Friday, October 16, 2009

Errata

Errata in the Film Version of my Memoirs

I know it's a great privilege to have one's memoirs made into a feature film, and I realize that a film needs to have mass appeal and can't have the sophistication of a book, but (and I don't mean to gripe) I have a few complaints about the liberties taken with my work. First, the title. My memoir is called "Wasted Soul." Although the film retained one of the words from my title, "Waste of Space" has a very different tone. As far as casting, Rosie O'Donnell was perfect as my wife, but why resurrect a bloated Andrew "Dice" Clay for my role? I was thinking more along the lines of George Clooney (we both have salt and pepper hair and an inimitable way with the ladies.)

I am going to assume you've seen the film, and so as I set the record straight, I'm going to refer to everyone by the name of the actor that played him or her. It's easier for you—you don't have to strain your imagination—and it's easier for me, because I'm starting to forget what my real friends, enemies and acquaintances actually looked like. I guess that comes with fame. For the few of you who haven't seen the film version of my life, this will relieve any cognitive dissonance when you do—you won't have any uncomfortable thoughts like: I thought the janitor would look like Chris Cooper, not Morgan Freeman. You're welcome.

For minor characters (who may have been played by actors you don't know and therefore can't readily imagine) or characters that simply weren't in the film—and there were plenty of egregious omissions, such as my Canadian girlfriend—I'll refer to old sitcom stars, and you'll have to imagine them as they were in their prime. For example, if I say I sat down in a diner next to Arnold Drummond and Freddy "Rerun" Stubbs, you'll have to imagine Gary Coleman and Fred Berry, respectively, during their stints on "Diff'rent Strokes" and "What's Happening!," not the freakish model railroader and the sad (but still portly!) addict.

My affair with my high school French teacher is completely misrepresented in the film. First, Kirstie Alley is fat, not big-boned and athletic like Madame Pouncet. Madame Pouncet once coached a state championship field hockey team! Second, the scene in the boiler room-- when I penetrate a roll of Madame Alley's stomach fat rather than her vagina, and Morgan Freeman, the wise old janitor, who is surreptitiously watching from behind the electrical panel, says "Hey kid, if you need a road map, health class is right down the hall"-- that was completely fabricated. I did not need a road map. I had a girlfriend in Canada at the time, and we had had sexual intercourse several times. But where was she? Left on the cutting room floor, I suppose. Several times. If Madame Alley and I did anything, then it was in the back of the band truck during her prep period--but like I said in the interview in People, "I didn't do anything with Kirstie Alley, not in the boiler room, not while holding onto the tuba straps in the band van, and certainly not in the walk-in freezer in the cafeteria." Even as a teenager, how could you maintain an erection in a walk-in freezer?

The animal in the attic was not a stoat. It was a squirrel. I know stoats are scarier, but they're not even indigenous to central New Jersey. Accidental? Highly unlikely.

Although my parents really didn't let me watch R-rated movies when I was a kid, I still figured out how to curse properly. The scene in the school yard when I said to the bully, "Stop trifling with me, you yellow-bellied blowhard," and he punched me in the nose, knocking me to my knees, and then said, "Getting ready to blow me, faggot?" and everyone laughed? That didn't exactly go down like that. I talked to my friend Adam Sandler, who was there, and he said he remembered me getting a couple of good scratch marks on his arms. Also, my father, Robert Duvall, did NOT beat me mercilessly if I made noise while he was listening to classical music.

The scene where my wife left me home alone with both kids, but had her reservations? Never, while changing Chucky, did I intercept a stream of his urine with my open mouth, gargle it, and then spit it all over him to make him laugh. Even I'm smart enough to know that the uric acid would burn his eyes. That was just gross-out comedy.

I did build an automaton to model good behavior for my students; Beth would raise her hand before she spoke, and she always did her reading. She never wore t-shirts that revealed her navel or low rider jeans that revealed the top of her thong underwear (though she did wear thong underwear). She did once have a gravity-defying rack, but my puritanical wife called me a pedophile and made me reduce her to a B-cup. Automaton Beth even managed to have a social life outside of school—she was elected president of the chess club, the first time ever for a girl. She couldn't really chill at a party though, because she wasn't programmed to use slang or handle crystal meth. But I absolutely did NOT build an evil automaton named Ali to model bad behavior—nor did I make him have a raucous bout of flatulence during an exam or program him to sell drugs that he pulled out of his turban. Those were cheap and tasteless laughs. And I certainly did not decapitate Ali in front of the class with a softball bat to elicit fear and intimidation. Even with tenure, they'd fire you for that—even if it was an Arab automaton. Tasteless. No wonder the film got two thumbs way down.

The mortgage was actually a thirty-year fixed rate and the life insurance was twenty-year term. I know an adjustable rate is sexier, but using the amortization table to create dramatic irony was juvenile.

