’s Fire Phone

I am in a rock and roll band.  We’ve made an album and it’s very good.   The critics like it a lot, and one of them, a friend of mine who owes me ten dollars even called me a genius in the review he wrote for  I’m also multi-talented.  I wrote a book called While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog.   It’s really good and critics like it too, and a friend of mine who owes me ten dollars compared me to J.D. Salinger if he had a sense of humor on   I sold the movie rights to Hollywood and he’s gang-raped it into a movie called Behaving Badly.   I have a friend who writes movie reviews for, but he wouldn’t take the ten bucks and the review he wrote said it made Revenge of the Nerds 2 look like a classic.

Like most people in rock and roll bands who don’t have stripper girlfriends, to sponge off of, and like most people who trust Hollywood to live up to his contract, I have a day job – or in my case a night job.   I deliver pizzas for Papa John’s.

It’s nine o’clock on Thursday and I’m just about to deliver another crappy pizza to another gourmet challenged asshole who thinks the dollar tip he is giving me is really going to make a fucking difference in my life when my iPhone rings.


“Hello?  Is this Ric Thibault?” a tired sounding voice asks.

“I’m on my way with your pizza…”

“I’m calling about a legal matter, not a pizza.  Is this Ric Thibault, the author of While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog?”

“I can explain everything – Roger Debris and Hollywood deliberately fucked the movie as part of  some “Springtime for Hitler” tax sche…”

“I understand your frustration but don’t really care.  My name is Jeff Bezos, and I’m the CEO of and the reason I’m calling is as part of a settlement agreement I signed with the Justice Department concerning price fixing on e-books, I have to call every author of every book my company has sold and see if you’re willing to accept my company’s offer.    You’re book is number 177,850 in our Kindle store, and I’m willing to offer you the choice of a check for one cent in damages, which would cost my company seven hundred forty-six dollars in accounting time to produce or if you sign a release I’ll give you a free Amazon Fire Phone, our new cellular phone which sells for $199.”

“Fire Phone?  How many rounds does it hold?   I graduated from school quite a few years ago, but if it holds enough, maybe I could go back and blow away a few classrooms of…”

“The Fire Phone isn’t a gun,” Bezos interrupts, “ – but thanks for the suggestion and we’ll see if we can get a Bushmaster app in development –  it’s a really cool 3-D phone which does things your iPhone can’t.”

“You mean it works most of the time?”

“No, our phone’s exclusive to AT&T, so no, it’s not that revolutionary…  but what makes the Fire Phone so special is it has a feature where you see something you like, you push a button – and it uses recognition software to find it online and not only lets you know where you can buy it, but what the best price is.”

“That’s interesting, but I think I’d rather take the…”

“Before you make your decision, let me tell you, this is going to be the hippest most prestigious phone you can carry.  You’ll be amongst the first in Hollywood to have one and the envy of all…”

“Sold.. I’ll take the phone!”

*           *             *

It’s Friday morning and UPS is at my door with my new Amazon Fire Phone.   I drive down to AT&T and stand in line for an hour to activate it.   I walk out the door only to see Megan Fox getting out of a limousine.   I take out my Fire Phone and press the price button.

I glance at the Fire Phone’s screen and am impressed as it quickly responds, “You have entered a picture of Megan Fox,”  It show a stock picture of Megan Fox and announces she is,  “available for ten million dollars from….”   She’s out of my price range and I don’t even bother reading further – and instead turn my attention back to Megan Fox who just as I look up stumbles as she steps on a piece of dog shit on the sidewalk.  Seeing a possibility of making some money by selling a picture of Megan Fox covered in dog shit to TMZ, I snap another picture from my Fire Phone.

I look for my camera roll app to check out the picture, but by accident hit the price button.   The phone responds, “You have entered a picture of dog shit,   ‘Dog shit’ is the generic term for  Behaving Badly, a movie which can be bought by any masochist for 7 Pounds Sterling on or downloaded for free from any pirate torrent.”

Dejectedly I go back to my car where there’s still a box of Papa John’s pizza which I forgot to deliver last night.  I take a picture of it.  “You have entered a picture of shit.  ‘Shit is generic term for  Behaving Badly, a movie which can be bought by any masochist for 7 Pounds Sterling on or downloaded for free from any pirate torrent.”

The Blockbuster Premiere of Behaving Badly

Hollywood is calling me from his car,

“The moment we’ve all be waiting for is here and I’m inviting you to the premiere of the movie we made from your book. It’s tomor…” but because he uses AT&T as his cellular provider I lose him for a few seconds and I have to go through the official AT&T catechism.

“Can you hear me?” I invoke.

