The next morning I woke up in a cold sweat. My nightmares were getting worse. I felt like a car ran me over in the middle of the night. I was troubled by the thought of never seeing this woman again. I popped a few anti-anxiety pills hoping to dull my senses, but it was useless.
That afternoon I drove to work expecting the worst. I day dreamed my “imaginary female friend” the fiery red head that had been haunting my very existence would hop into my car while I was stopped at the traffic light, seduce me and suggest that we drive off into the sunset together. Of course I would agree to it, mesmerized by her every move, realizing only after I’d arrived in Mexico that I was having yet, another hallucination!
This time of course, my delightful delusion would not be of my dead aunt Hilda, but rather a young male prostitute whose testicles had yet to drop. I sighed at the thought of being fooled in such a humiliating fashion. I tried to clear my mind of these irrational thoughts by turning on the radio, but it was hopeless. The dark caverns of my mind were under siege by this woman and when I arrived at the television studio I was ready to snap heads.
Walking through the labyrinth of lights, the staff timidly stared at me as I entered their space, but continued to scurry to and fro making preparations for the taping of my show Angry Movie Guy, hosted by yours truly, Charlie Evans correction by yours truly, Charlie “The Snake” Evans.
I felt worse than I had in months as I entered my dressing room in a rage and changed into my on-camera attire: a well–tailored blue Armani suit with thin white pin stripes. I moaned aloud as I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I tried to suck in my paunch. “Suck it in you troll!” I was disgusted with myself. I’d outgrown my third suit in six months. I took a deep breath and buttoned my suit and opened the door of my dressing room. I saw my staff progressing toward me and I immediately shut the door. My heart was palpitating. Would I have another hallucination on-camera while I tried to give today’s review? No, I thought, mentally trying to pull myself up by the bootstraps with an egomaniacal pep talk. “I am Charlie f’n “The Snake” Evans. Movie critic! Thousands of people tune in to watch my review every week. I am not the type of person who hallucinates. I am not the type of person who spends his spare time at the therapist office. I have a yacht for Christ sakes!” Opening the door, I walked out to the middle of the set. Standing motionless, like a statue with my head bowed and my eyes closed I fished through my jacket pocket for my bottle of therapy and poured a few pills into my mouth and swallowed hard.
I could hear the voice of the stage manager off camera. “You ready Charlie?”
Without opening my eyes I sat down in a plush leather chair on-set and elegantly crossed my legs nodding to the stage manager as I swiveled my chair to face the camera.
The cameraman peered at me with a cold and vacant look, as the director yelled, “And Action!”
I stared into the camera for an uncomfortable amount of time before flashing a sardonic smile. I watched as the crew gathered around the monitors to view another hideous taping of my show and I muttered, “Why me?”
I eyed Samantha, my wiry blonde personal assistant, whom I imagine deeply despises my existence standing close by observing the close-up of me on the monitor. I reached for the remote control to turn on the television set, a clip from The Hunt for a New World…. Master of the Far Seas appeared on the screen. The monitor displayed a weathered captain on the deck of a sailing ship staring out into the abyss of the Pacific through a telescope.
I began to speak with a concerned, almost fatherly tone of voice using long dramatic pauses for effect. “Good evening, my fellow moviegoers, tonight I’m going to try something a little different, tonight I am going to pray. I encourage all of you at home to do the same.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as Samantha stared down at the script in disgust, the same way she stares at me when she thinks I’m not looking.
I bent down on both knees. “Dear Lord, with your infinite wisdom and compassion, I’m confused as to how you could let the Hunt for a New World… Master of the Far Seas ever be put to film? Lord? Why? Why, when women and children are dying of famine and neglect throughout your glorious Kingdom would you ever let the director spend one hundred and thirty-five million dollars to manufacture cinematic toilet paper trash? Crackers! I should have gotten the clue when I read the pretentious title. Crackers! And you call yourself God? Well let me tell you something, this never-ending 17th century naval misadventure made me feel like I had been through Genesis and Revelation. I mean look….”
My assistant Samantha let out a loud yelp as I shot up from the floor and flashed a menacing glare at the camera. I scowled in her direction and she quickly covered her mouth and ducked behind the monitors ferociously writing in her logbook.
