Bullet In My Breast Pocket
A Love Story
The Vodka Add
The Great Renaldo
The Science Fiction Film
The Lost Generation
I moved, let me start right at the very beginning, I formerly lived in Manhattan, uptown east in a brownstone building, but I was constantly getting mugged and assaulted and...sadistically beaten about the face and neck. So I moved into a doormanned apartment house on Park Avenue, that's rich and secure and expensive and great, and I lived there for two weeks, and my doorman attacked me.
I don't know what else has happened...Oh I know, I became a corporation since I was here the last time. Last year I had difficulty with my income tax. I tried to take my analyst off as a business deduction, y'know. The government said it was entertainment, y'know, we compromised finally and made it a religious contribution. I formed a corporation this year, and I'm the president, my mother is vice president, my father is secretary and my grandmother is treasurer, my uncle is on the board of directors, and they got together the first week, and they tried to squeeze me out. I formed a power block with my uncle and we sent my grandmother to jail.
I went to NYU myself, I was a philo-major there, too. I took all the abstract philosophy courses in college, like truth and beauty, advanced truth and beauty, intermediate truth, introduction to God, Death 101. I was thrown out of NYU my freshman year, I cheated on my metaphysics final in college, I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me. They threw me out, and my mother, who is a really sensitive woman, when I got thrown out of college, she locked herself in the bathroom and took an overdose of Mahjong tiles.
I was in analysis, you should know that about me, I was in group analysis when I was younger, 'cause I couldn't afford private...I was captain of the latent paranoid softball team. We used to play all the neurotics on sunday morning. Nailbiters against the bedwetters, and if you've never seen neurotics play softball, it's really funny. I used to steal second base, and feel guilty and go back.
Also, I have a cousin, that my parents loved more than me, that really destroyed me. Ah, I have a boy cousin that went through four years of college and became a mutual fund salesman, and he married a very thin girl from the neighbourhood, who had her nose lifted by a golf pro, y'know...(bok) Hit it and just...hooked up over her head, and they moved to the suburbs and they have all kinds of status symbols, they have their own home and stationwagon and fire insurance and life insurance and mutual funds and his wife has orgasmic insurance or something. If her husband fails to satisfy her sexually, Mutual of Omaha has to pay her every month.
I don't know what else to tell you about myself, I was a writer and an actor, I was a television writer and, ah, I wasn't an actor, I was in acting class. We did a play in acting class by Paddy Chayefsky called "Gideon", and I played the part of God, in "Gideon". It was typecasting. It was method acting, so two weeks beforehand, I started to live the part offstage, y'know. I really came on God, there, I was really fabulous, I put on a blue suit, I took taxi cabs all over New York. I tipped big, 'cause he would have. I got into a fight with a guy, and I forgave him. It's true. Some guy hit my fender and I said unto him...I said, "Be fruitful and multiply", but not in those words.
And the only time I bathed was with Mrs. Allen, I guess, my wife, the dread Mrs. Allen. Honeymooning, I was fabulous, you would have adored me. I was on waterskis, stripped to the waist, skiing fast across the top of the surf, my hair back, I oiled my muscle. It was really... holding on with one hand, waterskiing, very great, my wife was in the boat ahead of me, rowing frantically. I got a very bad burn, really, I was thinking, when I was a kid, I was ashamed of having red hair, 'cause I lived in a tough section, I lived in a sub-basement walk-down, ah, under street level, janitor-style, ah, the janitor, that had the apartment during the depression, had some stocks, the market crashed, and he was wiped out, he tried to kill himself by jumping out the window and UP unto street level.
I was the sensitive kid, poet. There were tough kids in my class, there was a kid in my class named Floyd. Floyd used to sit in the dumb row in school, y'know. Vegetable mentality, y'know. I made friends with him years later when we got older, I removed a thorn from his paw. Once, I was on my way for my violin lesson when I was a kid, and I'm walking past the pool room, and Floyd and all of his friends are out, y'know, they're swiping hubcaps, in Brooklyn, from moving cars, which is really...amazing. And I walk past him, and he yells out to me, "Hey, Red!". I was a cocky kid. Put down my violin. I go up to him. I said "My name is not Red. If you want me, call me by my regular name, It's Master Heywood Allen". I spent that winter in a wheelchair. A team of doctors laboured to remove a violin. Lucky it wasn't a cello.
