The Nina Pennington Fan Club & Artistic License

There was a voicemail message from Hollywood on my phone this afternoon. He sounded excited and wanted me to call him back as soon as I got his message.

I’ve learned Hollywood is not one to call me gratuitously, and I’m sure he isn’t calling to inquire about the state of my life – which has pretty much sucked since Nina Pennington got so famous she that has an international fan club. Last night we were in the backseat of her car making out and just as I was about to get the last hook of her bra undone, Nina receives a tweet from the President of her Paraguay fan club tweeting, “OMG! Porqué hace alguien tan puro como Nina Pennington se permitte que encante algún loser wannabe,” and just like that Nina’s grabbed the phone and is tweeting back, “LOL, no worry, Dont have BF, he nothing to me,” while hermetically sealing her bra to her body.

With nothing better to do, thanks to Nina’s fan club, I call Hollywood back and he tells me he just had a really good meeting with his marketing people and wants me to come down to his office on the Studio lot to discuss their recommendation.

“Can’t you just tell me over the phone? I don’t really want to drive over the hill to Burbank, it’s like 150 degrees there, plus on what you paid me as an advance I don’t have enough money for gas,” I complain.

“Okay, but we’re casting strippers now and I thought…”

“I’ll be right there,” I hang up the phone

Twenty minutes later and Hollywood’s secretary is ushering me into his office.

“Ah Ric, good to see you, sit down on the couch and let’s talk.”

“I thought you were having stripper auditions?” I sit down. Someone must have spilled something on the couch, because there’s a sticky wet spot, and it’s attracting little bugs and I get back up.

“Let me get you a towel and we’ll wipe that up shall we? As for the strippers it’s all taken care of… we’ve got three of the best ones money can buy,” Hollywood grins, “and one of them is a midget. But that’s not why I brought you here. I want to talk to you about your ‘Q Rating’ numbers. The Studio and I have been looking at your numbers and they’re not very good – and we’ve been getting bombarded with tweets from Nina Pennington’s Bolivian, Argentinian, Honduran, Panamanian, Nicaraguan and Lesotho fan clubs saying that Nina should be with a better looking guy than Ric Stevens.”

“My name is still Ric Thibault…”

“Whatever. The Studio thinks we need to spruce you up, and beef up your numbers.”

“I’m not becoming a Scientologist.”

“We’re not asking you to become a Scientologist. They don’t even want you anymore. We’ve got something way cooler.”

“Which is?”

“We want to make you a cultural icon.”

“Like Justin Bieber?”

“Not exactly. There is room for only one Justin Bieber. The marketing department and I are thinking of something more lasting. Think Kurt Cobain, James Dean, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Elvis. I mean really big.”

“You mean really dead!”

“Well a little, but look what being dead did for their careers.”

“You want me dead?”

“Posthumous is money in the bank.”

“Can I fake it?”

“No, the public will see right through it. I believe in cinema verité.”

“Cinema verité is French. I thought you hate the French… and I’m not killing myself. Besides if you’re into cinema verité so much, I don’t remember writing anything about my dying in my autobiography.” I protest.

“Haven’t you heard of ‘artistic license’? There are millions of kids who would give their left nut to be in your position,” Hollywood insists.

“What would the poor bastard in charge of collecting their left nuts do with them after he has them? Is there some big testicle transplant surgery that hasn’t been advertised on late night TV yet?” I ask as Hollywood’s phone chirps.

Hollywood checks his phone, “The President of Nina Pennington’s Romanian fan club agrees. They would look on you a lot more favorably if you were dead. I’ll tell you what I’ll do because I like you so much. I’ll give you two songs in the movie if you cooperate.”

“Can’t I just give you my right nut instead – I mean you have so many left nuts, don’t you need to balance things out a little with a right nut or two, you know like Fox News does? And where do you go to get one of those ‘artistic licenses’?”

The line at the DMV must at least an hour long. I hope I have my forms filled out correctly. Otherwise if you go and see “While I’m Dead… Feed the Dog” and hear two of my songs playing, you probably aren’t going to be seeing any sequels.