Sunday, October 22, 2017

SCENE FROM A NON-EXISTENT MOVIE

INT. UPPER WEST SIDE RESTAURANT - EARLY AFTERNOON

A brunch crowd. HIM and HER, both early 30s, have finished eating and are now sipping the last of their coffee. While HIM appears not to have a care in the world, HER is squirming.

                                                       HIM
                  So, I thought we could check out that costume exhibit at
                  the Met --

                                                       HER
                   I don't think so.

                                                        HIM
                   Oh. OK. I thought you wanted to see it --

                                                        HER
                   I do. I mean I did. I...

                                                        HIM
                   Changed your mind?

                                                        HER
                               (pause)
                    I don't think we should see each other anymore.

HIM leans back in his seat, as if pushed by HER's words.

                                                         HIM
                    Really?

                                                          HER
                     I'm sorry, I -- I've been thinking about this a while.

                                                        HIM
                     We've only been dating three weeks. When did this start?
                      After the first date?

                                                        HER
                      No. Well yes, at some point, after the first date. Not
                      right then. 

                                                        HIM
                       So... later. Third date? First time we slept together?

                                                         HER
                      No. I don't know. Recently. I've been thinking about it.

                                                        HIM
                       Wow. I haven't. 

HIM looks around, trying to process this conversation.

                                                        HER
                       Look, it's me, not you.

                                                         HIM
                       Oh, I know that.

HER looks at him: Excuse me?

                                                      HIM 
                                         (cont.)
                        I'm a good guy. Not abusive, physically or
                        psychologically. Make you laugh at the right
                         moments.  Meaning not during sex.

HER chuckles in spite of herself.

                                                     HIM
                                          (cont.)
                         See? Oh, I'm hygienic, always smell good. Floss
                         regularly. Not a bad cook -- improving, thanks to you.
                        You said I was a great kisser. The sex was good, I think.

HER nods.

                                                       HIM
                                             (cont.)
                         I admit I'm usually a little awkward the first time,
                         but by the third, I'm in the groove. 

                                                       HER
                         You were.

                                                        HIM
                          OK, so it's not that. Now, I would understand if the
                          problem was I don't make enough money, I get that --

                                                        HER
                          No --

                                                         HIM
                          'Cause I totally understand women want security from
                          guys, and some need a certain threshold of income --

                                                        HER
                          That's not it.

                                                         HIM
                           Alright. So it's not the money, sex, or cleanliness
                           issue. I'm a good guy, make you feel special. You 
                           said so yourself. And I'm funny. And I cook. I check
                           all the boxes. So yeah, I'd say it's you, not me.

Now it's HER's turn to take this in. The WAITRESS drops off the check. 

                                                        WAITRESS
                             You can pay me when you're ready.

                                                          HIM
                              Thank you. 

As the WAITRESS leaves, HER goes for the bill.

                                                          HER
                                Here, let me --

HIM takes it from her.

                                                        HIM
                                No. This was my idea, I invited you, I'm
                                paying for it.

He pulls out his wallet and puts down a credit card. At a table across aisle, a MOTHER gathers her things while her 10 year-old DAUGHTER with Down's Syndrome goes to HIM and HER's table, proudly showing off a drawing she just made.

                                                      HIM
                                          (cont.)
                                 Nice picture. Good job.  
                                
The DAUGHTER spontaneously hugs HIM with joy as her MOTHER swoops by.

                                                      MOTHER
                                  I'm sorry --

She gently pulls the DAUGHTER away.

                                                       MOTHER
                                             (cont.)
                                 She can get excited sometimes.

                                                     HIM
                                  That's alright. I'm always happy to get a 
                                  hug from a pretty girl.
                                      
HIM looks into the GIRL's eyes.

                                                      HIM
                                               (cont.)
                                    From now on, any time you see me, you
                                    give me a big hug. OK?
                                 
The GIRL smiles shyly and leans into her MOTHER. 

                                                   MOTHER
                                             (to HIM)
                                      Thank you.

MOTHER and DAUGHTER leave. HER has watched this exchange dumbfounded.

EXT. UPPER WEST SIDE RESTAURANT - MOMENT LATER

HIM and HER exit the restaurant, standing awkwardly on the street, trying to keep out of the pedestrian traffic.

