(SHORT ‘N CURLIES) – #1
The next movie I write will be Jurassic Park 4: ADAMZOIC, in which a group of committed Creationists sneak onto a dinosaur-infested Island in an attempt to prove that humans and slavering proto-avian carnivores can live in harmony, as in Eden. The film will be 3 hours long; will feature multiple variations on the theme of Cute Naked People being disembowelled while trying to sing hymns; will include at least one incidence of punning, based on the words “pray” and “prey”; and will end when the sole survivor realises the error of her ways, embraces the Power Of Darwin, and spontaneously evolves a set of wings to escape.
Then gets shot down by Jeff Goldblum: Avenger Of Maths.
All super-wealthy producers wishing to negotiate the rights to this nugget of Cinematic Genius; please contact me via gold-plated postcard.
THE KEYBOARD IS MY FUCKMONKEY:
People who want to work in comics – who by-and-large are a broadly intelligent, creative, expressive bunch – have a fatal flaw. It’s called Meeting The Editor, and it’s a spine-encrusted descent into horror, bladder malfunction and sweaty stinky palm-dripping terror. I’ve seen people – good people, people who have confidently faced-down muggers, overzealous cops and the words “Honey, I’m Pregnant” without so much as a flinch or ruffled coiffeur – transform into quivering protoplasmic armpit-squirting jello at the very notion of approaching an editor at a Convention. I’ve seen the most herbally-chilled of artists, Jesus-like in appearance and temperament, become snarling rabid kamikaze atomic lunatoids at the merest whiff of a negative portfolio review.
I have no particular advice for people in this situation because, frankly: it is awful. The editor in question probably doesn’t want to be bothered by you, and in all probability you will have to go through it a half dozen times before you get anywhere. You’ve still got to do it: sorry.
But I do have a personally shaming story which might make you feel a little better, in the How Not To Do It sense:
At the last Big Con I went to – which is always a trying experience for a misanthropic arsehole with Personal Space issues and a general unwillingness to pay more than $5 for a grease-saturated hippo’s pizzle unconvincingly called a Hot Dog – I was determined to meet This One Important Guy. Oh, I had a bunch of other stuff going on too, but He was the central goal. I’d done a bit of work for him over the previous months, I’d even met him in passing the year before, and now I was going to Step Up And Be Counted. I was going to be witty, to engage him in conversation, to casually refer to the stuff I’d done already and to oh-so-discreetly – cooler than a penguin’s prick – mention I was In The Market For More. I’m a realist – I knew I wasn’t going to walk away from the conversation groaning under the weight of an exclusive contract printed on the Turin Shroud – but it’s important, I understood, to Be Known. And by fuck I’d make him remember my name or die trying.
Except this bloke was never at the booth. No matter how much I lurked around it like a necrophile in a cancer ward – waiting… waiting… – he just never appeared. The other guys at the booth, exhausted from the “I’m sure he’ll be here sometime” routine, started giving me the kind of glassy stares normally reserved for that Bloke-In-A-Trenchcoat-Outside-The-Playground, but Oh No: I Would Not Be Moved.
Until – courtesy of all the Nervous Beers I’d been chugging – my bladder screamed “Priority” and carried me merrily to the bogs.
I pissed. I shook. I zipped. I turned to wash my hands like a good ConCroup-Avoider (it didn’t work), and looked up to find… you guessed it: The Guy. My Guy. That One Bloke, standing at the sink beside me.
Eyes meeting. Polite smile. Flickering recognition.
I could not, in all conscience, not say hello; because if I didn’t do it then it would be too weird to do it later. So I grabbed this poor bloke’s hands – still wet – and Did The Talk.
Understand: he’d spent all weekend being harassed by people like me. He’d been stalked by a constant train of wannabes and semibes – like a pack of wolves in XXL T-Shirts – and the one solitary perfect Zen space of solitude and peace he could enjoy in the whole mouldering meatfest of the Convention – the crapper, the shithole, the pisspot, the Porcelain Temple – was right now being violated by this moist-fisted Brit with bad hair and a pre-prepared speech.
He was charming. He smiled and nodded and asked questions, and politely hid the look of revulsion as he rummaged for his pot of alcohol hand-gel and drifted back into the crowd. He was, above all, a Nice Bloke.
I didn’t hear from him for six months.
