Darrell Vickers – FtN Chapter Eighteen – As Sure As Today Follows Tomorrow

For everyone else in the office, their lives continued to skip through fields of magical daisies.  But not mine.  It is only through a cataclysmic event that you get to experience how truly alone we all are in the universe.  And I don’t mean alone as a person.  It could be a group or a town or perhaps even a country.

At any moment of any day, a big steaming life turd could fall into your lap and separate you from the pack.  I’m talking the really awful stuff, like a death, or a catastrophic illness or say, your house burning down.  For you personally, it’s devastating.  Your life has been smashed into little tiny misery bits by the big merciless hammer of Fuck You!  Imagine, being in a horrendous accident where you end up in hospital, breathing through the back of your leg.  Your loved ones rush to your side and they cry and bring you grapes, but even they get to step out of the room for a cup of coffee and a sandwich.  But you, you’re stuck there, breathing through the back of your leg.  They eventually go home.  Maybe have a nice cocktail and a movie to help them deal with their sorrow.  But what’s left of you is still up in that hospital room, desperately ringing for a bedpan with your eyelid.  And if you were to die?  They would grieve.  They would cry.  They’d come to your funeral and genuinely miss you.  But, they’d also enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant.  Go for a walk on the beach.  Make love.

And that’s how it remains until it’s their turn to have a date with Mr. Hammer.  BLAM!!!  It’s the way of the world.

This is basically why uber-religious people always believe that Armageddon is going to happen within their lifetime.  That it’s imminent.  It’s never 200 years down the road.  Or even 100.  For the end of the Earth and life as we know it, that shouldn’t be too long to wait, should it?  But no.  It’s always tomorrow or next month.  And the reason?  Because no one can stand the thought of everyone else having a good time after they’re dead.  After you die, you don’t want to believe that people will be going to Super Bowls and New Year’s Eve parties.  You’re lying in the cold, hard ground, completely forgotten and your widow is going down on some new guy in the bathroom at your friend’s house!  NOOOOOOOO!  When you go, you want everyone else to go with you like when you all went to Florida, that time.  And, if they all have to be stung to death by locust the size of horses to have that happen, well that’s just too bad.

But alas, people do die and people’s houses do burn down and the world just keeps on giddily spinnin’ around.

But enough about me being all homeless and existentially ennuied/malaised/bummed.

For Billy and Angela, things seemed to be getting better and better.  Punjab was a very generous host.  That night, as I was thumping my stiff hotel pillow, trying to get comfortable, he had taken his new best pals to Le Bernardin on 51st Street.

It was Roasted Duck Margret with turnip, walnut and red wine-grape Mostarda Sauce all round.  Mr. Sci-fi had had The Robot shipped to the restaurant so it could hold the champagne bucket next to the table.  They had inhaled several bottles already.  Their table was afloat with alcohol and avarice-fueled Bon Ami.

Punjab read though some paper-clipped pages while our duo waited for their Pain d’Epice to arrive.  Billy and Angela were riveted to Punjie’s every expression, no matter how slight.  They could hardly breathe, they were so tense.

At long last, Punjab put the sheets of paper down and declared, “I believe I will go with outline number three.  It has many possibilities for Will and Dr. Smith to be unbearably adorable together.”

Billy and Angela looked overjoyed.  He liked one!  High fives!
“Three it is,” cheered Billy, raising his flute.
“Great choice, Punjie!” added the ever-lovely Angela.

“We both thought that three was positively the best one.  You sure know your way around an outline.”

“You’re a natural.”

“We were saying that just this morning.”

Billy nodded in hearty agreement.  Glug. Glug. Glug.

Punjab was too deep in thought to properly appreciate all the concentrated ass-kissing. “By when could we be having a full script completed?”

Billy did a little math in his head. “Well, if we put a rush on it… three months…”

“Maybe two and a half,” Angela threw in.

Punjab smiled.  “That is excellent.  Then perhaps we could start shooting our pilot by this September?”

Angela and Billy look at each other, concerned.  Punjab didn’t know as much about the business as they’d thought.  He was going to be disappointed and they really, really hated to disappoint him.

Billy began to cautiously break the bad tidings to their naive benefactor.  “Ah, it’s not quite as simple as all that.”

“It isn’t?”

Angela jumped in. “Once we’ve got the script, we’ll need to set up pitch meetings.”

“That will take a couple of months, to see all the viable studios.”

“And they’ll take a couple of months to get back to us.”

“That seems like a jolly long time to be waiting.”  Punjab was not pleased.

