The Meat-Only Diet

A couple of my earlier posts include the word “vegetable” in the title. Google has rewarded me by sending me readers who care about vegetables.

Will the same be true for meat?

I’m signing up to run for office in three weeks. If there are blocks or cadres in my district that are dedicated to the election of those who vote what they eat, I want to know about it.

Meanwhile, the meat-only diet, so that I don’t cheat those who came here to learn its truths:

First, why are you even reading this? Are you nuts? Nothing but meat? What’s wrong with you?… No wait, I didn’t mean that. But seriously, look into your heart and if you sense that you’re crazy, stay away from diets of any kind, because they’ll only make you worse. The only time that I kicked my cat was when I was famished and it grabbed the last moonpie still in its wrapper and crawled under the couch with it, just to be mean.

Second, this diet includes NO raw meat. Spending the day in your house eating nothing but raw meat could get you arrested, even if it’s really healthy.

Third, the condiments for your meat salad would include catsup, A-1 Sauce, wine, beer, champagne, and Rittenhouse Straight Rye.

Fourth, variety is important, as you are foolishly consuming protein and fat and nothing else. Each day you should eat meat from the shank, the flank, the breast, the genitals (for the phosphorus), sweetbreads (if you don’t know sweetbreads, which sound good, they are guts), and the head (head cheese, lips, snout, tongue, and brain, which won’t make you any smarter. If you don’t believe me, go ask your cow to add two plus two. Yes, I’ve seen the horse who will clop his hoof four times if you ask him that, but you can’t answer your algebra professor with a damned tap dance, over at Phoenix U. in your remedial night course.)

Fifth, the mixing of meats is discouraged if each is soused with a different alcoholic beverage.

Sixth, don’t eat the meat of any animal that serves as a pet. More particularly, don’t eat your pets. Unless you’re one of those fruitcakes with fifty cats, you won’t have enough pets to last you through the span of your complete diet.

All Vegetables Go To Heaven

Note: This post is not about Pixar.

However, speaking of Pixar, Anthony Lane in the New Yorker: “What is it that drives each employee to take more pains than the next one – to pedantry, and beyond?”

I was called into an indy animation studio in Emeryville to help the writing team work on a new vegetable movie. I was to help tweak the tomato dialog. My agent told the company that I grew my own tomatoes and was famous in Hollywood for my homemade catsup (Ketchup v. Catsup is a landmark Supreme Court case involving tomato-based condiments. You could look it up.) My agent just made up the catsup thing, but that’s what good agents do.

I found a lot of anger and dissention in the fruit team when I arrived. That whole thing about whether the tomato is a fruit or vegetable started it, somebody told me. The other fruits just didn’t want any tomatoes in their group. Also, the script called for a beefheart and the vegans thought that this meaty tomato sent totally the wrong message. The meateaters just grinned and said moo, because the manager of the tomato animators agreed with them, and in the company food chain, the animators are way above the writers. Hoffman’s tomato rant had nothing on any of these guys.

Before I could write a line, I was shifted to the potatoes, because the tomato carnivores and vegetarians both hated those of us who will drink, snort, or ingest anything, irregardless of phylum.

The potatoes were the real heavies in the movie, which initially featured a struggle between the bad guys – roots and tubers – and the good guys – fruits, nuts, and greens. I was to come up with some Irish-type dialog for the head potato, but this was scotched by Brendan Gleeson, who was signed to voice the driver of a honey wagon, because he thought that the bad Irish potato is nothing more than a racial stereotype and slur. So I was told to write the dialog with a Russian slant. An executive producer, a Jewish immigrant or refugee from St. Petersburg, put an end to that. The potatoes were finally assigned Polish accents, as all the Poles in the company were just lucky to be working there. However, it developed that nobody knew what a Polish accent sounded like (nobody ever talked to the Poles), and anyway, the thrust of the movie by then was moving away from the notion of vegetable bad and good guys. “Vegetables are all good, by Christ!” said the V.P. of Vegetables. “You want bad, stick to poison fracking mushrooms or belladonna.”

