Monday, June 23, 2003

New Lease on Life
So after 13 days of (self-magnified) suspense, the verdict is in, and your favorite WULAD/G-Monsta/G-Man/Gord/Eenie/JazBoy/Inker-Stinker is (for now) Not Dying. I'm reminded however of the scene in Hannah and Her Sisters where Woody's hypochondriacal TV producer is told he doesn't have a brain tumor, and spurts giddily out of the office to the tune of Jimmie Lunceford or something, only to stop dead in his tracks when he realizes that someday, some way, the news will not be so good. This plunges him into a typical Woody Allen existential crisis—how can we live our lives, knowing that old age and/or death inevitably awaits us (what I describe to Belle as The Mango Truck at the End of Each of Our Streets)?

Do you realize what a thread we're all hanging by?

GAIL (offscreen)
Mickey, you're off the hook. You should be celebrating.

MICKEY (walking around to the front of his desk, gesturing)
Can you understand how meaningless everything is? Everything! I'm talking about nnnn--our lives, the show...the whole world, it's meaningless.

GAIL (gesturing)
Yeah...but you're not dying!

No, I'm not dying now, but, but (gesturing) you know, when I ran out of the hospital, I, I was so thrilled because they told me I was going to be all right. And I'm running down the street, and suddenly I stop, 'cause it hit me, all right, so, you know, I'm not going to go today. I'm okay. I'm not going to go tomorrow. (pointing) But eventually, I'm going to be in that position.

MICKEY (continuing) know it, it just takes the pleasure out of everything. (gesturing, pointing) I mean, you're gonna die, I'm gonna die, the audience is gonna die, the network's gonna-- The sponsor. Everything!

GAIL (chewing)
I know, I know, and your hamster.

MICKEY (nodding emphatically)

GAIL (chewing and pointing to Mickey)
Listen, kid, I think you snapped your cap.
(Please don't sue me, Woody. I saw you standing on the corner of 5th Ave. & 13th Street one day in 1997, and although I could've bothered you or falsely gushed about your clarinet playing, I chose to remain silent.) Belle of course has a different set of criteria for health-related worrying:

1. Is it bleeding?

2. Is it falling off?

3. If the answer to either 1 or 2 is "no", then shut up.

In the movie, Mickey finds serenity through falling in love with Dianne Weist; not being a sappy middle-aged guy, I'll have to content myself with Miles Davis's Porgy and Bess, Good ol' JJ's ramblings, and a really good corned beef sandwich.