Here goes.  They might as well hand him all the bad shit in one big stinky lump.  Angela was starting to feel a little ill.

“Then, once it’s gone through a bunch of revisions there, we’ll have to take it to the networks,” Billy continued.

“Those meetings will take another month or so to set up.”

“And they’ll take a couple of months to get back to us.  Cause getting people to read in Hollywood is like trying to fuck the dead after they’ve been buried.  It’s not very pleasant and it’s really hard to do.”

“Eww, yuck.”

“But it’s true.”

“Yeah, it’s true, but yuck.”

“There is something I am not understanding.  Why do we need to wait all these multiple-months for meetings with these loser people who are not getting back to us?”

Angela and Billy were becoming more and apprehensive with every sip of Dow’s Vintage 1985 port.  Their sugar daddy’s mood was darkening by the second.  There was a period of silence.  Words were carefully weighed before speaking.

“Because, it’s the studios and the networks who put up the money for the pilot.  So, they get to make the rules.”

“They’re the worst, least creative assholes you can imagine, but there’s just no getting around them.  They have the money so they get to dick you around,” Billy added.

Punjab’s dark black eyebrows were furrowing to beat the band. “How much is the cost of one of these pilot things?”

“Well, something like Lost in Space, with special effects and big sets…”

“And a large cast.”

“I think it would cost at least one-and-a-half million.”

“Even if it ended up on the SyFy channel.”

There was another extended period of excruciating silence.  The wheels were going round in that super brainiac head of his.

“There appears to be something that I am not so understanding about your Hollywood rules.  Are we not allowed to pay for this pilot to be made ourselves?”

There was another moment of silence.  Now other, less brainiac-ey wheels were turning.

You want to finance the pilot?”

Punjab shrugged.  “I will have all the money by Friday.  So why the heavens not?”

Billy farted with excitement.

“Then by September, I will also have enough money for several subsequent episodes.  Perhaps you two could play Dr. Robinson and his sensible wife.  Plus you could be creative producers, as long as it won’t cost the show too much.”

“No problem.  We’ll just take the money out of the writers’ budget,” Angela giggled and bounced up and down in her chair.  “Oh Punjie, I’m so happy I could kiss you.”

Punjab raised his arm, “Waiter!  We will be having more of your delicious champagne for my friends and I!”

By the next morning, I had decided to snap out of my funk.  Sure, I had lost my house in a waffle-iron induced conflagration.  Sure, it was hundreds of thousands of dollars poured down the toilet.  Sure, I was being taken for a ride by this army of hangers on.  But so what?  It could be a lot worse, right?  Before I got my present position, this sudden downturn in my fortunes would have seemed like a date with the Kardasian sisters.  Before “The Job,” I lived in a shitty little apartment.  I had a big black man out to kill me.  And…I hadn’t met Alchemy.  Sigh.

Before I got this job I hadn’t gotten laid in…since Izzy.  That’s a long, lonely time.  I love women.  I love their smell.  The way the sigh.  I love the way they giggle and the way they talk.  The way they shake their asses and undulate when they dance to rock music.  Oooh.  I really like that.  And, if money could buy me their heavenly company, when my personality and looks could not, it was something I was prepared to live with.  Not everybody is born Charlie Sheen.

It was time to concentrate on the positive.  And Alchemy was certainly that.  Come that Friday, I’d have my bonus – what was left of it after all the advances – and I was off to Fiji.  I was physically sitting there in the hotel restaurant, but in my mind I was removing Alchemy’s bikini top on a sun-drenched beach.  Kissing those soft, dewy Princeton lips.  Doing things to her that, under normal circumstances, only a girl who went to Berkeley would say yes to.

But it was not going to be all puppies and root beer.  I had to break the bad news to the entourage.  Somebody gave my nutsack an affectionate squeeze under the table.  Gosh that felt good.  But no, I couldn’t get distracted.  It was time for me to play the harbinger of ill fortune.  I braced myself for their reaction.

“Girls.  I’ve got some bad news that you may not like.”  (As opposed to what?  Bad news that they’d be over the moon about?)  I had their undivided attention.  The affectionate nutsack squeeze froze mid-fondle.  It was actually a little painful.  I tried to break it to them as softly and painlessly as possible.  “After the big bonus party, I have to go away on a business trip…for a month.”

I have to say their response was very brave and cheerful.  Way too brave and cheerful.

“Ah, that’s Okay.”

“We’ll stay here and take care of the new house.”

“Have a great time.”

“You look tired.  Take two months.”

Oh well.

