Stuck in rush hour traffic and fresh out of material, our guide started "riffing" with the pedestrians who passed by. He would call out to them, ask their names and then, without the slightest hint of irony, ask if they were famous. They were not, it turned out.
"Good," said our tour guide, "because otherwise we would all be wondering why you were walking instead of driving." He put his hand up like he wanted to shield a secret. "DUI!" he sang.
The seats were designed so that I couldn't slouch lower than the wall of the bus.
Someone mistook an SUV for Shaquille O'Neal. Then she confessed that she didn't actually know what Shaquille O'Neal looked like, but that she heard from a friend that he shows up on a lot of these tours. She did not win the T-shirt.
I snapped a hasty picture just in case.
We stopped outside the Viper Room to see the spot where some celebrities threw up and at least one died. While everyone was taking pictures, a man who had been crumpled motionless on the sidewalk stirred awake and shuffled over to us. Up close, I could see that his nose was running and he was, impossibly, chewing on a mouthful of food despite having just woken up. Flecks of it shot out in all directions as he orally inundated our group.
"You recognize this?" he pointed to his face.
"Yes, that's a face," I told him, accurately.
"No, do you recognize my face?" he coughed. There was a precarious moment where he nearly drowned in his own spit. "I'm the guy, remember? I'm the guy! The guy! You want my picture?"
"Uh," said the woman in front of me.
"Aaaaaagggh!" he countered.
"Aaaaalright!" said our guide, and we were on our way.
While waiting at a red light with nothing to look at, the guide noticed I was wearing my seat belt and laughed unapologetically at me. "Look at this guy! Wearing his seat belt! Everyone look," he said. Everyone did.
I thought "There's nothing funny about safety," but I didn't have the courage to say it.