I’m at a Friday evening business party I don’t wanna be at. It’s more of a Hollywood ending than an everybody-is-a-star kinda party. The kind that’s swimming with fake boobs, fake smiles, and fake lawns. I am a girl who is not having fun.
I fake small talk at the pool bar, planning my getaway, when two silver-haired manbabies rush me. Before I can put down my drink, I’m sailing up, up, up, white backless dress catching air. I splash land into a black-bottom pool.
A Mike Myers wannabe wades over, having just gotten a bird’s eye view. He stares. Eyes more than wide shut. My dress soaked in all the wrong places. I’m thinking Bandaids weren’t the best idea; I’m thinking coulda shoulda worn a stick-on bra.
“I have an incredible urge to pee right now,” wannabe says in his best Austin Powers. I cross my arms and inch away. The water turns warm.
I’m at a Monday morning business meeting I don’t wanna be at. It’s a Hollywood swinging out with the old, in with the new, kinda meeting. These days regime change is all the rage.
The conference room is filled with fake credits, fake names, and fake hair. I fake enthusiasm when the newest head honcho makes an entrance. He’s flanked by a fading A-List actor, who broods in risky business sunglasses, and his Angry-Edgy producer, who is face down in his phone. I almost drop the presentation boards I’m carrying when I move in for a closer look.
Head Honcho is none other than Golden-Shower-Austin-Powers himself—and, shit, shit, shit, he’s waving me over. No intros, no pleasantries. Just A-List and Angry-Edgy wanting a sneak peek at the poster concepts for their latest film. So, now I’m flipping boards like a poor man’s Vanna White as A-list dismisses six months of work–one by one with a continuous flick of his manicured hand.
Angry-Edgy is in a stupor, like seriously catatonic, until his Tourettes kicks in. “What the fucking, fuck, fuck, fuck! This. Is. Not. My. Movie.”
I look to Head Honcho for support, who is laser-focused on my boobs. He motions towards the door with his Double D chin. “This is a tentpole movie dear, not an arthouse film. Didn’t anyone tell you we changed the title to Missionary Impossible?”
Now I’m the one who’s in a stupor. Just when did a biopic about a washed-up action star turn into a…!? I would quit if I wasn’t so fired.
In my office, assistant Lala, very LA confidential, tells me she’s heard the new head honcho has a reputation for marking his territory. I’m thinking she has no idea. I’m thinking I don’t wanna think about it.
He appears as if on cue. The windows begin to rattle, he braces in the door. “Great job at the meeting today,” he says, round belly swaying with the building. “I’ve got good news.”
Great job… good news? Did I miss the memo?I grip the desk.
His voice rises above the quaking walls. “I was able to secure approval on a poster! A-List agreed to let us use his very strong, very retouched headshot. So, all you need to do, is put his face against a big, beautiful sky, strip a gun in his hand, and we are GOLDEN!”
Wait, what!? A floating head in the sky? Could that be any more straight-to-home video? And did he really just say golden!!?
Head Honcho sucks in his belly and strikes an Austin Powers pose. If this were that movie, I’d be swooning and kissing my hero’s ass, but… This. Is. Not. That. Movie. The building is rocking and rolling. Hundreds of poster boards carpet the floor. I grab Lala’s arm, and we charge right past his little gold member.
Karen Crawford exorcises demons one word at a time in the City of Angels. Her work appears in Anti-Heroin Chic, Rejection Letters, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Unfortunately Literary Magazine, among others. You can find her on twitter @KarenCrawford_