                                                HER
                              That was... really nice. What you did in there.

                                                            HIM
                                        (shrugs)
                               Thanks.

                                                  HER
                                Do you know them?

                                                   HIM
                                No.

Silence.


                                                   HER
                               Look, I'm sorry this -- worked out like it did.

                                                    HIM
                               Oh, I'm not.

                                                     HER
                                You aren't?

                                                      HIM
                                 No. I'm glad you told me the truth, I would
                                 have hated making you unhappy. I don't like
                                 the idea of living a lie, anyway. 

He takes her hand.

                                                      HIM
                                          (cont.)
                                 It's me, not you.

He gently lets go of her hand, and walks away. HER stands there a moment before walking in the opposite direction. She stops after a few steps, and looks back.

HIM has already disappeared into the crowd.

                                                         ***********

Friday, October 20, 2017

BREAKING NEWS 10/20/17: HARVEY WEINSTEIN EDITION #2

Harvey Weinstein isn't taking sex rehab seriously, sources say, and is falling asleep and taking phone calls during group therapy sessions.

Another, unnamed member of the session said he understood, adding, "I had the same reaction to The English Patient."







Asked for a comment, a Weinstein rep said, "At least this proves he isn't a racist."






Quentin Tarantino admitted to the New York Times that he was aware of the
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/movies/tarantino-weinstein.html
allegations against Harvey Weinstein many years ago, including from his then-girlfriend Mia Sorvino, but continued to work with him. “What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he recalled, saying he wrote them off as mild misbehavior. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”

After the Times published the piece, a Tarantino spokesman called to make a correction. "In retrospect, Mr. Tarantino believes that selling out his girlfriend, covering up Weinstein's abhorrent behavior and winning an Oscar were pretty good excuses after all."



"For one thing," O'Donnell said, "there's still a chance Weinstein will hire me for a movie one day."









"I am appalled by Weinstein's behavior," Wintour said. "I would never have dressed him in that tux."













"And by 'now'," Paltrow added, "I mean that now that I'm washed up in the movie industry anyway."




                                                            ***********************


Thursday, October 12, 2017

IT WAS 25 YEARS AGO TODAY

It seems astonishing now. The last 25 years have gone by faster than the nine years I lived in New York before meeting my wife, and the eleven before we married. 

When we met, I had been living alone for two years, after having roommates at different times since moving here. It was nice not having to cohabitate for the first time in my life -- keeping my own schedule, doing what I wanted, decorating my living quarters the way I saw fit (meaning lots of movie posters).

By the time we met, I was 35, a number considered middle-aged for a single person. I had accepted the idea that I was never going to marry; there would continue to be significant (and not so significant) others in and out of my life, but none that would stick.

And that was OK. Life was good: Cable TV; pasta three times a week; catching up on Alfred Hitchcock movies I had somehow missed over the years (almost all for good reason). Spending entire weekends without speaking to anybody other than when ordering Chinese spareribs and fried rice. Not only could I get used to this, I already had.

Then I went to a party one evening, where I met a woman who, as I was to learn, also had accepted that she would never marry. Eventually, we spoiled each other's plans. Within two years, were on a beach in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, reciting our marriage vows before our mothers and a seagull or two. 

9,125 days have passed since then, which isn't that many when you consider it's been a quarter-century. 219,000 hours. One child. Lots of laughs, several tears, too many times getting lost on roadtrips, countless times when we simultaneously thought, I'm glad I married you. My wife said it to me this morning; it always take me by surprise. If you knew me, it wouldn't take you by surprise.

We always knew we had made the right decision, but it wasn't until some years ago when it became clear. Out of the blue, my wife said, "You know, I always thought love meant being tense all the time. Then I met you."

I knew exactly what she meant. 

                                                *****************************



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

BREAKING NEWS, 10/11/17: HARVEY WEINSTEIN EDITION






Harvey Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, is leaving him, describing his behavior as "unforgiveable" after he was fired from his company.
  
"And by 'unforgiveable'," she explained, "I mean there goes my fat-fuck meal ticket."





"What I meant to say," she added, "was I blamed the women who wore clothes by other designers."




DNC spokesman Chester Hooten explained, "Ten-thousand per rape seemed fair."








