Monday, November 19, 2007


     Marv’s phone rings. He looks down at his cell, sees it’s his agent, mutes the TV and answers.

     "’Yello, Linda."

     "Hey! Gotta’ booking for you!"

     "Booking? Last thing I went out for was Montrose. Didn’t they cast that?"

     "Oh, yeah. Not Montrose. This is a future booking."

     "Cool! What for?"

     "Well, that’s a little tricky. See, the company predicts a flux in their infrastructure by the time you shoot this thing, so it’s kind of hard to know what they’ll be called by then."

     "I’m not following."

     "Okay, they like your look now, but they don’t actually want you in this commercial until you’re about 65 or so."

     "Linda, that’s 30 years from now."

     "Yeah, yeah. See, they’ve got this new computer aging software that takes headshots and shows the clients what people will look like when they’re older and, well, the client thinks you’ll be perfect."

     "In 30 years."

     "In 30 years, yes."

     "So, why don’t they just cast me now, shoot it now, then age me in post?"

     "Yeah, I asked them that and they just kept on and on, trying to explain it to me and, you know me, I couldn’t keep up with all their technological mumbo-jumbo. Apparently, that’s not the way it works. They want an authentic older gentleman and, like I said, they think you’d be perfect."

     Marv pulls the phone away from his ear and stares at it.

     "Marv? Hellooooooo?? Marv!"

     "I’m here, Linda. Look, I don’t see why they can’t just shoot it now with some old coot and keep it in the vault until they’re ready to put it on TV."

     "Again, this is not really my area of expertise."

     "Alright, alright. Who did you say they were again?"

     "Ummm, right now they’re called Mears Consolidated, but their analysts have been studying possible trends in the future, which means that they might be called something totally different three decades from now. The CEOs are in diapers, so it’s hard to tell."

     "Their CEOs are that old?"

     "Oh, no! They’re babies now, but by the time you shoot this, these kids will be in charge. It’s all been worked out ahead of time. That’s why all this research in future trends in the market are so important. They’re very organized. So, you want me to put you down for this or what?"

     "Thanks, Linda. And tell Mears thanks, too, but honestly, I’ve been really looking forward to dying before I’m sixty. Why don’t you give Bill Pettibone a call, huh?"

     "Oh. Okay, but if he’s booked already, should I just tell them that you’ll do it?"

     "No, I’ve really got my mind made up on this one. Appreciate it, though. Thanks for the call."

     "Okay. Bye, then."

     Marv sits on the couch with the phone in his hand. He picks up the remote, sighs, and hits mute again. The large-breasted schoolgirl giggles and says something in Spanish as the TV audience roars with laughter. Marv contemplates calling Linda back, but never does.

     The sun sets. Marv turns off the TV and sits in the dark with the phone in his hand until morning.



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