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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fetch My Clubs. And The Baby Seals

"You're getting very sleepy," Dr. Phil said softly, as he slowly swung a pocket watch like a pendulum before my eyes.

"As a matter of fact, I'm quite awake," I said, "I slept very soundly. It is a very positive side effect of my Vicodin addiction."

"To tell the truth," I continued, "I cannot think of one negative side effect."

"How about memory loss?" Dr. Phil countered testily.

"That is debatable," I argued, "I once awoke next to a naked, sweaty, heaving Rosie O'Donnell, with no memory of how I came to be in such a dire position. I am absolutely thankful that any memory of our encounter was expunged. I chalk that particular blessing up to Vicodin."

Nonetheless, I knew he was correct. The only reason he was attempting to hypnotize me is because of my loss of memory, in particular, my inability to recall the location of my latest manuscript, which I was certain to be The Greatest Story Ever Written. Dr. Phil only stared at me blankly.

"But please continue," I added.

"This isn't working," he grumbled, putting the pocket watch away. He rubbed his chin deeply as he struggled for a solution. I was not an easy nut to crack.

"I've got it," he finally cried. He reached into his weathered satchel, retrieving a small statue. He placed the statue on the table before me. It was The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, regaled in his ring attire with arms raised victoriously skyward.

"Look into the Champ's eyes," he whispered, and I met the statue's steely gaze. His was the look of a warrior poet, filled with wisdom and virtue. He was a mirror into my soul.

"Whatever you do, you must maintain eye contact with the Champ," Dr. Phil added, and then he gently flicked the Champ's tiny head with his finger, causing it to bobble from side to side. And the Champ stood there, so tiny, his arms raised in victory, and his head bobbling continuously.

"So...lifelike," I mumbled, as my eyelids grew heavy.

"Now," Dr. Phil said, "I want you to tell me about last Friday night."

My eyes were closed and I shook my head vigorously. My limbs thrashed about.

"!" I cried.

And suddenly I was sitting at the desk in my study. Outside the window the sky was a brilliant purple evening haze signalling the beginning of the weekend. I looked at the stack of post-its on the desk in front of me. There lies my brilliance, I thought. It was my newest work, an endeavor into experimental writing wherein I write random thoughts on post-it notes, get thoroughly wasted on whiskey and narcotics, then rearrange the notes into a blind narrative. It was a technique I learned when I was a staff writer at CSI: Miami. My admiration for my work was interrupted by a knock at the door.

"Enter," I ordered. K-Ro opened the door.

"Sir," he said, "You're wearing lipstick again."

"Hard at work, K-Ro," I said, "Writing, as you know, takes a special sort of concentration. Sobriety and accepted gender identification play no part in the process. By the way, you're wearing nothing but a golden thong."

"I was choreographing a new interpretive dance, sir," he replied.

"Of course," I said, "What can I do for you, old friend?"

"Tiger Woods has stopped by," he said, "He wishes for another swing lesson."

"Of course," I said. It would be good to get away from my work for a while.

"Show him in, K-Ro" I said, "Then fetch my clubs. And the baby seals."

"Very well, sir," K-Ro said.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I've Done It!

Deep within the confines of palatial McGraw Manor, which sat on a lush, floral hillside estate overlooking the city of Angels, Dr. Phil sat alone in a darkened dining area, dressed in a perfectly pressed business suit, impatiently awaiting his breakfast. His wife, Robin, timidly entered the immaculate room, carrying a plate neatly decorated with thinly sliced cutlets of meat, garnished with apple slices and gravy, but Dr. Phil's demeanor went unchanged, the only indication of his fierce kinetic intellect a single arched eyebrow. Robin diligently avoided making eye contact with her husband as she gently placed the plate on the table before him. After a moment, Dr. Phil retrieved a knife and fork from the place setting and cut a tiny piece of the meat and chewed. Robin watched with mounting tension as his chewing slowed. Slower. Slower.

"What the hell is this?" he bellowed, spitting out the meat. Fear infiltrated Robin's visage, and her eyes quickly moved to the door, her only means of escape, but instead of fleeing she merely cowered as her husband pushed away from the table and rose, towering over her.

