David Arquette and the Meaning of Life
This is a story about meeting David Arquette in Richmond, Virginia. It’s not a complex one. It has nothing to do with his drinking problem. It’s about the adventure that a couple friends and I had meeting actor, David Arquette.
The Following Events Took Place on Thursday, June 13th 2013.
Early In the Day: An Instagram photo surfaces, posted by Round Two Vintage - The owners of Round Two Vintage are with David Arquette, which is cool and uncool all at once. I turn to tell my fraiend Eric about it, he doesn't know who David Arquette is. We don’t think too much about it, naturally.
Later That Evening: A Facebook photo of David Arquette emerges at Popkin Tavern taken by a friend.
I take to twitter and tweet: “David Arquette is absolutely trolling #RVA tonight”, then out of curiosity, I check out his twitter. He had been tweeting about Richmond all day. Of course, I retweet all of his tweets.
I remember that I have a DVD copy of Ready to Rumble that I bought from Tech Exchange. Yes, I am actually a fan of that film. I think it would be hilarious to have a signed copy of Ready to Rumble from David Arquette, who I know from 2 movies. Scream and Ready to Rumble.
I send a text to my friend who posted the photo on Facebook. She had already left but David Arquette could still possibly be there. My friends, Eric and Nate are downstairs watching TV. I go downstairs and say to them: "Hey do you want to go to Popkin Tavern and find David Arquette?! Also I want to get this DVD signed."
It’s an “okay, why not” situation.
We’re driving down Broad Street. On the way there, I’m already skeptical of him still being at the bar. We pass Popkin Tavern which appears to be dead. I say “it looks dead”. I had to make a U-turn to get back to Popkin. I drove passed it again. I say “doesn’t look like anyone is there”. I’m about to just go home because that’s how easy it was to stop caring.
Eric says, “at least go inside and ask.” He was right. I find parking a block down. I already hate that I’m spear heading this adventure. I feel strangely anxious.
Walking up, we see a group of guys out front of Popkin. None of them were David Arquettes, then we look into the front door, and whattaya know… IT’S DAVID ARQUETTE! There he was in plain sight, sitting at the bar. Not at the far back of bar, not even at the middle of it, but at THE VERY FRONT. And Alone.
We go in and casually stand near him. The bar has maybe a total of 10 people in it. He is on his phone, discussing god knows what. He is sitting slouchy, like the way a small kid sits at a diner bar to drink a strawberry milkshake in the ‘90s. He is now just staring at his phone, the way one does in 2013. I don’t know how to start this exchange, of which I no longer want to be a part of. But I had to. I had gone too far into the rabbit hole. I kept trying to initiate with David Arquette but the bartender kept interrupting, and asking if we wanted to see the beer menu. It was an aggravating moment to say the most. I tell her “YEAH OK” just so I can turn my undivided attention to David Arquette. I’m holding a DVD of Ready to Rumble. He turns to me before I even say a word, catching me off guard.
I was face to face with 90’s Hollywood actor, David Arquette, who I only from 2 movies, Scream and Ready to Rumble.
“Hi, David Arquette?” – Note the question mark.
He opens up his body language, smiles, and reaches his hand out for a good ol’ fashioned shake. I introduce myself. Eric and Nate, behind/beside me, introduce themselves. The ice had been broken, but our bond had just begun. David Arquette is extremely friendly and genuine. We exchanged small talk about Richmond, the Civil War movie he’s acting in, and twitter. He talks about how much he loves twitter and being connected to people. Things started to feel normal and in place. Without hesitation, David Arquette swings his mighty hammer and buys us a round of drinks, whatever we wanted. That’s a free Hardywood Singel if I may say so myself.
Then there was something that I had just remembered. I needed to do what I had sought out to do! “Can you sign something for me?” I ask. David Arquette replies “Yeah definitely.”
I look at his face as I slow-mo hand over the DVD of Ready to Rumble. I was ready for him to chuckle or smile. I was ready for him to rumble. In a fell swoop, David Arquette takes the DVD box, signs it, and hands it back. Not a thought about it, not a smile, a chuckle, nor a rumble, but the one in my stomach. At that very moment I felt like an ass, it was the very moment that I lost my innocence for the second time in my life.
Suddenly, there was a stir at the front door. The group of guys (non-David Arquettes) who were outside of the bar filed back in. Apparently, they were new buddies of David Arquette, one of whom just celebrated a “wild” 21st Birthday with him, one day ago. Me, Eric and Nate’s collective cool points suddenly diminished. Like the unpopular kids, we get our free David Arquette money drinks and move to a corner, away from David Arquette.
