Star Effer

Location: The Suck, California

Me. Stars. Effers.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2 Many Effers, 2 Little Time

Hiya Lovers of the Suck.


Holidays... what can I say? Yuck. But at least the yuckiness is over.

Now, I do not include New Years Eve and New Years Day in the yuckiness, because they are post-Christmas and hence devoid of effing fam-bam meshugas.

Here's something I always ponder around this time: why are the holidays such a pain in the ass for some peeps (like me), while they are a fun-filled glorious time of year for others? I know, it's a little infantile of me to say - a little, "Mommy, why do baby ducks have to die?" of me - but I don't care. The holidays turn me into a thumbsucking punk-ass bitch, then I collapse into a heap as though dead for a few days, and then right before the New Year I rise from the ashes like a phoenix and I'm all, "WHO WANTS SOME?!"

All those who enjoyed the holidays this year, raise your hand... OK, now duck cuz I'm going to start throwing shit at you.

Anyhoo, it's great to be back in town and back in the star effing saddle. I missed you all dearly. And even though I didn't write, I thought about you. Mostly late at night. The way you laugh, the way you toss your hair when you get nervous, the way you bite your lip when I... well, anyway, I thought about you while I was away. And right now, this is like an emotional reunion at the train station. Wisps of smoke here and there, I'm wearing my army uniform and you're in a new dress that you bought at Sears, Roebuck with the money you made from rivetting. Everything's in black and white as we rush up to one another, choked with emotion. I gently touch your cheek with a bemused smile and moist eyes. It's very Tom Hanks-y.

But sooner or later that dress has to come off. So, I thought I'd jump back into things with a two-fer. Not one star effing anecdote, but... (wait for it)... TWO effing star stories. Can I hear an amen?


You sure?

Alrighty... then let's get right down to it.

This first story is called "Krazy for Keanu." It involves a friend of mine, who for the sake of anonymity shall be called Fern Berkowitz-Schlatterhoegen. She's very pretty. VERY smart. Boobs leave a little to be desired but that's really getting picky, because Fern Berkowitz-Schlatterhoegen is a catch. Any guy would be lucky to claim her as his baby's mama. So, it was with no small amount of surprise that I learned of her unhealthy attraction to a certain Keanu Charles Reeves.

First I thought this was a run-of-the-mill crush. We all have them. I myself, for a brief period in my youth, felt a stirring in my loins for Sheila E. And when I got the chance to meet her recently, even though she's like fifty, that woman still made my nuts all a flutter. There should be a picture of her in Webster's next to the definition of "M.I.L.F."

[EDITOR'S NOTE: there is no entry for the acronym "M.I.L.F." in Webster's or any other reputable dictionary]

But what I soon found out was that there was nothing run-of-the-mill about Fern Berkowitz-Schlatterhoegen's crush on Keanu. Homegirl had gone off the deep end. She believed that she and Keanu had a spiritual connection. To validate her beliefs, she did homework: she consulted biographies, astrological charts, interviews, song lyrics for Dogstar (Keanu's band), and befriended anyone she could find who had even a remote connection to him.

What she found validated her hunch that she and Keanu were destined to be together. She earnestly believed that Keanu, through his art, had lighted a kind of search beacon through which he hoped to attract his soul-twin. He was a half looking to be whole, and Fern was convinced that she was that other half. "Keanu has been calling for me, and until now I wasn't listening." It was her duty, she believed, to make herself known to him so that he could recognize the connection that they shared. For her to do otherwise would be a crime against the cosmos and the high magic Keanu had employed to attract her - like starring in such movies as "Feeling Minnesota" and "A Walk in the Clouds."

But how to accomplish this? As President Bush might say, "It's hard work." Keanu had a lot of noise around him. A lot of people. People who may not share the same ideas about life and love held by soon-to-be lovers, Keanu and Fern Berkowitz-Schlatterhoegen.

Fern decided that Dogstar concerts would be her best bet. So she got all dolled up and went to see Keanu and his band play. When the band took stage she pushed herself to the front, right below Keanu and his gangly spread-eagle rock star stance. She was directly in his sight line and song after mediocre song, she stared intently into his eyes, as if in a trance. Several times during the set, Keanu looked right at her. And twice he smiled.

Smiled! It was as if the Heavens opened and pooped out a little Cherub, annointing their long overdue encounter with gooey glee. She felt it. He felt it. It had to be real.

