Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turn On Your Heartlight

What follows is a work of creative non-fiction. This conversation happened many times throughout the '90s, a decade when I was notoriously dumb. The setting could be a car, a room, a bar, anywhere I interacted with people. The other speaker can be male or female, or a group of both. Neil Diamond's hit "Heartlight" is playing.  Let us proceed:

Person: "Hey, the E.T. song!"

Me: "Ha, yeah, it's the E.T. song. Hey, wait. You're serious."

P: "Yeah, it's about E.T. Everybody knows that."

M: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

P: "Are you insane? It's right there in the lyrics: "Gonna take a ride across the moon?" "Turn on your heartlight?"

M: "Yeah, he loved E.T. so much he wrote a song about him. You're thinking of Michael Jackson.
 Neil Diamond was a grown-up. And that stuff is just metaphors and shit. He's in love so he feels like he's riding across the moon. And the heartlight know, like, love and feelings and stuff. In his heart."

Exhibit A. Although I'm not sure which side this helps.
P: "Did you not see E.T.?"

M (agitated): "Of course I saw E.T. ! And I cried when those astronauts turned him into Grey E.T. But that doesn't mean I think every '80s song is about E.T."

At this point, if the other speaker was male, I might affect a humorous "dumb guy" voice to drive my point home. For example: "Duh, all songs are about movies. 'Back in Black' is about Star Wars. 'Purple Rain' is really about The Color Purple. Duh huh huh."

As a gentleman, I would not employ the dumb guy voice if the other speaker was a female. In that case, I would employ a high pitched "lady" voice, as follows: "My name is (arguer's name). I looooooove Neil Diamond and E.T. I think about them all the time."

This argument was repeated many different times throughout the '90s, with many different people. I'm not sure exactly when I realized that the rest of the world was right and I was wrong, but I remember an overwhelming feeling of shame and embarrassment when the scales finally fell from my eyes.

I mean, it's right there in the song! Turn on your heartlight! How could I have missed that?

I'd like to think that by now I have apologized for everyone I argued with. If I missed apologizing to you in person, please accept my humble online apologies at this time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Are You Ready For Some Football?

I had an idea this morning. I wasn't fully awake yet, so I guess technically it was a dream, but I was aware enough that I could sort of watch over everything and tell myself that I needed to remember as many details as I could, as this was going to be the million dollar idea I had been waiting on.

In this dream, two guys decided to start a football league. Not like the XFL or anything, more like an adult intramural league, only with a Super Bowl involved. Actually, the more this dream unwound, it appeared that they were more trying to hijack an existing kid's league, like Pop Warner or something, but since their team was made up of adults (which somehow wasn't against the rules), they could crush the competition with no problem, and win all the money, fame, and accolades the Pop Warner Super Bowl awards.

As this dream was unspooling, part of me was watching, waiting to see what happened so that I could use it as a screenplay in my real, non-sleeping life.

The guys build a team full of grown-ups, including a huge fat guy who was originally going to be on the offensive line, but then they discovered he had an amazing arm, so the fat guy got promoted to quarterback.

There were some parts that didn't really make sense, like this guy who would pop up now and then wearing a white button-down shirt. He had a quarter-sized bloodstain on his shirt that would grow until his white shirt turned red. Nobody seemed to be alarmed by this. Maybe he was the coach.

Throughout the dream, another part of my subconscious was poking me, saying, "Did you get all that? Did you see that fat guy quarterback? Make sure you remember that. Fat guy quarterback is your ticket to a money-making screenplay."

When I finally woke up, I realized that my dream was a mish-mash of a bunch of different movies that pop up on cable on rainy Saturday afternoons, and I was much too lazy to write a bunch of scenes and characters or whatever it is you have to do with a screenplay anyway.

So I did the next best thing. By documenting the idea here on the internet, I have now registered a copyright, which I believe is how those things work. So when Fourth and Long starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson appears in 2015, I should get a sizeable paycheck.