What started as a journey to find the elusive Penny King, in hopes to interview him for a “tell all” novel has turned into a cross country nightmare! I shouldn’t complain, but I’m always one step behind this guy. What appeared to be a fictitious character living in the mind of AC Content Producer Alex Gabor, has proved to be a real life Houdini!
I was given the tip he was off to Pismo Beach, so straight up Route One I traveled. First let me explain, there is a Route One back home in Baltimore also. I wondered how Route One, which travels straight up the East Coast from Baltimore to Maine, also is located on the West coast, but so be it. I suppose there are many Route One’s all over the place. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? That would be another question for the Penny King.
Soon after a glorious view, I was at Pismo Beach. A production crew appeared to be filming a small production, and I stopped to ask if they knew the Penny King. Once again I got the strange looks, and then a young kid humming “Lucky Man”, spoke.
“Who wants to know?” he asked.
“I do, you see, I’m an Author, from the East Coast, and I’ve come a long way to find him-I was in Seattle, well, cross country to be exact. I wanted to interview him for a book.”
“Are you with child support services?” the kid asked.
“No, I’m not; I’m really just an Author.”
“What about the FBI?” he questioned me.
“Nope.” I found this question strange as I wasn’t wearing anything fancy.
“Then he went that-a-way,” the kid pointed towards the beach, “try the pier”, he said.
The pier was so long I couldn’t see the end. I pulled and parked as close as I could get, and then got out to walk to find the Penny King.
A group of entertainers were singing on the pier. I thought I recognized the chick from Dancing With the Stars but they were doing some sort of video. It was a cross between county and pop. I asked one of the backup dancers who was on break, if they had seen the Penny King.
“Yes, he was just here, giving us financial advice. I am going to invest in the Penny King’s latest production. Here is the script. He went that way,” pointing towards the end of the pier, showing me the script.
I thanked him and was in disbelief. I was sure hoping that I would not have to walk to the end of the pier myself. After this run around I was so tired, and hadn’t really stopped much for sleep in fear of losing the Penny King. I felt tired, and I had no energy. I asked a roller blade skater I passed how long the pier was?
“Twelve hundred feet,” he said.
I figured I couldn’t miss him as the pier was one way in, and one way out. So I stopped at a hot dog cart to get a bite to eat. I was shocked that the going rate was FIVE BUCKS. It was called “The Governator” but looked to me like a regular old beef (if I was lucky) hot dog. What makes it worth five bucks? It must have been the napkin with the smiling Arnold Schwarzenegger look- alike face on it. The Governator had swallowed my funds. I would have to ask the Penny King how to reinvest to get them back.
Shoveling that and bottled water down, I walked a little further. I saw some teenagers rapping hip hop. I asked them if they knew the Penny King.
One girl answered, “PK? Yeah we know PK. He’s our homeboy.”
I asked where the PK homeboy was. “He went that way”, she pointed to the end of the pier.
I continued to walk and as they were rapping I heard them doing a p-diddy-down-low- on- the-PK.
I wondered how so many people knew about the elusive Penny King if he was so hard to find. A group of people walked by and out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn their shirts read “Kingdom of Pen.”
I can’t remember how long I walked, just how tired I was. The sun was beating down on me and I was getting woozy. I had to sit down to rest. It must have been only five minutes or so later that I was propped against a pole on the pier. I was not sure if it was a reaction from the hot dog or what, but as I sat things became a little fuzzy. I felt myself getting really sick. I heard a very distinct Hungarian accent ask me if I had a penny to spare.
I remember reaching into my pocket and holding up the penny, seeing a shape in front of me, sun blaring down, and then all went black. Infinite darkness.
I don’t know how long I was out. I woke up somewhere in the sand, unbeknownst to me how I had gotten there but I could see the pier from where I sat. In my hand was a dollar that said “TO MORROW BAY, PK” written in black marker.
A bikini blonde with lots of Botox was sitting next to me. She looked like the lady who was on a famous television series, something about a bunch of housewives. I wanted to reach out and poke her to see if she was live, or just Memorex. Her lips then moved, so I assume she was real. She said, “Hey, PK told me to tell you he heard you were asking about him so he left you that note on the dollar, in exchange for your penny.”
I asked her, “So the Penny King, I mean PK is real?”
“Oh, he’s very real, and very, very wonderful” she said with a smile across her face. “I love the way he talks in that accent.”
Unbelievable. I got the impression Penny King, or “PK” had been around the block a bit if you know what I mean. I asked her what Tomorrow Bay was and how to find it.
She said, “That must mean to go to MORROW BAY.”
I asked, “Where is that? “
“Up the coast”, she said, “right on Route One, you can’t miss it, only thirty minutes or so.”.
I asked, “How did I get in the sand from the pier?”
“He carried you silly!” she said.
I was stunned. Penny King had carried me? I was passed out? I did not know if it was the heat or the Governator was really the Terminator perhaps having been undercooked and some foodbourne illness made me ill, or it was the lack of sleep…perhaps I never will know.
I only know I made a ninety-nine cent return on my penny, and that I had to get up and find Morrow Bay as the Penny King was getting more interesting all the while. I wanted to get up, but the sun felt so hot, and the Governator was still taxing my innards. I remember lying back down in the sand and dozing off…..