Monthly Archives: March 2014

I was talking. . .

. . .to a guy who looked like Normal Mailer and spoke like Truman Capote.

I’ve rarely been more off kilter.

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Writers Are A Funny Breed

As Jane Sibbery said in song.

I’ll admit I don’t like many of them. Sorry if you’re a writer and think of me as your friend. But you I like. It’s the other people. You know what I’m talking about. The kind of writer who tells you his tales of all the fantastic books, boundary breaking scripts and titillating limericks they’re going to write.

The truth is most writers I’ve come across are vain, petty, self-involved, egotistical, back-stabbing, low self-esteem having twits. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It only means I know you.

I had a writer/friend who found out about a job that was dead center in my wheel-house. It’s like the job was tailored around my peculiar abilities. After it had been filled I found out he knew about it long before. He’d even seen me many times before the position was off the table. I asked him why he failed to mention it to me. His response was,

“If I couldn’t get it I wasn’t going to let you get it.”

This from a guy who used me as a reference on many occasions.

It’s not as if he had a shot at the work. We’re totally different types of writers. I’m good and he’s a plebian hack. Just kidding, we’re in two totally different disciplines. I write every day and he talks about writing every day. No, I’m just kidding again. He would never have been considered for the position due to his lack of experience in the genre. It’s like me and science fiction. It’s not a genre I have the vocabulary for.

But if I heard about a job and knew someone who could do it, damn straight I’d pass the lead along. I lose nothing and may help out a writer/friend.

An odd thing about talking to writers is the conversation. I don’t know if everyone gets this but I get these exercises. Off the wall scenarios. Like the other day when a writer/friend asked me to riff on,

“What do you think your obituary will say?”

Who asks things like that? I’m assuming less a writer/friend than a potential murderer/friend. But I sometimes have the time to go down these jagged paths. So I do. What have I got to lose? One less writer/friend? A win/win.

“I know exactly what my obit will say because I’ll be the one to write it. It’ll be the largest readership I’d ever have because people have been waiting so long for it.” Then I start.

Chris Zell is dead so please, pay off your wagers. He did many things in his life we won’t go into because we’re paying for this by the word. Isn’t that odd? Usually he was getting paid by the word. There won’t be a service because he knows you’re busy. Why fuck up a perfectly productive day just to stand around saying, “I think he still owes me twenty bucks.”?

He had his good faults and his bad. He tried to be a good friend but that’s not a decision he could make. He did feel he had many friends. And he loved them. He tried to be a good boyfriend but with a skill set that mainly consisted of being able to hit balls and break them you can see how trying he could be.

Instead of a service he’s asking you to go to a comedy club, listen to some stand-up, watch a funny movie, tickle yourself, it’s your choice. Do something that makes you laugh. In lieu of a donation to whatever killed him (it killed him for fucks sake! That would be like Roman Polanski putting $20 a week in Manson’s canteen) buy yourself a drink, get yourself a meal, go out and do something, again, your choice. If you can, make it something you did with Chris. It’ll be like he’s there but it’ll be cheaper because this time you won’t have to pick up his bill.

The Accidental Prank

Unfortunately, I live in a house with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. It’s living with them that gets draining. When you live with other people you have to adapt. Strike that. I have to adapt. They seem to do whatever the hell they want but if I leave my coat on a kitchen chair after bringing in bags and bags of groceries, trust me, it’s considered a war crime.

As most know, I shave my head. Have for almost twenty years. When I lived alone (ah, remember those days, my friends? When my bits were all about kitties and wind chimes? No? Then who am I thinking of?) I would shave my head in the shower. I liked it. I accomplished much in the shower. It was a time to think, work shit out, not be bothered. Along with shave and clean up.

But when you live with others you must adapt. I couldn’t spend all that time in the shower because other people also have to do whatever it is other people do in the shower. And I couldn’t stay in the bathroom to shave because it turns out when people gotta go there’s very little to stop them. So I had to figure something out.

While trying to find a solution I shaved at work for a few days. I’d get to work early, head to the bathroom and groom. It wasn’t bad, the job got done, but it seemed rushed to me. Shaving my head is a very relaxing time of my day. I’ve learned it’s not the best idea in the world to be frantic while shaving heads. So I had to figure something else out.

I got it! The basement!

It’s your run of the mill non-glamorous basement. But it has two slop sinks that’ll be perfect to shave at. At first, naturally, my idea was met with skepticism. After all, how can an idea I come up with be anything but ridiculous? But this time there are no alternatives. So I grab my shaving kit and head to the basement.

The next evening after work (when my girlfriend watches that days General Hospital – which I won’t have to now – an accidental perk) I’m looking around and I think I might like this place. I put my earbuds in, listen to some tunes, and get my shave on. Just before I lather up I’m thinking one thing is missing. So I go back upstairs and grab a beer.

Yeah, I’m gonna like this set up.

While I’m down there I notice an old wind-up alarm clock not running on a shelf. While looking at it I remember an old advertising gimmick. When clocks had hands whenever they were in ads the hands would be at ten minutes past ten. The reason is that ad people thought it looked like a smile. And it does, sort of. So that’s how it was always done. So, to pay homage to my old advertising days, I put the clock at ten past ten. And it stays like that for days.

One day I noticed that it moved. Maybe someone had to time something. I don’t know. So I ten past ten it again. Then every once in a while I notice the hands have moved. I think nothing of it and do my thing. Weeks, months go by. I think nothing of it until one day one of the people in the house has a freaky story.

“I use the clock when I’m doing laundry to make sure I don’t miss my shows.” I start to get a jingly feeling in my tummy. “And the strangest thing has been happening. No matter how I wind it when it stops it’s always at ten past ten.” She looks absolutely freaked out right now. She goes on to say she it’s her late husband sending her a message.

And I can’t laugh.

She goes on and on about this miracle of beyond the grave communication.

And I can’t laugh.

She goes on and on about how she knew one day he’d get a message back to her.

And I can’t stop myself from continuing to do it.

But maybe I’ll change it to four forty so he looks sad.

1 In 1,000,000

A guy was trying to get me to do a project for him that I wasn’t interesting in for many reason.

“Come on!” He implored. “I need you! You’re the only one who can do it! You’re one in a million!” I looked at him for a second and said,

“One in a million, huh? That means you have seven thousand other people in the world to choose from. Ask one of them.”