Monthly Archives: October 2015

While working. . .

. . .I’m standing there while two people have a discussion/argument. The problem was they were stuck in the mire. Neither would budge and, in my world, endless repetition is considered boring.

Being the so called expert in their subject I tried to help. Shed a little light on the situation, if you will.

“I’m pretty sure I can help get to the bottom of this,” I offer. When I offer that I usually don’t get a response such as,

“Are you sure?”

I look in my hands. Yes, those are the keys to the building so, yeah, pretty much sure about this.

“Of course I am!” I use my pretend helpful tone. “After all, it would behoove you to remember I graduated summa cum last in my class.”

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Old Money

I handle a lot of money. Sadly 99.9999% of it isn’t mine. I rarely even pay attention to it anymore. Just make sure all the denominations are there and, at the end of the day, it’s all accounted for. I know people who handle money, mostly working in banks, who fetishize it. The smell and texture and the crispness of new bills.

Me? I just don’t want the suckers sticking together. I hate those suckers who stick together.

But I was counting money the other day something popped out at me. Most of the bills I handle are of the current designs. All their security measures in place, probably a thin coating of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer from all those paranoid fucks who think they’re going to catch a cold from it. While counting, my hands free of lotions, I notice two older bills. One was from 1999 and it has seen better days. Faded color from one too many passes through various washing machines. Rips and folds and general stains coming from who knows where.

But it was the other that caught my attention. Sure, it had some wear but nowhere near as much as the one from 1999. A couple of older folds that, over the decades, have become little more than light creases in the bill. No corner was badly dog-eared unlike his seventeen year old counterpart. It was more a marvel to me because this bill could apply for social security.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the bill in my hand was minted in 1950. And I’ve got to say, he’s looking better than many sixty-five year olds I know. It’s not as if it was a hundred or even a fifty. It was a workingman’s ten dollar bill. A bill that, when it was first issued, could have purchased a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, two one pound cans of pork & beans, two pounds of sirloin for the grill, a quart of mayonnaise, a pack of smokes each for him and his wife, ten gallons of gas, and ten postage stamps for his overseas pen pals. And still received almost $4 in change.

That bill was at the cusp of change. One war slowly getting behind. Many others on it’s horizon. A seismic change in not only music and fashion but of air and space travel. Just think what this bill has seen. Well, not seen as you have to assume he’s spent a good portion of his life in a dark, cramped wallet at the edge of some guys ass or in a clutch or a purse hidden as a woman’s ‘mad money’ when she went on a date.

Turning the bill over I can tell he was mostly folded face side out. The green pops like the first leaves of spring. It’s a green six or eight shades brighter than that of a current bill. I had to laugh while reading the front. Above where it says ten dollars on the bottom is the long exorcised statement: “Will Pay To The Bearer On Demand”. Damn! This bill is bad ass! You can almost imagine him grabbing some clerk by the lapel and screaming, “I don’t care if it’s banned in Boston, I demand a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover!” And the clerk would fuck right off and get him one. And, again, render him some change.

Think of the various albums and eight tracks and cassettes and CDs he’s purchased. The mind swirls at the musical diversity. The movies he’s paid for.  The times he was slapped down on a counter for a book.

Then there are the more mundane parts of money like like  gas and phone bills. He’s been there for first dates and last dates; weddings and birthdays; funerals and bribes. He’s paid off lay-a-ways and loan sharks. He’s gone through the economic ups and downs of a dozen presidents. And he still looks crisp and ready to go through his next transaction.

So I’m going to take him out of the bank deposit and replace it with a new one. Who knows if some banker, with federal regulations bogging down the density between his ears, would pull it out of circulation. I’m doing it because this old boy still has some kick in him. So I’m going to take him out tonight and use him to buy my girl and me a drink. Keep him on the road a little longer. Let him show those new bills how to get things done.

Of course, I’ll have to toss in a few more dollars to pay the tab but, for this old gent, it ain’t a thing.

You know. . .

. . .your day isn’t among the best when someone calls you with a business call and in the middle of them talking you hear a toilet flush.

Sometimes I direct TV shows.