We used to argue and fight, we finally decided, we either take a vacation on Bermuda or get a divorce, one of the two things, and we discussed it very maturely, and we decided on the divorce, 'cause we felt we had a limited amount of money to spend, y'know. A vacation in Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce is something that you'd always have. And I saw myself free again, living in the Village, y'know, in a batchelor apartment with a wood burning fireplace and a shaggy rug, y'know, and on the walls one of those great Picassos by Van Gogh, and just great swinging...Airline hostesses running amok in the apartment, y'know. And I got very excited, and I ran into my wife, she was in the next room at the time, listening to Conelrad on the radio, y'know. I laid it right on the line with her, I came right to the point, I said "Quasimodo, I want a divorce".
And she said "Great, get the divorce", but it turns out, in New York state, they have a strange law that says you can't get a divorce unless you can prove adultery, and it's weird, because the ten commandments say "Thou shalt not commit adultery", but New York state says you have to. Well, finally, what happened was, my wife comitted adultery for me. She's always been more mechanically inclined than I have.
It was a very nice affair, y'know, really good, and right after the wedding, my wife started turning weird. She went to Hunter College, and she got into the philosophy department at Hunter, and she started dressing with black clothes and no make-up, and leotards, y'know, and she pierced her ears one day with a conducters punch, y'know. And she used to involve me in deep philosophical arguments, and then prove I didn't exist, y'know...infuriating. And I had to let her go, was what happened, and I had to tell my parents about it. And my parents are what you used to call 'old world'. My parents come from Brooklyn, which is the heart of the old world. They're very stable down-to-earth people, who, ah, don't approve of divorce. Their, their...their values in life are God and carpeting.
I came home on a sunday, this was a long time ago, my father's watching television sunday night, he's watching Ed Sullivan Show, on television, he's watching the Indiana Home for the Criminally Insane Glee Club on the Ed Sullivan Show. And my mother is in the corner, knitting a chicken, y'know. And I'd said that I would have to get a divorce, my mother put down her knitting, and she got up, and she went over to the furnace, and she opened the door, and she got in. Took it rather badly, I felt.
So I pick up this girl, I was very glib, and she was a brilliant girl, she was a Bennington girl, studying at Bennington to be a woman male nurse at a four-year program, working on a term paper on the increasing incidents of heterosexuality amongst homosexuals. The girl was a swinger, however, I must....The girl was brought up in Darien, Conneticut, and when she was younger, she had a little brother about six years old, eight years...his parents sent the kid to military school. And while he was there, he stole jam or something, and they caught him, and they wanted to do things right, 'cause it was military school, so they held a court martial there. They found the kid guilty. They shot him. They returned to his parents half the tuition.
Meanwhile, I was running amok with his sister, his sister was fabulous, she was a great, great, blonde, and she had tatooed on the inner surface of her thigh, the words 'Bird lives', which, unfortunately, I was never privileged to see in the relationship, but had it been printed in Braille, I would have had a great thing going with her. We used to go up to her apartment late at night, and all her beatnik friends would be sitting crosslegged on each other there, and they would be trying to make opium out of the poppies given out by veterans on street corners. She used to plug in her twelve and a half dollar hi-fi set, y'know, with the teakwood needle, and put on the record albums on of Marcel Marceau, y'know, just....
She crushed me, I...Every time I tell the story, I'm reminded...I was what you would call, not a intellectual, up to her...she was...I was thrown out of college, and when I was thrown out of college I got a job on Madison Avenue in New york, a real dyed-in-the-wool advertising agency on Madison Avenue, wanted a man to come in, and they pay him ninetyfive dollars a week, and to sit in their office, and to look jewish. They wanted to prove to the outside world, that they would hire minority groups, y'know. So I was the one they hired, y'know. I was the show jew at the agency. I tried to look jewish desperately, y'know. I used to read my memos from right to left all the time. They fired me finally, 'cause I took off too many jewish holidays.
