Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Screenwriting in a Barber Chair

Well, it's not a barber chair. Men go to barbers. Women go to salons. So, I guess I was in a salon chair. The point is I was bored and in no mood to share intimate details of my stressed out holidays with a perfect stranger with perfect hair, perfect complexion, perfect figure, and perfect fashion sense. My mother had gifted me with an ultra expensive cut, color, perm, style and whatever else I wanted at an elite salon so even though I felt like Quasimodo being coiffured by Esmerelda, one glance at the my split ends and trailer trash hair in the mirror was all the motivation I needed to stay put and let Miss Perfect Teeth do her job.

Now, remember that list of my idiosyncracies from another blog? No? You stumbled here by mistake and only stayed because you saw the words "perfect figure" and hoped I'd send you a nudie photo? Okay, fair enough. I mean, if you actually want a nudie of Quasimodo, that's your business. Anyway, among my idiosyncracies are aversions for bank tellers, clowns, balloons, King Kong and that absolutely terrifying plastic faced Burger King dude. Cripes, he's creepy! Oh, and one more thing I neglected to mention on that list... strangers putting their hands on me. Not that I mind a handshake, brief hug, or casual arm around my shoulder. I don't even mind girlie looking hands as long as they belong to a good friend or at least somebody I know, like, respect, or want to know, like or respect. But strangers? Don't friggin' touch me!!

So, there I sat while Miss Perfect Boobs told me how lovely I was and how cute this cut would be on me. I had not one drop of makeup on, my hair looked like my last cut came from a weedeater and I was wearing my Magoo glasses because the salon fumes burned right through my contact lenses. Uh huh. The picture of loveliness.

I had to get out of there! I couldn't stand another second but what could I do? She had half my head cut and was smiling sweetly at me. Even if I wanted to leave with one side of my hair down my back and the other side to my shoulders, I couldn't leave Miss Perfect Smile and hurt her little feelings. Then I heard him.

Remember Sal? No? Argh! Sal, as I explained in my "I'm Not William Hung" post of October, is that little voice of doubt in my head. Don't tell him I said that because part of the agreement we reached when we became co-writers was that I was only to refer to him as "voice of reason", not "voice of doubt".

Okay, anyway, Sal got my attention while I was in the chair and pointed out that I needed to be doing one of two things. I could either take mental and/or written notes of some of the choice dialogue taking place in the chairs around me or I could withdraw into that dimension that only writers know about where as God, I was stuck in the second act or somewhere along the fourth or fifth day of creating my own universe.

Oh, that Sal. He's usually right, you know. So there I sat for over two hours working out plot issues, rewriting dialogue in my head, taking a few notes in one of my multitudes of books that weigh my purse down so much I get ruts in my shoulder. I had two entire hours of uninterrupted writing time except for a trip to the sink for a rinse. Life was good.

Now, there is a downside to this story. I can no longer do that very cool and ultra sexy Catherine Zeta Jones thing. You know the one... Mask of Zorro. Yeah, that one. Zorro-wannabe slices up her clothes with his sword and only her hair protects her modesty when the shift hits the, I mean floor. Yeah, well, I can't do that trick anymore.

Oh, and one more thing. I decided I really do like and respect Miss Perfect so I booked her for a trim in six weeks. You know what else? She's not so perfect. As I reflected on my day, I finally identified her flaw. I refer back to paragraph three. She's a liar! Oh yeah, we're gonna get along just fine!

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