I am normally a slow writer. I think it is because of my short attention span, which I had before Attention Deficit Disorder became cool. But this morning after tea and a bagel lightly toasted, shaken not stirred, I rapped out some lines that show a little promise.
Two women are discussing hair color. One is an assistant director on a movie set and the other finds faces for TV commercials.
“Thanks, if you’re paying a compliment, but I’m going back to shocking pink. More bang for the buck if you want to stand out in the crowd. I couldn’t help notice you changed the subject.” She turns her head to one side with a perkiness that Molly remembers from when they were close friends. Perkiness in women isn’t all that attractive after a certain age, Molly thinks, and sadly Elie is getting close. Pink was not a good idea.
“There’s a reason, trust me. What are they waiting for out there?”
“It seems like there’s plenty of it.”
“That’s the problem, too much. They planned on using foggers for the look they want, but then the real stuff moved in and gummed up the works.”
“On a commercial shoot we’d just work around it,” Molly says.
“On a commercial shoot you don’t have raging egos and raving insanity. Oh, guess who’s a second banana in this so-called movie? Clay Carson. You wouldn’t recognize him from the Polydent days.”
Carson had been one of Molly’s greatest finds, a long-distance hauler discovered eating fried chicken at a huge truck stop in Nebraska. He had what Madison Avenue saw as the perfect flyover land face – tanned, rugged, and honest as the day is long; not sophisticated, far from it, but wise in the ways of the world. Carson reminded you of the Marlboro Man except without the heavy smoker’s voice and terminal lung cancer. He had a slow smile that said I’m listening but don’t try to bullshit me, Pilgrim. It was easy to imagine him squatting on his booted heels along a campfire after a day in the saddle, shifting position without the slightest embarrassment to free a fart. After the Polydent spots made a splash, he went on to represent a host of over-the-counter products – corn and bunion remedies, soap for grimy hands that worked on oily machinery . . .
Carson isn’t supposed to be a major character, but I like his comic possibilities. It almost writes itself, as the saying goes.
Meanwhile, I can’t find my new e-book version of Top Dog anywhere on Google. Maybe I have to advertise? In looking for it I discovered it was a Science and Fantasy book of the year in 1998. This was completely unknown to me. You would think Ace would have said something back then. Even a card in the mail.