“Can you….?” Hollywood responds, “…me now?”

“Can’t you find a good cell phone provider or call me from a land line?”

“We have a bad connection, Let me call you back.”

The catechism completed, he hangs up and calls me again.

“This any better?”

“Let’s try it again. I called to let you know that Behaving Badly. the movie we made from your book, is opening tomorrow and I want to invite you to the premiere, tomorrow…” AT&T decides to drop the call for a few seconds before conceding a few words , “real blockbuster…” before the line goes dead.

Wow! I hang up having distinctly heard “blockbuster’ and “Behaving Badly” used in the same sentence! All my complaining about how they had mangled my autobiography, While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog into a piece of shit white-bread movie must have been misguided. Even though they changed my name – I’m going to be famous – maybe even rich too if Hollywood can be trusted to honor our contract – after all he’s already performed one miracle transforming his garbage script into a blockbuster movie, why can’t he perform another miracle and have one thing that he promised actually come true?  He had vowed, ‘I promise to make you happy and give you artistic satisfaction’ and ‘you’ll be involved in all the creative decisions of the movie’ before we signed our contract and he lied.  Yes, Hollywood wrote in our contract that I was going to be music supervisor and be in charge of the film’s music,” and he lied – and of course he did send an e-mail swearing, I will not change the name of the movie from “While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog” and he lied – but maybe just once he will stick to his word and pay me. I mean, Jesus fed the multitude with a few loaves of bread and a fish – bigger miracles have happened!

It’s time to fucking celebrate. I’m going to the premiere of my movie! Celebrities, Inside Edition, E! News, TMZ , morally casual Hollywood starlets with bolt-on tits and ‘blow in your ear and she’ll thank you for the refill IQ’s” will all be there. I’m no longer one of the little people.  I’m a somebody.  I matter.  Now when I take a selfie of me lighting my farts while yelling racial epithets people are going to pay attention big time – so Justin Bieber, move your scrawny white ass over and prepare for oblivion.  Prepare to be dethroned!”

Of course if I’m going to be a celebrity I need to get myself the some official celebrity accoutrements.  First and foremost I need an agent – since all celebrities must have one.  I don’t know any agents, so I’m going to have to bump into one casually and then seal the deal with my charisma and charm.   So I devise a plan.

I get into my beat up Kia with the “I will believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one of them” bumper sticker and drive at the speed limit down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  As soon as the first black BMW with a driver talking on a cell phone tries to pass me on the right shoulder, I cut them off causing the car to sideswipe me and Voila!  I’ve found myself an agent!

I introduce myself to Frankie Lebinowitz, a junior agent from CAA who, as soon as he disengages himself from the deployed airbags, picks up his shattered Chrome Hearts sunglasses and stops swearing, turns out to be a nice guy especially when I explain I have a blockbuster movie coming out and won’t sue his ass for driving on a suspended license and trying to pass me on the right and causing an accident if he will represent me.

I go home and tell Nina Pennington all the good news and she’s excited too, until I tell her that she can’t come to the premiere because as part of my duties as a celebrity I am required to ditch her for a higher profile starlet or stripper who has frequent wardrobe malfunctions and will get me in the tabloids.  However, I reassure Nina she can take consolation in the fact she should get rich by selling the videos she has on her phone of us having sex to

Nina Pennington then reminds me that Selena Gomez is playing her in the movie, and that I’m being played by some unknown who hasn’t ever been in rehab.   “And,” she adds, “Hollywood invited me to the premiere three weeks ago, when he had me over to his office to discuss my part in his upcoming remake of  Porky’s 2.  I’m sure I’ll get a hell of a lot more money selling the videos I have on my phone of Hollywood and me having sex to TMZ.  My agent from William Morris thinks I should gross at least…

*              *              *

It’s kind of embarrassing driving my Kia with the smashed in right side to my movie premiere  – plus since I work for Hollywood , I don’t have enough money to pay for valet parking so I park the car a few blocks away from where the famous theaters on Hollywood Boulevard are located and walk the rest of the way.   I stroll up to Hollywood Boulevard, to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  There’s no red carpet there, and I walk past the handprints of stars in concrete musing how much I would enjoy seeing Hollywood and Roger Debris in concrete.  I continue down the boulevard past the Egyptian and the El Capitan and neither of them have Behaving Badly on the marquee.