Then it was The Road meets Toy Story. Rusts and mosaic viruses send most of the vegetables to heaven. A parsley and his son are left on Earth, where Venus flytraps are ignoring the flies and eating any weed they can reach. If you’ve ever tried to grow parsley, with that damned tap root they have, you know how neurasthenic the plant can be.

At this point, most of the vegetable personnel faced layoffs and I expected to be escorted out through the front gate at any moment, especially since instead of catsup, I was showing the writers how to make vodka from potatoes and helping the young kid writing the grass dialog to “mow” his stash. But we were all saved by a corporate decision to focus the movie on vegetable heaven.

What is vegetable heaven like, you ask.

First of all, no wings. That’s an insect thing.

Pollen and seed is spilled on the ground, but this is ok in heaven.

Weeds, sadly, go to Hell.

You know that joke about lying in the sun and having sex all day, and the guy says, “Heaven? No, I came back as a jackrabbit in the Arizona desert.” Well, the cacti are all alone out there, but they’re so used to Hell, they can’t tell the difference.

There are no undocumented workers to be seen.

The century plant doesn’t bother to bloom because a hundred years in heaven is like that little bird that flies a thousand miles and pecks on the granite mountain once a year and by the time the mountain is worn down, there is still an eternity to go, so why fracking bother. In fact, why bother going to the movies, come to think of it.

Frank Zappa:

Call any vegetable Call it by name
Call one today When you get off the train
Call any vegetable And the chances are good
Aw, The vegetable will respond to you

(Some people don’t go for prunes…I
don’t know, I’ve always found that if they…)
Call any vegetable Pick up your phone
Think of a vegetable Lonely at home
Call any vegetable And the chances are good
That a vegetable will respond to you

Rutabaga, Rutabaga,
Rutabaga, Rutabaga,

(A prune isn’t really a vegetable…
CABBAGE is a vegetable…)

No one will know
If you don’t want to let them know
No one will know
‘Less it’s you that might tell them so
Call and they’ll come to you
Covered with dew
Vegetables dream, Of responding to you

Standing there shiny and proud by your side
Holding your hand while the neighbors decide
Why is a vegetable something to hide?

Hollywood Lawyers

A young writer, newly arrived in Hollywood, asked me about my legal representation. I told him to associate himself with a lawyer that he can trust, which is to say, a lawyer that he can blackmail if necessary.

In my case, that would be Sid. Sid’s job is to help me with the financial problems caused by my divorces, although we leave my second wife Rhoda out of it because her husband is a second cousin of Sid’s wife, who’d kill him if I tried to hold out on Rhoda and her kids. Sid gets a percentage of what we figure I save by holding onto my money rather than giving it away to the other ex-wives and their children, all of whom could do me a major favor by moving out of state.

I also ask Sid to vet my movie contracts. I can’t trust my agent because he gets a kickback from the studios for screwing me.

Finally, and this is hypothetical and would only be true if drugs were formally legal in California, Sid helps me with my situations in L.A. relating to controlled substances, in return for which I’m his primary source for, well, you name it. We live in a pharmacheutical age. We’re like the Matis Indians in the Amazon, utilizing every frigging root, leaf, and branch around us, only with us it’s pills, powders, grasses, and mushrooms.

Sid and I also act as each other’s sponser in AA, such that if one of us goes on a bender, the other one comes along and tries to be the guy in the pair who, yes, may get totally fracked up but doesn’t suffer a blackout at the end of it.


My agent called me with a rewrite project the other day. When I heard that it was for my producer buddy Moishe I said no immediately, because I’m still pissed off at Moishe for some pills he sold me that left me sick for a week. Then my agent told me that Justin Bieber was attached to the project. I totally didn’t believe him but what are you going to do?

