The Shoot (Part One)

The phone rings at 2PM. The caller ID says it’s Miranda. Coincidentally, I’m watching a movie that her husband, Mike, loaned me earlier in the week. The budget was huge, and it isn’t very good.

“Do you want to shoot a video?” Miranda asks, or words to that effect.

“What, like now?”

“No. More like in an hour or so.”

“I don’t know. I’m kind of…”

I want to say busy right now, but it feels like a line from Napoleon Dynamite. But it’s too late, anyway, as Miranda has already cut me off.

“The snow’s melting,” she says. “So we have to do it today.”

The snow, it turns out is central to the plan, but the snow is also the reason I’m home and don’t want to go anywhere. Then again, I never want to go anywhere because I have what’s known as an adjustment disorder. As long as everything always stays the same (ha-ha), I’m fine. If I’m given advanced warning that something out of the ordinary is going to happen, I can more or less deal with it. If someone calls me out of the blue and wants me to do something other than what I was planning on — which is usually nothing in particular — I freeze and kind of panic.

Which is why I’m at a loss in this particular conversation. The part of my brain that wants to stay home because that was the plan all along is pulling fire alarms and sending out distress signals. The other part of my brain is calmly reminding me that Miranda and Mike are actually doing me a huge favor by offering to shoot a video for me. They like my music and want to be a part of my creative process. And, really, the calm part of my brain is trying to convince the part that’s doing its best impression of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, it won’t be that bad.
Edvard Munch - The Scream - Google Art Project

“Okay,” I say after a lot of hemming and hawing and reminding myself to breathe. “I can be at your house in an hour.”

“Can you make it ninety minutes?”

This does not bode well.

Johnny Fasnacht!

In honor of Fat Tuesday (a.k.a. Mardi Gras, a.k.a. Fasnacht Day), here’s a mockup of the cover for a comic book series that never got past the… well, the mockup-of-the-cover stage:

The basic premise of Johnny Fasnacht is that a man named Johnny Fasnacht accidentally eats a radioactive doughnut that gives him all the powers of said pastry. Which is to say that it turns his head into a giant doughnut. As a result, Johnny spends his days wracked with existential angst. What meaning can there be, he wonders, in a world where one so hideously impractical and inexplicably delicious as he can be allowed to exist? To add to his worries, Johnny Fasnacht is constantly pursued by a murder of crows who wish only to peck at his head so that they might feast on his rich, doughy goodness. Merely a tale of the grotesque and bizarre? Or a telling allegory of the place of the artist in a jaded, uncaring society? You be the judge!

(Given these details, it’s easy to see why I never got past the mockup-of-the-cover stage of this particular venture.)