A guy in a blue FBI windbreaker demands I take off my shoes and belt, and walk through a metal detector while he checks my bag for weapons. The machine beeps and the FBI guy asks if I have any coins in my pocket which might have set off the machine.
“I signed with Hollywood – of course I don’t have any coins in my pocket,” I explain.
“Okay sir, then you’ll have to follow me.” He takes me into a side room and orders me to remove all my clothes so he can conduct a strip search. “Please bend over sir, I need to shine a flashlight up your ass to make sure you are not smuggling in a weapon.”
Because I work for Hollywood, bending over and having my ass probed is nothing new, so I comply and he finds nothing.
“Okay. You can proceed. Have a good family reunion – but I warn you things are pretty strange in there,” he opens a door.
I walk through and there’s a rush of air and I’m sucked into the vortex of a swirling tornado. I’m spinning around for what seems like hours until all of the sudden it’s a clear day and I’m lying on my back on top of somebody, as some woman in a blond wig, gold lamé miniskirt and high heels towers over me clutching a vodka bottle.
I’m not in Missouri anymore – and it doesn’t look too much like Kansas either. “Are you a good bitch or a bad bitch?” I ask.
“I’m not a bitch you sick fucking bastard – I’m your mother.”
“Don’t you think you’re a little old to be wearing those clothes?” I ask, lifting myself off the unmoving person, who appears to be a transvestite wearing a pink angora sweater with the name “Ed Wood” embroidered inside a heart.
“Yes, I do look ridiculous in these clothes and it’s all your fault. By the way it appears you just killed Roger Debris. You might want to take that bitch’s ruby slippers. They might be worth something and you’re going to need money to pay for a lawyer or a screenwriter.”
“I didn’t do anything. I was sucked through a doorway and landed on top of him. It’s not my fault!”
“I’d recommend taking the screenwriter, they’re cheaper. They work for only twenty pieces of silver and I think you’ll have enough with the ruby slippers,” she states as a bunch of singing munchkins suddenly appear, singing Ding Dong The Bitch Is Dead.
I don’t understand how I got here, or what’s happening. I don’t like this place.”
“You don’t like this place? How the fuck do you think I feel? One day I’m Lucretia Thibault, and then your friend Hollywood and Roger Debris came to my home with some FBI agents and told me I’ve been placed in something called the Federal Character Protection Program. They told me this is all because of your stupid While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog book that they’re making a movie of. They’ve changed my name to a an anonymous white-bread name, ‘Lucy Stevens’ – and they’re making me wear these slutty clothes and this wig because according to them you’re such a sick fuck that you’re in love with me. Haven’t you fucking read Oedipus? I mean I’m okay with your killing your asshole father like you just did to Roger Debris, but there is no fucking way I’m letting you near me.”
I try to reassure her, “I promise on my mother’s grave that I don’t love you…”
“I’m your mother and I don’t have a grave,” she interrupts.
“That part can easily be arranged,” I reply, “but I didn’t write a word about being in love with you in While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog. Didn’t you read it?”
“No. I’m just like your friends Hollywood and Roger Debris. When I asked them if they read the book they said they’re making a movie and don’t have time to bother reading books.”
“I assure you – I didn’t write anything about wanting to have sex with you. I didn’t write any of this. I didn’t want them changing everything. I want my old life and friends back! There’s no place like home!” Lucretia nails me with her vodka bottle.
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place…”
“Wake up, honey,” someone shakes me.
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. No place…” I open my eyes.
“Ric dear. It’s Nina Pennington darling.”
“Oh Nina, it’s you.”
Hollywood sticks his head through the door. “Hello there! Anyone home? I just dropped by because I heard the little author got caught in a big lawsuit. Well he seems all right now,”
“Yes, he got a little too big for his britches. We kind of thought for a minute, he was gonna leave us.” Roger Debris appears.
“But I did leave you. I was visiting Lucretia in the Federal Character Protection Program.”
“Oh, we dream lots of silly things when we…” Roger Debris says, picking a piece of lint of his pink Ed Wood angora sweater.
“No, Nina this was a real, truly live place. And I remember that some of it wasn’t very nice. All I was saying to everyone was, ‘I want to go home. To my real world. And they sent me home. Doesn’t anyone believe me?”
“Of course we believe you,” Nina Pennington looks up from her cell phone where she is texting her latest tweet.
“Oh, but anyway,” I clutch my faithful dog, “Toto, we’re home! Home! And this is my room – and you’re all here! And I’m not going to leave here ever, ever again, because I hate you all! And – Oh, Auntie Em, I mean Nina Pennington , there’s no place like home!”
“Your dog’s name isn’t Toto. His name is Duke,” Nina corrects me..
“No it isn’t. Let’s change it to Toto,” shouts Hollywood as he gets up and starts dancing with Roger Debris and singing :
Why, if I had a dime, I could
I could while away the hours,
Conferring with the powers,
Consulting with the slime
And my writer I’d be screwing’
With my lawyer and her suing
If I only had a dime…
“There’s no place like Hollywood. There’s no place like Hollywood,” I sink back into a stupor, “There’s no face like Hollywood….”