Time to lighten the mood around here on a sunny Friday…
I’ve decided that it does not take an extraordinary life, necessarily, to find things to write about that will engage the Hollywood machine and get you paid. When I look at some of the odd, strange, and bewildering choices made for the “content” (gotta love that generic description of all things creative) in TV and movies, I realized that one does not have to live an extraordinary life to find inspiration that motivates one to write the works that get produced – one only has to take the mundane up a few notches. So I’ve decided my happy, yet uneventful existence warrants a film.
For the newer readers, a bit of background. Several months ago I wrote about my duel via cellphone and land line with the mysterious Lucky, Adam, and Adam’s friends to great comic effect.
I’d somehow ended up with a cell phone one digit off the mysterious Adam, and to this day still receive calls from wayward Friends of Adam, who have those new cellphones with the tiny buttons that allow one to hit the “4” instead of the “1” at a critical juncture. More recently, I had an entertaining conversation with “Adam’s” mother. Ha ha.
Today, however, I discovered that not unlike a bad Hollywood thriller starring Some Up and Coming Doofus, I and the mysterious “Adam” are no longer guys with similar phone numbers – we are, it seems, in a bizarre duel, possibly to the death in an array of plot twists and turns worthy of an Eszterhaus, in the System.
How, you ask, can I come up with such an over-dramatic and off topic premise? Simple. I went shopping at Von’s today. And there my descent into Hell (or at least Heck?) began…
Those who know me, know that I’m a value conscious consumer. Regardless of my financial status in life, I’m a perpetual bargain hunter. I’ve long ago conceded a part of my life to the maniacal folks who decide what things will be on sale when if, and only if, you have one of those precious discount cards issued by Von’s, Ralph’s, Albertson’s, etc. Sure, I know I’m being manipulated, and sure my purchases for the last 10 years have been recorded at a computer buried under Cheyenne Mountain, but I don’t care. Sometimes, a bargain’s a bargain, and even the most antidistablishmentarian hippie can’t pass it up.
Today was no exception. For those not in the Southern California area, Von’s has an incredible deal on pizza – only $5 gets you a pizza that will last a single guy like me a week, and it’s good quality too – not some putrid pile of toppings that makes you ill and regretful the next day.
So I headed on over to the Von’s in Santa Monica (the same one John Kerry visited during the strike to take advantage of that and other deals.
To make a long story short (too late!) I punched in my home telephone number and saw the savings roll in on my pizza and other items. Woo hoo! But then I got a strange jolt at the end when the kind woman at Von’s (who is required to be nice under company policy OR ELSE!) said “Thank you Mr. Feinberg and have a great day!”
Not wanting to hold up the line, I didn’t want to say anything. After all, I did get my discount. So why rock the boat? I went home and took a look at the receipt. I saw the name on the receipt, thanking me for my patronage:
This was getting strange. Now, I knew that the Mysterious Adam and I had cell phone numbers one digit off each other – was it now possible that he and I also had home numbers one digit off too? That was just too strange. I could have sworn I punched in my home number properly (and no, I wasn’t “hepped up on goofballs” or anything to confuse said keypad entry). But there it was. Once again, Adam and I were linked in some bizarre Matrix-like way via the myriad of numbers that defines our existence.
Yes, that’s a tad dramatic. No, I am not making this up for the sake of filling column space. Really.
It was then and there as I sat at my desk, considering the situation, that I realized that in fact I had the basis for a really good “bad” movie – a timely tale of how The Man and The System can get to you via your Preferred Customer cards and such. It would be like that oh-so-timely and brilliant film The Net but this time, instead of Sandra Bullock and that “new” Internet thing to play off of, we could play off of Von’s Club cards, and have Jack Black star as me in this new, and wacky adventure?
It’s at this moment I decide a an ice cold Pabst is in order to get perspective.
But when you think about it, how mundane are most stories we see on TV and the movies today? How many ways can you see a murder decoded with quippy remarks about dead bodies before you start to wonder if perhaps things are getting a tad repetitive?
And when do you decide to cash in on said mundaneness with your own life and when do you decide that contributing to the decline and fall of culture isn’t worth the money?
All I know is the next time I got to Von’s I’m buying some seriously wacky stuff and have it blow poor “Adam’s” record with the Vons megalopolis. Let him explain why he buys Pabst Blue Ribbon and all sorts of weird party favors. Or something. At least it will make for good conversation with his friends when they call….
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com
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