Moishe told me that the project was The Sweet Hereafter meets Superbad. Going for the parent and tweener demo both. The bus – no, a bunch of SUVs – crash, go up in flames instead of into the lake. All the middle-schoolers and high school freshmen in town are killed horribly. The parents are crushed. The ambulance chasers – McConaughey, say, and a sleazy Kevin Spacey – move in. So do the corrupt insurance adjusters. The parents fight, get divorced in some cases, although let’s say some of them are swingers, too. Keys in the bowl scene, but with mourning. Keys in the bowl at a mass wake? But with toilet humor, a la Death at a Funeral. There is also a serious MILF factor here. You know how sex can be more intense just before the meteor hits or the missles arrive or whatever? It’s like that, definitely not something like Rabbit Hole, where the mom cuts off the dad because she’s too sad to do it anymore. Boxoffice poison! No, here the parents grieve all the way through the movie, of course, for the gravitas, but let’s not get carried away. They’ve still got to fornicate once in a while. It’s a small town where everybody knows everybody. Everybody has a dead kid. Get over it. Life goes on.

Meanwhile, all the dead kids are ghosts. Young ghosts, and the older ghost kids are planning a big party, the kind you always see in these movies, and the young ghosts are desperate to go! It turns out you can still get drunk and have sex and so on when you’re dead, even if you’re a kid and still a virgin.

Moishe’s cousin Aaron had done a treatment, but Moishe said that Aaron was out of action at the moment and I should punch it up. I said, you don’t have draft one? “Punch it up”? Nerts. I’ll punch you up for the bad drugs that you sold me. But he calmed me down by promising me the dollars meant for Aaron, who was too sick to care, probably for the same reason I had been.

Right off I told Moe, the cast looked huge. Should I pare down the numbers a little?

“Nah. We’ll go over to the Valley. Hire some of the guys and gals there to be the parents.”

“Porn stars?”

“Clean ’em up, nobody will know. Take off the hardware, hide the tats, use some small-town wigs. They work cheap. Then post a casting call at ten or twenty of the acting schools over there to find the kids. Those schools, they’re becoming the biggest scam this side of the Grapevine. Forget filmmaking. I might start one myself.”

“What about Beiber? A little old for this project?”

“Beiber could play a high-school freshman in his sleep. He wouldn’t even be acting.”

“Which way do I go with the Judd Apatow ghost kids? They go buy beer at a ghost liquor store?”

“Don’t be stupid. They walk down their neighborhood street – we’ll be filming in Rancho Cucamonga where they did that Friday sequel – walking down the street going through the recycle bins. See, it turns out there’s a ghost for everything, even a can of beer. Somebody drinks a beer, a ghost comes along and pops the ghost top off the can and drinks the ghost beer. Get it?”

I guess I looked puzzled or worried or something. Probably just thinking about the paycheck and how I was going to be holding my screenplay in one hand, with my other hand out for the check, telling him that if the check bounced I’d come back and twist the nose on his face till his toupee jumped off his cheating head.

“This is not rocket science,” Moe said. “Say Beiber comes home, he’s twelve, he’s dead, he comes in the house, his parents are crying, he rolls his eyes. Parents. There’s always something. Drama queens. He goes to his room. Sits looking out the window. Over next door is, say, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, playing a twelve-year-old girl, the one he wants bad. You know Astrid? One of the vampire mermaids in POTC 4? Maybe we ought to make her thirteen or fourteen instead of twelve.”

“Astrid’s got to be twenty-five, twenty-six.”

“Look, I don’t want to risk getting charged. After last time, I swore to the judge I’d never cast anybody under thirty again. Anyway, Beiber’s looking over and, you know, she’s disrobing. She’s going to take a frigging ghost shower or something. You see where I’m going here? Hello? Do I have to draw you a picture? Who’s the writer around here? Me? What am I paying you for?”

I told him I’d do it. I told him I already had it up here. All planned out. Apatow himself would think I was swiping ideas from his brain.

“Ok,” Moe said. “In that case, let’s run down to The Well on Sunset and have a few drinks. Let me call my wife first and tell her I’m running late.”

Teen Sex Movies Free

Yes, this site is free of teen sex movies. In fact, it’s free of any movies. I’ve been thinking of posting a couple of clips that dramatize the Life of Christ, His teachings and precepts, such as are available on YouTube, but I haven’t done it yet. As for teens acting in sex movies, I’m against it. They should be in school, or playing video games, or out gathering up litter along the shores of our polluted lakes and rivers, to be thrown away so that garbage barges can haul it out and dump it in the ocean.