But after the show, Keanu was nowhere to be found. He did not come racing around from backstage to greet his soul-twin. He didn't even come out to sign autographs. However, Fern was not deterred. Maybe he was stuck under a heavy object. Maybe one of his "people" was running interference. She went to the alley and waited. Luckily, she had a new pack of clove cigarettes to keep her company and a can of pepper spray to keep the undesirables at bay (she is, after all, smoking hot - no matter what the itty-bitty-titty-committee says). Finally, at 1:30 AM, the door opened and the band emerged, quickly packing into a waiting limo. Fern walked confidently up to Keanu and once again he smiled. As they say, third time's the charm, and Fern was emboldened:

"Hello," she said.

"Hi, I'm Keanu."

"I'm Fern Berkowitz-Schlatterhoegen."

They shook hands sweetly, both smiling. This could not be going better.

"I love your music, Keanu."

"Aw, thanks, Fern. That's really sweet of you."

"I love what you're saying. I really get it. It speaks to me."

"That's awesome. Wow, what a compliment. Thanks."

"YOU speak to me. I mean, really speak to me. Everything you say..."

"Well I play bass, Bret is the one who does most of the sing-"

"Shhhh.... I know Keanu. I know everything about you. Everything about... US."

(Awkward silence. She looked at Keanu with Manson Eyes. He got really freaked out.)

"So thanks for coming to see us. It was really nice to, uh, meet you." He backed into the limo slowly, not daring to turn his back to her, as one would with a scary rottweiler or Charles Manson.

"Yes. It was nice to finally meet, however brief. But I'm patient. I look forward to the next time..."

Keanu nodded, confused, and shut the door. The limo charged out of the alley and into the San Francisco night, leaving Fern standing there alone and somewhat embarassed.

But she wasn't sad. The Berkowitz-Schlatterhoegens weren't known to shrink from hard work or momentary set-backs. Afterall, it was the first step in a long road. And In her mind, the hardest part was over. They had found each other. The rest would be easy. Or would it?

Stay tuned for part two of Fern's story in my upcoming post:

"Krazy for Keanu 2: I Did Not Kill This Animal, It Was Already Dead"

And now for star effing story #2. I was walking down the Third Street Promenade at about 11am on a Wednesday morning. As I passed by La Salsa I noticed that a small crowd had formed. There in the middle of it all was none other than Ian Ziering of "90210" fame. It was some sort of fundraiser thing and Ian was introduced as a celebrity guest. Me and the seven or so other people cheered wildly as he took the microphone and gave a thirty-second speech. We cheered wildly again when he was done. I snapped a fuzzy pic with my camera phone. Ian grabbed a hat and started passing through the crowd asking people to donate money. When he got to me, I said what I say to homeless people when I'm out of spare change and small bills, "Sorry buddy. I'll get you next time." And I walked away disgusted.

You see, I had several singles and even a few quarters (all of which I would have gladly given to a homeless person). However, I will not give Ian Ziering any of my hard-earned cash, no matter what charity he's peddling. Fuck Ian Ziering. Thanks to ten years of regular run network primetime and subsequent syndication deals, he's got cash coming out of his ass. If they would have sent a starving little African girl out into the crowd with a donation box, it would've been a different story. But how could they expect me to dig into my pocket and hand that taint-licking fuckwit, that black-head on the acne-strewn face of pop culture, a few dollars?

How insulting. That charity, whatever it was, must've been reeeeeaaally desperate.

First of all, the guy pronounces his name "I-an," not "EE-an" as is commonly held. What a fucking asshole. I have the same problem with Ralph Fiennes forcing the world to say "Rafe Fines" instead of "Ralph Fee-ennes" which is the only way that name can be pronounced. I mean, his brother's name is Joseph, but he doesn't go around saying "No, it's not Joseph, it's Yoo-seep. Yes I know how it's fucking spelled, just pronounce it Yoo-seep please." Who are these people? Where do the I-ans and Rafe-Ralphs come from? If your name is Ian, just pronounce it the way it's supposed to sound you pretentious twat. Otherwise just change your name to something more fitting of your immense insecurity.

And secondly, I-an is not a good actor. At least Ralph Fiennes can act. But I-an is terrible.

I heard a story about I-an once from a very reliable source and I don't mind sharing it with you here. He's an albino monkey that was shaved and taught to speak simple phrases. One night after excessive drinking, the research scientists made an ill-advised wager and dropped him off on the front porch of a casting agent with a note reading:

"Trained Monkey. Will work for peanuts. Needs diaper change regularly."