As I pass the Pantages theater, I pull out the piece of paper I wrote the address on and realize that I parked my car too far away.  I’m at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard and the address of the premier is 5445 Hollywood Boulevard.  I have another eight long blocks to walk.
I’m not fazed.  I use the time to practice my wave for my stroll up the red carpet.  Even if I’m not coming in a limo, like the big stars do, someone’s going to want to take my picture and I better have a cool wave for them.   I put on my sunglasses and try out the Tom Cruise raise your hand almost like a Nazi salute wave, but it seems a little forced.   I try out the bent elbow, Rose Bowl Queen on lithium wave while blowing kisses, but it seems too gay.   I try out the majestic Papal slight lift of your arm with a Parkinson disease quiver but it’s just a little too subdued.   As I get to the 5500 block of Hollywood Boulevard I realize in the nick of time that it would be better to create my own style and forgo the wave altogether and just flash everyone the “thumbs up” sign.  I’ll be a trendsetter and it’ll catch on like wildfire.

I approach the 5400 block Hollywood Boulevard but there is nothing there.  No marquee.  No red carpet.  No paparazzi.  No stars.  Only two crack whores standing in front of a shuttered store, by a couple of boxes lying open on the sidewalk.   Glumly I pull the address out again and check for the street numbers for 5445.  I look up and there’s a worn blue sign with yellow writing saying “Blockbuster Video” over which there is a “For Rent” sign.

“Honeycheeks, you look like you need some cheering up,” says one of the crack whores as she waddles over to me on her four inch heels.   She might have been pretty once, ten or twenty years ago.   “Forty bucks and I’ll take you around the world and put a smile on your face –  and,” she reaches into the box, “I’ll give you this free DVD to go home with.”

I look at the DVD she’s holding and my heart sinks.    It’s Behaving Badly and the movie must suck so bad that it’s been released directly to DVD – and the only store that sells DVD’s has gone out of business.

I decline the whore’s business proposition and she totters off, dejected that she couldn’t close the sale.  “This fucking DVD ain’t worth shit,” she mutters and tosses it in my direction.

I stoop down and pick it up.  Beneath Selena Gomez’s picture in big letters is “From the Producer of 10 Things I Hate About You”.  I guess it sounded better in the marketing meeting than “From the company that manufactures every other DVD box.”

Sneak Preview & the Donald Sterling Publicity Gimmick


Hollywood looks nervous. 

We’re in McAlester, Oklahoma and perspiration is dripping from his brow as we prepare to enter the small theater where a sneak preview of “Behaving Badly”, the movie that was supposedly adapted from my autobiography, While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog is going to be screened.

“No cell phones or cameras are allowed,” the theater’s guard brusquely announces, “and all purses, bags and backpacks must be searched.”

            “That’s a good sign isn’t it?” I whisper to Hollywood, “That means they’re worried about bootleggers, because they think the movie’s going to be a hit.   You might actually have to pay me royalties.”

            Hollywood gives me the cold shoulder rather than an answer, and I walk through the metal detector and into the theater lobby.   I look around for the refreshment stand so I can buy popcorn and a Coke.  I don’t see it, so I ask one of the uniformed guards where it is.

            “We don’t sell popcorn at executions.  This is a dignified proceeding.”


I’m guessing the word is out what a turkey Behaving Badly is and that’s why Hollywood is so nervous, and I reluctantly take my seat.    Looking around the audience it becomes even more apparent that this isn’t going to be a good night for a preview.   The movie was targeted at the 12 to 25 demographic and everyone in the room is over forty and wearing a suit.

            Before I can develop this thought completely a voice comes over the public address system.   “Hello, my name is Governor Mary Fallin.  As you all know the state of Oklahoma has had problems securing dosages of sodium thiopental, the drug used to execute prisoners.   Consequently we have had to try other untested lethal concoctions, one of which resulted in the botched execution of inmate Clayton Lockett on May 1st.   Therefore as Republicans, um excuse me, I’m sorry, I meant,  as Oklahomans, in the interest of serving justice, we have sought other ways of humanely executing convicts.   That is why I have invited movie producer Hollywood here to assist us in the execution of  Antonio Zananato, who has been convicted of multiple homicides.  Without further ado, I turn it over to Mr. Hollywood.”

            A few flash pots go off and a curtain opens revealing the death chamber, where Antonio Zanato is strapped to a gurney looking up at a hidden movie screen.  His eyes are wide open in terror as a priest administers the last rites to him.  

            “Roll it,” Hollywood orders, and I hear the opening music to Behaving Badly commence.   Antonio Zanato is already going into convulsions. 

            Within a few minutes Josh Groban’s turgid rendition of the movie’s theme song wafts over the speaker and I look around me.  Everyone is aghast and throwing up in the viewing room.   I look back at the gurney and Antonio Zanato’s tongue is hanging out, and his eyeballs have rolled back into his head and the curtain closes.