Before most shows I talk to the hosts, lighten the mood, get a feel for how they’re doing. Last night I went out and said, “Okay, we’re ready to go. Need anything? Mashed potatoes? Vanilla ice cream?”

“Ooo.” Says one of the hosts. “I’d love some chocolate ice cream.”

“Aww, sorry.” I say putting my hands in my front pockets. “I keep the potatoes here and the vanilla ice cream here. I’m sure you don’t want to know where I keep the chocolate.”

An incredibly obnoxious person. . .

. . .was being himself in a store. It was obvious to everyone the transaction wasn’t going to go his way. Well, obvious to everyone except him. Even when the manager said what he wanted done was impossible he didn’t believe it. I have a feeling he wouldn’t have believed it if the founder himself ruled on it. Finally, to calm the tension of the jittery mob, the manager said there was nothing more he could do and called the next person. Me!

I step forward and the guy puts his hand on my chest.

“Back off.” Probably not his brightest move. “I’m not going until I get what I want.”

“I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing more we can do for you.” The manager smiles the smile of a guy tired of putting up with folks like this. Otherwise known as customers. I step to the counter.

“I’m going to get my way.” The guy bellows over my shoulder. I spin around.

“No you’re not.” I say. “And do you know why? Because you’re a bag of shit sealed in a can of shit buried underneath a pile of shit.”

The guy stands there mulling that one over as security walks up and moves him out of the building. Every few seconds he turns around and looks at me. Yeah, I have that effect on people.

Image

Its true, you know

smellfie

I Got Fired!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to have you go fund me for my next case of beer. All I did was get canned from another writing gig. Over the years I’ve been fired from many publications. Sometimes it’s justified but other times it’s a matter of interpretation.

Like the time I wrote a bit about babies the publishers wife hated. How was I supposed to know she’d just pooted out a pooch so was in the glow of after birth (that sounds much more gross than it should)? Sometimes it’s a matter of creative differences (like the time I lunged over a table because someone threw a CD at me). Whatever it was, most times, I knew it was coming.

Not so much this time.

Well, maybe a little.

I was a scriptwriter for one of those oh so funny internet comedy sites. You know the type. Seventy-five items on the first page. Two laughs among them. Hey, I’m not proud of it but at least you don’t have to go fund me. It was the kind of site that tells its writers to be edgy! Push the boundaries! Take chances!

When in reality they mean, ‘Watch Tosh.0 then recreate the videos.’

It’s a low budget affair. Zero props, out of the box effects, mainly talking heads putting gross things in their mouth then spewing it towards the camera. Or a man and a woman who can’t understand each other. Or, as its known in the business, ‘comedy zinc.’

So you can imagine my surprise when I offered a morsel I didn’t feel was any less zincy than anything else yet received back a scathing rebuke. Sure, I knew it was pushing the boundaries but I didn’t think it would get  a most vicious denouncement. In reality, I chuckled. I’ve had more scathing rebukes from nuns.

Sure, the piece is a little over the edge. But wasn’t I supposed to be edgy? Okay, it popped the rivets on the boundaries. Okay, maybe a boundary or two were crossed. But wasn’t I supposed to go where no comedy writer had ever gone before? Sure, maybe I took too big a chance. But wasn’t I supposed drill for zinc every time I opened my comedy toolbox?

I guess not.

So, what I’m going to do, is let you, the comedy reading public, make up your own mind. Sure, some offense will be taken. But I’ve learned to live with that. People take offense when I wake up in the morning (or early afternoon). But it does show how hated one can become in a less than thirty seconds of a not even recorded bit.

So here’s the script that got me canned.

INT. HALLWAY

Pan down a wall with posters on it. They say things like “Hang In There!” “One Day At A Time!” “You Can Do It!” The camera stops on the face of a MAN. He’s a rather ravaged man. He looks straight into the camera.

MAN
Unlike many men, I beat my addiction.

Man turns to his left.

MAN (CONT’D)
Isn’t that right, Maya?

Pan to a battered MAYA DICTION cowering.

MAYA DICTION
YES! Please don’t hit me!

FADE OUT.

Oh, I know! Too soon! Wrong on so many levels! I’d have fired me too!

But I bet every time you see one of those treatment center commercials you think of Maya.