The casting agent found this to be such a novel and refreshingly honest approach that she signed him on the spot and immediately started booking him for commercials and movies of the week.

True story.

I hope you all have a very happy New Years. I am looking forward to 2006 for many reasons, but mostly because it means that 2005 is over. I will have many more news and views on the Suck in the coming days, including Part 2 of "Krazy for Keanu" and another post for my ongoing column, "Star Effed by..."

Until then, go with God dearest ones.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Poppa Effer: the Gene Hackman Factor

Take a look at both of these pictures.

Gene Hackman, right?

Wait a minute....LOOK CLOSER. There's a very slight difference. Do you see it?

Still don't? OK, let me illuminate: one of these men is NOT Gene Hackman. Believe it or not the handsome devil on the right is actually my father, Mr. Poppa Effer.

I know, I know. It's almost impossible to discern. See my dad is a dead ringer for Hackman. Spitting image. And wanna know what's creepier? He's almost identical in personality.

Here's an example. About a year ago I was in the men's room of a fancy Beverly Hills restaurant and Gene Hackman stormed in. He went looking into every available stall before turning on the Bathroom Attendant:

Gene Hackman: "Bidet?"
Bathroom Attendant: "S'cuse me, sir?"
GH: "I said, 'Where is your bidet?'"
BA: "What is that?"
GH: "A bidet? Ah for cryin' out-- It's a kind of basin for washing know...after you crap."
BA: "Oh my God sir."
GH: "I was told this restaurant had bidets in the men's room."
BA: "No sir, we sure don't."
GH: "Well I was told you did."
BA: "I've worked here seven years. I would know if we had one of those."
GH: "Forget it, I'll just hold it then..."

And he stormed out of the bathroom as quickly as he entered. Moments later, when I went to wash my hands, the Attendant made a face as if to say, "What's up with Hackman?" But I was too awestruck to care. For me it was as if my own dad had been there.

See, ever since my dad went to Japan he talks about bidets as if he's found Christ. "They wash you clean, my son. They leave you fresh and pure. Like the freshly fallen snow." He even gets the same little glint in his eye that I saw on Hackman that day in the loo.

Another thing they have in common is that they're both tough guys. Hackman has been known to be a bit punchy. Even as recently as four years ago he found himself in a well publicized street brawl against two men in their late twenties. Hackman was 71.

My dad's also had his fair share of scraps. As an immigrant to this country, trying to support a wife and four kids in the un-PC 1970s, speaking English with a thick accent, he came to be quite sensitive to comments like "Why dontcha learn some fuckin English?" or "Go home to wherever the shit you came from." He couldn't come back with witty retorts and didn't know how to respond to these hurtful words. But what he did know was that iconic American men like McQueen, Bronson and Eastwood didn't need witty retorts.

So I remember being at the market with my dad when some yokel cut in front of us at the checkout stand and on top of it, had the gall to make a slur. Next thing you know Poppa Effer popped him one in the nose. The guy fell to the ground, screamed for the manager and filed a police report. To this day Popps is convinced that punching the schmuck was the right course of action. Very Popeye Doyle if you ask me.


-Hackman used to smoke, but quit cold turkey.

-So did my dad.

-Hackman loves Volvos.

-Poppa Effer is a Volvo-slutaholic.

-Hackman left home at 16.

-Guess what? So did my main man.

-And they both have male pattern baldness to boot!

See? It really is as though I was raised by Gene Hackman himself! So if you ever happen to be walking down the street and you think you see Gene Hackman, it might just be my dad instead.

But if you choose to speak to him, err on the side of caution and refrain from saying, "What's up Poppa Effer!" It might just save you a black eye.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Love getting Stoned

Today's post has no pretenses. It does not aspire to journalistic heights. It attempts no fancy footwork. Today's post is all about getting STONED.

Or more precisely, Oliver Stoned.

Let me set the scene. A few years ago I was in attendance at the New Line Cinema Holiday party. This was back in the glory days of New Line, the rebel years before Faggy Frodo and Friends set up shop. These were the halcyon days when company founder Bob Shaye fended off multiple sexual harassment suits, Executive VP of Production Richard Sapperstein was accused of both bigamy AND fraud, and President of Production Mike DeLuca famously got thrown out of an Oscar party for getting a very public blowjob from the sister of actor Cary Elwes - the same party, incidentally, where Farrah Fawcett was seen "pooping" on the lawn.

