Sunday evening, a splendid gaggle of actors brought together from the Antaeus Company by my wife, Melinda Peterson, assembled round a cross-shaped table to read through a new soon-to-be-produced screenplay titled "Our Gang" for the author, the multi-talented Bruce "Don't Eat Quiche and Don't Call me James Bond" Feirstein and his equally talented (but more beautiful) wife, producer Madeleine Warren. After the reading, we sat and chatted and Bruce regaled us with wonderful stories about Burgess Meredith, which I hope he will put in ink some day. He also gave me a collection of Hong Kong subtitles, from which I constructed a scene, (using one from column A and two from column B):
"Gun wounds again? The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold? I am damn unsatisfied to be killed in this way; how can you use my intestines as a gift? A normal person wouldn't steal pituitaries! I have been scared s***less too much lately, Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep -- and beat me out of recognizable shape. You always use violence. I should've ordered glutinous rice chicken! Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected. Damn, I'll burn you into a BBQ chicken! I'll fire aimlessly if you don't come out! Take my advice, or I'll spank you without pants! Same old rules: no eyes, no groin. You daring lousy guy, quiet or I'll blow your throat up. I got knife scars more than the number of your leg's hair! Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?"
Bruce also smokes Vantage Ultralights "in the convertible box." (Hey, what's that, you might ask?) Well, "it opens like a box OR a soft pack!" That's so exciting, you might even want to disregard the latest "Surgeon General's Warning" on the side which has recently been transformed into a kind of positive suggestion: "Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks To Your Health." And by the way, giving blood can reduce a middle-aged man's chance of heart attack by 85% cause it reduces excessive iron levels which can damage arterial cells. So -- if you smoke and start coughing up blood, is that a good thing?
(Also, Bruce he's been collecting bizarre sex laws from around the world, from which I excerpted this first taste:)
In Russia, it is against the law for a couple to hug or kiss on a park bench.. . . In Lithuania, it is against the law to drink vodka when suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. . . In Kaunas in Lithuania, a man is allowed to banish his mother-in-law from the home when he wants to make love to his wife. . . In Panevezys, Lithuania a woman may only divorce her husband if she discovers boils on his penis. . . In Byelorussia, men can beat their wives before making love to them on the basis that men who don't beat their wives don't really love them. . . In Minsk, Byelorussia, husbands are not allowed to refuse their wives sex after two sex-free weeks have passed. . . In Riga, Latvia, married couples are not allowed to have sex while arguing. . . In Sverdlovsk in Russia it's against the law to have sex on a tombstone which is within 50 feet of the road. . . In Tallin, Estonia, couples are not allowed to play chess in bed while making love. . . In Plovdiv Bulgaria, male prostitution is against the law. Offenders are declared "noncitizens" and can be sent to a labor camp. . . In Sofia, Bulgaria, it is considered "inappropriate" For a husband and wife to enjoy making love. . . In the town of Ploiesti in Romania, couples are forbidden from having sex during the day. . . Not only is homosexuality banned in Albania but so too are two people of the same sex banned from sharing a bed even if they are heterosexual. . . In Hungary, it is against the law to have sex with the light on - even the light of a candle. . . In Yerevan, Armenia, women are forbidden from standing naked in front of their husbands with the lights on. . . In Gdansk, Poland, women participating in lesbian acts can expect to be sent to a labor camp. . . In Cracow, Poland, sex with an animal is punishable by death - on a third offense. . . In Wroclaw, Poland, a wife whose husband has cheated on her is allowed to beat her husband's lover - to death if she chooses - with a club. . .
In Oblong, Illinois, it is against the law to make love while fishing or hunting on your wedding day. . . In Liberty Corner, New Jersey, courting couples are not fined for "making out" in a car - but they are if the car's horn goes off. That is considered to be an "obnoxious activity". . . In Springfield, Massachusetts, taxi drivers are not allowed to have sex in their cabs during "working hours". . . In the State of Ohio skating instructors are not allowed to have sex with their female students. . . In Willowdale, Oregon USA, men are forbidden to swear while they're making love to their wives. The women can say whatever they like. . . In Georgia, "it is a misdemeanor for an unmarried person to voluntarily engage in sexual intercourse with another person". . . In Minnesota, fornication between a man and a single woman resulted in a misdemeanor action as recently as 1967. . . In Colorado, adultery is only prohibited for the married person - if one of the two parties is unmarried then that's OK. . . If a couple rent a hotel bedroom in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for just one night, the twin beds have to be a minimum of two feet apart. . . In Missouri, it is forbidden to have sexual intercourse with anyone under the age of 16. But if the victim is 14 or 15, the offender will be freed if they say they believed the victim was 16. . . In Warrenville, Connecticut, a man is banned from taking snuff while making love to his wife without her permission. . . In Montana, any "deviate sexual relations between two persons is a felony".
From Judith Walcutt comes an assignment apparently turned in by two English students: Rebecca (last name deleted) and Gary (last name deleted) for English 44A, SMU, Creative Writing. Their Professor, Mr. Miller says that what follows is an in-class Assignment in which Rebecca and Gary experiment with a "tandem story" in which each person pairs off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of them then writes the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached:
---- At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.
---- Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
---- He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel" Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
---- Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-3D secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
---- This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
---- Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
---- You total Shit.
(From Dr. Robert O. Stanton, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, St. John's University, Jamaica, NY)
© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor