The Reviews are In

Nina Pennington and I are having one of “those” discussions.    You know, the ones which demand that I either stand on principle and break up with her, thereby losing not only access to her father’s black American Express card but the mineral rights to her body, which means I have to stop drilling her, or surrendering my dignity and admit that the world revolves around her and her menstrual cycle.

I quickly mentally perform the calculations necessary to come to such a momentous decision.  It’s all based on a complex formula I developed which will someday garner me the Nobel Prize in Mathematics.   You take the credit limit of your girlfriend’s Amex, subtract your monthly pay and divide this number by your girlfriend’s IQ.  You then multiply this by her bra size, and divide the number by the size of her waist in centimeters.   You finally subtract the number of women who have had sex with you.   If this number, what I call the “acquiescence threshold,” is greater than one you agree to anything she demands, mumble “I understand” during any brief momentary pauses in the conversation and wonder if evolution is so fucking good at making the species adapt to their needs why man’s balls haven’t evolved into having a zipper, so it would be so much easier to take them off and ever so occasionally bolt them back on.

“…and if you hadn’t written your stupid so-called autobiography, While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog, and betrayed me by taking the Judas money from Hollywood and let him make that piece of shit movie Behaving Badly or whatever they are calling it, there wouldn’t be those reviews that make me the laughing stock of the world.”

“I understand,” I fill the pause, while contemplating what Judas’ thirty pieces of silver is worth in present day dollars, given the inflation rate over the last 2000 years.  I’m sure he raked in several million times more than what I got from Hollywood.

“Have you seen the reviews?” Nina fishes out a twenty dollar bill from her purse and starts rolling it into a tight cylinder.

“How did you manage to get the entire domestic box office for Behaving Badly?  You got a better contract than I did.  Who is your agent?”

“I didn’t ask you about my agent did I? I asked you about the reviews.  Did you see them?”

“Yes, I think I saw one or two of them,” I admit.


“And what?”  I stall, trying to think of how I should respond to her inevitable next question.

“What did you think of them?” she demands.

I quickly compute the odds of emerging from this conversation with an intact relationship with Nina, her tits and her Amex card.  According to the my mind’s current betting line, telling the truth and admitting that I agree with the critics is a 100 to 1 longshot, and since I am not a Republican and not that good at lying, the odds of me getting away with saying that the reviewers were misguided and don’t matter, is running at 80 to 1.   So I select a different tact.

“I think I read one that didn’t describe you as ‘vapid’ or ‘wooden’.”

“I asked you…” she pulls out a vial of white powder.

“Don’t you think you should lay off the coke?”

“It’s not real cocaine – I don’t do that shit, I’m just practicing my image. I’m a Disney girl and to be a Disney girl you have to appear to take cocaine, We have to twerk.  We have to take nude selfies, We have to make out with chicks in public and in return we’re guaranteed corner suites at rehab and wardrobe malfunctions in front of paparazzi.  It’s standard in Disney contracts!”

“For real?  It’s in your Disney contract?”

“Yes, it’s part of the morals clause we have to sign.”

“I understand,” I reflexively reply, silently wondering what a Disney girl’s morals clause might possibly say. Does fucking Justin Bieber fall within the scope of morality or is the clause triggered solely upon the number of times you skip out of rehab?

“You damn right better understand!”, Nina brings me back to reality. “I was asking you what you thought of the reviews?”

“I kind of like the one from the Hollywood Reporter, that says my “cult novel While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog is a darkly comic romp which reads like Catcher in the Rye crossed with Fight Club.” They think I’m a genius.”

“Fuck you, I read that one. It went on to say Behaving Badly is ‘dangerously low on wit, charm or narrative logic’ and you’re no fucking genius. You’re an author. You’re a nobody, yet you try and present yourself as some sort of fucking genius because you were able to type 95,647 words. Any idiot can do that if they don’t die of boredom first. I didn’t see Apple hiring you to work at the Genius bar.”

Nina reaches back into her wallet and pulls out her American Express card, causing me to temper my response, “Well it’s better than the Variety review that called it a “ruthlessly unfunny misfire.”

“I’m a fucking laughingstock because of you,” she uses the credit card to chop her name in lines of powder. “I think it’s time to ditch you for someone who understands me like Justin..:

“Don’t you think you’re being hasty – those are just two reviews in magazines whose readers mooch free tickets to everything anyway.   You need to check the reviews that are written for people who actually pay to go see movies.”

“Which ones are those?”

“I don’t know exactly. Why don’t we ask Hollywood? He’s got the best publicist in the business because you don’t ever read anything in the press about what a lying, cheap bastard he is. His publicist has to be a fucking genius. Plus Hollywood told me I don’t know shit about the movie business and that I should always ask him to get the inside scoop.”

