30 ET/PT on TBS.