Monday, May 16, 2005

Kicking Evil’s nuts throughout history, or Greetings from the future!

The trouble with time travel is that it’s so constraining. You can’t do anything fun when you go back, or it screws up the future.

“Yikes, stepped on a butterfly in the Mesozoic. Oh, no, now Richard Simmons is king of Idaho. And a woman.”

Besides, time travelers only ever want to go back and meet the same four people over and over:

(1) Jesus

(2) Einstein

(3) Tarzan

(4) Your mother (Oh, snap!)

If I had a time machine, I would go back to my elementary school in 1980. Back when as a little fourth-grader I wandered the playground alone and friendless. Until some punk fifth-graders snuck up behind me and slugged me in the stomach.


I crawled into a tube in the playground and wheezed for 10 minutes till I caught my breath, while my 7-year-old mind tried to make sense of the cold, heartless universe, and then burned with a rage that would be my intimate companion for years to come.

“But, Vampos,” you say, “you wouldn’t go back in time just to beat up little kids, would you?”


Not at all, I would merely rattle them around till they told me their names. Then I’d go forward in time till they were teenagers. I’d walk up to them, a complete stranger, and say “Greetings from the future!”

And I’d kick them in the nuts.

No temporal paradox to deal with, no affecting the course of history. Just a good swift kick to the pebbles and I’m gone. And that’s just the beginning:

Mussolini—Atsa crunchy meatballs!

Stalin—Nuts to you, comrade!

Hitler—A goose-step to the Gerbils!

The Wonder Twins—Form of: an icicle (to your groin!) Shape of: an antelope (on your crotch!)

Maybe I can’t change history. Maybe these bastards would still do their evil deeds, but at least all these guys would spend their lives in a constant panic, wondering if their jewels are getting new cracks that day from the mystery nut-kicker.

For wherever evil lurks, it better wear a cup.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Not screwing the poolboy

Man, I feel frustrated and unfulfilled.

Sort of like the Desperate Housewives.

Except a guy.

And single.

And not screwing the poolboy.

Whatever that is, sister, that's what I got.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Welcome to L.A. Fuck you!

When some people first move to Los Angeles, they are greeted by a bright sun shining down warm comfort upon them and a gentle breeze that whispers, "Come hither, traveler, for this is the land of dreams become manifest."

But when my girlfriend and I moved here last year, all we got was a hearty "Fuck you." We didn't see the sun for months (June gloom? The hell is that?). And we lived in a crappy Koreatown neighborhood where there was a real-live police raid on the crack house across the street (every night an episode of "Cops"!).

Those were hard times.

One day, while reading through the want ads and crying, I saw this: "Help an infertile family. We'll pay $5,000 for your eggs." My girl couldn't stand the thought of one of her "babies" being out there and not being part of its life. But me... Well, that was the first time I ever wished I had ovaries.

One day we went to Ralph's on 3rd and La Brea, where all the skinny girls with cell phones shop for tofu. In line, a lady in an expensive suit (probably an agent or producer) bitched out the cashier over some stupid thing and stormed out.

Later, we were walking through the parking lot, when an SUV the size of a battleship roared up behind us and almost squashed my girlfriend. She barely leapt out of the way in time. I saw the psycho lady snarling from the driver's seat as the car sped away.

My girl, homesick and stressed out, broke down in tears. First we move 1,000 miles from home, then we have to live in a neighborhood where even the rats carry guns, and now someone nearly ran her down! Truly, this city hated us.

I tried my best to comfort her in our car, wondering all the while If I'd made the biggest mistake of my life moving us out here. Then I noticed we had too many grocery bags.

"What's with all the fancy sausage and cheese?" I asked, rummaging in a bag.

"What cheese?" she asked through sobs.

There was Irish cheese and Danish cheese and French cheese (stinky!). There were crispy exotic vegetables like leeks. And fancy dancy crackers made for caviar. I even found succulent Italian sausages, thick as Camryn Manheim's haunches.

"Oh, my God, these aren't our groceries," my girlfriend said.

"Then whose...?"

The psycho in the SUV, she stormed off without her groceries and the cashier gave them to us.

My baby laughed through the tears, and that night we feasted like Hollywood agents at a cocktail party.

The moral of the story? Yes, L.A. will try to crush you under it's wheels, but every now and then it throws cheese and crackers your way.

And don't piss off cashiers.

Friday, May 06, 2005

"Oops, I've lost control of my bowels..."

Jack Valenti, the former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, used to chase after people who pirated movies and sold them for $5 on streetcorners. Then he would rip out their throats with special James Bond villian-like mettalic jaws he kept in an office drawer for just such occasions. Allegedly.

Turns out Jack has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (I didn't realize they gave those out for throat-ripping). I know this because as I was walking along one day, a horrible stench assaulted me. Up ahead there was some sort of black crap all over a section of the sidewalk. As I got closer I realized it was...actual crap. Smeared all over Jack Valenti's star.

