Rocket Report

Mark asked me as we wrapped up the last of our tasks for the evening if I was going to write in my blog about how punchy he was this evening. I thought that was pretty funny because I had no idea he even thought about that. I guess maybe he saw the picture below. I assured him that it hadn’t even crossed me mind, and that he shouldn’t worry–I wouldn’t write anything about how life and circumstance had him worked up into a bitter froth all evening.

Okay, now I’m just teasing. Still, it was an oddly irritating night. There were a few customers whose personalities were like nails on a chalkboard. An example? Mark was chatting with one gentleman about Boston, where Mark has spent some time and he said something along the lines of, “I’d like to go back sometime.” The next woman in line, who had been blathering noisily on her cell phone (a brutally annoying peeve of mine) spoke up at that point and said, “Good. And when you go, take someone with you. This city’s way too crowded.” Man. I think I would have said, “Alright, I’ll take you. This city’s way too noisy.” To his credit, Mark exercised zen-like control and didn’t tie her ears together.

And while we’re on the subject of peeves, I’d just like to share one of mine. Actually, I think the cell phone thing, while certainly peeve-worthy, is pretty universal. It’s not one of those quirky peeves that you tell someone about and prompts a quizzical stare that says, “Really? That bothers you?” This is one of those peeves. I can’t stand those people who, while shopping for food in a grocery store, actually open their food before they buy it and start munching in the aisles. That drives me crazy. They pull open the bag of chips, the sack of carrots, the package of cookies, and just start munching away. They’re standing in line, smacking the grapes they haven’t even bought yet and pointing at the tabloids and talking about them to their friends with their mouths full. Related to that, I can’t stand the little crowd that gathers around the sample counter at Trader Joe’s where everybody has his or her little wooden spoon, digging into the tiny sample of lasagna, or fried rice or applesauce or whatever it is they’re giving away today, looking like they’re not even tasting what it is they’re supposed to be sampling, happy instead to just have their hands on free food.

Really? That bothers you?

Damn it, see? Mark’s mood rubbed off on me a little. But only a little. Mark’s got a right to be a little bent now and again. After all, he’s an actor trying to make it in this town. I don’t think I could tackle a challenge like that. Actors have it tough. Sure, writers have to struggle against a sea of competition, but when it comes down to it, a writer can set himself far ahead of the pack of fellow wannabes just by completing a single script. Actors have no such luxury. They have to look the part. They have to hustle about from audition to audition, constantly worrying about how they come across, how they should play the scene, how they should express themselves. You can have an ocean of talent and still lose the part to some actor with a BB for a brain because he happens to have the right physique.

Anyway, that’s good enough ranting for this evening. A dry wind rattles my bedroom windows. That’s gonna keep me up all night, unless I tuck little bits of carefully folded paper around them to keep them quiet. Either that or watch Monty Python until I pass out on the living room couch…


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