“Drinks for everyone in the place are on me!” yelled my friend Jerry to the barkeep, his voice echoing across the empty saloon. A “My Three Sons” episode running on an old TV screwed up into the corner of the ceiling was getting bigger laughs.
Jerry – I’ll use his maiden name – is a fellow undisciplined writer, a guy with an unsold screenplay in the glove compartment of his New Beetle. The storyline is built around cheese.
“Snakes on a plane?” he once pitched a producer. “Frightening. Limburger on a plane? Terrifying.” In half an hour he was on a bus.
I should talk, as a silent film star once whined to his agent.
My big idea was for a Disney cartoon starring UniMaid, a mermaid/unicorn hybrid. She was a mythical beast who swam through the sea stabbing trout with her headhorn. Beauty, violence, she had it all. I was counting the royalties.
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Cocksure as ever, Jerry was forever gestating concepts, ideas, jokes, solutions.
“Agoraphobia cure?” he told me one day. “Easy: motorhome. If you can’t leave the house, the house leaves with you. You get to wherever you need to be, beep the horn, the people come in, you chat, it’s fine now.”
“First wake-up call in history?” He said to me, finishing his beer, “‘Up-and-Adam-and-Eve!’”
William Demarest scowled at us from the screen.
© 2012 Jeff Sawyer