And I was thinking, when I lived in my apartment in the brownstone building in New York, we were constantly getting robbed all the time. It was a very big feature of the neighbourhood, y'know. Guys would break in and steal, and my apartment was robbed about four times in two years, y'know, it really got to be a bad thing, and I didn't know what to do about it, so finally I put on my door, a little blue and white sticker that said "We gave". Figure that would end it brilliantly, but it didn't, 'cause a man in my building, Mr. Russo was held up late at night, two very big guys got him with a bottle and a stick in the lobby, y'know, and they wanted all his cash, and Russo like a jerk tried to sign for it for tax purposes, whatever it is, y'know. They hit him with tremendous shot across the frontal lobe, y'know, real smack in the head, and he fell to the lobby in a fetal position, y'know. He lay there until his lease ran out, y'know. He's never been the same since the smack in the head, y'know. He smiles a lot now. He laughs out of context occasionally. He's not as perceptive as the average tree stump, y'know.
Everybody in the building panicked, they said that I'm small and that I should go and build myself up, in case I get into trouble, I could defend myself, so I went to Vic Tannings, this was a long time ago, I went for three weeks, and I lifted and I bent and I squatted. Nothing happend to me at all, y'know, nothing grew or anything, and I figure it's ridiculous, why don't I forget about it and give Vic Tanning the cash., and I ask him if he'll walk me home nights.
However, there is a kid in my building, a little odd kid named Leon, and Leon takes karate lessons. Leon is always walking with his hand cocked at a right angle, like this, y'know, and everyone said that I should learn Judo, 'cause I'd be an animal, but Judo to me has always been a thing of the bigger your opponent is, the bigger the beating he is gonna give you, y'know. And then my good friends told me, in the back of Esquire magazine, you can send away for a fountain pen that shoots teargas. It's a real fountain pen, and it secretes a gaseous billow, y'know, really great pen, seven and a half dollars. I send away. It comes in the mail, two weeks later in a plain brown wrapper, y'know. I unscrew it, I put in the teargas cartridges (pop), I clip it in my breast pocket, y'know (click), I go out, a long time ago this was, some friends of mine had a surprise autopsy, and I'm invited for the evening, y'know.
I'm coming home by myself, two o'clock in the morning, and it's pitch black and I'm all alone, and standing in my lobby is...a neanderthal man, with the eyebrow ridges, y'know, and the hairy knuckles like this, y'know. He had just learned to walk erect that morning, I think. Came right to my house in search of the secret of fire, y'know. A tree-swinger in the lobby at two o'clock in the morning. A mouth breather looking at me, like (breathes heavily), y'know. I took my watch out and I dangled it in front of him, y'know, 'cause they're mullified by shiny objects sometimes. He ate it. I tried to impress him and I backed off and I pulled out my teargas pen, and I pressed the trigger, and some ink trickled down my shirt. I made a mental note to call Esquire and tell them 'cause, I'm standing in the lobby, two o'clock in the morning, y'know, with a product of a broken home, y'know. I had a fountain pen in my hand, I tried writing on him with it, y'know. He came for me, and he started to tapdance on my windpipe, so very quickly, I lapsed into the old Navajo Indian trick of screaming and begging.
I get into an amazing amount of, ah, physical encounters for someone my size. About thirteen weeks ago, I had my shoes shined against my will. Tremendous shoeshine boy, said to me "I'm shining your shoes". "Yes you are" I said. He did give me an execellent shine though, I might add, but they were suede shoes.
All of a sudden a big guy enters the car, and I'm sitting there between four clansmen, four big-armed men, and the door's locked, and I'm petrified, I'm trying to pass desperately, y'know, I'm saying "Y'all" and "Grits", y'know, I must have said "grits" fifty times, y'know. They ask me a question, and I say "Oh, grits, grits". And next to me is the leader of the cla... you can tell he is the leader, 'cause he's the one wearing contour sheets, y'know. And they drive me to an empty field, and I gave myself away, 'cause they asked for donations, and everybody there gave cash. When it came to me, I said "I pledge fifty dollars". They knew immediately. They took my hood off and threw a rope around my neck, and they decided to hang me.
