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.
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.
Unlike many men, I beat my addiction.
Man turns to his left.
Isn’t that right, Maya?
Pan to a battered MAYA DICTION cowering.
YES! Please don’t hit me!
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.