The Playwright

Rounding the corner Charles came to an abrupt halt. Damn. There was Tony Abbot again. Thinking Tony hadn’t seen him he turned quickly to hide but it was too late.

“Hey, Mr. Brent! Mr. Brent! It’s me, Tony, I’ve got a new script to show you!”

Tony trotted to where Charles was now rooted to the spot, cursing his bad timing, rotten luck or whatever it was that kept him from avoiding Tony as often as he’d like. How in the hell could anyone come up with as many plays as this guy did? And how could they all be so bad?

“Oh, hi Tony. A new script you say? Well I’m pretty busy now, I was just on my way to an important meeting and I…”

“I know you’re a busy man, Mr. Brent. This won’t take a minute. Let me just sketch it out to you and then you can look at it later, all right?”

Charles gritted his teeth. “Oh, all right Tony, what’s the pitch?”

“Well, you remember how you told me once that you liked that 60’s band, The Moody Blues? Well, anyway, I asked this guy I knew, he’s about your age, and he started singing this song of theirs that he likes, and I really liked the lyrics, so I wrote this play about it!”

Warily, Charles inquired. “I see, and what might the title of this play be?” He couldn’t imagine anyone writing a play based on a Moody Blues Song.

“It’s called Knights In White Satin. See, it’s the Knights of the Round Table, you know, Lancelot and those guys, and they all dress up in white satin and go off doing good deeds and such. Great idea, eh?”

Charles was dumbstruck. Recovering, he looked Tony in the eye. “Tony…are you putting me on here?”

“What do you mean Mr. Brent?”

“Well, Nights in White Satin isn’t…I hate to break it to you, but it’s not knights, as in Knights of the Round Table, it’s nights, as in, you know, night time.”

In the awkward silence that ensued Charles pressed his advantage. “Look, I really have to run. We’ll talk another time. See you around Tony.”

“Um, well, let me just walk with you for a minute, Mr. Brent, I have another one I’ve been working on. I know how much you baby boomer guys love your music, see, and I really want you to produce one of my plays, so I’ve been asking around about your music, and well, here’s another one. You like Elton John, right? Well I’m working on a play about that guy from the television show Who’s The Boss, you know, Tony Danza. Elton John wrote a song about him. I think he had a crush on that guy, so it’s a gay love story, very topical!”

Charles stopped in his tracks. “A gay love story about Elton John having a crush on Tony Danza? Where the hell did you get that idea?”

“From the song he wrote about it. You know, there’s that line in there, “hold me closer, Tony Danza.”

Charles had to start walking again to keep his composure. “Tony, it’s not…oh, never mind, I don’t think you should pursue that one. We’re not really ready to go there just yet.” Hoping that would be the end of it proved futile.

“Well, all right, not a problem, I’ve got another one. I really like this Elton John guy’s songs; my buddy sang me lots of them. There was that one about the girl rocker who wanted to be a success so much that she had surgery and got a weird haircut and everything so she’d get noticed, I’m working on a script for it, but I haven’t gotten very far yet, but yeah, I think you’d like it.”

Knowing he was going to hate himself, Charles asked anyway. “All right, Tony, sounds like you’re talking about Benny and the Jets, but what’s this about surgery and a weird haircut?”

“Oh, well there’s those lines in the song, “she’s got electric boobs, a Mohawk too…”

Feeling his head starting to pound, Charles stopped once more. “Tony, it’s not electric boobs, it’s electric boots and it’s not…oh my. Look, Tony, I really have to go, please, we’ll talk another time.”

As he watch Charles Brent retreating Tony called out to him. “You’re gonna produce one of my plays some day, Mr. Brent. I just know you are!”


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