Register Saturday | December 7 | 2019

Ice Ice Baby

Fiction

The company I pitched the high-concept comedy to finally got back to me yesterday. Apparently, she was not able to “get enough traction internally” to take the pitch to the next level. (I’m trying hard not to write any jokes about that phrase…) Naturally, I tried my best to hide my disappointment (which wasn’t too much because I have learned to keep expectations low when it comes to pitches) and thanked her for her “enthusiastic support.” I also told her I hoped if she had “any writing jobs or other ideas that need fleshing out” that she keep me in mind. It’s a long shot but you never know.

I’ve spent the past week alternating days between rewriting my own script and rewriting another script that someone is paying me (peanuts) for. To be honest, I thought it would be tougher to move back and forth between the two (one a comedy, the other a family film) but so far it’s actually been kinda nice. Both rewrites are pretty drastic, with quite a bit of cutting and re-thinking, so it’s actually been helpful to take a day off and think about something completely different before going back and trying to fix the problems. I can’t say if the results will be any good just yet, but the process seems to be working.

In other news, I shot a segment for a TV show last week with none other than the rapper Nelly, who I suppose is in town to promote the Adam Sandler movie “The Longest Yard.” It’s always an adventure working with “stars,” especially rappers, because you never know what you’re going to get. They can make life very easy or they can make life hell (and they know it!). The one thing you can count on is that rappers will always be at least one hour late. I’m not sure if it’s just that they are really busy or have no sense of time or what, but my suspicion is that they have all learned the same gangster power plays and want to show everybody that not only are they worth the wait but that we have no choice but to do things their way. They are doing us a favor. Besides, what are we gonna do, leave?

When Nelly first walked in, he didn’t say a thing to anyone, and my first thought was: “Oh, God, here we go. This is gonna be rough.” He kept his shades on and made eye contact to no one, but as we got him miked up and started shooting, he became much more friendly and animated. As I was shooting, it occurred to me that Nelly is actually probably a nice guy, but that he is smart enough to know how to present an image and market it to the fullest. But the most interesting thing to me was the amount of “ice” (aka diamonds aka “bling”) that this guy had on. First off, the biggest diamond earrings I have ever seen, so big they could probably pay off my student loans and yours too. A diamond studded belt buckle that rivaled some heavyweights’. A watch that was sparkling so much I don’t see how you could even see the time, and most important, diamond and platinum fronts on his bottom teeth that made me wonder: Does he take those out when he eats? Or when he kisses somebody? It’s a mystery. But the bigger mystery is how rappers can wear more diamonds than Liz Taylor, walk around like black Liberaces, and still be taken seriously. There’s a name for most guys who dress the way rappers do these days: drag queens. Yet somehow, they manage to pull it off. Gotta give ‘em props for that.