As a screenwriter in Hollywood, I’ve been asked how teen sex movies differ from regular sex movies. The most important points to note:

– With teen sex movies, I usually get paid more than the actors.

– Less makeup is required to cover tracks on arms, legs, and buttocks.

– Filming in HD is less likely to cause viewers to go Eeeuuuew at the sight of warts, moles, gaping pores, wild hairs, scars, lesions, carbuncles, and scabs. (I never mention pus because I think it’s gross.)

– Some of the tats are fake.

– Fewer of the bosums are fake.

– The teen actors are rebelling against the oppression, real or imagined, of their parents (but not their grandparents), their teachers, their pastors and priests, recruiters for the Armed Forces, their peers, unfair video-game rules, their pimples, their hormones, and the unfamiliar urgings of common sense occasioned by approaching adulthood and bubbling up from their unconscious like existential gatorade. The older actors are tired of waiting tables in Hollywood while being rejected at casting calls.

Vivien Leigh

My dad was driving from San Francisco to Barstow one day back in the 40s, when he was flagged down in the Mojave by a women standing next to a broken-down car. This was on State Road 466, which is now California 58, out in the middle of nowhere, no traffic in either direction, north or south. My dad, who was a career Marine, was heading down to the Marine Corps Logistics Base, which the Navy turned over to the Corps in ’42. My dad specialized in equipment maintenance and storage. He’d get the duty, as he put it, and leave us for a couple of days to go down there from time to time.

So he pulled over in front of the disabled car and got out and asked the woman if he could help. The next thing he knew, he was retrieving three large pieces of luggage from the trunk of the woman’s car, which was a Rolls Royce, and putting them in his, and then helping her into the passenger seat. She was smoking a cigarette and coughing uncontrollably, but otherwise looked fresh as a daisy in spite of the fact that the day was hot as hell, according to my dad. He got into the car and plucked the cigarette from between her fingers and flicked it out the window. Of course his old Ford had nothing like air conditioning back then and his uniform was soaked through.

“I like a big man in uniform,” the woman said in an English accent. “Especially a forceful one.”

“You’ve got no business smoking, with a cough like that,” he said. He was an officer by then and it made him disagreeably bossy sometimes, though he never tried that with my mother.

“I’ve got T.B.,” she said. “I just found out. If I didn’t, I’d box your ears for doing what you just did, uniform or no uniform.”

She was feisty as a terrier, according to my dad.

“Are you allowed to smoke?” he said.

The woman snorted.

“I’ve been smoking four packs a day for years,” she said. “I’m allowed to do whatever I allow myself to do… What are you staring at?”

“I’m sorry,” my dad said. “You just look familiar.”

“Ever see Gone with the Wind?”

“My God,” my dad said. He was from the backwoods down south and in no way sophisticated. He’d go to the movies with mom and us, but he wasn’t knowledgeable about Hollywood in any way. Later when I started working in the industry, I’d have to explain everything to him all over again every time I told him something. But everyone knew Gone with the Wind back then.

“You’re Vivien Leigh,” he said.


“What are you doing out here?”

“There’s a man in the desert with a sunshine cure. I read about him in London and decided to come out and try it.”

“By yourself?”

“It was a sudden impulse. My husband is directing a play at the moment.”

She lit another cigarette, took one drag, and started coughing again.

“I’m also crazy,” she said. “Manic depressive, they tell me.”

I don’t know when the term “bipolar” was coined, but I’m sure that my dad didn’t know what it meant, or what “manic depressive” meant, either.

“What’s that?” he said.

“Sometimes I stay in bed all day. By myself, I mean. That’s when I’m depressed. Other times I stay in bed all day with a man. That’s why they call it manic.”

Being a Marine, my dad must have known a thing or two about the ways of the world, but he always impressed me as a church-going, straight-laced innocent.

“What about your husband?” he said.

“I loved Larry desperately in the 30s. Now I love him like a brother.”

“Does he still love you?”

