Yard Sale, Next Right
by Calendar Hacksaw
I was up late last night examining my "retirement portfolio," consisting as it does of little more than a Lotto ticket and a job application for Walmart, when it dawned on me that I have but two choices: continue working until I drop dead at my desk, or arrange to die of natural causes next Tuesday morning between 8:42 and 8:47 a.m., because that's when the money runs out.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it is with deep personal regret that I am left with no alternative but to auction off the screen rights to Calendar Hacksaw. If I can pull in a cool $1,000,000 or more in this manner, I'll likely be able to stick with my preferred brand of beer and not be reduced to lapping up Old Wisconsin from the gutter like so many of my contemporaries.
I also hope to raise sufficient capital to afford a place in of my own near Twin Oaks, in that my recent offer of $1,000 and a used generator failed to generate sufficient interest (tightwads).
My original intent was to conduct this auction on eBay, but following consultation with my crack team of legal advisors (Dave's drinking buddy in Oregon, and a rock worshiper in Arizona), I came away with the realization that such an auction, if successful, would be rife with pitfalls. I envisioned the Zanuttos taking me to court, and to the cleaners, claiming they own the copyright to Calendar Hacksaw. So, instead, I will conduct this auction right here, in their own newspaper, in front of their friends and neighbors, for all the world to witness.
The property to be auctioned consists only of the first six years of columns, up to and including last month's. That's about 60,000 words, give or take, plus or minus. Anything I write from here on out will be subject to a second auction, because it's highly likely that the successful bidder will want to film a sequel.
I'm also open to any endorsement offers, such as "Calendar Hacksaw says, "The Cow Belle's biscuits and gravy is the best they be!"" or "Calendar says, "Elect Lou Litwin!"" Stuff like that.
I think you all can envision the wide popular appeal of a movie or sitcom featuring Russell Crowe or Chris Rock in the lead role as a starving rural humor columnist trying to avoid the big time, stumbling over one character after another along the way. Picture a love scene like this:
"But, alas, the fruit of their intense passion was deposited on barren filaree, not primrose and, absent nourishment, perished. From that time on, when they passed on the boardwalk, a keen observer might witness a timid tip of the pinchfront Stetson, a half-forced smile, and occasionally a gratuitous secret handshake, but never the affectionate peck on the cheek to which the lowly townspeople had grown so accustomed."
Man, that's some kind of writing, isn't it? And how about if we throw in some nudity, just to earn that popular "R" rating:
"After waiting several hours for the spring water to heat, Betty (played by Sally Fields), tied a rope to the solar shower, threw it over a low-hanging branch on the old oak tree, hoisted it up and tied it off to the rear of Calendar's truck. Disrobing, she leisurely showered and then lay nude atop a large, white rock, letting the warm granite do what no man had ever done: dry her off."
As you can see, I've got the screenplay pretty well finished, and I'll throw that in for an extra $1,000,000 so we can get this thing into the theaters or on TV before the next round of Oscars or Emmys. Should "Travels With Calendar" become a motion picture, I envision its premiere being held in Bakersfield or Ed Oakley Hall, whichever is bigger, with all proceeds going to my favorite cause: the Dust Bowl Historical Foundation's campaign to raise $500,000 in order to preserve and authentically rehabilitate three of the original buildings from the Arvin Federal Government Migratory Camp, better known as "Weedpatch Camp." I wish they would use child labor, like they did the first time, but thanks to the Child Labor Act and similar statutes, the law now "protects" us from that which once made us strong.
I've even got a major supporting role picked out for Charles Napier, but I'm keeping that a secret for obvious reasons.
Yes, there will be violence in this epic, to wit:
"Persephone (Britney Spears), felt the flying insect's wings and antennae tickling her bare shoulder, its tiny feet gripping the raw flesh, and with a strong, lightning-fast left hand she instinctively slapped at the intruder with a force normally reserved for the face of some roadhouse masher, coming away with a pulpy handful of black, brown and white goo no longer bearing any resemblance to what had been the last surviving Kern Primrose Sphinx Moth."
You can't get a better movie ending than that. They'll be on their feet, screaming for a sequel.
Calendar Hacksaw showers at http://www.calendarhacksaw.com, and with writing like this, we don't have to worry about plagiarism, do we? A tip of the pinchfront and Calendar's continued best wishes to author/historian/professor Gerald Haslam as he recuperates from a mild heart attack suffered in January.