And this wasn't one of those accidental "Oops, I've lost control of my bowels as I walked down the street" situations. You could tell these feces were rubbed in there with passion:

"How do you like that, Jack Valenti? Do you enjoy shit smeared all over your goood name? What's that? You don't enjoy it at all? Ah-ha! That is precisely the point, Jack Valenti! How ironic..."

And the best part? Even with the stink and mystery globs all over the star, the tourists kept taking pictures of it as they walked by.

"Oh, look Janice, Jack Valenti. Wasn't he in Finding Nemo? ...Why does it smell like your brother Ted, the drunk? Hey, get down next to it, so I can get a picture."

That's how you can tell the tourists on Hollywood Blvd, they're always looking down (unlike New York, where they're always looking up). I've even seen them kiss Brad Pitt's star. You kind of want to warn them not to, considering. Yeah, you kind of want to. But then, you don't.

How ironic...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wanted: Friend with penis

I've been in this city for a year and some change now, and Lord am I lonely. There is my girlfriend, the love of my life and best friend. But she doesn't have, well, a penis.

I feel she just can't get into the things I love. She's never cared for comic books, which were my only friends in high school and taught me everything I know about fighting evil. And the only videogames she likes have Italian midgets running around bouncing off turtles. Nuts to that, I want to shoot something's head off!

I need guy friends. I need to hang out with someone who will go to comic shops with me, who will see the latest wire-fu Hong Kong flick with me, who I can throw around script ideas with. Maybe we can even sit around and NOT talk about feelings.

In short, I want to play around with someone who has a dick.

Now, I happen to be the only straight guy in my office, so I can't really go up to co-workers and say, "Hey, you have a dick, right? You want to go do something fun?"

That's how misunderstandings happen.

The other night I met John Gulager, the latest director/punching bag on Project Greenlight. He was friendly, chatty, and surrounded by people who wanted to talk to him. Everyone from lowly casting directors to Miramax execs shit on this poor guy on a weekly basis. On national TV!

And he has more friends than me...

Uh-oh, a rather strange man dressed like a pimp just sat at the table next to me in the coffee shop. He's dancing in his chair and making faces. A 1970s funk tune plays from overhead. He just removed his bright purple coat. The fuzzy purple hat stays on. I can see out the corner of my eye, he keeps looking over at me.

I...I think he wants to make eye contact. I think he wants to talk to me. Now he's shaking his ass on the seat and trying to sing along.

You know what? On second thought, I don't need to make new friends. I'm good, thanks.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Never let them see you staring at their tits

Paying hundreds of dollars to pitch your "brilliant" script to studio "people" has become quite the trend amongst those of us desperate to break into Hollywood.

When I was a Texas yokel, I flew in to L.A. for a combination pitchfest/screenwriter’s conference. Including travel, lodging, and fees, I blew about a grand on my "big chance." While here, I spent 12 hours (yes, 12 hours!) waiting in line to buy tickets for the privilege to pitch. This is how it went.

1. One exec refused to let anyone shake his hand or otherwise make physical contact with him. I noticed as I pitched him, he slowly leaned back, getting farther and farther away. He may even have been holding his breath. (Filthy, filthy screenwriters!) Oddly enough, he requested my script.

2. Two of the pitchees looked right out of high school, with bored expressions and baseball caps boldly announcing they worked for a major studio. I can only surmise they were assistants forced to attend the fest by their bosses. "Chad and Wendy," as I came to think of them, sighed loudly and looked at their watches throughout my pitch. No request from them.

3. In contrast, one lady from Fox was profusely perky and supportive of every idea I flung at her. I could have pitched a snuff film and she would say, “Nice job! Great use of sex and violence! Keep at it!” It could also be that Fox simply has profoundly lower standards. Got a request from her.

4. Two scruffy-looking producers didn’t so much request scripts as write on note cards while people pitched, then separating them into different piles (Fabulous vs. Crapulous? Steal vs. “Re-imagine"?). No request.

5. A husband and wife team of managers proved the most daunting to pitch to, as the wife was disproportionately well-endowed and wore a low-cut shirt that left little more than areola-coloring to the imagination. And she insisted on LEANING OVER THE TABLE the whole time I stammered through my pitch. She just grinned the whole time, almost daring me to look. But, Jesus, her husband was right next to her! (Must…maintain…eye contact.) Never have my eye muscles strained as they did that day, performing all sorts of subtle ocular acrobatics. I’ll leave it to the reader to determine whether I looked or not, though I will say, they did not request my script.

It’s now several years later and nothing came of any of those requests. I’ve gotten much further through even half-assed attempts at networking while in L.A.

My advice? You’re better off taking a producer's assistant to lunch and schmoozing her. And try not to stare at her tits.