"You think I can't tell the difference between squirrel and possum?" he demanded, lifting the plate and flinging it against the wall. Robin cowered further, her eyes now dull and without fear, and awaited her punishement. Dr. Phil lifted his hand across his chest, as if to back hand her. Then his cell phone began to ring. Forgetting his wife, he reached into his pocket for the phone.

"This is the Love Doctor," he said, "Karl Rove? What are you up to you old son of a bitch? It's been too long." Dr. Phil listened for a moment, staring scornfully at his wife the entire time.

"Okay," Dr. Phil went on, "What can I do to help?"

K-Ro stood in the kitchen of the Fisher King Mansion, speaking on the phone to Dr. Phil, as I sat distraught at the table. It had been K-Ro's idea to contact the good doctor, and having run out of options, I finally agreed. I felt as if my career, my dreams, indeed my sanity, could very well be at stake. For I had finally written the Greatest Story Ever Written. And I forgot where I had put it.

The day had began like any other. I awoke from the grips of a reality-bending dream in which my name had been chanted by a sweating horde, a human earthquake that produced a volcanic eruption of admiration for my defining work. I was lifted from my feet and held aloft by the groping hands of a multitude of fanatical students of my genius that began to fling me increasingly higher and higher until I reached the outer borders of the earth's atmosphere and threatened to descend directly to heaven. I opened my eyes to find myself safe in my own bed, with three beautiful women who looked vaguely familiar. I reflected for a moment on the dream. What had it meant? And it came to me.

"I've done it!" I cried, raising up in the bed. The three girls did not stir. They were most likely spent, and would probably need a few days to recover. The toilet in my bathroom flushed, and a large black man emerged, completely nude, walked across the bedroom, opened the door to the hallway and left the room without saying a word. Who the hell is that, I wondered. I grabbed a bathrobe, covered the perfection of my physique, and went looking for him.

"Good morning, sir," K-Ro said, as I entered the kitchen, "That was some weekend, wouldn't you say?"

"Did a large, naked black man just pass through here?" I asked frantically.

"Sadly those days are long gone," K-Ro said, "Fucking Lincoln." I looked around the room suspiciously, then sat at the table across from K-Ro. He was reading a newspaper, wearing a suit-jacket, shirt and tie, and boxer shorts. He had a black eye.

"K-Ro," I said, "My tiny friend, I've done it!" K-Ro looked at me, his face overcome with alarm.

"All three of them?" he said, "Boom shacka lacka!"

"Not the girls, you fool," I admonished, "I mean I've done it. I've written The Greatest Story Ever Written!"

"Wonderful," he exclaimed, "What's it about?"

"That's the problem," I sighed, "I have no idea. I don't even know where I put it. What did we do this weekend?"

"I don't remember a thing," he said, "It must have been pretty rad."

Together, K-Ro and I searched the entire mansion for any trace of my masterwork. Finally, I was forced to resign to the fact that my greatest creation might be lost. We sat once again at the kitchen table in defeat.

"If we could only remember what we did this weekend, perhaps we could retrace our steps," K-Ro advised.

"All is lost, my friend," I moaned, "Once again I've been done in by my relentless drinking and whoring."

"I have an idea," he said. K-Ro laid out a plot so devious that it just might work. He would call the great expert in psychology, Dr. Phil, and persuade him to hypnotize me so that I might be able to retrace my steps through the lost weekend and discover the location of the manuscript. After much deliberation, I nodded my assent.

"So you'll do it, Doc?" K-Ro said into the phone, "That's wonderful news. I've taken the liberty to send a car to pick you up. It should be there immediately." Hanging up the phone, K-Ro looked at me with great satisfaction. There was hope again in my world.

Dr. Phil hung up the phone as the Fisher King Limo screeched to a stop outside his mansion. He started for the door, pausing before his still cowering wife. He looked at her lovingly for a moment, fake lunged at her as if he were going to strike her, then lowered his hand and continued for the door.


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