“Absolutely. But I suppose that one day he’ll wake up and divorce me. I would.”

There followed a silence as they motored down the road through the desert, alone.

“You and Clark Gable made a hell of a couple,” my dad finally said.

“Frankly, I don’t give a damn about Clark Gable. Never did. Shall we have dinner together when we come to a town?”

She scooted over a bit. My dad said that she was a little thing. I looked it up. 5′ 3″ and 32A-23-33. She put her hand down on the seat between them. She was born five months after my mom, so she was three years younger than my dad.

About then, just before they got to Hinkley, they came to a service station that had a tow truck out back, and my dad pulled in.

“Are you sure you want to leave me here?” Vivien asked him.

He told me that he wanted to say no and take her up on supper, or do anything else but put her out, but he knew that he had to report to the base soon and to my mom later, so he just said goodbye and wished her well. As he pulled back onto the highway, he looked back and saw her heading over to the attendant at the pumps, who was wearing a uniform of his own.

Worst Movie Fights

5. The fights required by the plot, in which the hero gets whupped, by a bully or by an expert or with the help of kryptonite: Karate Kid, Kickass, Defendor, Superman, and a zillion others. The fight might be well-done, but ho hum, don’t drag it out and let’s move on.

4. The fight in a particular movie or TV show, I can’t remember which, where the guy sound angry and intimidating but then, when hostilities start, paws at the other guy’s chest, sinks to his knees, paws at the other guy’s knees, and then curls up whimpering. His wife looks on without expression and later, when he gets up, the two of them go on about their business.

3. The zillion fights in which both guys would in reality have broken all their knuckles with their first punches to the other guy’s head. Heads are a lot harder than knuckles.

2. The zillion fights in old kung fu movies, hand-to-hand, face-to-face, that go on and on with some poor foley added. These play like martial-arts training tapes.

1. Googling “worst movie fights” turns up this as the most-often-named worst fight.  And this one.

Ghosts are real. Clark Gable 2.

The second time I talked to Clark Gable, he was standing by my hospital bed in the ICU. He asked me how I got there and I told him that I couldn’t remember. Probably took something that didn’t agree with me.

“I thought you went to the beach when you wanted to get away from it all,” I said.

“Yeah,” Gable said. “But the last time we talked, I told you that I thought Marilyn killed me, working on The Misfits. She gave me hell for that and made me promise to come back and set the record straight.”

“She’s been dead for fifty years,” I said. “How’s she doing up there?”

“Same as ever. One thing about being dead, it’s hard to change. She’s not up at Forest Lawn, though. She’s down at Westwood Village Memorial. Number 24, in a  wall crypt. It’s a lot more fun down there, so I visit whenever I can. Lemon and Matthau, Capote. A fun group. Compared to Westwood, Forest Lawn is dead.”

“I’m glad to hear she didn’t do you in,” I said “I’ve heard that she was difficult to work with. I’ve had a few like that.”

“Marilyn used to pretend I was her dad when she was a kid. Idolized me. She was a mess on The Misfits. All kinds of pills, and her marriage to Miller coming apart. I’d tell my wife about it and she’d just shake her head. Marilyn was always late on the set, but hell, Houston was either sick in the hospital or over in the casinos or back in L.A. looking for money. We were shooting in Nevada and the studio gave him a gambling allowance and he ran right through it. Completely out of control. Meanwhile, Miller was rewriting Marilyn’s lines, adding dirt about her life and driving her crazy. We were all a mess. Montgomery Clift? You’ve no doubt heard about him. He’s long gone. Thelma gone. Kevin. The only one still alive is Eli Wallach, and Christ does he look old. That little ham. I do hope he gets buried where I can visit.”

“You don’t look old,” I said. Gable looked to be in his thirties, like when I saw him on the beach.

“That’s one good thing about being dead,” he said. “You look as old as you feel. I died at fifty-nine but I didn’t feel fifty-nine. Everybody gets old if they live long enough, but I’ve never met anyone who felt old inside. At fifty-nine, I felt like I always felt, in my head. I was a grandpa, though.”

I fuzzed out for a minute, or an hour, but when I came back he was still there.