Moral of the story: there’s a difference between hunger and desperation. Wait ‘til your hands are dry, kids.
THE AUTOCUE SAYS KEEP FILLING:
There’s been an interesting confluence of two news stories over the past few weeks, which jointly spatter the UK’s international reputation with the bumsoup of Corruption and Racism. Huzzah.
First: the Expenses Row. The fucking oh-god-make-it-stop Expenses Row.
Yanqui readers, you don’t know how lucky you are. We’ve had this shit in our headlines for weeks, and it’s lingering like a fart in a spacesuit. The short version – if the Brit contingent will forgive me (or at least hold-off from the kneejerk desire to plunge corkscrews into their optic cavities at the mere mention of the whole colon-ejecting mess) – is that British politicians, shock horror, have been fiddling their expenses for years.
See, the state pays these floppy-haired placental violations a juicy range of monetary yumyums so they can afford to travel from their bumblefuck constituencies down to Parliament; to fill their homes with platinum-wool sofas and TVs made of melted diamonds; and generally facilitate the difficult job of showing-up in London once a week to shout “hear, hear” in the House of Commons. All this, of course, under the extremely difficult circumstance of Already Getting Paid An Enormous Salary.
So one of the broadsheets got hold of the list of all the ridiculous shit these people had been claiming for, and the Nation’s been wringing its collective hands ever since. The problem, if you go with the Big Angry Flow, is the sheer galloping shamelessness of some of the claims. We’ve got one guy, for instance, who persuaded the Expenses Committee to contribute to the cost of his ornamental floating Duck House. Really. We’ve got a whole sequence of our Highly Principled Moral Leaders claiming tax-breaks and mortgage relief on “second homes”, which they then fill with expensive tat (also claimed-back) and promptly sell for a massive profit. We’ve even got a member of the Cabinet, ha, who claimed-back the cost of a pay-per-view porno then blamed it on her husband.
One bloke, I’m not kidding, attempted to claim for the cost of his moat. Welcome to British politics.
Put in those terms, you can understand why people are pissed. And it’s here that the second story, to Britain’s Shame, kicks in. See, the fucking Expenses Row – which isn’t a row, really, but a gestalt spasm of antiestablishment revulsion – has been blamed for disillusioning voters so much that they wound-up electing two of the neo-nazi turdmonkeys from Lord Haw-haw’s tumour-riddled sphincter, better known as the British National Party, into the European Parliament. “A protest vote”, the pundits are saying, “in response to a general dissatisfaction with the Political System.”
I can’t help feeling some voters are just racist wankers who don’t deserve the vote, personally, and that’s as complicated as it gets; but I concede the Expenses Thing didn’t help.
Anyway: in my considered opinion we’ve been looking at it all wrong. It’s not like the politicians were breaking any rules. They had carefully and intelligently tested the system to see exactly how much they could get away with, then proceeded to get away with it over and over again. That’s not corruption, it’s common sense. I couldn’t give two shakes of a dolphin’s pickled prick whether my Glorious Leaders have moats, duck-fetishes, elephant-shaped nuclear sextoys or an addiction to distilled Unicorn bollocks: as long as they’re clever, open-minded, know the system well enough to get Good Shit out of it, and don’t chew gum with their mouths open.
The “Expenses Row”, through my eyes, is final evidence that My Elected Masters are Smart And Human – like the rest of us, yes?
Either way, it’s not a fucking excuse for voting for the Evil Racist Dickwits.
THIS WEEK I HAVE BEEN MOSTLY HATING:
…People who don’t deserve to be fluent in a second language.
You know the kind. Barely sentient pigshitters with all the ambition of a prolapsed toad and the social graces of a misanthropic leper, who by dint of having mixed-race parents, or growing-up in Outer Cockizstan, or whatever, have access to a whole raft of careers, resources and easily impressed chicks.
And here’s me, in a foreign country, functionally incapable of doing anything with a Verb Table except make bad jokes about Verb Chairs, and struggling with the simplest of conversational staples á la: “Waiter, my paella is still staring at me and you smell like a chorizo.”
It’s not fucking fair.
Or, er… No esta un carnaval erótico. I’m totally getting there.
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C/O William Christensen,
Rantoul, IL 61866
(Disclaimer: Secretly, I’m nice.)