This is the story of the time my cousin and I met Nipsey Russell.

Back in the late 1980s, my cousin came to visit our family. He was about five years older than me, and he was driving to a children's camp up in the mountains where he was going to be a counselor for the summer. Anyway, we took him on a tour of the sights around town and stopped off at the mall. We dug around the music store for a while (he was a drummer, so he had to try out every pair of sticks they had), then started to walk to the bookstore on the opposite side of the mall.

The mall was holding some sort of auto show inside the building, with a lot of old cars parked here and there instead of earring kiosks. Neither my cousin nor I were much interested in old cars, so we were ignoring them and walking on when we heard a voice shout, "Hey! Get back here!" We turned to look, and there was comedian/actor/minor-celebrity Nipsey Russell smiling and pointing at us. He had apparently been hired to make a personal appearance with the auto show to drum up business. Well, we couldn't resist a former Match Game star, so we went on over.

We got a couple of autographed photos and made a little small talk. Nipsey told us he'd just come through the mountains my cousin was going to and enthused about how beautiful they were. He told us a couple of funny Match Game stories, then mentioned "The Wiz". My cousin told him he hadn't liked that movie much at all, which seemed to surprise Nipsey quite a bit. He said he thought it should have won a couple of Oscars, but my cousin laughed and said no. Nipsey actually looked angry and walked away, but by now, we were talking to one of the exhibitors and weren't paying close attention.

Suddenly, we heard a shout, the roar of an engine, and the crunch of metal. Nipsey had walked down the mall to where they were exhibiting a fancy motor home. He'd gotten in, turned the key, and was now driving the motor home down the mall corridor! People were screaming their heads off, running left and right trying to get away, and the motor home was bashing every car it passed -- it was just too large to make it down the corridor safely. The scene was total chaos. My cousin and I tried to escape, but Nipsey was making a beeline right for us. We were heading for the door outside when Nipsey turned the corner, stomped his foot on the gas, and...

He ran over my cousin with a motor home!

My cousin was very lucky to escape with just a broken leg. Nipsey's manager came running up with his medicine as soon as a couple of car detailers tackled him. Nipsey had to pay a huge settlement with the mall, the owners of the cars, and, of course, my cousin, but he never saw the inside of a jail cell, and we've never figured out how the story didn't hit the papers.

And that's a true story, baby.

True story, pure fiction, what's the difference...

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