“When did he say that?”

“When he was trying to seduce me into giving him the movie rights to While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog, He promised to make me happy. Then when I asked him if I could write the screenplay to my book he told me I couldn’t because I never had written a movie before. I told him I had never written a book before but he seemed to like that enough to fall off his wallet.”

“And how did he respond to that?”

“He told me that I didn’t know shit about the movie business and then went into some song and dance about how part of moviemaking was realizing your dreams and since I am an insomniac I didn’t sleep enough to dream – so instead he hired Roger Debris to write and direct the movie and again promised to make me happy.”

“Did he give you a blowjob?”

“No. I’m not gay. What does that have to do with anything?”

“’Cause it’s the only thing I know that ever really makes you happy and I’m pretty sure that’s all you dream about.”

“That’s not true. Having a good movie with good reviews would make me happy.”

“Yeah right. Tell yourself that when you come home to an empty apartment after a hard night delivering pizzas,” my future former girlfriend snarls as she pulls out her purse and tosses me her car keys. “You can drive me. If you like the job I’ll tell you about Uber, and maybe you can make even more money delivering people than you do pizzas.”

We drive in silence to the Warner Brothers lot and walk to his office behind the trash compacter. I open the door to find Hollywood alone in his office on his knees stuffing Behaving Badly posters into the wastebasket.

“Hi Hollywood,” Hollywood looks up, his face goes white as a ghost, and dives behind his desk.

“Don’t shoot,” he screams.

I debate whether I should tell him I don’t have a gun, because I am enjoying his cowering, but Nina squelches my deliberations by telling him we only came to see the reviews.

“You know I don’t read reviews,” he gets on his feet and starts gathering up all the papers on his desk

“The same way you don’t read books?” I inquire, picking up a newspaper clipping that he inadvertently sends tumbling to the floor.

“Who has times for books that take time to read? I make entertainment for the masses. I make movies.”

I glance down at the newspaper clipping. “Not according to the Los Angeles Times. It says, ‘Behaving Badly is a dreadful sex comedy that gets worse and worse as its dopey story snowballs into relative incoherence’… and then it goes on to say, ‘it’s an egregious waste of talent – and your time’. Look on the bright side Nina they imply you have talent to waste,” I try to console her.

“You’re taking one review and letting it ruin your day? Look at the big picture some sucker disagreed enough to pay one million Euros for the Italian language rights. The movie is a hit in Singapore.”

“One million Euros, that’s 1.3 million dollars! That means we’ve almost recouped and you’re going to have to pay us royalties!”

“Royalties?” the color drains from Hollywood’s face. “Did you see the review from Movie Mezzanine? The headline is ‘Behaving Badly is Head-Shakingly Awful’ and then it goes on to say it’s ‘a contender for the worst film of the year, an amoral and nonsensical piece of tripe.’ Rotten Tomatoes gave it 12 out of 12. The movie sucks. There won’t be any royalties. Now if you can please excuse me, I’ve got a meeting with the guy who owns the screen rights to this book called the New Testament. It’s about a guy named Jesus who goes around performing miracles while hanging around with a hooker named Mary Magdalene who turns out to be his mother Mary…”


Awards Show!

I am facing a dilemma.

Nina Pennington is standing in front of the mirror practicing her Oscar acceptance speech for her role in Behaving Badly the movie that was genetically mutated from my autobiography While I’m Dead… Feed the Dog. Nina has decided to go for the gut-wrenching heartwarming motif – and has concocted a story about how she drew her inspiration from her dying mother’s stoic battle with breast cancer and how she got down on her knees and promised God she would suffer through a wardrobe malfunction on national television if He would restore her mother to health.

My dilemma is as follows. Do I tell her that they have fact checkers who will find out that her mother doesn’t have breast cancer and instead has a case of gonorrhea contracted from her banging my drummer Bam after an all night bout of speedballs and Jägermeister shots – or do I tell her that she is wasting her time because her performance was so wooden that I’m now afraid to have sex with her lest I get splinters in my penis – or do I offer encouragement because her flashing a bit of nipple would be far more interesting than watching two hours of a bunch of celebrities congratulating themselves for having hired a publicist good enough to get enough people to overlook the fact that they are self-indulgent drug addled pompous assholes and vote for them?

I’ve ruled out option two because she still has her father’s black American Express card and finally after a long internal debate I am leaning towards option three, because this way I’ll look more like an optimist than a killjoy and besides you can never have enough tits on prime time television especially when they are the result of Divine debt fulfillment.

“How am I doing?” Nina asks, “Do you think I’ve got the sincerity thing down, or should I put some pepper on the back of my hand and rub it in my eyes and cry?”