These were good times people. Good times. And there was no way in hell I was skipping this "Holiday" party. So, after assuring my then-girlfriend (yes, the Beaver one) that there would be mischief and mayhem in spades, we rolled up on the scene.

Much to our dismay, it was a bit slow. No bigamy or fraud within sight. No public BJs either. Snap. We did see Cary Elwes - the cinematic equivalent of "pooping" on a lawn - but I wasn't drunk enough to do my Dread Pirate Roberts routine on him yet (this consists of slapping him on the ass and whispering "As you wish, Buttercup" breathily into his ear).

It was getting boring. Wesley Snipes walked in. YAWN. Quentin Tarantino strolled in wearing all-white Kanga gear, lapping up sycophantic praise and pretending to be Black...again. Fucking twat.

Then, around 10:30, it happened. "Hey Effer! Effer! C'mere!" It was M.E.B., my industrious industry friend. She's what Wonder Woman would be like if the Amazon princess took mad bong rips and was obsessed with Springsteen. "Get the fuck over here Effer, you don't want to miss this!"

When we approached M.E.B. she held up her hand and showed us a beautifully rolled joint. Then, with a sly grin, she added "Wanna get high... with Oliver Fucking Stone?"

Um... fuck YES.

Thirty seconds later it was me, my girlfriend, M.E.B., Oliver Fucking Stone, and Courtney Fucking Love all huddled together in a circle at the crowded bar, passing this beautiful, beautiful joint. Me and my girlfriend kept sneaking smiles at each other, as if to say "Is this really happening?" M.E.B. was right in the thick of it, injecting herself into the Love-Stone conversation at every opportunity.

And though M.E.B. was doing a mighty fine job getting Stone's attention, Courtney Love was steamrolling right over her. What we quickly learned was that Courtney was desperately trying to convince Oliver to cast her as "The Sister" in who-knows-what script. Sloppy is the only word to describe her demeanor. Already way too fucked up on something before the weed and alcohol, she was rapidly approaching the point where vertical was not an option. But that didn't stop her from pimping herself out like a seasoned pro. Propping one arm on my girlfriend and the other on Oliver's shoulder, she leaned into his ear and spewed hot propaganda on why she deserved to play "The Sister" and how she could guarantee him an Oscar nomination. It went on like this forever. Most people in her state would've been taken to the ER, but she was too busy muscling Oliver Stone for a movie role to collapse from an overdose.

On the surface it may have looked like I was listening to all this, but in my mind I was begging her to do something completely crazy. Maybe it was the weed taking hold of my senses, but the whole time she was huckstering I was secretly praying that she would give me some cuckoo. I wanted a story, and not just one I could write about on some stupid fucking blog. I wanted something I could sell to the papers. "Come on Courtney, he's not listening to you. Make him listen! Don't let Farrah Fawcett get all the glory. She's just a Charlie's Angel - you're a Post Feminist Punk Rock star! You're Mrs. Cobain for fuck's sake! Do something nucking futs!!"

And what was Oliver Stone doing this whole time?

Surprisingly, the whole time Courtney Love was yammering on about "The Sister" role all he did was stare at tits. He'd stare for a while at my girlfriend's tits, then over at M.E.B.'s rack, then down into Love's junkie cleavage, then start the cycle all over again. For variation, he'd change up the ogle order, but that's all the man did: stare at tits.

Having just come off a long flight from Malaysia, his eyes reduced to red, swollen slits, he looked more stoned than all of us put together (well, except Courtney, but that doesn't count since she prays to the Devil). Apparently he had taken "some stuff to relax" on the plane and had yet to come down off of it. So, all he could do was just stand there looking at tits until the joint came around. Then he'd bogart that J for ages, getting it good and moist with his Doors-digging-drool - all the way to the fucking cherry - before finally passing it on again.

At one point I leaned in to tell him my anecdote about Ron Kovic, the Vietnam vet whose life served as the basis for the film "Born on the Fourth of July," but Oliver just swayed over at me, looked down to see that I had no tits, then summarily turned his attention elsewhere. He could give a rat's ass about Vietnam at this moment, he was balls-deep in choice titty and I wasn't going to distract him.

My admiration for the man was at an all-time high. And so was I apparently because I didn't even blink when that sopping wet joint made its way back over to me. I was convinced that smoking a doobie coated in Oliver Stone's drool was somehow going to help my writing career. The Pope of Pop Subversion was anointing me with his Holy Water. I crossed myself upon exhalation and passed the joint to M.E.B.

