It’s funny how, as a writer, you can dream and dream and dream for something to happen; and when it finally does it scares the hell out of you.
Because when it does happen, it’s no longer just the way you dreamed it — it’s no longer that huge moment of excitement, it comes with lawyers and contracts and then you start to wonder what’s true and what’s a lie and what people’s motivations are.
It’s all about the second-guess.
I had lunch with a man today who has had the awesome experience of being a writer for such shows as Love American Style, The Bob Newhart Show, Family Ties, Sanford & Son, Home Improvement, The Norm McDonald Show, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and those were just some of them. Pretty damn impressive.
And depressing at the same time.
Why? Because there’s a thing in this town called “ageism” that is simply the practice of television studios not hiring writers who are past a certain age range, because they just feel that they’re not “hip” after 50 (or whatever that age may be). It’s going on, and it’s scary — because if you can’t get yourself in a power position before you get too old, you might as well start selling vacuum cleaners from door to door (if they even do that anymore).
As someone unfamous said to me once, “Movies that have three parts always have at least one part that sucks ass”. And, well, most of the time that unfamous person was right. Let’s look at the evidence:
Star Wars (great)
Jedi (sucked ass)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (awesome)
Temple of Doom (sucked ass)
Last Crusade (great)
Jaws 2 (decent)
Jaws 3-d (sucked ass)
You get the point. Lest we not forget the trilogies that don’t fall into that quote mentality:
Matrix 2 (sucked ass)
Matrix 3 (sucked ass)
What can I say.
I learned three things yesterday.
1. Never try to install a smoke detector yourself.
2. Electrical sparks hurt bad.
3. People who don’t speak fluent English should not be doing any type of electrical work inside your house.
Really, it was a strange situation. On the heels of having work done I figured I’d be one of those Home Depot type of guys and go get some new smoke detectors and install ’em. First one worked like a charm, yet the second one had all these stray wires coming out of the ceiling. After a few tries, I called the first electricians I could find; nearby. Little did I know, although the person who answered the phone could speak English — the people who showed up couldn’t.
At the last family reunion a few weeks ago, I introduced a new game for the dinner table — a game I have dubbed This or That. In a nutshell, a person is given two choices of two things that would happen to them and they have to pick which one they’d prefer to deal with.
It’s nothing new. Nothing groundbreaking. Just fun. The most recent choice is this:
1. You wake up and find out there’s a dead raccoon carcass in your stomach. The doctors cannot remove it nor can you “pass it” in the bathroom. Periodically, you burp and taste it. You will live with this for the rest of your life.