And suddenly my whole life passed before my eyes. I saw myself as a kid again, in Kansas, going to school, swimming at the swimming hole, and fishing, frying up a mess-o-catfish, going down to the general store, getting a piece of gingham for Emmy-Lou. And I realise it's not my life. They're gonna hang me in two minutes, the wrong life is passing before my eyes. And I spoke to them, and I was really eloquent, I said "Fellas, this country can't survive, unless we love one another regardless of race, creed or colour". And they were so moved by my words, not only did they cut me down and let me go, but that night, I sold them two thousand dollars worth of Israel Bonds.
And I was caught here in an ethical crisis. Should I advertise a product that I don't actually use? It's a problem 'cause I'm not a drinker, my body won't tolerate...eh...spirits, really. I had two martinis new years eve and I tried to hi-jack an elevator and fly it to Cuba. In the past whenever I had any sort of...eh...emotional problem, I used to consult with my analyst all the time. This is public knowledge, I was in analysis for years, 'cause of a traumatic childhood I had. Remember I was breastfed from falsies. It scarred me emotionally, y'know. I was in a strict freudian analysis for a long time. My analyst died two years ago, and I never realized it, and now, whenever I have any sort of problem, I consult with my spiritual counselor, who in my case is my rabbi. I called him on the phone and laid the proposition on him, and he said "Don't do it, 'cause it's illegal and immoral to advertise a product that you don't use, just for the money." And I said "Okay", and I passed the ad up and I must say, that it took great courage at the time, 'cause I needed the money, I was writing and I needed to be free, creative. I was working on a non-fiction version of the Warren report.
I'd just passed the ad up and a month later I'm leafing through a Life magazine, and I see a photograph of Monique van Vooren in a slim bikini bathing suit, and she is on the beach in Jamaica, and there, next to her, with a cool vodka in his hand, is my rabbi. So I call him up on the phone, y'know, and he puts me on hold. What happened is, that he wanted to go into showbusiness - he had done a late night prayer on television. He was in the middle of the twentythird song and he tried to ad-lib, y'know, tried to name the ten commandments, couldn't think of them quickly and instead he named the Seven Dwarfs. He's got a discoteque now in his college, with topless rabbis, y'know, no scullcap on.
Let me tell you how I met my second wife, which is really...romantic. I read an article in Life magazine saying there was a sexual revolution going on on college campuses all over the country, and I reregistrated at New York University to check it out, 'cause I used to go there years ago, I was a history of hygiene major at NYU, and I was thrown out of college, and when I was thrown out I got a job. My father had a grocery store in Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, and he hired me to work for him. I was a delivery boy for my father, that was my first job, and I unionized the workers and we struck and drove him out of business. He's always been touchy about it.
Now, when I went back to school, suddenly everybody wanted to fix me up with women. And I have had a very bad history with blind dates. You must not misunderstand me - believe it, sex is a beautiful thing between two people. Between five it's fantastic. I was very depressed about that for a long time. I was gonna kill myself, but as I said, I was in a strict freudian analysis, and if you kill yourself, they make you pay for the sessions you miss. So I accept this date. First blind date in years, I go to a fourth floor walk-up, and then knock on the door, and this girl comes to the door, and she is absolutely beautiful, but really terrific, great long blond hair, and a short skirt and boots and a sleeveless jersey, and she is packed into it. When I see her look that beautiful, I wanna...cry, write a poem, jump on her. I'm very sensitive, y'know. She asked me what I wanted to do, and I'm not a swinger. My idea of a big evening is go down to the corner roticimat and watch the chickens revolve, y'see.
