Both of my readers wrote to say that they’ve been wondering where the hell I’ve been. It’s been a year since I returned from Africa and I haven’t written a thing (at least anything I posted). Some were concerned that I’d contracted Ebola and had been held in quarantine in New Jersey by the fat governor. Others thought I was somewhere in the Indian Ocean searching for the missing airliner and my missing socks (I’m convinced there is a link there). But the truth is harsher. I came back from Africa and unfortunately resorted to my old ways, hanging out at the racetrack and perfecting my comb-over (see October 2013).
But after a couple of months of this I realized I needed to change my ways and get back on the Hopi Trail. It was time to pull myself together and do something that others would call “constructive.” I started looking around for the right opportunity… something that would be uplifting. This was a reach for me because I had taken it pretty hard a couple of years ago when I sent in my resumé to the Vatican for that pope job and I never heard back. My self-esteem was pretty low after that. I even applied for a job as a speed bump over at the Safeway parking lot, but they wouldn’t hire me either.
So, after a weeklong purging of some accumulated karmic congestion (thanks Mr. Daniels) I decided to become a screen-writer. I figured I could write a TV show, maybe a movie, or at least a puppet show. It couldn’t be too hard to sell something like that because there were now two thousand TV stations, multi multiplex theaters and quite a few places where they showed plays (apparently these are also called theaters… how confusing is that?). So I spent a couple of weeks writing up this great script. Jumped an Outbound Dog (Greyhound Bus for those of you don’t know the language used down at the racetrack) down to Hollywood and met with all these producers who really liked my idea. In fact, those phony bastards liked it so much they stole my idea and the next thing I know a hit movie gets released that they’re now calling “Straight Outta Compton” and its a total rip-off of my script. Sure they made a few minor changes so I wouldn’t be able to sue them. But basically it’s the same story. In their version a group of African-Americans who call themselves N.W.A. from a tough neighborhood face insurmountable odds, overt and systemic racism, and a variety of really nasty experiences, but in the end they break through and rap their way to stardom. I want to be clear that this is basically the same damn movie I wrote.
But in the original script “Straight Out of Santa Rosa: Blondes With Aptitude, it was much better and the odds faced by the protagonist were just hellish. My movie features 32 year-old blond mom whose hybrid Volvo breaks down in the Whole Foods parking lot. Yikes! At first she asks a guy standing around to help her and loan her some electrons for the electric motor. But it turns out he’s not there to help. He just wants to use her and keeps waving a pen in her freshly made-up face. Before she knows what’s happened she’s surrounded by 15 angry guys and gals who each insist she sign a different petition that will save the world, America, California and Sonoma, along with a couple of insects. She fights her way through this mob with a Lululemon Vinyasa scarf she’s wearing (because product placement in movies makes a lot of $$$) and tries to get her groceries. But she soon discovers that things inside Whole Foods are not exactly what she thinks. The Spring Mix Lettuce has actually been sitting there since last Spring (I mean who would actually sell Spring Mix in Winter?),
and the Ancient Grains Cereal she buys is in fact stale oatmeal that’s been sitting on the shelf since ancient times and is now just re-labeled old food that gives you gas.
She starts to lose it, feels like a total failure as a grocery shopper… but it gets worse (see, the common theme here is beating down adversity). She wants to do right by her children and make sure her kids eat right, but she can’t find any superfoods at the store that are loaded with enough phytonutrients. She’s hoping the kids will survive anyway. Then when she gets to the front of the store to check out she discovers that she’s left her shopping bags at home and not only will she have to pay an extra ten cents for each bag they foist off on her, but she also has to live with the shame of knowing that she’s a failed ecologist. She just can’t get herself to look the checker in the eye. In her mind she’s beating herself up for thinking wistfully back to the old days when someone would ask her if she wanted paper or plastic. Things are really bad for the protagonist now. But she decides against suicide or a rampage and just goes to the store next door to the Whole Foods and eats about two dozen donuts. Meanwhile in my script the background music isn’t hip-hop. It’s Celine Dion.
So I’m asking readers to please don’t be confused by the movie “Straight Outta Compton” that was released. It’s just another Hollywood rip-off and you should boycott it and just send me the money you would have spent on a ticket. Because if you want a gritty reality movie experience, I’m your badass huckleberry.
But now I’m feeling like crap again. Another failed job experience. I’ve got to think of something. Yeah, I think I’ll be a yoga teacher, or at least take a yoga class, or look at a picture of someone else doing yoga… or something.