“You know if you cry, people will think you are sensitive and then you’ll get typecast and you’ll spend the rest of your life either as a televangelist’s sidekick like Tammy Faye Bakker, or doing infomercials for starving kids and homeless pets and you’ll have Sarah McLachlan songs whining in the background. I don’t know if those things pay enough so you can afford all the industrial strength waterproof mascara you’re going to need. So I recommend practicing harder on the wardrobe malfunction. Why don’t you put on the black patent leather corset, the elbow length gloves, the knee high boots and…”

Before I can finish my fashion guidance the phone rings and Nina quickly picks it up.

“Hello?…. Hi Hollywood… Oh My God! Me?… Several categories?… Clean Sweep? They like me – they really like me!!! Ric too?”

*              *                 *

I’m in the backseat of a stretch limousine dressed in a fucking rental tuxedo that makes me look queer and set me back $125 or about five times the total box office of Behaving Badly. But I don’t care. I’m too busy working putting the finishing touches on my acceptance speech.   I’m going for the short and sweet. “Thank you all for making this all possible and now that I’m a certified star all women who still have all their teeth and want to have sex with me have my permission as long as they don’t have any boyfriends who have had recurring roles on Lockup.”

The driver has the all news radio station on and they are doing a story on the Academy awards. Brian Savage is reporting live at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “Crowds have already started forming for tomorrow night’s Oscars…”

“Wait a second,” I panic. “He said the show’s tomorrow. I can’t afford to keep this tuxedo a second day much less take a second day off from my job delivering pizzas! And how much is this limo costing us?”

“Relax, Hollywood said he’s reimbursing us for the limo, and I’m sure the award show is tonight.   They must show it on tape delay,” Nina reassures me

“Tape delay? You mean I can find out all the winners and then place a bet with Frankie the Gaspipe before the show airs and everyone knows?” I’m excited about the prospect of winning some bucks.

“Hollywood already told us who won,” Nina replies, “and we know we made a clean sweep so let’s bet the farm.”

“Okay.” I pull out my iPhone and call Frankie the Gaspipe.   “Hi Frankie, what’s the line on the Academy Awards Best Picture?”

“Let me see, I can get you Captain America at 3 to 1, The Lego Movie at 4 to 1…”

“What about Behaving Badly?”

“I don’t even have to look it up. It’s a suckers bet 10,000 -1.”

“Sucker bet,” I snicker. “I’ll tell you what, I’m going to lay my entire life savings on Behaving Badly, I’m talking the whole $72.39 and will you take two coupons for $2.00 off any toppings at Papa Johns?”

“It’s a bet!”

*                                  *                      *

The limo slows down and I look out the window. We’re not in Hollywood, but instead we’re outside a small theater in Santa Monica called Magicopolis.   “Driver I think you’ve made a mistake. We’re supposed to be going to the awards show.”

“This is the awards show. Go on in, they’re all waiting for you.”

There’s a red carpet, but I’m a little uneasy as I walk up it as there are only two photographers, a dude in an Iron Maiden t-shirt, and two homeless guys pushing shopping carts that they stole from Ralph’s.

“Maybe we’re too late,” Nina brushes back a tear as an usher opens the door for us, “I haven’t even had time to flash my…”

As soon as we enter the theater spotlights blind us. “Don’t worry, enjoy the moment. This is your day. Just stick to me and I’ll get you to your front row table,” the usher yells over the applause, while Nina’s engineers a wardrobe malfunction dropping a strap so her left boob is in view.

The curtain rises as we sit down at a table occupied by Hollywood and Roger Debris, and a man in a tuxedo and tennis shoes comes out and grabs the microphone. “In the history of our awards show we have never had anything like this year’s results. I apologize to everybody but it’s going to be a short show tonight because one movie not only racked up a nomination for every category – but actually won each one.   I am proud on behalf to award your 2014 Razzie for the worst actress, the worst director, the worst screenplay, the worst picture, the worst Rip-Off of a good book, and the worst musical score to, Nina Pennington, Roger Debris and their original minor motion picture Behaving Badly.


The Make A Wish Foundation & The Mafia

It’s Monday night and I’m handing on Sunset handing out fliers promoting my band’s upcoming benefit gig at the Whiskey for the Make A Wish Foundation.  There’s a tragic seventeen year old girl by the name of Nina Pennington who, in addition to being my girlfriend, has a terminal case of boredom and we’re desperately trying to raise money to fulfill her dying wish, which is to have a boob job – something which actually might save her life.