Across town, the mood was far from champagne corks and pompoms.  As the sun rose over the grey concrete towers of the Big Apple, the world was not as it had been when day last gave way to perilous night.  Unsavory acts had been perpetrated.  Regrets burst forth like the banks of engorged raging rivers, desperate to divest themselves of their watery girth.  Oh, to be able to retrace and erase one’s injudicious steps.  But alas, once you have signed your name in blood, the devil barters not.

Angela, Billy and Punjab had certainly made a night of it.  They now sat side by naked side in Angela’s comfy bed-turned-vile-pit-of-sin.  Champagne bottles dotted the floor like driftwood on a Salt Spring Island beach.  Clothes were scattered with thoughtless abandon.  Undies had been reduced to shreds.

Punjab leaned back, his hands behind his head, and sighed the sigh of true sexual contentment.  Billy and Angela were as creeped-out as humans can be outside of a Saw movie.

Billy spoke.  It was almost as if he was so spiritually nauseous that he vomited up the words from the very core of his soul. “I can’t believe this.”

The thoroughly debased, and self-flagellating Angela concurred. “I so hate show business.  And myself.”

Punjab couldn’t have been more pleased or oblivious.
“It is unbelievably amazing.  I am not even being the tiniest bit bi-curious.  But I ask you, who could refuse a chance to sodomize the Billy Mumy?”

Billy shifted uncomfortably on his violated posterior.  There was an over-sized snifter of brandy with a Cuban cigar stub floating in it.  He plucked the stogie out of the murky liquid and glugged it down.

Angela bravely held back the sobs that so wanted to engulf her. “You’re sure you’re getting this money, right?”

“Oh, most assuredly.  And may I say, I was also most delighted to squirt my squiggly things into your most comfortable privates last evening.”

Billy could stand no more.  He jumped out of a bed he should never have gotten into and screamed like Roger Daltry on fire, “I’ve got to have a very, very long hot shower.”

Angela also shot out from under those defiled, unholy sheets.  Modesty be damned.  Having to share a shower with Billy would be like a Quaker prayer meeting compared to the unspeakable, disgusting depravity that had preceded it. “Wait up.  I’ll come with you.”

Truth be told, Mr. Mumy was far too sickened and ashamed to even contemplate taking any sudsy liberties.

Punjab smiled and waved playfully at his two bare-bottomed little nymphs as they darted across the big carpet towards the bathroom.  He was trying to decide which of them to have first, after they’d finished bathing.

While Billy and Angela were giving each other Karen Silkwood scrub-downs, I was treating Alchemy to a picnic by the lake.  Polo had set everything up in advance.  He was amazing.  Manet could not have painted a more idyllic setting (and certainly Artie couldn’t). We sat cross-legged on a blanket and ate herb chicken and these unbelievable rosemary potatoes.  I joked.  She laughed.  I could have looked into her smiling face for the rest of my life.  I had another potato.

I guess I’ve always had something for women newscasters.  I know Alchemy wasn’t one yet but believe me, she was the kind of girl who could accomplish anything she set her heart on.  What is my attraction to girlie newsreaders?  It’s probably that illusion of perfection they put forth when you see them on television.  They have an air of sophisticated stateliness and intelligence about them that sets my spine a-shiverin’.

Time to do a little more eye-gazing and pour some Swiss sparkly water into Alchemy’s crystal goblet.

I spent a lot of my high school years watching these dignified, self-assured and perfectly groomed women and wondering what they would look like having a gut-ripping orgasm.  Leslie Stahl writhing around with her hair and rosy, engorged boobs all over the place begging you to give it to her harder…well, it’s just way hotter than a tryst with Madonna or Britney Spears.  N’est pas?

Most guys kept collections of Playboy or Hustler under their beds.  I had eight by ten glossies of Paula Zahn, Diane Sawyer, Nora O’Donnell, Andrea Mitchell, Judy Woodruff and Brooke Ba-Da-Boom Baldwin.

I mean, be honest.  Wouldn’t you rather have one of those ladies bare-assed, with their legs spread wide like the propeller of a Cessna Caravan Amphibian and you pounding away on their hut slug, than the latest Playmate of the Month?   Imagine Soledad O’Brien biting down on your righteous chubby?  Lordy!  The thought of Suzanne Malveaux playing the Rusty Trombone is just 100 percent, surefire spew material.

As we walked around the pond hand-in-hand after the meal, that’s what I was thinking.  How perfect Alchemy was.  It was like I had my very own Christine Romans.  Sigh.


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DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com

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