As the pot smoke wafted throughout the room and the presence of Oliver and Courtney got people's attention, we found ourselves getting invaded by other star fuckers. They were pushing in all around us and Ollie was starting to get cagey. He tore his eyes away from the breast buffet long enough to spot the exit. Our ten minute huddle was soon to be over.

I tried one last attempt at conversation with Oliver, but Courtney was too overpowering. Satan juice was coursing through her veins and "The Sister" role would be hers at all costs.

The joint was smoked down to a tiny wet roach. Oliver was pulling away. Courtney was sticking like succubus glue.

Moments later it was all over, just the three of us again. We ordered a round of drinks and toasted M.E.B. and her amazing Star Effing powers.

God Bless the dirty years of New Line Cinema. God Bless Love and Stone.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

What The Starlet Said...

I've been working with a Young Starlet lately, writing her vanity project. A movie star and former model, she is exceedingly beautiful. We have to spend a lot of time alone together at her mansion, often until late in the evening. She likes to wear skimpy clothing, calls me "angel" and squeezes my thigh emphatically when making a point.

God I fucking hate her.

My friends think I'm crazy. They're of the opinion that I'm "a lucky bastard" who has "no right to complain." One friend in particular told me to "stop being a pussy" and that he'd like to stab me repeatedly with a "shiv on the Big Yard." (Ok, Hector's actually more of a pen pal than a friend. He's currently serving 10-15 for armed robbery at San Q, but that's a whole other story...)

The thing is, I listen to my friends. And so I started to wonder, have I lost my perspective? Am I so jaded by my many years in The Suck that I can no longer appreciate the fun stuff?

Meditation was in order. I got quiet. Did some soul searching. Put a new roll of TP on the spindle (some of my best thinking happens on the pot). And here's what I came back with:

I still fucking hate the Young Starlet.

Because it doesn't matter that she's beautiful, or that I can sometimes see her boobs or that she gives me loads of special attention. As it happens, the woman I'm married to is drop-dead gorgeous, I can see her boobs (almost) whenever I want and nobody's attention is more special than hers. But most importantly, my wife is intelligent and enthralling without being pathologically self-absorbed.

What kills it for Young Starlet is that every time she opens her mouth, the most obnoxious things come out - and I'm not talking about Colin Farrell's sperm, though I'm sure that's happened a few times too.

No, I'm talking about things like this:

YOUNG STARLET: (yawns, bats her thick eyelashes sleepily) "Gawd, I'm SO tired. I went to see the Rolling Stones last night..."

ME: "Oh how was it?"

YS: "They're so much fun."

ME: "Yeah, we tried to get tickets. Hollywood Bowl, right?"

(She stares at me, confused. Awkward silence, then-)

YS: "Wha-? Hollywood Bowl? What are you talking about?"

ME: "The Stones. They played the Hollywood Bowl, didn't they?"

YS: "No angel! I went to a PARTY at their hotel..."

Who says "I went to see the Rolling Stones last night" assuming the listener will know this to mean "I HUNG OUT with the Rolling Stones?" Am I way off base here? I mean, if you partied with the fucking Rolling Stones, just say "I partied with the fucking Rolling Stones!" She was baiting me right?

Of course she was. I've learned that she likes to draw distinctions between my oh-so-pedestrian-little-family-life and her great-big-flashy-movie-star-life.

Whatever bitch.

Another thing she likes to do is tell anecdotes about movie stars that only reference them by first name. This requires me to play a guessing game to find out who the fuck she's talking about. Example:

YS: "I couldn't believe it. I threw a dinner party on Saturday and George showed up, uninvited and drunk like a skunk!"

ME: "George Bush?"

YS: "Nooooo...."

ME: "George Michael?"

YS: "Nooooo...."

ME: "Clooney?"

YS: (jumping up and down, clapping her hands-) "YES!!"

So obnoxious. It's like I'm a contestant on Family Feud. Here's another one she recently pulled:

YS: "You know, I didn't really know how to breathe properly until I worked with Ray. He's so brilliant."

ME: "Ray Charles?"

YS: "Noooooo....

ME: "Ray Romano?"

YS: "Noooooo...."

ME: "I don't know... fucking Ray Liotta?"

YS: (jumping up and down, clapping her hands-) YES!!!"

It's like this all the time. She baits me, and I bite like the star-effing fuckwit that I am. I should stop taking the bait, but I'm like Charlie Brown this way: I really think Lucy's going to hold that football for me, but she always jerks it away at the last minute and I go flying.