The really sad thing is I’m partially to blame for Nina’s condition.  She used to be a vibrant blond All American girl until I made the mistake of selling my autobiography, While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog to Hollywood who decided to sodomize my book into a movie called Behaving Badly.   The onset of the disease was slow but deadly.   The first symptom manifested itself immediately after the first draft was completed.   Everyone who knew Nina Pennington noticed an acute depression set in as her life was transformed from that of a Quaalude-imbibing, morally casual Midwestern teen from the 1970’s to that of a vapid slacker chick from forty years later.   By the second draft the illness had permutated and the slow inexorable slide into a wooden wetback Disney girl who goes out with Justin Bieber and listens to Josh Groban had begun.

It was terrible.  Those around her were horrified.  Script doctors were consulted.   Her friends and family tried to send her to rehab where she could develop some color and life – but nothing worked.  She was on a one way course to oblivion and all we could do is try a hail Mary play and try to reverse her decline by getting large new breasts and hoping that those and a pair of crotchless panties would make her interesting to someone.

For that we need to raise $30,000 to enlist the services of famous Brazilian plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy to blow up her boobs and pray that maybe – just maybe –a set of 38DD’s would constitute a personality.

I’m handing out fliers and I have to say I’m kind of touched by the outpouring of sympathy for Nina.  I’m gratified because most of the men I’ve approached with Nina’s story are sympathetic and willing to buy tickets.   I’ve sold about fifty tickets at twenty dollars a pop and only need to sell another 1,450 tickets for a club that holds 300 people to make my goal, but I refuse to let math be my enemy.  If the Fire Marshal attempts to shut down the gig Nina’s life will be on his conscience, not mine.

I’ve just taken in a $40 donation from a guy who said he’ll toss in another $100 if he can watch Nina get her new boobs installed when I feel a blunt object shoved into the small of my back, and someone’s hand materializes across my mouth to stop me from yelling for help.

“You’se better not make a peep, I’s got a gun and I’s a not scared to use it,” states a man with an Italian accent.

I nod, while making a mental note that if I am lucky enough to survive this I will need to empty out my suddenly soaking boots as my new companion shoves me into a dark alley where a short guy in a sharkskin suit emerges out of the shadows, “Is this the Ric Thibault fuckhead?” he punches me in the stomach.

I fall to my knees.  “It’s all your fucking fault finocchio,”  His companion kicks me in the balls

“What’s my fault?  I don’t even know you”  I ask writhing in pain.

Cornuto,” he grabs me by my shirt and throws me against the wall.  “You a wrote the fucking movie Behaving Badly, yes?”

“No I wrote the book, While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog that Hollywood and Roger Debris fucked into the movie.  I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Cazzo, I a no believe you – it say on iMDB you’se the associate producer.  You a lying to me frocio?”  he takes out a gun and puts it to my head.

“It was a contractually mandated credit.   I had nothing to do with the movie.  The movie has nothing to do with my book.  I hate the fucking movie,” I scream.

“You a swear on your mother?” he asks.

“My mother’s dead.”

“Okay, you a swear on your mother’s grave?”

“They cremated her.”  The guy with the gun starts toward me so I quickly add, “but I’ll swear on whatever else you would like.  I’m telling the truth!”

“Get on your feet,” he lifts me up by the shirt.   “Now we’s gonna take you for a ride.  You’se a got $4.50… where’s a your wallet?”

The other thug grabs my wallet out of my back pocket.  “Gino, He’s a only got a bunch of twenties.”

“You don’t got no coins, no small change?” the one named Gino grabs me by my collar.  “How we gonna take you for a ride when Metro Bus charges $1.50 per person and only accepts exact change?”

“I’ve got a thousand dollars in twenties if you let me go.” I whine.

“With a bunch of twenties we could call Uber and take him in a cab,” his partner states.

“Because of this testa di cazzo  we don’t a have no money to have no smartphone to call no Uber.  We don’t even have no money to buy bullets,” he says tossing what I thought was his weapon down the alley.

“You mean that’s not loaded?”

“No that’s not even a real gun.  It’s a toy.  Because of you and your fucking movie, we a no got no weapons.”

“What do you mean, because of me?”

“Because in your book you had Italian Mafia right?”

“Yes.  I had Sal Veneruzzo and the Mafia.   Did you read the book?”

“Yes, I read your book, it was really good.  We were sure we were going to get parts in the movie – and then you a screwed us.”

“How did I screw you?  I didn’t have anything to do with the script or the casting.”

“You a no cast the movie?   Who cast the movie?’

“Hollywood and Roger Debris I guess, why?”

“Because in Behaving Badly they use Lithuanian mobsters.   They replace us – honest hard working 100 percent Italian Mafiosos with third world gangsters.   We don’t have any jobs – our unemployment insurance has run out – and we’re broke.   I lost my house, I lost my car, I lost my wife, I lost my mistress, I lost my kids…”

“You also seem to have lost your accents,” I point out.

