So today I had someone try to kick my ass.
The first part of the day was tranquility.
I wrote a midterm, met up with my DP, Chadd, and my Gaffer, Jason, an affable skinny sort of fellow, who came on timed and looked like he was kind of surprised by everything, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Anyway he looked like he’d be fine on set, so that’s cool.
But then really after that, I had nothing to do. I had done my midterm, due by 5pm, replete with semi-double spacing and a good deal of Microsoft Word-generated smiley faces (figured it would cheer the teacher up who was reading them). I had met with those film dudes and invaded the temple sanctum, where my rabbi (rabette) was receiving practical guitar lessons and I was done.
I headed down to my film school, because sadly, that’s the only place I could really think to go.
I was supposed to have helped someone there unload equipment, but I was so late with printing out my midterm (smiley faces take time) that by the time I was done, they didn’t need me. Still, I figured it was a nexus and I might as well go somewhere. I felt idle though, restless and unsure and this brought me to a worse place than even my film school: McDonalds.
It was there, staring blankly at the plasticized menu, looking for a snack, that I came to the shocking conclusion that it was actually more cost-efficient to get 12 McNuggets than it was to get 10. 10 McNuggets on their own were $4.19 before tax, but the 4-piece McNuggets out of the happy meals were on the dollar menu and thus only a dollar each. Eureka.
So I had to get them. After a thorough interrogation of the thoroughly not-caring McDonald’s manager, I discovered that indeed, I was right. But now I had 12 McNuggets. What was I to do?
I decided there was only one thing for it. I would walk through the hallways of New York University-Tisch with a sack of McNuggets and ketchup and announce:
“Anybody want a McNugget? It’s Spring Break.”
My first victim (McNugget) was my beardo-friend Rob. It was going to be his supervisor, but I figured that wouldn’t be as dramatic, but I didn’t want to be mean, so I offered her one after. Rob was getting ready to go down to Delaware to play some beardo-scamp in someone’s film, but first we had to go up to the production center to see if they had some cable or other.
One thing led to another and as we wandered around, we offered McNuggets up as two guys might who don’t have enough to do in some span of time. We ended up giving away the last of them when we finally got to the production center, Rob having eaten several and probably having lost several more to his beard.
We then ended up helping a friend load his truck for his film shoot, which was serendipitous in one way or at least karmic, because I got to meet two nice girls working on the guy’s movie. I even manage to have pretentious film-kid conversatiion with one of the girls (“So why do you make movies?” “Oh isn’t everyone so pretentious?”) as Rob distracted the friend with Kennedy assasination talk intermingled with discussions of Disney’s Tarzan. I was so turned on by the conversation that I tensed up immediately when the tall, lank-ster producer came on and called the film girl “toots”. I frantically text messaged Beardo and my friend to ask if they knew if they were dating but to no avail; no one knew.
A measure of how fucked up I am: having film-kid conversation with a girl fucking turns me on.
Robeardo and I helped them pack up the truck and then left when Rob had to go meet his fellow actors. I hung around for as long as I could but then realized, short of going to Delaware with Malone, I’d have to go home sometime and so I headed back.
But here’s the thing: as I left to walk back home, the truck I’d helped loaded was still there, so I stopped to say hi to the dudes I was helping, when around from the other side of the cab comes Dan Clifton.
Now the first time I met Dan Clifton, it was freshman year in the courtyard of one of the freshman dormitories. He was an acquaintance of Jonny-Jon-Jon, who back then was having a contest with Dan to see who could fuck the most annoying girl in our year, an (818) area code who I enjoyed having a mutual “hate-the-fuck-out-of” relationship by the end of Freshman year. Dan, the last we’d met, had won that bet, describing in detail how he’d covered her mouth and closed his eyes, a thought odious even to me.
As I saw Dan growing up at NYU, as I had been, he became one of those people I disliked on principle. Sure, Jonny-Jon-Jon was a dick to people, but at least he made no qualms about it and got out of Film when he realized it’d get in the way. Dan was much smarmier, talking shit and smiling a fake smile as he acted like a bigshot to everyone around him. He became the sort of kid, the sort of person I knew I didn’t want to be.
Recently, for those following the issue, Dan had offered through his production company to insure student films affected by the loss by NYU–for a fee of course. Later, at an emergency insurance meeting, he was outed by teachers and students alike, when a teacher got up to warn us about “production companies” offering their “executive producer” services.
“Cough, Dan Clifton.” I said as written.
To which others followed.
To which laughter and applause followed as well.
The next question asked at this meeting- “Well could you tell us who these bad insurers are? I’ve never heard of this Clifton insurance agency.”
So I outed this film-school-Madoff online when I started posting the aggragate data from my insurance information.
And that was the day before I saw him there, standing from the side of that truck.
“Hello, sir.” I told him. “How are you doing today?”
At which point he grabbed my jacket.
And then immediately backed off and walked away.
I just kept smiling and heard:
As I walked down the street.
Later, I wondered why I didn’t use the judo I’d learned on him. It’s for these sorts of situations. But I suppose, it never really got to the point where I needed to.
When I told Jonny-Jon-Jon later, he said “You should have kicked Dan’s ass with martial arts. It would have made my day.”
I guess in my mind it kept playing out that I’d trip him or throw him, choke him and then get up and dramatically say:
“Jew-do. Get it?”
But I just kept walking. It’s silly anyway.
But you know, that’s a day.