I'll be working with her for several more weeks, so I'll keep you posted as more pearls issue from her lips - and no, I'm not talking about Heath Ledger's spunk, but I'll let you know the minute that happens too.

Should be fun, kids. Tune in.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"I'm Only With Your Mom Because Of The Beaver"

My daughters are too young to understand this right now, but I live with the knowledge that some day, they will have to know the truth.

I remember it like it was yesterday. June 1, 1996. I was supposed to go out with the boys that night, hit up some bars, meet a nice girl and, God willing, talk her out of her panties. But instead I got a call from my mother:

"You're still going to the party tonight, right?"

"What party?"

"The birthday party. You promised your sister."

My sister's boyfriend was having a big birthday party and she expected the whole family to attend. Normally, I'd have blown it off. Normally, I would've said, "Who cares about her stupid fucking boyfriend? I've got places to be, girls to meet, panties to remove (God willing)."

But this was no ordinary boyfriend. This was the Beaver.

You see, my sister had been dating Jerry Mathers, who by the age of 9 had become world famous for playing Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver on TV's "Leave It To Beaver." They met at a play in San Diego. She had no idea who he was. He found this novel. Fireworks.

So I went to the party, chatted up the Beav, bummed a smoke off Eddie Haskel (he's a cop now in the San Fernando Valley). Jay Leno was supposed to be there, but the bastard was a no-show. By about 9:15 I had grown weary of the festivities and was about to page my friends to see if I could join them (yes, I said "page" - back then you only had a cell phone if you were a doctor or a drug dealer).

But then, something happened. I was at the bar, soaking up Led Zeppelin anecdotes from a burned-out ex-hippie named Rob Foster - apparently his family had been Hollywood royalty back in the day - when an attractive young woman approached. She ordered some wine, said hello to Rob - they had been chatting earlier about the Grateful Dead - and he introduced us. Her name was Ryan. One look into her eyes and I was GONE. She was smart, beautiful, funny, upbeat and positively magnetic. But her eyes sealed the fucking deal. Deep pools of carribean blue, accented with faint green rings at the center, they bored into my soul and made me feel both at peace and wildly restless all at the same time.

Or maybe it was the Heineken.

Whatever it was, every ounce of poise seeped out of my pores as I tried to talk to her. I abandoned any attempt at witty repartee and just asked questions for a while. Soon, her relaxed demeanor put me at ease and I stopped with the Q&A, demonstrating that I was not in fact a reporter about to write a story on her life. The conversation started to flow between us and it suddenly occurred to me that I could not let this woman go. The much-too-handsome bartender handed her another drink and they exchanged some flirtatious words. A wave of panic rushed through me, and I realized I was jealous of the slick sonuvabitch. Me? Jealoius? What was going on?

Luckily, a few other people approached the bar and monkey-boy had to get back to work. She looked glad to be rid of him and we resumed our conversation. We learned that even though we were both in Los Angeles, we had each lived in Newport Beach at one point, and that we actually had friends in common... and that's when I cut her off mid-sentence and blurted out "Can I call you sometime?"

What a Neanderthal! It was ill-timed and hasty. I sounded desperate. Jeez, what a dumbfuck! I blushed. She blushed. There was a moment of extremely awkward silence... before she smiled and said, "OK."

Whew, what a relief. I almost fucked that up. Then the ex-hippie butted in and actually said these words: "I'm going to be at your wedding someday!" Considering that I did evenutally marry her, that was pretty goddamned amazing. But at the moment all I wanted to do was scream, "Shut up you fucking hippie!" Instead I borrowed a pen from the bartender and wrote down her number (take that monkey-boy!). Good timing because someone called her away and she excused herself with a simple "Nice to meet you."

We played it cool the rest of the night, but I couldn't stop thinking about her. Everything I did from that point on was to score points with Ryan. I played the good son and brought mom a plate of food, I talked to a lonely old lady for ten whole minutes (ick!), and at one point I even slow-danced with Jerry's 10 year old daughter, pretending not to notice that Ryan was watching from nearby. I was pulling out all the stops. Ryan would be mine.

A week later we went on our first date. A nice Italian dinner, a bottle of expensive wine and a play: George Bernard Shaw's "Arms and the Man." We kissed sweetly. Talked all night. It was classy.

Now, almost ten years later, we're married with two beautiful daughters. We're more in love than ever before.