“What’s the use?  The world’s gone to shit.  First they cancel the Untouchables, then the Sopranos, now While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog or Behaving Badly.  I don’t even have money for a cup of coffee, much less a venti cappuccino from Starbucks.  What’s the fucking point of living?”

“How about I give you some money and you go get revenge on Hollywood and Roger Debris, the people who made the shitty movie?  Maybe you could break their legs or something?”  I magnanimously offer some charity to my would-be attackers with a Jesus-like gesture.

“Thank you.  You’re a nice guy and I really appreciate it,” Gino replies.  “But here’s the reality.  The movie’s got no legs, so we can’t break their legs.  It would set a bad precedent and create a union jurisdictional dispute.”

“The Mafia is unionized?”

“Damn right.  We’re from the Hitmen and Dump the Horse’s Head in the Bed Local 256.   We don’t break legs.  Leg breaking and loansharking is Mafia Local 399.  We’re fucked just like your book.”

We have one of those pregnant pauses while we stare at each other.

“I’m sorry I hit you,” Gino apologizes.

“And I’m sorry I kicked you in the balls,” his companion adds.

“No hard feelings?”  Gino offers me his hand.

“Hey, if you’re not doing anything on Saturday I can get you passes to the Nina Pennington benefit concert.”

“Will Selena Gomez be there, or Justin Bieber?”

“Probably not.”

“Well thanks but we’ll take a pass on the tickets.  The only reason we’d go is if our friends were going to be there.”

“You’re frienda with Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber?”

“How do you think they got to be stars without us.  You don’t think people really like them do you?   Ciao!”  With that the two gangsters walk down the alley into the darkness.

neverjudgeabookbyitsmove-235x300’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… “















Disney Channel Graduate Girl

          I’m lying in bed watching a new Fox reality show called “Jihad to See Her”, where Muslims are put into suicide vests packed with two kilos of TNT and given one thousand dollars in cash and taken to a strip club in Las Vegas.  They are given the choice of either blowing themselves up so they can be martyrs and get forty virgins in heaven, or they can choose to lose the suicide belt and be martyrs by spending their thousand bucks for a lap dance and any extras they can finagle from rubber-titted guest celebrity stripper/whores with daddy issues.  This week Mohammed al Siri is debating whether to go for a lap dance and a possible hand job from Kim Kardashian or blow himself up and I’m on the phone placing a hundred dollars bet with five to one odds on the latter with my bookie, Frankie the Gaspipe. 

                  “You wanna throw your dough away, it isn’t my problem,” Frankie the Gaspipe states.  “The smart money’s on him making it rain and getting a Kardashian tittie grope and wank from Kimmy K, and let me tell you there is a 100 to 1 parlay if little Al Quaeda gets…”

                  All of the sudden my attention is diverted as my bedroom door is flung open and a crying Nina Pennington, wearing fishnet a pink PVC corset, crotchless panties, fishnet stockings and seven inch platform stiletto heeled shoes with clear plastic heels and holding a crack pipe bursts in. 

                  “You have to have a lighter here somewhere,” Nina mutters, while dumping the contents of my night table drawer on the floor.

                  I’m about to tell her I don’t have a lighter because as she knows I don’t smoke, when the sound of an explosion diverts my attention back to the TV.   “Yes!  You owe me five hundred bucks,” I shout into the phone – as Mohammed al Siri makes it rain, in a slightly non-conventional strip club way.

                  “I’m sorry Ric, but you didn’t finish placing the bet.  We were still talking about the parlay,” Frankie the Gaspipe welshes as Nina starts rummaging through my dresser.

                  We proceed to argue whether I had placed the bet, until Frankie the Gaspipe reminds me that he is but a peon and that all appeals must be directed to his superior, Luigi “Blue Eye” Pellegrino, who conducts business during visiting hours at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. 

                  I slam down the phone and am not in the best of moods, especially when Nina begins yelling at me that she needs a light and this is all my fault.

                  “What do you mean this is all my fault?  What did I do?”

                  “You had to be a fucking big shot and write a fucked up book about us, which was bad enough until you sold your soul to the Devil to get Hollywood and Roger Debris to make it into a movie.”

                  “The book wasn’t about ‘us’, it was about me.  You weren’t that big a part of it…”

                  “Oh yeah you bastard?  Well if I’m not such a fucking big part of it, whose name is it that all the advertising is about?  I don’t see the actor who is playing you splattered all over the tabloids, it’s the Disney girl who is playing me that everyone’s paying attention to.  Did Hollywood change my name?  No.  Did he change your name?  Yes.  Because you’re nobody.  No one cares about you.   Why do you think Hollywood changed the movie’s title from your hippie whimsical ironic, ‘While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog” to the title which rolls so easily off your tongue, ‘Behaving Badly”?  Me they care about and now I have a fucking image I have to live up to; so get me a fucking lighter so I can smoke crack.”