Almost a week after revelations concerning Harvey Weinstein's sexual misbehavior came to light, Hillary Clinton finally released a statement reading, "I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated." 

"However," she added, "this does not pertain to the power-lust spouses of  craven politicians."


In related news, people are wondering why Harvey Weinstein's friend Bill Clinton hasn't issued a statement regarding the sex scandal.


When asked by phone, a Clinton spokesman could be heard laughing hysterically before apparently sobbing and hanging up.





                                                    ***************************

Monday, October 9, 2017

CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO MASS DESTRUCTION

All things considered, I'm a pretty good cook. I wish the same could be said about my housekeeping. The whole business of cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, vacuuming, and doing the laundry bores the heck out of me, so I put as little thought into it as I can. And today was no different.

Last week, I was cooking with turmeric, a spice which should have a warning on each jar
As dangerous as yellowcake. 
reading: WILL HOPELESSLY STAIN EVERYTHING THAT IT COMES IN TOUCH WITH. Being what might be called an energetic cook -- a kind way of saying "messy" -- the turmeric got on the kitchen counter, cabinet doors and apron. 


Removing the stains on the counter and cabinets took some doing, but was eventually a success. The apron, on the other hand, was another case entirely. I figured that the stains would eventually become souvenirs of my kitchen skills. No harm, no foul.

But I didn't take into account that I should have done a better job washing my hands, or rather, fingertips before drying them on my bathroom towel. As for why I didn't use the black hand towel, it was because I hadn't bothered removing it from the laundry bag yet. See what I mean about housework = little thought?

It took my wife's eagle eyes to find the yellow spots on the towel. Let me say right now,  I hate when my wife sees the problems I create before I do. It gives me no chance to fix (or at least attempt to fix) them before I do. 

A-ha, nothing!
I wish I had taken up my wife's offer of doing another load of whites yesterday, because maybe this story would have had a happy ending.

Instead, Mr. Clean of the Upper East Side decided that he'd solve the problem once and for all today. Rub in a little stain remover, toss in a load -- what could happen? 

Only this: the stain remover became a stain creator, turning the yellow spots red. 

Realizing this wasn't the way it was supposed to work, I quickly threw the whites in the machine, along with some Clorox. That's supposed to be a stain remover, correct? After lunch, I bounced downstairs, ready to admire the my handiwork, and to prove to myself that maybe I've got this laundry thing down to a science.

Behold:



In my defense, no one ever told me that it wasn't the best idea to pour Clorox directly on stains. And as for getting this down to a science, well, science was a class where I never scored higher than a "C". 

Ultimately, I blame the recipe. If I hadn't used turmeric, none of this would have happened. But it's better than food poisoning, right? On to tonight's dinner!

                                          *************************************

Friday, October 6, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: 10/6/17

Emmanuel College in Britain outraged students when a photo of Auschwitz was used on the cover program for freshmen. The college dean, Rev. Jeremy Caddick, said the image was intended to go with a sermon inspired by the college choir's visit to the camp.

The title of the sermon was "Education Will Set You Free."







A spokesman for NHK said, "We always knew she was a slacker."







A company spokesman reported a deluge of requests, including one from a man with a Southern accent asking if they had a special deal for ex-Presidents.



A spokesman for Weinstein said the mogul had no comment, and that he was currently on a four-day vacation in Colombia.











Those groups also report that it doesn't hurt to take four-day vacations in Colombia, either.


                                                     *************************


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS

Without going into details, I spent a couple of hours inside a small-town church yesterday. Sitting in the pew, I picked up a Bible and opened it to a random page. I've often heard of people doing such a thing and miraculously getting the answer to some burning question that had been on their minds of late. What the heck, I thought. Better than a Magic 8-Ball.

Instead, I found myself  plunged headfirst in the Book of Ezekiel 23, reading about the adventures of sisters  Oholah and Oholibah. (You'd think those names would be awfully confusing to friends and family alike.)

Now, before I go further, I confess that my familiarity with the Bible is limited to the classic stories and quotes. Nor am I church-goer; other than a few obligations (weddings and the like), my visits have been strictly as a tourist. Same thing with any house of worship, by the way. 

My perspective, then, is that of a casual outsider. You know, sermons of God's love, God's will and, for all I know, God's real estate deals. All God, all the time. Sanctity, religion, faith, what have you.