I don't drink Grolsch. It tastes like it's skunked. Total product placement. As was the Testor's model cement. Do you really think I'd start huffing glue because my roof collapsed? I bought the glue to make a dinosaur model with my son and I was checking inside the bag to see if I had dropped the change in there. The glue wasn't even open.

I researched four different roofers. Got quotes and references, the whole nine yards. The movie makes it look like I opened the yellow pages and called the first name I saw and then fell in love with Bronson Pinchot's wacky accent. Not true! The roof collapsing was NOT my fault. I did more than enough legwork for the job. And our roofer is from Portugal, not Mypos. Is this what passes for parody these days? The moral of the movie is NOT: if you don't check out your contractor then you're going to get ripped off and disaster will ensue. Or even: illegal immigrants don't know safety codes. The moral is that sometimes fate deals you a bad hand and you've got to be stoic and survive as best you can. And we did. The end of the movie? When I'm wearing a stained pair of boxers, chasing my wife amidst the ruins of our house, waving a copy of our life insurance policy, asking her why she couldn't have been hit by a falling beam? One word for that: hyperbole.

61 comments:

Mark said...

Even better with the pictures.

Al DePantsdowno said...

So this is where you spend your time? I feel like a woman scorned.

Mark said...

Uh oh...

Dave said...

sorry about the double post-- whitney resurrected this from years ago, but i didn't think he'd post it today, since i posted the new song.

if they really did make a movie about my life, i think i'd like to have jeremy piven play the role of me. and i think vince vaughn (fat version) would play whitney and johnny depp would play rob (johnny depp is a great actor-- he can even make himself shorter.) the movie version of my life would be far funnier and more entertaining than the real version of my life.

and helen hunt would play my wife-- she's gotten that before.

Mark said...

"and Helen Hunt...she's gotten than before."

Wow..you and Helen Hunt? I guess I should be impressed.

Dan said...

kirstie's got some sweet kankles, w/cellulite to boot - that's hot

TR said...

When Kirstie Alley had her fastball, and I'm talking about the Summer School days, she was smoking hot.

If she was still Hoovering coke like she was back in the 80's, she'd be skinnier. Or dead.

Whitney said...

Yeah, sorry about the Dave two-fer, I didn't realize he was posting the song today as well. Oh, well, he's filled his quarterly quota now and can go back to one sentence a day.

And I see someone like Robert Downey Jr. playing you. Someone who can really try to lose himself in the role of this bizarre weirdo Dave.

Dan said...

summer school days...yeah, she was pretty hawt back then. courtney thorne was pretty decent in that as well...i'da hit it fer sher.
i bet mark harmon tagged 'em both

Whitney said...

TR is right. It's hard to look at Kirstie Alley now and imagine that this was a woman Sam Malone lusted after for several seasons.

Now... she reminds me of some of the ladies Rob courted in college.

TR said...

If we're talking about Summer School hotties, we can't forget the Italian exchange student. She was ridiculous. And dyslexic Denise was stripperiffic in her own way.

Dan said...

speakin' of sammy...shelly (sp?) long made a tv appearance the other night on modern family, which is not too bad. she's still the same. annoying and 100% average at best.
define "courted"

Dan said...

forgot about the 'lil consuela...she was real, real hawt
woulda hit that too.

rob said...

pedro vs. manny in a few minutes. who's fired up?

TJ said...

I hope he hits him with that dead midget.

Whitney said...

All class, Tommy.

In a disappointing turn of events, I will be rooting for Manny vs. Pedro.

TR said...

Today's NY Post has a picture of the Zimmer-Pedro feud. It's a still shot taken by a NJ Star Ledger photographer that is great. It shows Zim with his entire face in the grass and Pedro with his arms swung out like he was Daniel-san at the end of Karate Kid II. When you see the pic, it takes you back to how surreal that moment was.

TR said...

Here's the url of that photo. I'm too lazy to shorten it. Eat a bag of dicks if you don't like it.

http://blog.silive.com/yankees_impact/2009/08/large_pedro-zimmer-08-06-09.jpg

rob said...

tidy first inning for petey.

Mark said...

One of my favorite moments of a rivalry that I don't give a shit about. Fuck that fat old man. He was running his mouth and had it coming. The "outrage" from Yankee fans after the fact made it that much better.

TJ said...

Mark roots for a team managed by Tony LaRussa. Now there's a guy who has it coming (Tony, not Mark...yet).

rob said...

tidy second inning for petey.

rob said...

pretty bird.

/joke for one.

Mark said...

I don't much care for Tony. His affiliation with Dave Duncan (and Duncan's ability to spin crap pitchers into gold...or at least serviceable pitchers) is really the only thing I enjoy about him.

rob said...

and his prediliction for getting shithammered.

Mark said...

I like the sound of shithammered. I think I'll do that tonight.

Dave said...

anyone want to come over for happy hour? lots of teachers, so we are all already drunk and everyone should be in bed by 7:30.

Whitney said...

TR, I'm not sure where you would even get a "bag of dicks" to give someone. Sounds like something Costco would have.

