Posts Tagged ‘lies’
Posted on January 4, 2012 - by writerman
I am descended from a long line of compulsive storytellers.
Seriously, my Grandpa James was the World Heavyweight Champion of talking shit. Get a couple of whiskeys in the man, and he would hold court for the rest of the night. Fish stories. Tall tales. Jaw-droppingly-inappropriate jokes. Dirty limericks. You name it. And my dad – my dad could have filled a dozen books with his bedtime stories about the wild adventures of Skreed Pailin and Rudd Major on the Black Planet of the Vos. Every word of which he generated spontaneously, on the spot, night after night.1
This is what my people do. We get sunburns. We make sandwiches. And, we tell stories.
I suffer from the same affliction2 – I’ve been telling (and retelling) stories for as long as I can remember. In fact, aside from the obvious physical discrepancies like longer legs and smaller ears, the only real difference between me and my forefathers is that I can type. Which is exactly where all of this is going. I’m carving out this little corner of the internet in an attempt to get all of the stories I’ve been collecting over the years down on paper, so to speak. The DMV Story, That Thing That Happened at McDonalds, the one about how I got Punched in the Face by a Girl, and all the rest.
But first, a couple of disclaimers:
- 90% of what follows is 85% true. Chalk the rest up to a selective memory, wild exaggeration and artistic license. After all, I’m the Writerman, not a historian.3
- These are not in chronological order. I’ll just write ’em as they come to me.
- I have no idea how this is going to work out. I’ve told some of these stories hundreds4 of times, but this is my first attempt to write any of it down.
- Names may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent. If your name hasn’t been changed, you probably aren’t innocent.
There, now that all of the formalities are taken care of, only one question remains:
Which story to tell first…?
- I emailed my youngest brother, who heard the most of these stories, to check the spelling of the character’s names. His reply: “How would I know? Dad never wrote any of it down.” [↩]
- Case in point: once, while out on a first date with a Very Pretty Girl, I got very nervous during a lull in the conversation and started filling the void with a wild and wooly tale about The Time I Went to the Movies with Harvey Keitel. Now, this is a great story – practically guaranteed to win friends, influence people and impress first dates. Full disclosure: I totally stole it. The story in question actually happened to an ex-girlfriend (a fact I may have neglected to mention on that fateful first date). To be fair, the Ex tells it way better than I do, especially the part about how a jet-lagged Jeff Goldblum stumbled into the theatre during the screening, promptly fell asleep in his seat and then almost immediately began hitting on her when he woke up. Some would say this behavior makes me a “liar.” As I mentioned before, I prefer “compulsive storyteller.” I won’t make excuses for my bad behavior, but will say two things in my defense. One: I eventually came clean and fully confessed my crime to Very Pretty, even if it took me almost a year to get around to it. Two: she married me. [↩]
- If you would care to dispute the facts in any of the stories that follow, please get in touch. I can’t promise I’ll change anything or print a retraction, but if you were there when any of this happened, it would be great to hear from you. [↩]
- Not exaggerating. Ask my lovely, patient wife. [↩]
Posted on March 5, 2008 - by writerman
I found this ad in a recent Vanity Fair. Now, fashion-industry advertising is often ridiculous, but this time Tommy, you stepped over the line. Please take a close look at what the model is holding in his hand as he squints off into the distance:
And from the pencil that dangles so nonchalantly from his other hand, it seems the viewer is meant to understand that this douche bag is some kind of screenwriter. Which, naturally, begs the question:
Are you fucking kidding me, Tommy Hilfiger? Have you ever met a screenwriter? Have you ever met anybody who’s met a screenwriter? I mean, I suppose I should be flattered that Mr. All-American Fashion has decided screenwriters are now considered so glamorous that we should appear as objects of aspiration and desire in his advertising campaign. But, he’s just got it all wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
Let me break it down for you, TH:
First off – let me be clear that I have no objections to the fact that Mr. Good Looking here is the star of the ad. Some of you may have seen this ad and thought – “That guy’s way too pretty to be a screenwriter.” Stop it. Stop with your judging and stop hating on my beautiful brother right now. What, you think writers can’t be good-looking? Let’s see you tell that to Sam Shepard‘s face. My complaints with this advertisement have nothing to do with the model. It’s all in the details. Tommy, you’re trying to create this fantasy-world where the screenwriter is a well-dressed hunk of burnin’ love, and I commend you for that. But you’re sloppy on the details, which ruins our suspension of disbelief and causes the ad to fail. Shall we look at where you went wrong?
- Writers do not wear white pants. I don’t care if it’s before Labor Day. This has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with practicality. Writing involves pens and pens are filled with ink and nothing trashes a pair of slim-fitting white trousers faster than a big frickin’ ink stain.
- No self-respecting writer would have that haircut. A writer’s hair is tousled, Tommy! I can’t believe I have to go over this one. How can you expect that girl at the end of the table to believe this guy was up half the night agonizing over every word in the next Great American Screenplay with such well-organized hair? I’m not saying that writers don’t obsess over our hair or what’s left of it. I’m just saying that, much like the hipster, we don’t want it to look like we do.
- Bikinis and screenplays don’t get along. Look, Tommy, I see where you’re going with this, and I can dig it, but the out-of-focus babe at the end of the table is what really sinks the ship here. Don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints about beautiful girls in bikinis. I love them. Seriously, I really, really love them. Which is precisely why I don’t ever write at the beach, because I’d never get anything done! Boobies are the kryptonite to my powers of concentration.
Wait. Unless, of course, that is the whole point to your ad? That the gentleman in question isn’t a writer at all? He’s just trolling for ladies, with a screenplay as the bait. It’s perfect – so much lighter than a puppy, and you don’t have to remember to feed it. I take it all back, Tommy. You’re a genius. Because we all know that no one in Hollywood gets more pussy than the screenwriter! Ladies can’t resist the pasty skin, rounded shoulders and faint odor of fear and despair. Damn, I’m gonna take my laptop over to Starbucks, open up final draft and get me some of that sweet sweetness. Oh, it is on.
Hey. I’m back from Starbucks. Yeah, I couldn’t find a seat. Guess everybody saw this ad before me and got the same idea.
I hate you, Tommy Hilfiger.
Posted on January 5, 2008 - by writerman
One time, I got this note in a box of Cracker Jacks:
I didn’t get a spy scope.