Swing it, sisters!
But Ezekiel 23? Hoo boy! Oholah and Oholibah weren't just good time girls. The word  "whore" and all its variations are tossed around like hacky-sacks. Like, at least two dozen times. Like the writer either had Tourette's, or was really interested in, uh, whores.

You want to read about naked breasts being caressed, or details of sexual acts of two wild sisters across the Middle East? No need to sneak a peek into Penthouse letters to the editor. You've got it all in one slim chapter of the Holy Book.

Many scholars say that the Bible shouldn't be taken as literal truth; that is merely a series of metaphors and myths, all tightly rolled up to explain the inexplicable, the same way Paul Ryan does Donald Trump. However, C.S. Lewis was a confirmed atheist until reading one Biblical passage about a 10 year-old boy trying catch a glimpse of Jesus as He entered town. Because the street was lined with adults for the same reason, the boy had to run behind them and climb a tree to get a look.

Lewis, a scholar of literature, said he had never read such detail in any work of fiction. Thus, he was convinced of the Bible's veracity.

Therefore, being a confirmed cynic, I would say that the author of Ezekiel 23 was a sex maniac who tried to throw people off the scent by appearing holier than thou. He's like today's stridently "family-friendly" politicians or priests who get caught in adulterous affairs with their assistants or hookers.

But whoever he was (and you know it was a guy), gives the game away when writing about Oholibah. Not only does he repeat how handsome her lovers were, there is this eye-opening passage:

There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like donkeys, and their emissions like that of stallions. 

Why is this donkey laughing?
Holy sex act, Batman! You know what kind of guy writes a detailed passage of "handsome lovers" like that? The kind who who's really familiar with that sort of thing. Who  feels guilty about it, so he tries throwing people off the stallion-emission-filled scent.

You know why I say that? Because no straight writer outside of porn would dream up such a thing. None.


Oh man, how I would love to hear a Southern fire-and-brimstone preacher read Ezekiel to his congregants, spitting out "whore", "whoring" and "whoredom" before coming to that passage. It would be so shocking that the preacher would yell, "Let me repeat that! Then she lusted after her lovers, whose GENITALS were like DONKEYS, and their EMISSIONS like that of STALLIONS!" Then he'd read it a third time, just to make sure they got the message. Then he'd assure the crowd that Hugh Hefner was going to hell for being a pornographer. 

I'm not casting aspersions strictly on Christianity here. Anyone who's read enough of this blog knows that all religions and their spokesmen are handy targets. So it looks like opening a Bible at random really did spark a thought -- that even in Biblical times, there were hot sisters who were up for a some serious fun. And hypocritical males who were knew more about sexual proclivities than they were willing to admit. Amen, brother!

                                                          **********************



Monday, October 2, 2017

BREAKING NEWS, 10/2/17: LAS VEGAS EDITION

Reactions are pouring in regarding the mass shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas last night, where at least 50 people were killed and over 400 others treated for injuries at local hospitals.





When asked for a comment, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre said, "Hey, it's Vegas -- everything's a gamble there."





Meanwhile, Pastor Roger Jimenez, who deemed the 2016 Pulse Nighclub shooting as God's punishment of gays, told reporters, "I forgot to tell you, He doesn't like country music fans, either."





He then thanked the shooter for taking the bad headlines away from the White House for a day.





AARP spokesman Brad Lanes noted, "Paddock proved that retirees are still capable of amazing things."




The Nevada tourism board is changing the city's slogan to "What Happens In Vegas, Stays in Vegas, Until the Next Nut With Easy Access to Assault Rifles Tops the List, Thanks to the Political Whores Who Place NRA Money Over People's Lives."

                                                  ****************************

Thursday, September 21, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: 9/21/17

In an interview with talk show host Doctor Oz airing on Thursday, Pres. Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka revealed that she suffered from "some level" of postpartum depression after delivering each of her three children.

In related news, a majority of Americans reported suffering from "a lot of levels" of postvotem depression.




In an interview with People magazine, Anthony Bourdain explains why he and his new girlfriend, Asia Argento, are perfect for each other.

"It's very simple," Bourdain said. "She's 20 years younger than me, and I'm rich."










Other "disgusting" marriages would involve anyone who looked or talked like him.










                                        ****************************