The task has been completed and it was time to go have a rest of the night, sans David Arquette.
That would’ve been nice, but it didn’t happen. It was quite the opposite.
Out of the blue, David Arquette asks if we’re going to the strip club with him and his buddies. I had never been to a strip club. The idea of going to a strip club with David Arquette didn’t sound too appealing, and fictitious at that. I couldn’t even grasp what that meant. At one point in my timeline, there was no David Arquette and then suddenly he appears out of thin air like a Genie or a Bigfoot friend in a ‘90s children’s movie. Was it now my mission to return David Arquette to his home planet (Planet Hollywood)?
Eric volunteered to speak for all of us with a “Yeah”. We looked at each other. Eric, a man who had strip clubbed a few times, had made the executive decision. He, then, gave us the game inspiring pep talk that Nate and I needed, the “we have to do this” spiel, the “how could we pass this up” speech, the “IT’S DAVID ARQUETTE, DAWG!” card.
I guess he was right. In that moment, everything was David Arquette. David Arquette this, David Arquette that, David Arquette bobble-heads, David Arquette iPhone cases, David Arquette vs. the people of Richmond, Virginia. It had come to this; I was going to accept David Arquette into my life, whether he was real or not.
A new group of bar attendees had wandered over towards us and started talking to David Arquette. Someone says “I love Scream”, something he doesn’t ever need to hear again. They take pictures. He invites all of them to the strip club as well, PROVING once and for all that no one here is special. If you so kindly greet David Arquette, then you are deemed a member of his deep entourage (OHH YEEAH!).
Our entire 20 minute interaction, which I’ve drawn out so explicitly, was under the guise of David Arquette waiting to leave, to go to the strip club. The cab arrives out front. David Arquette and his crew of misfits group together. This had been the plan all along. We were only a tiny part of David Arquette’s larger plan for all of us.
Just as I was ready to head home, he walks by our table and says “You guys better be coming to the strip club, don’t be clowns”, a statement that did not affect me the slightest. It did, though, affect Eric: “Did you hear what he said? He said don’t be clowns. We’re GOING to the strip club”. It was happening. As the designated driver, I was inclined to ask David Arquette where the strip club was, thinking it’d be out of the way and that would be my excuse to decline. We look it up via smart phones; the club was way closer than any of us expected. There was no backing out now; we've gone too far into this B-movie actor's B-movie storyline.
The three of us had formed a connection, a shared experience, a pack, an unintentional pact with the David Arquette. The drive there was straight mind boggling. WHY. Why were we following David Arquette? Who is David Arquette? What is David Arquette? And most importantly, WHEN is David Arquette? There was no way of escaping this strange David Arquette fever dream, which went on way longer than I needed it to. We arrive at said club of strippers, weary of being able to get in cover free.
But we got in… Not only that, we were “expected to be there” by the strip club receptionists. Truth be told, David Arquette was nuthin’ ta fuck wit.
We get into the strip club and sit down. I see some familiar faces (of the people from Popkin Tavern, not of the strippers). David Arquette was away, doing his own thing while we sat around. It had occurred to me that if this were a 90s children’s movie, and David Arquette and I became unlikely best friends because he appeared in my life randomly; this would be the place that I would help him get to, the strip club. I was overwhelmed. I had never been to a strip club, let alone with a bizarro celebrity like David Arquette. I sat around, observing strippers as one does, and waiting to see what David Arquette would say to us next. It was quite entertaining and amusing. Thrilling, even.
And then he bought us all lap dances. He bought one for each person. He bought 6 of them. They brought us to the back and I was to sit next to David Arquette, during the event. I had lost my innocence for the third time in my life. Did I mention, he already knew all of the strippers?
I won't go into grave detail about about the private lap dance. It was confusing, awkward, I felt under pressure, and I was happier when it ended. After the matter and back to the main club area, all was still. I knew it was time to get out when we just sat around for 30 more minutes, David Arquette-less. He was gone, into the dark depths of the strip club aka his home. I was ready to leave. To me it was a pleasant ending, meaning it didn’t end in hotel room of cocaine nightmares and irrelevant actors. I made the executive decision this time. I decided to pull the plug on this simulation of David Arquette VR.
It was one of the weirdest nights that I’ve had in Richmond. I still can’t quite grasp it. It just happened, and then kept happening, like the murders in that movie, Scream. I went home baffled, where I was met with a group of friends, not knowing where to begin and how to end. Where was I this whole time, really? Did I lose my mind? Or did I actually party with David Arquette, who I only know from 2 movies, Scream and Ready to Rumble.
After his week of crusading around Richmond and being allover the local media, David Arquette quit Twitter.