                  “Not that I don’t mind the outfit, in fact it’s quite sexy, but what do you mean by ‘you have an image you need to live up to?”

                  “I’m being played by a Disney girl, which means I have to live a Disney girl life,” she starts singing some insipid Josh Groban sounding pop drivel, while moving to the bathroom in quest for a light.

                  “I watched the Disney channel and Phineas and Ferb don’t carry around a crack pipe and wear crotchless panties.”

                  “I’m a Disney Channel graduate girl, which means I have a contract saying I have to do crack, flash my pussy, twerk and send out incoherent tweets… just like Miley, Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears… in fact,” she grabs her iPhone 5s, “let me take a selfie of my pussy and post it.”

                  “You don’t really have a contract that says you have to flash your pussy do you?”

                  “Yes I do,” she pulls a pulls a contract out of her purse, and tosses it to me.  “It’s right below the clause saying I have to smoke crack, and have Dr. Phil stage an intervention which must be filmed and sold to TMZ.”   She thumbs through the paper and starts reading, “Disney Channel graduate girl must hire video crew to film her slugging Dr. Phil at rehab facility and leaving said rehab facility with 72 hours of arrival.  All proceeds from selling this video to TMZ shall be split on a 90/10 basis in favor of Hollywood.”

                  “You only get 10 percent for slugging out Dr. Phil?   I’m sure Selena Gomez gets more than ten percent of the video royalties for when she slugs out Dr. Phil.”

                  “First of all may let me remind you who is wearing crotchless panties, and let me also remind you who has a knife in her purse.   Now that you have that firmly in your mind, are you saying that Selena Gomez, who not only signed with Hollywood but went out with Justin Bieber is smarter than me?”

                  “No,” I admit glumly.

                  “Good.  So go get me the lighter you use to light your farts, so I can live up to my contract and Behave badly like a Disney Channel graduate girl contractually should.”

                  I give her the lighter and wonder what a Nickelodeon girl graduate’s contract looks like.

E! News, Justin Bieber And the Importance of Neutering Your Dog

I’m nervous in court, especially when I’m the star prosecution witness in a murder trial.    Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda is grilling me about a murder I witnessed.  The defendant is some celebrity singing sensation and his fate, whether he lives or dies, depends on my testimony.

“Did you know the victim?” Bernie de la Rionda asks, “the black one in the hoodie, the one who is lying cold on a slab in the morgue?”

“Sort of.”

“Can you tell the ladies of the jury what the victim’s name was?”

“I think his street name was ‘Music’.”

“Now do you see the person who killed Music in this courtroom today?”

“Yes sir.”

“Can you please point out that person for the jury?” de la Rionda asks.

I point to the defense table where the defendant stares at me icily.  “It’s that white nebbishy guy there,”  I state with hatred for the way he cold bloodedly slaughtered Music who I so dearly had loved.

“Let the record show that the witness has identified Music’s killer as Josh Grob…”

“Ric, wake up,” Nina Pennington is shaking me.  “You’ve got a telephone call.”

“Shit,” I mutter, reaching for the phone,  “couldn’t it have waited one more minute so I could have saved the world?  Who is it?”

“It’s someone who says she’s a producer for the E! network.  They want to talk to you!”

Maybe this is still part of my dream, I think, as I take the phone, and because I’m not always fully alert and at my best when people wake me up, I’m only semi-cognizant of what the woman on the phone is saying.  But the gist of it is Giuliana Rancic wants to talk to me about “the dog” on television and I need to get my ass down to the E studios on Wilshire Boulevard, if I want to be on television.

Do I want to be on television?   There is a precise mathematical formula to calculate how much I want to be on television.   You take the estimated number of female viewers in the prime 18-34 demographic.   You then subtract the number of viewers who have gone to a university where the entrance requirements are more than having a pulse, and the number of viewers who are virgins, as well as the number of female viewers who are either on parole or incarcerated for a violent crime not televised on either Cops or Las Vegas Jailhouse, and also the number of women who have ‘Satan’ tattooed on either their neck, face or knuckles.  Then you take that number and subtract the number of girls who have ever considered having sex with me.   That unfortunate number is the accurate representation of how much I want to be on television  – because from what everything I have ever read on the internet, E! Entertainment covers celebrities.  Celebrities get laid by hot looking women who dump them for someone even more famous as soon as they upload a video of them having sex with the aforementioned celebrity from their iPhone – and I have shitty cellular reception where I live.  I want this so bad I can taste it.

I jump up and go to the bathroom, take a shower and use the good pyramid shaped soap that I had brought back as a souvenir from the Luxor hotel the time I went to Las Vegas to serve as a witness for my sister Kristen’s green card wedding to this gay guy from Thailand who offered her $10,000 and two ounces of Thai stick if she would marry him.