I ran into Jerry Mathers recently. He and my sister are no longer together, but he looked at me, Ryan and our kids and just shook his head. "You know, if I hadn't had a birthday party you two would've never found each other."

I'll go you one further, Jerry: if you hadn't been the effing Beav, I would've never gone to your birthday party.

So, as I started out saying, one day I will have to explain this to our children. That their existence came about because of a little slice of Americana called "Leave it to Beaver" and the fact that their father is a big ol' Star Effer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Visit to the WB Ranch

I recently did a television pitch at the WB. For the uninitiated, a pitch is where a writer goes to the office of a studio or television executive and tries to sell them an idea by doing a verbal presentation.

YOU: "You mean like a sales pitch - something the so-called 'uninitiated' are exposed to every day?"

ME: "Good analogy! It's exactly like a sales pitch."

YOU: "Then why didn't you just say that asshole? Just because I'm not in Hollywood doesn't mean I'm fucking stupid."

ME: "Yes it does. Remember, dear reader, everyone who works in Hollywood thinks non-Hollywood people are fucking stupid. Why do you think there are so many terrible TV shows? Why do you think so many movies suck monkey balls? Because you are the brain-dead masses and we are the Nurse Ratcheds spoon-feeding you gruel."

Which brings me back to my story.

My agents told me I would be pitching my show to executives at the WB network. So I went there thinking I'd be going to the great big Warner Bros lot in Burbank. However, where I ended up was somewhere quite different; somewhere called the "WB Ranch."

As I pulled into the gate I immediately started scanning for stables. "OK, so where do they keep the livestock?" I wondered as the security guard took my drivers license. But there were no cows, sheep, or even alpacas.

How could they not have alpacas? Seventy percent of people who work in TV are gay, and everyone knows that alpaca herding is the new industry of choice for lesbians (surpassing pottery and commercial plumbing). So how could the WB Ranch not have alpacas?

The other thing that was missing was gay cowboys. Gay cowboys absolutely effing rock. If you don't like the idea of cowboys who happen to be gay, well then you obviously have something against cowboys. And with this new gay cowboy movie coming out - I believe it's called "Brokebutt Mountain" - people who don't like cowboys are in for months and months of advertisements and Oscar talk about the matter.

So I was extremely disappointed when there were none to be found at the Ranch. At the very least I was expecting to see some security guards walking around in ass-less chaps, but no such luck.

No lesbo alpacas, no gay cowboys. There wasn't even a damn pick-up truck in the entire parking lot. So then, why is this place called a "ranch" if there's nothing remotely ranch-like about it?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Maybe it's because the Ranch is where they hatch up their "stable" of shows for the new season. Or maybe because it's where they "shepherd" new talent onto bright futures. Or maybe, just maybe, it's where a staff of Austrian scientists grow genetically engineered actors and actresses tailor-made to suit WB shows. Like, if something happens to the dad on "7th Heaven" they can just pluck back-up dad from the "Ranch" and no one will ever be the wiser.

It's possible. Have you seen that guy?

Well, I did do some searching and what I found out is that the Ranch contains some famous sets. Mostly, these are house sets. For example, the TV shows "Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Partridge family" were all shot there. And remember the Griswalds' house from National Lampoon's "Vacation" movies? And what about Danny Glover's house in "Lethal Weapon?" All can be found within the gates of the WB Ranch.

Unfortunately I didn't know any of this before my pitch. Had I done my homework I could've spent a little extra time touring the grounds instead of glancing about for alpacas and gay cowboys.

Still, it didn't answer the question: why is it called a "ranch?"

Monday, November 14, 2005

Star Effed By... Sheryl Crow

Sometimes you eff stars. Sometimes stars eff you.

In this ongoing feature, I will relay unsavory encounters I've had with stars and other sundry celestial beings. Many of these left me scarred and depressed. I thought you'd find them amusing.

For the inaugural entry (heh, I said "entry") we will be reviewing my encounter with Sheryl Crow. I call it:


Before I begin, it's only fair to let Sheryl have a chance to defend herself. She issued the following public statement:

"Hit it!
This ain't no disco
It ain't no country club either
This is LA!"

Hmmm, well she does have a point there. Still, you should hear my side of the story.

The year was 1994. I was a doe-eyed innocent - my dreams, as yet, un-shattered. I scored a weekend gig working as a "Talent Escort" for a star-studded benefit concert. No, not that kind of escort. I didn't have to spread, lick or take "it" for anybody.

