Monthly Archives: September 2009

You Might Be An Asshole. . .

. . .if you use more than six words to order one coffee.

. . .if you keep apologizing after each anal retentive and psychotic demand.

. . .if you put your over-sized bag on the counter and begin taking everything out of it covering every square inch of the counter making it impossible for anyone else to get served.

. . .if you parked in front of the door in an area well marked with no parking due to fire lane signs.

. . .if your illegal parking made it impossible for a gentleman parked in a properly marked space to pull put.

. . .if you ask for a large cup to put the cup with the coffee in so your delicate paw doesn’t have to touch the hot cup then ask for a tray for your single coffee.

. . .if you slowly collect the items unnecessary for this transaction you placed on the counter and carefully place them back into the over-sized bag.

. . .if you turn to face the ever expanding line and give a sparkly smile and insincere apology which no one buys but, as a group, have no desire or time to be featured in a special bulletin on a local newscast about a beating at a coffee shop, so, as long as you’re moving you’re allowed safe passage.

. . .if, when you reach your vehicle, you start screaming and giving the finger to the gentleman because he not only had the temerity to park in a legal spot but gave you the international ‘What the fuck?’ shrug.

. . .if, being fully aware the patient gentleman is still blocked by your illegally parked vehicle, you take your sweet time placing your bag gently onto the passenger seat, pull your coffee with the extra heat deflecting cup out of the tray then toss the tray out the window.

. . .if you look at the pretty much by now impatient gentleman and give him another finger before pulling out of the fire lane and cutting off a person pulling out of the drive-thru who had to slam on their breaks while watching you mime expletives as you sped away.

I’m thinking the title for this bit may be wrong. You might not be an asshole if you do any of these, you are.

Especially if you order coffee using more than six words. I know it seems to be a little, picking of nits sort of thing but it’s a direct gateway to assholedom.

Let me show you how it’s done.

“Cream, no sugar, please.”

I’ll even count my ‘please’ which is something I’ve never done with the more than six words crowd. Could it be because I’ve never actually heard it from any of them?

Let me take a second to say the above story is true. I was third in the line and watched it all go down. If I had to shoot a PSA on acting like an asshole I’d scour the earth to offer this woman the role.

So, anyone have any additions to the You Might Be An Asshole. . . file?

I know I do.

You might be an asshole if you ask a question, get an answer you don’t like, so ask the question in a slightly different manner.

You might be an asshole if you ask someone for the time, they give it to you then you ask if it’s the correct time.

You might be an asshole if you dial a wrong number then get bitchy at the person you are bothering.

You might be an asshole. . .

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No’s An Option

This guy wants me to critique his routine. I do this every once in a while but I can’t with this guy. You see, if I don’t have a vocabulary in the subject matter I can’t do a good job so I won’t.

You see, he’s a Christian comic. Sure, I can make fun of religion but that’s not what he’s going after. Sorry, but I don’t know if John 6:14 is a good punch line for a Peter 3:21 premise.

But that doesn’t seem to matter. He’s left six hundred and sixty six messages trying to bedevil me. Guess he doesn’t get that I won’t take his call and Beelzebub’s in my top ten friends.

He finally places himself in a place he knows I visit at a time he’s sure I’ll arrive. I walk into the station and think, ‘Fuck.’ But, as I’ve done in the past, I just keep moving. He keeps up but it’s not a big deal. In fifty feet I’ll enter a room I’ll be able to keep him out of.

During that time I tell him that, due to his subject matter, I’m probably not the right guy to critique his comedy. I get to the door I’ve been looking for and he says,

“I’ve been praying you’ll do this for me.”

I open the door, turn and face this warm, open man and say,

“As you know, prayers are always answered.”

A smile crosses his face for a moment until I end with,

“Sometimes the answer is no.”

I close the door, flip the ‘On Air’ sign hot, and leave him far behind.

I’ll make up for it

I may have missed National Punctuation Day but I’m right on time with Museum Day:

http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/about.html

How did I miss it?

http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

And they’re off. . .

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Mind Reader

“Well, you should have known I’d want it.”

Was the response I got when I told them the thing they were interested in was gone.

I made calls, attempted to nudge them into action, I did everything I could until time wore out.

“I can’t believe it. You should have known.”

“Why should I have known? Because you returned my calls and emails? Because you said, ‘Yeah, Chris, I need that.’ But, you didn’t. I don’t have super powers, you know.”

“But I’m telling you, you should have known.”

Now ladies and gentleman of the jury, if any of you can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I should have known someone wanted something yet never took a moment out of their day, for a few weeks, to mention that to me I will bend to your mercy.

But of course you don’t! No right minded person would, yet, it happens all the time. And there is no use explaining that I am not telepathic so, instead, I said,

“Sorry I don’t have the super power you needed. All I have is telapathy. The power to know I don’t give a shit.”

The Meeting

“I have the greatest idea for a movie ever! I’ll split the profits with you if you write it.”

If I had one hundred dollars for every time I’ve heard that I could retire. Twice.

“No thanks.” I always respond immediately.

“Whaaa. . .?” They express profound shock. “But it’s the greatest idea ever!”

“Then you run with it. I’m not interested.”

“You haven’t even heard the idea yet.”

“Nor will I.”

I then walk away with my beverage, meal, once I changed lines in a grocery store.

Just another visit from the Greatest Idea Ninja.

It’s always someone who is a friend of a friend who doesn’t know me, has no experience in any media and has no idea how much contempt I will hold for them for the rest of existence of this and all other planets.

