Hollywood called this morning. He wants to get together, just the two of us, without any lawyers, agents, referees, armed guards, pimps, hookers, publicists, drug dealers, drug counselors, or even Judge Judy and amicably settle our dispute over his reneging on our contract. “Come on let’s settle it like friends,” he said, “I’ve got an open pit fire in my backyard, I’ve bought a bag of marshmallows and learned all the words to ‘Kumbaya’. Let’s get this behind us and celebrate that we’ve got a great movie.”
“When you use the word ‘we’ do you mean ‘you and me’ or were you using the ‘Royal we’ because you’ve been hanging out with queens like Roger Debris?”
“I meant Roger, me and all of us – especially you – we could never have done this without you writing such a great book…” he babbles on trying to fellate my ego – but unfortunately those special cut-rate Canadian pharmacy Viagra capsules haven’t kicked in yet – and I just can’t get it up for his lame ministrations.
“If my book was so great, why did you change the title, the plot and most of the characters’ names?”
“While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog is too long to fit on a movie marquee,” replies Hollywood. “Movies with long titles don’t generate box office, they don’t win awards, they don’t make money.”
“I know I’m not a huge movie aficionado, but what about Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum, and Four Weddings And A Funeral? They seemed to do okay at the box office.”
“Bah humbug. They’re old movies, times have changed,” Hollywood replies.
“Okay, the number two domestic gross movie from 2013 is Oz The Great and Powerful and that has 21 letters in its title, the same number of letters as in While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog.
“You should be counting your blessings that I snatched you from obscurity and made a movie out of whatever you want to call that thing you wrote is, instead of counting the letters in the title. I can’t believe you’re so fucking anal!”
“Yes, I’m so fucking anal that not only did I count the number of letters in the title, I also counted the number of words in the book. Did you know that there are 95,657 words in While I’m Dead Feed the Dog, and of those 95,657 words I wrote, not once did I use either ‘behaving” or “badly’? If you wanted to make a movie called Behaving Badly why didn’t you buy a book that came with that title? I went on Amazon.com and found a book about dog training called ‘Behaving Badly’. Why didn’t you buy that book instead? It would have probably been cheaper and just as germane to your movie.”
“Does the protagonist in the dog training Behaving Badly want to have sex with his mother?” Hollywood asks.
“How the hell should I know? I haven’t read the book.”
“Well I’ve got a confession, I haven’t read yours either but I love your idea.”
“What idea? Reading my book?”
“Fuck that. No I’m talking about your idea of making a movie about “Behaving Badly.” Dogs don’t belong to unions, and the only piece of the back end they want is the one their dick is in….this is genius… I’ll buy the book and we’ll call it Doggie Style. Roger Debris will direct and it will be about a dog fucking his mother, and this time we won’t have to hire actors, or have much besides a few bones for catering… We’ll just go ahead and hire celebrities’ dogs. I’m a fucking genius. I’ve got to run and call my lawyer.”
“What about getting together and toasting marshmallows…?”
“Go buy a box of Lucky Charms and set it on fire for all I care.”
“I thought you wanted to settle…”
“Someone’s whining Lord Kumbaya,” are the last words I hear before the line goes dead.