My job was to be the liason between the show organizers and the A-list performers. And oh my, what an A-list it was: Salt 'n' Pepa, Ru Paul, Lil' Richard, LL Cool J, Carrot Top! Only the best and the brightest.

Ok, it wasn't all bad. We also had Elton John, Tom Hanks, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Beatty, George Michael, Don Henley and more.

Oh yeah... and Sheryl Effing Crow.

All of us escorts were each assigned to a specific celebrity. Mine was Garth Brooks. Now I've got nothing bad to say about Garth - a nicer man does not exist. My job was to stand outside his dressing room and be at his beck and call, but since Garth is so low maintenance, I never had to do anything. So I ended up just standing there, bored out of my mind for TEN hours. The only source of entertainment came from watching the dressing room across the way, as it belonged to none other than Eagles great Don Henley.

Standing across from Don's door, I bore witness as countless hussies came a knockin' - tarted up, smelling yummy, and seeking some QT with the DH. But of the multitude of little birdies that pecked on his door, there was only one that gained admittance to the Eagle's Nest: a Crow.

Now, I don't know what what they did in there all day, but I did hear SNIFFING. Lots and lots of sniffing. Maybe they were crying. Maybe they both had colds. Or maybe there was a lot of dust in that dressing, some sort of white dust that could be collected onto a mirror and separated into little neat lines with a credit card.

Every time the door would open, I glanced in. I was bored to tears and a chance to see what was going on between two celebrities was all too enticing. But every time I looked in, my eyes were met with the steely glare of Sheryl Crow. Her smile would melt as she saw me, and she'd give me this look that seemed to ask, "What are you looking at assface?"

CUT TO: After the show. Garth had finished performing - beautifully I might add - and given me a bear hug in front of all the other jealous escorts, before disappearing into a limousine headed for the airport. A few minutes later, the Talent Coordinator chimed in over my walkie, "Fabe, we need you as a floater. Are you available? Over."

"Yes. Where do you want me? Over."

"We can't find Sheryl Crow's escort. Go let her know that her limo is five minutes away. Over."

"Roger that," I snapped efficiently. The Garth Brooks experience left me feeling high and mighty. I now fancied myself a kind of soldier to the stars as I marched on over to Sheryl's dressing room.

I knocked. There was no reply. I knocked again. Still no reply. I waited about thirty seconds - just in case she was pinching a loaf or something. Discretion is my middle name. I pondered the origins of the name on the shiny placard before me: "Sheryl Crow." Doesn't sound Jewish.

Then I knocked again, only this time really loud. I immediately heard an angry female voice issue the following reply:

"Come IN already, what the FUCK?!"

I opened the door to find Sheryl and fifteen of her closest friends SNIFFING and grinning at me like hyenas. "Didn't you hear me? I said 'come in' like ten fucking times! What are you, reTARded?" The hyenas laughed maniacally. Remember Jabba the Hut's little muppet sidekick in 'Return of the Jedi'? They sounded like him, only times fifteen.

"Uh...I just wanted to, uh..."

She cut me off, started imitating me as though I had Downs Syndrome, "Duh...I juth..dum...uhh, I juth..."

My face flushed red. Am I being punked by Sheryl Crow? She then did that fake sign language thing with her hands and over enunciated, ""

I blurted out, "Your limo's five minutes away."

She looked at me as though I had just farted. "So, is that it?"

I nodded. She turned away disgusted, waved a dismissive hand. "Fine. Run along now."

I wanted to say something. I couldn't let her get away with that. I was usually great at witty retorts - they always came easily. But not this time. My mind was still reeling at the fact that Sheryl Crow had just wiped her ass with me. All I could do was slam the door shut. And as I did, peals of uproarious LAUGHTER erupted from inside her dressing room. The hyenas were tearing me to pieces. Mortified, I scurried over to Salt 'n' Pepa's dressing room to console myself, thinking it was empty.

But it wasn't. There I was, suddenly face to face with Pepa, gathering her make-up. Before I could excuse myself, she looked up at me, flicked her long red braids and asked in a genuinely concerned fashion, "You doin alright, baby?" Ahhh Pepa. You always know what to say, mama.

Just then, the Talent Coordinator chimed in over the walkie: "Fabe. Please tell Sheryl Crow her limo has now arrived."

I hesitated a moment before replying, "Sorry I... I can't. Get someone else to do it. Uh...over."

Pepa smiled and as she walked past me she uttered the kindest words I've ever heard:

"That's right... FUCK Sheryl Crow."