It took me years to perfect my walk off. When this first started happening I’d spend as much time as needed gently explaining to this well meaning person how things like this work, the fact that I have plenty of my own ideas I don’t have time to work on, and the absolute fact that it’s not going to be close to a great idea.

Trust me, in all the times I’ve heard this, not one was great, few were good and fewer totally original.

But, as you’re no doubt aware, I do hire myself out so, if people go through the proper channels, actually have a script I think I can help with I will take on the project while getting paid.

I don’t want to hear about profit sharing, backend deals, I don’t even want my name involved. You built the frame, I’m the project manager checking the punchlist.

A friend asked if I’d meet some people. That had a great script – it’s amazing how many great scripts I hear about and how few I’ve actually read – but were having trouble.

Not a problem, glad to meet if they agree to the rules. They do, alls good, we set a time and place (a bar of their choosing because I like free beer) and have a go.

I always arrive early for things like this. I like to scope out the place, get my bearings. Yes, have a beer or two.

I always figure they chose the place to set a tone. It’s that old sales trick of dressing one level better than your customers. More and they’ll get nervous, worse and they won’t take you seriously.

It’s a nice place. High middle end. I don’t know if it’s a regular haunt but, using the information I have about the middle man, it’s not. He’s a can beer man with can beer friends and this is a fruit flavored beer bar.

I look around to see if I get a scriptwriter vibe from anyone. I don’t nor does anyone seem to be looking for anyone. So I tug the visor of my baseball hat down and order a beer.

I always wear a baseball hat when doing a public cold meeting. I don’t know what they look like, they probably don’t know what I look like but I’m sure they’ve been told I have a shaved head. For some reason that always seems to come up.

I don’t do it to be sneaky, I do it so I’m not ambushed. I learned my lesson when I was sitting in a booth at a biker bar (I was hoping he was a regular and not playing up because this place was listed as a federal law enforcement historical surveillance landmark site). Someone came from behind and grabbed me. It was the guy – he’d been told I had a shaved head – but this sure wasn’t the kind of place you wanted someone grabbing you from behind.

Since then, hat.

The door to this bar opens but it’s not my friend. Four woman who look as if they’re coming from work walk in and sit at the bar. They toss their bags, purses and, I think, a tent on the bar and order. I lean back to watch TV while waiting.

I’m not trying to listen to these woman but it’s pretty damn impossible not to. They were cackling over each other in an attempt to out wonderful each other. It was mindless, useless but, to them, fabulous!

The bartender seems happy when I call for another beer. He’s been the center of their world primp party since they’re arrived.

“Regulars?” I ask as he opens my beer.

“No, thankfully.” He puts my beer on the bar. “We have enough of them around here.”

“Let me ask you,” I troll for information. “This is my experience so let’s see if it’s yours. Do groups like that always travel in fours nowadays?”

He thinks for a second before laughing.

“A majority of them, yes.”

They summon him so I start listening to their conversation. I often find lines I can use in the wild. Not this time. It was screech peppered babbling.

Then it happened.

One of them reached into a bag and I saw it. The shimmer of a brass fastener traditionally used to hold movie scripts together.

“Holy fucking Satan on a stick. They’re going to want me to rewrite Skanks In The City.” I think bowing my head barward.

The door opens, as if on cue, and my friend comes in. I get up and greet him.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this.”

“Hi to you to.”

“Whatever. I don’t think this is a good fit.”

“So you talked to them?”

“No, I’ve just been listening to them and the most enlightening thing said was, ‘My thong is so tight it’s cutting me in half.’ Now I don’t know if that was horizontal or vertical but I’m not going to stick around to find out.”

He tells me they’re just excited and all that crap. So I tell him I’ll do the meet.

“But if I see one exclamatory ‘Oh my gawd!!’ in the script I’m outta here.”

So we go over and the only positive thing I can say is the beer was cold and free. After a quick how do you do they start their pitch. They tell me it’s the most unique crime script. There’s everything! Drama! Comedy! Chases! Killings! Sex!

I reach over and pick up the script. After a big hit from my beer, I open it. I read the first page and exhale deeply. I flip to the middle. Read another. Exhale deeply. I repeat this a few times before I can feel myself going blind as a safety precaution.

“Sorry, I don’t think this would be a good fit for me.”

They protest as one of them gives me a sheet of paper with notes. I put the paper on top of the script and attempt to explain why I don’t feel I can help.

“I don’t think Sex In The City Of Charlie’s Angels is something I have the skill to help with. Crime fighting fashionistas. Great ass by day. Kick ass by night. Watch as they bore their arch rivals to death with their aimless chatter about shoes. Experience the agony of a full body waxing through the power of the grate-o-voice. Sorry, not a project for me.”

The truth is, that’s only half the truth. The other half is I couldn’t work with this team. While I’m reading there was a constant dialog regarding what I was reading. As if the words on the page couldn’t explain it so a writers commentary track was needed.

I finish my beer, put my tab on the script, tip the bartender, offer my good byes and good lucks. But they won’t hear of it. They order another beer and begin the hard press.

And it’s a mess. They talk over each other, crowing and chirping, talking in four directions at one time.

I attempt to wrestle back the conversation to let them down easy. But the more I try to encourage them to keep working at it, the more they try to convince me that I’d be an idiot to pass this opportunity.

That was the end for me. They don’t even know me and they’re actually calling me an idiot? Right to my face? Aren’t woman like this supposed to talk behind people’s backs?

“Listen, the bottom line is, regardless of the quality of this script, there is no way I could work with this clueless clucks clan.”

I sure know how to leave an impression on the way out, don’t I?