Meanwhile, the camera had panned to the video feed to show the captain in the movie staring out into the abyss. I dropped to my knees, yet again and began to speak in an evangelical tone.
“Look!” I continued, “He is still peering through his telescope, which he no doubt needs to compensate for his tiny…”
I winked into the camera as I held up my pinky finger, wiggling it to indicate that the captain has a small dingy.
Annoyed by my ostentatiousness, I observed Samantha cringe as she watched me pace to and fro cackling with egotistical condescension. I began to imagine what meaningless nonsense she must be scribbling into her logbook and I began to stutter. I grabbed the remote control from off the floor. “Now..now wa..wa..watch this.”
I heard the director yell to the cameraman. “Lets get a close up on this!”
He motioned for the cameraman to zoom in on me as I fast-forwarded the movie so the audience could see that the captain was still standing in the exact same position with another crewmember.
I smirked. “Been on that ship together a bit too long have ya?”
Trying not to be bothered by my obnoxious assistant I continued with my rant. I threw the remote control into the air flailing my hands wildly as I bellowed, “Sure, sure, it’s historically conscientious, but come on! The ice caps are melting faster than this movie and are more entertaining to watch. You’re stuck on a boat. How many stoic glances can you give to your shipmates anyway before they throw you overboard?”
Samantha began to giggle as she watched me begin to lose my composure. My turmoil was amusing her and all those who surrounded the monitors. I began to stammer as I continued to rant. I exclaimed, “Look, most of the film is spent building all this dramatic tension, and for what? To attack the pansy beret wearing Frenchies! Crackers!”
I stood up shaking my fists at the ceiling as though admonishing God. The crewmembers looked on nervously as I screamed and then lowered myself into my chair like an exhausted father who has just used up all his energy scolding a child. Staring into the camera with an expression of hopeless regret I muttered, “Like our hot headed leading man, I have a duty to fulfill and that duty is to impart some wisdom to the less than esteemed director. The next time you’re making a movie be sure it has a script!”
I saw Samantha look over at the crew who now seemed relieved thinking that my tirade was over until it became clear that I was not yet exhausted.
I pointed my finger at the camera unwillingly to compromise my review. “I bet you think you’re real funny getting a theater full of people to pay $14.00 just to sit there with their thumbs up their butts, bored out of their skulls because they’re waiting for a ship that will never sink in a battle, in a war that will never happen! Crackers!” By now my blood was boiling and my eyes were bloodshot as I drove my point home. “Twenty books to work from and this is the best that you could do? Well let me tell you, that neither the general public, nor I will be so stupid as to get sucked into your egotistical narcissistic self-indulgence! I give this pathetic excuse of a film two thumbs down and the middle finger.”
I glared into the camera and stuck my two thumbs down and my middle finger out simultaneously vindicating all the moviegoers who wasted their time and money on a piece of garbage.
Just then I looked up and saw a newbie at the studio patting Samantha on the back, assuring her my tirade was almost over. I wanted to scream, but instead I addressed the camera with civil composure. “Thank you and until next time, don’t tread on Charlie “The Snake” Evans.”
I watched as Samantha looked over at the director who was yelling, “And we’re out!”
Lying back in my chair I watched in agitated dismay as my assistant Samantha giggled at me rather than coming to my aid. I was no longer slick and in control. I immediately began to have a sneezing fit. I tried to move from my chair, but my microphone was tangled. I kicked the chair and mumbled to myself in between sneezes.
Samantha and the newbie stared at me, amused by the fiasco until the director motioned for Sam to check on me.
“Fine!” She mumbled.
Sam set her clipboard down and rushed to my side to untangle my microphone.
I sat up. “Samantha, I know jumping at every opportunity to fulfill the minutest need of mine completes you as a human being…”
Samantha dropped the tangled cord, dumbfounded by my comment. “No, Mr. Evans… It’s just…”
I held up my finger interrupting her. “Ahh! Ahh! Shh, shh, shh…. please don’t waste the sad fact that your parents once had sex and all of those glorious cells divided to one day create you!”
Samantha blinked her eyes in silence. She seemed afraid. She looked around and saw the entire crew staring at her as I laughed in her face. “I’m sorry. What I meant to say is get a damn life!” Samantha reeled backwards in horror and ran off the set in tears.
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