Whitney said...

Dave, I appreciate that you keep inviting me to nights out in NJ. One of these times I will take you up on it. Maybe we can plan the next G:TB summit in New Brunswick and go to a Rutgers game.

...but stop telling your colleagues I am really fat. I'm big-boned.

Whitney said...

"We've got no food, we've got no jobs...

...our pets' heads are falling off!!"

Whitney said...

7 innings. 2 measly singles and an HBP (natch). No walks. No runs. Pedro is pitching lights-out.

Manny has fouled out, popped out, and struck out. Can't get the ball out of the infield.

When it comes to sports, somebody up there enjoys torturing me.

TR said...

Watching Padilla pitch, I can't help but think this gem couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Whitney said...

You mean because Padilla threw at Nick Swisher a couple of years ago? Of course, because everything happens TO the Yankees, because everyone hates them, as they are the center of the universe!

I'm kidding. Padilla got a rep as a headhunter a few years back. Probably just bitter because the always-awesome Philly fans never let him forget that he came in the Schilling deal and he was no Curt Schilling. And then he was sent to languish in that band box in Arlington. And now this.

On an unrelated note, Padilla was an Albuquerque Isotope -- one of Rob's profiled mascots and Homer Simpson's old ballclub.

Shlara said...

I realize that I crossed over the threshold into "old person" territory when I started listening to NPR last year.

Tonight, on the drive home, NPR's Marketplace had an interesting guest: RZA from Wu Tang Clan, talking about his book The Tao of Wu. It was a really good interview. Go figure.

Whitney said...

Good to know -- I will have to update my official list of your turn-ons and turn-offs with NPR in the former.

Mark said...

RZA spent a good portion of his childhood living in the town where I first attended college, Murfreesboro, NC. It always comes back to G:TB.

Dan said...

hi schlara
missedulikecrazy

Whitney said...

Phillies now on their 5th pitcher of the 8th inning. (Thanks for getting us going, Chan Ho.)

TJ said...

danalsomissesaspacebarlikecrazy

Whitney said...

Dan, among Shlara's turn-off you will find "people who misspell Shlara."

And public restrooms.
And people who snidely say "last I checked..."
And bumper-cars.
And JMU.

Whitney said...

Also, I was thinking that if you really wanted to type normally, you could copy a space from any of our comments and paste it 'twixt words in yours.

But since it's funny to read, please don't bother.

Dan said...

welldon'tifeellikethef'nasshole?
funnythowhit...yougotasnicker
outofme

Whitney said...

When I first read that, I thought I had read that Dan was going to give me a Snickers. I don't have to tell you how seriously disappointed I was after re-reading it. Snickers really satisfies.

TJ said...

Alwayshearddanwasasnickerstease

Dan said...

mynicknameforschlarais..."schlara"
iwouldn'texpectyouor..theothers.
toknowthat...sorryschlara,ihope
ihaven'tbetrayedyourtrust

TJ said...

It is going to be 30 degrees and snowing when I get home to Latham tomorrow. Not cool, not cool at all.

Whitney said...

And as for the Phillies-Dodgers game, it was decided by a bases-loaded walk by the Phillies' 4th of those 5 pitchers in the inning.

Many an abrasive Philadelphian is angry tonight. Hide your children and park your car in the garage, good neighbors.

Dan said...

rutgers or pitt? rutgers getting 6.5

Dan said...

thatlastposttook6minutestotype

Whitney said...

Teej, if you're going home to go to the Social Distortion show at Northern Lights, you missed it. It was Tuesday. But you can catch them this week in Richmond...

Whitney said...

Dan, it's Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. Let's not act like it's high-tech programming like . . . embedding a link in a a blog comment.

Dan said...

erinandrewsonespnrightnow...
lookindapper!

Dan said...

lowlowlow...comeonwhit,let'skeep
friendly..haveabushmill'sw/me

Whitney said...

HowaboutaJameson?

Dan said...

i'mouttadajameson
it'sbushmills.tonight

Mark said...

Don't bring up Jameson. The thought of it makes me want to fight Rob.

Also, I might have the world's two softest pit bulls. One just ran up to me, licked me and ran away. The other started whining because his blanket got knocked off of him by the younger pit bull. I thought these dogs were supposed to intimidate and command respect?!!?

First the tattoos backfire...now this?

rob said...

dan doesn't know whether to start a revolution or oppress his family.

and mark, the jameson, she's here waiting for your next trip to dc.

Mark said...

If you're drunk enough, the Southwest commercial where they say "What do you charge for bags?" sounds like "What do you charge for fags?".

That makes me laugh.

Mark said...

Pretty good CC. Pretty pretty pretty good.

Mark said...

Eric Karros' hair better be a joke.

Mark said...

I'm watching Midnight Madness on ESPNU. John Thompson III just put on a Michael Jackson style white glove...and is still wearing it during his interview. Give me. a fucking break.