Up until an hour ago I thought the guy who came up with the idea of creating the job title of “Associate Producer” must have started his career hiring people for no show jobs at the Teamsters Union. I’ve been Associate Producer of “While I’m Dead… Feed the Dog” for two months and I haven’t exactly broken a sweat yet. My work day had consisted of lying on the couch, surfing the web for videos of clergy members with Tourette Syndrome, checking on IMDb.com to see if I’m officially a celebrity yet, and watching the six months worth of Cops reruns I’ve stored on my DVR in an effort to see if any of my friends and acquaintances have been on television and getting more time than I have.
But all that changed because Hollywood just called and wants me to meet him at his office to discuss important Producer stuff.
I arrive to see Hollywood dressed in a blue Walmart uniform.
“Glad you could make it, Ric. It’s time for you to start earning your credit. Put this on.” Hollywood tosses me a matching Walmart uniform.
“I’m not wearing this. I’m not 90 years old and I don’t work for minimum. ..” I suddenly remember how little Hollywood paid me to get my birthright, I mean the movie rights to my autobiography ‘While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog’. “I’m not working for Walmart – I’m not 90 years old, I don’t live in a trailer, and I have health insurance…”
“You’re not going to work for Walmart at their store or anything like that. What happened is you know this is a low budget movie right?”
“I’ve noticed how little you have paid me, yes.”
“Well we didn’t quite have the financing we needed to complete everything, so I had to make a deal. Walmart has agreed to give us $50,000 if we feature them prominently in everything involved with the movie, and that means all of us are wearing these uniforms.”
“How much of the $50,000 do I get?”
“We’re using the money to finish the movie – but you’re getting this swell new t-shirt, and I’ve got one for Nina too. It’s a way cool t-shirt and after everyone sees it in our movie it’s going to be the latest rage. You’ll be a trendsetter.”
“You are making the actors wear crappy Walmart uniforms in the movie?”
“It’s not crap it’s $50,000 – and yes everyone is wearing it and the movie is going to be shot in a Walmart store. It’s called ‘product placement’, and we needed the money.”
“How come every movie I see, they get cool product placement, like everyone has a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, or a Corvette not to mention a Mac Computer, an IPAD, or at least a pair of cool Nike Air Jordan shoes made by a Burmese child at gunpoint? All you could do is Walmart?”
“Don’t blame me, I’m not the one with the low “Q” rating. Mentioning your name doesn’t just turn on a flood of corporate donors. The only other offer we had was from Senator McCaskill the woman who is running against Todd Akins for Senator in Missouri, who wanted to use your picture in a commercial justifying abortion, but for that we had to have the movie out by November. So put on the fucking shirt.”
“There are other ways to raise money, you know.”
“We could take pictures of Selena…”
“No we can’t. Her security is too good.”
“We could auction your kidney on EBay… that’s got to be worth at least $50,000.”
“That’s a great idea. I’ll sell your kidney on E-Bay. I think I own it already. Let me just call my lawyer and confirm…”
Okay, so blue isn’t exactly my color; and having a shirt saying ‘How may I help you’ on the back isn’t exactly cool, yet. Someday soon when “While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog” passes ‘The Titanic,’ or at least ‘Porky’s’ in box office revenues it will be. I’ll be way cool then, and the guy who just refused me admittance to the Sky Bar is going to be really sorry because not only do I have a long memory – I’m listed on IMDb.com. And the reason I’m walking home rather than driving is written right on front of my shirt. “Save Money. Live better.”