“This could be my big break, someone is finally realizing the genius of While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog.  I’m going to be more famous than the Kardashians!”

“Sorry to burst your bubble; but she didn’t say anything about While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog.  She said she wanted to talk to you about ‘the dog.’  I think she was referring to Behaving Badly the dog of a movie Hollywood and Roger Debris made of your stupid book.  Besides look at the way you’re dressed, Giuliana Rancic was on Fashion Police – and you buy your clothes from the 99 Cent store,” my future former girlfriend demonstrates why the first thing a new celebrity does is replace his old girlfriend with some big titted starlet who will try to convert him to Scientology.

“It’s just like if you’re invited to be a guest on the Jerry Springer show,” Nina continues to vie for Ms. Buzzkill of the year, “you probably don’t want to go.  It’s a setup.  No one wants to talk to you.  You’re a writer.  You’re boring.  They want to talk about Selena Gomez and glamorous stuff like whether her breakup was caused by Justin Bieber having scabies.  They couldn’t care less about how much you hate Hollywood and Roger Debris for ruining your book and calling it “Behaving Badly”.  No one cares what you think.”

I slam the door and drive over to E! studios.

I get there and ring the extension of the producer, who tells me she will be right down with some of her assistants.  Two minutes later I am surrounded by a phalanx of beautiful young women, possibly starlets, in dresses and five inch heels, each of them carrying a very cute puppy.

I’m escorted to a stage where Terrence Jenkins is standing.  We make polite small talk and he’s a really nice guy.  A few minutes later Giuliana Rancic walks over and introduces herself.  She’s really nice too.  I guess celebrities have some sort of professional courtesy they extend to other celebrities, and are only assholes when there are enough paparazzi around to film them when they need a salacious news story to boost their sagging ratings.

A technician straps a microphone to me, as the women with the puppies surround me.  It’s showtime!   The director counts down the seconds to air, and I feel like an astronaut about to be launched on a rocket to stardom.

“Hi we’re here with Ric Thibault,” Giuliana Rancic says, “and we’re here to talk about puppies.  Ric I understand you’re a dog expert.  What do you do with dogs when they are behaving badly?”

“Well, you have your lawyer write Hollywood’s lawyer a nasty letter and demand that he send you a shitload of money for violating your contract and destroying your book to make a dog of a movie…”

“Cut.  Go to commercial.” screams the director.

“What the hell type of answer was that?”  Giuliana Rancic yells.

“You asked me about Behaving Badly, the stupid movie Roger Debris made from my book.”

“No I didn’t.  I asked you what you do when your dog behaves badly.  I don’t know what you’re babbling on about.  We’re talking about these cute puppies and the need to adopt pets from the shelter and spay/neuter your pets.  We have the right guest don’t we?” she asks the director who nods his head.

‘You are qualified to talk about this aren’t you?”  she presses, as the director counts down the seconds to air time.

“Okay, we’re back with Ric Thibault and we’re going to talk about the importance of neutering your dog. Is it important to neuter your dog?”

“Yes, each year shelters across the United States kill more than four million unwanted pets because they can’t find homes…”

“Cut,” the director yells.

“Did I say something wrong?” I ask.

“No, we just looked you up on imdb and found out that you’re the associate producer of a movie that Selena Gomez is in.  It just changes the questions a little bit.  Hold on we’re loading them into Giuliana’s teleprompter.  Here it is, we’ll be rolling in 5, 4, 3, 2,1.. Action.”

“Okay, we’re back with Ric Thibault and we’re going to talk about the importance of Selena Gomez and neutering your dog.  Is it important to neuter Justin Bieber?”




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 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.

I’m multitasking.  I’m on the couch watching a special must-see episode of Celebrity Rehab while talking on the phone with my bookie, Frankie the Gaspipe.

Frankie the Gaspipe is giving me the latest odds on my dead pool, “So the line on Lindsay Lohan is a 3 to 1 favourite to be the next celebrity O.D., followed by 4 to 1 on Brett Michaels – but my book’s got a special proposition bet with a 100 to 1 payout which you might be interested in – Ted Nugent or Sarah Palin shooting any Kardashian with an unregistered automatic before Lindsay Lohan croaks…”

I’m just about to pull out my wallet and see how much I can afford to risk when an angry looking Nina Pennington appears carrying a bullwhip and dressed in dominatrix chic – thigh high stiletto heeled platform black patent leather boots with shoulder length velvet opera gloves, a miniskirt and a black leather corset.   “Hang up the fucking phone, right fucking now before I rip your balls off,” she orders, taking aim with the whip.