“Marilyn and I spent some moments together,” he said. “She was terrified the first time we shot a scene, but we got close by the end. Over in Reno. It wasn’t reported.”

“You mean…”

“Nothing physical. More like father/daughter. She had Yves Montand for the sex, over in L.A. I think I helped her mentally, at least for that shoot. But Christ, those pills. Her and Clift. She was loopy half the time. She had rashes. She’d lash out. You know, when we started that movie, I brought along my friend Lew Smith to help me out. Marilyn had her husband, her press agent, who else? A masseur, I remember, her acting coach, two specialists to work on her hair, two for makeup, face and body, a woman to sew her clothes plus her wardrobe girl, her stand-in, a secretary, and her personal secretary. My God. No wonder she couldn’t sleep at night. What’s your entourage like these days?”

“I’m a screenwriter. My entourage is you.”

“I said I was a grandpa. Actually I was a step-grandpa. My only child was born five months after I died.”

“So what did kill you, if Marilyn didn’t?”

“Probably the three packs a day, and the drinking. Hedda Hopper blamed Houston for letting me get dragged behind a truck. Kay almost killed me herself when I got home after that one. I did most of my own stunts. It was hotter than hell out there, because we got started late. An actors’ strike held up Marilyn on her previous film. I’m not bragging when I say that I was the only one ever on time on the set in the morning. I kept my cool and I was getting paid plenty, but the rest of them were basically stealing from United Artists with those delays.”

“So you died at fifty-nine. I guess I thought you were older than that.”

“That’s one thing I hate about being dead. Nobody who’s dead  gets over it. They’re always talking about when they died and how they died and why they died. And by the way. Keep this up, kid, and you’re going to be deader than I am.”

“Hollywood is tough. Especially for screenwriters.”

“Being dead is no bed of roses either, take it from me,” he said. “Listen, Ward Bond was a close friend of mine. He died a couple of days before I did and he came to me in a dream after my heart attack. In the hospital, just like this. I told him I was sad to have lost him and he laughed and said that I didn’t need to worry about that. I asked him something… can’t remember what… and he told me I wouldn’t need to be worrying about that anymore, or anything else. In other words, he knew I was on my way out.”

“Is that why you’re here? To tell me that I’m about to die?”

“I’m here to warn you about how you’re living. Again.”

“Thanks, Mr. Gable.”

“You can call me Clark.”

“Tell Marilyn that you set the record straight. Tell her I’ll be over to put down some flowers when I get out of here.”

“Let’s just keep you from pushing up daisies,” he said.

The nurse came in then, and he was gone.

5 Worst Vegetable Movies

5. Children of the Corn (1984) – Teaches children to hate scarecrows and cornfields. That can’t be right. Also teaches children to hate children.

4. The Secret of the Grain (2007) – Teaches children that if they follow their dreams with respect to cous cous and mullet, [spoiler] they’ll flop and then die.

3. Super Size Me (2004) – Teaches children that they can live on McDonalds burgers for a month. Ok, plus some of the french fry vegetable.

2. La grande bouffe (1973) – Teaches children that it’s ok to try and eat themselves to death while hanging out with hookers. Nowhere does the movie advise children not to try this at home, or that meat will kill them faster than vegetables, particularly those vegetables in the root family.

1. Down Argentine Way (1940) – Carmen Miranda with fruits on her head. Teaches children that fruits are not to be taken seriously. This movie would be in the “Best Vegetable Movie” list if instead she had meat on her head.

On the “Best Vegetable Movie” side:

Mr. Majestyk (1974) – Teaches children that melons are macho.

Penal Enlargement

[Written by a student. I promised him that I’d post a submission from him as a birthday present. Having said that, Shame on you, Harry! Don’t let your mother read this.]

There’s a lot of talk in this state about the men here who are the hardest to handle.

The joints: Are they big enough?

The sentences: Should they be longer?

The punishments: Should they be harder?

The judges: Are they crooked?

The women’s prisons: the SPCB is active. (B = banana)

Report on mistreatment: written by Peter Small and Richard Little