            “That wasn’t humane at all,” yells one member of the audience as he wipes vomit off his tie.

            “You’re a sadist,” shouts another. 

            “Motherfucker got what he deserved,” a guard wearing earplugs dissents.

            “We ought to strap you down and force you to watch that,” another audience member grabs Hollywood.

            “I’m not a sadist,” shouts Hollywood,  “I could have cast Adam Sandler in the movie, but I didn’t  – and besides I didn’t write it, that punk over there, Ric Thibault did.”

            The audience turns and charges me.  They grab me and strap me to the gurney next to Zanato’s corpse as the Priest begins to intone, “Our father who art…”        

               “Wake up,” Hollywood is shaking me.  “I can’t believe I caught you sleeping in a vital marketing meeting for Behaving Badly – a movie whose economic performance your fate is tied to.   Now pay attention.   Roger, you were saying.”

            Roger Debris, dressed in his pink cardigan sweater, turquoise knickers and a beret, glares daggers at me before continuing with his presentation.  “Our test screening focus group results have really helped us identify and target our audience.   Amongst the targeted 18 – 24 males who have at least one parent and/or sibling in prison, the movie resonates very well.   In one parent diabetic households in trailer parks with more than two meth labs and forty percent unemployment the movie scored okay and the other encouraging result was that we tested well with 12-16 year old males who were in emergency rooms having their stomachs pumped after they got into their parent’s liquor cabinet…”

            Roger Debris drones on and depresses me further to the point that I’m contemplating my rapidly downward-spiraling financial prospects and trying to figure out what job I might be qualified for.  Maybe there is a position at a call center somewhere in Kentucky which provides tech support for  Hindi speaking computer users in India.   I’m sure I could learn a few words in Hindi and mispronounce them badly enough to the point that I couldn’t be understood which would qualify me to be hired by Microsoft tech support.  

            Before I can fully analyze my next career move, Hollywood announces that he is going to go around the room and demand that each of us present a marketing plan which might entice someone to buy a ticket for this trainwreck of a movie… and he starts with me, “Ric it’s up to you to save your autobiography from being the most ignored movie of all time.”

            “It’s not my story anymore.  You gang raped my book into this piece of …”

            “Before you finish that thought,” Hollywood interrupts, “may I remind you of the one Hollywood truism of, ‘no hits, no tits’.   If this movie fails, your girlfriend Nina Pennington will be selling selfies of herself giving Justin Bieber head to TMZ within a week and the only time you’ll get laid is if you crawl up a chicken’s ass and wait.   So, taking this all into consideration, do you have any bright ideas to contribute as how to save both your movie and your sex life?”

            I’m seething inside as I finally realize how much of a scumbag Hollywood is.  He’s as contemptible as it gets.   He’s as bad as, I’m trying to think of the worst person I can think of, when all of the sudden I have a moment of clarity.   “Donald Sterling,” I blurt out.

            “Donald Sterling, what the fuck does Donald Sterling have to do with your movie?”

            “We could try the Donald Sterling publicity gimmick.   We make a tape of you telling your mistress that she shouldn’t bring Hispanic people to the movie, because it embarrasses you,” the bullshit flows evenly out of my mouth.  “Then we sell the tape to TMZ and there will be a huge outcry because Selena Gomez is of Hispanic descent and we can get the Producer’s Guild to ban you for life from making movies.  The Producers Guild will force you to sell the rights to While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog, but before they can do it, you give the movie to your ex-wife who then will sell it to some billionaire wannabe bigshot from Microsoft…”

            “…and Sterling got two billion bucks,” Hollywood excitedly interrupts.  “If I could get two billion for the movie…”

            “Then you would owe me roughly forty million dollars in royalties.”

            “What the fuck are you talking about – I wouldn’t owe you anything the movie still wouldn’t have recouped.”

            “Wait you said the budget for the movie was two million dollars – how could the movie not recoup if you took in two billion.”

            “Well I’d have to find a mistress to start with.  Mistresses are expensive.”

            “Two billion dollars worth of expensive?  I know a hooker on Santa Monica who would be your mistress for a couple of hundred bucks and a few rocks of crack.”

            “Yes, but then there are the lawyers and accountants you have to pay for.  One to negotiate a settlement with the hooker, and the other to make up an accounting to you that shows we lost money on the movie.  Now get the fuck out of here.”

            *                      *                                  *

            I’m lying in bed watching Anderson Cooper interview Hollywood on a CNN exclusive.   “I made a terrible, terrible mistake.  And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people I have hurt.  I’m not a racist.  But when someone baited me and told me I could get two billion dollars for saying something against Mexican warblers who think they can be cast as a blond haired blue eyed… “