“I’ll lay twenty on Nugent,” I shout into the phone while executing a perfect forward 2 ½ somersault in the Pike position which would have probably won a gold medal in the Olympics and then millions from late night infomercials on my revolutionary “run from your bitch” workout tapes, but with no witnesses I have to content myself with a smaller victory of avoiding being struck by the bullwhip.

“You fuckhead!” Nina shrieks as the whip dislodges the two Elvis Presley commemorative dishes I had recently purchased from the 99 Cent store from their place of honor over the fireplace and sending them crashing to the floor.

“Is this some sort of sex thing? I mean I like the look, the heels make your ass look great and your tits even bigger, but I’m not into S&M, at least not when I’m the one getting hit,” I ask, from my position hiding behind the couch.

“I’m going to be like Jodi Arias,” she shrieks, “Except no jury in the world is going to convict me, after what you did!”

I seize the moment and grab the whip with Nina still attached and give it a good yank.  Even in the best of times Nina isn’t good at walking on stiletto heels, and the sudden pull causes her to lose her balance and tumble to the sofa where I grab her and hold on for dear life.  “Now, tell me what’s got into you?”

“It’s all your fault,” she sobs.

“What did I do?”

“You’ve destroyed my life.”

“How did I destroy your life?  That’s the last thing in the world I would want to do,” I say  honestly, because she still has her father’s black American Express card.  “How can I fix things and make it better?”

“You can’t fucking fix it.  You already wrote that stupid fucking book.”

While I’m Dead…Feed the Dog isn’t stupid, and what does it have to do with this?”

“Because of your book, your asshole friends Hollywood and Roger Debris made a movie.”

“I wouldn’t classify them as friends  – in fact I don’t think I’m on either of their Christmas card lists; but what does the movie have to do with anything?”

“The movie’s based on your autobiography right?”

“I don’t know anymore.  Hollywood and Roger Debris changed everything even everyone’s names, I’m now Rick Stevens, my mother’s name is now Lucy, St. Lolita had her name changed, they even changed the title of the movie to Behaving Badly.  It’s like on Dragnet – everybody’s names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

“Except for mine. They didn’t fucking change my name,” Nina sobs.

I try to console her.  “You should be grateful they kept your name.  At least you’ll be famous enough to get into all those cool clubs – and if you take up drugs and get strung out, you can be like all those other teen stars and land a gig on Celebrity Rehab.  Your career is made!”

“No it isn’t. I listen to the Offspring, I like Green Day, David Bowie, the Wildhearts, Sex Machine Guns, the Clash and AC/DC, hell I’d let Angus Young get to at least third base even if he is a midget.  Now, I just read on the internet that in your stupid movie they are saying I’m a Josh Groban groupie. What are my friends going to think?  I’d rather get stuck in an elevator with Donald Trump while slashing my wrists, than listen to Josh Groban.  They’ve made me into such a dork I couldn’t even get into rehab, much less Celebrity Rehab.” Nina breaks down crying.

“It’s not that bad,” I try to console her.  “Hollywood got a big name celebrity to play you.”

“Great!  I heard she’s back together again with Justin Bieber.   Justin Bieber – Josh Groban?  How big a nerd does that make me?  I may as well go out and buy a pair of Pappagallo shoes and a burqa.  Can’t someone just shoot me and put me out of my misery?” she dissolves into tears and starts shaking uncontrollably.

*                                            *                                            *

It’s three days later and Nina’s picture is all over   She’s due to be released this afternoon from the mental hospital where she has been confined on a three day Section 5150 Involuntary psychiatric hold since suffering her nervous breakdown.

I drive over to the hospital and pick her up and am surprised to see her waiting for me with a bigger smile than a Rose Bowl Queen on lithium as I complete the paperwork for her release.

As we get into the car, Nina bursts into a really insipid song called You are Loved.  I’m a little flattered by the title, but it’s so saccharine, I might have to go get tested for diabetes.

“Do you like the song I was singing?” she asks.

I don’t want to upset her, so I tell her it is nice.

“I’m glad.  It’s my favourite Josh Groban song and you’re going to be hearing a lot of it, she cheerfully threatens.

“Did they give you a prescription we need to take to the drugstore to fill to keep you so happy?” I ask, knowing that I’m going to borrow quite a few of whatever Nina’s been taking, if I’m going to be able to maintain my sanity.

I start the engine which also turns on the car radio which is tuned to the all news station.

“I’m standing here in front of the Tinseltown offices of a low budget producer, where demonstrators from a heretofore unknown group called “PETOB” or “People for the Ethical Treatment of Books,” have dumped seven gallons of printers ink on movie producer Hollywood and are threatening to blockade…”

Maybe I don’t need any of Nina’s prescriptions after all, I think as we drive off into the Sunset.