I take her to a party on McDougle Street in Greenwich Village. We go into a smokedfilled room, and I do not use - you should know this about me, too - any sort of consciousness expanding material. My body will not tolerate that. Y'know I took a puff of the wrong cigarette at a fraternity dance once, and the cops had to get me, y'know. I broke two teeth trying to give a hickie to the Statue of Liberty. The party begins to move downstairs now, unto the street, and everybody is playing bongoes and guitars, and a cop on horseback comes up to me, and he puts his arm around me. He says to me "Are you one of those draftcard burners?" And I say "No, I'm not. I never registered, I don't have a draftcard." Now a little girl feeds, what look like a cube of sugar, to the policemans horse. The horse showed up at a sit-in in Georgia. Now I decide to strike. I get my date, and I jam her into my Hertz. I have a rented car, which is a flat rate 12 cents a mile, in an effort to cut down on the mileage charge, I back up every place. So I'm backing over the George Washington Bridge.
That was two o'clock in the morning, and I get my date back to her apartment, and the two of us are alone, and we're going pretty good. I have to explain this very delicately, 'cause it's really tentative. As I... as I am an inordinately...passionate...man. Volatile. Sensual. In general a stud. When making love...when making love...in an effort...to prolong...the moment of ecstacy...I think of baseball players. All right, now you know. The two of us are making love violently, she's digging it, I figure I better start thinking of ballplayers quickly. So I figure it's one out, the ninth, the Giants are up. Mays lines a single to right, he takes second on a wild pitch. Now she is digging her nails into my neck. I decided to pinch-hit for McCovey. Alou pops out. Haller singles, Mays holds third. Now I got a first-and-third situation. Two out, the Giants are behind one run. I don't know whether to squeeze or steal. She's been in the shower for ten minutes, already. This is too...I can't tell you anymore, this is too personal. The Giants won.
And I married the girl, incidently, and had a very good wedding, except for my father, who squatted down and did one of those russian dances, see, and tore a leg muscle and froze in that position. Walked down the aisle like that, y'know.
Someone asked me if I would tell this...story. A long time ago... It's a wierd story. 'Twas out in Los Angeles and I was at a party with a very big Hollywood producer, and at that time he wanted to make an elaborate cinemascope musical comedy out of the Dewey Decimal System. And they wanted me to work on it, and I go out to the producers building in downtown Los Angeles,and I walk into his elevator, and there are no people in the elevator, no buttons on the wall or anything. And I hear a voice say "Kindly call out your floors, please." And I look around, and I'm alone. And I panic, and I read on the wall, that is a new elevator and it works on a sonic principle and it all sound. All I have to do is say what floor I wanna got to, and it takes me there. So I say "Three, please", and the doors close and the elevator starts going up to three. And on the way up I began to feel very selfconscious, 'cause I talk, I think, with a slight New York accent, and the elevator spoke quite well. I get out of it, and I'm walking down the hall, and I look back, and I thought I heard the elevator make a remark. I turned quickly and the doors closed and the elevator goes down, y'know, and I...didn't wanna get involved at the time with an...elevator in Hollywood, but - this is the strange part of the story, the other was the normal part - I have never in my life had good relationships with mechanical objects of any sort. Anything that I can't reason with or kiss or fondle, I get into trouble with. I have a clock that runs counter-clockwise for some reason. My toaster pops up my toast and shakes it, burns it. I hate my shower. I'm taking a shower, and somebody in America uses his water. That's it for me, y'know, I leap from the tub scolded. I have a tape recorder, I payed a hundred and fifty dollars for, and as I talk into it, it goes "I know, I know."
About three years ago I couldn't stand it anymore. I was home one night. I called a meeting with my posessions. I got everything I owned into the living room. My toaster, my clock, my blender. They never been in the living room before. And I spoke to them. I opened with a joke. And then I said "I know what's going on, and cut it out!" I have a sun lamp, but as I sit under it, it rains on me. And I spoke to each appliance, I was really articulate. Then I put them back, and I felt good. Two nights later I'm watching my portable television set, and the set begins to jump up and down, and I go up to it. And I always talk before I hit, and I said "I thought we had discussed this, what's the problem?" And the set kept going up and down, so I hit it, and it felt good hitting it, and I beat the hell out of it. I was really great, I tore off the antenna, and I felt very virile. And two days later I go to my dentist in New York. I had gone to my dentist, but I had a deep cavity, and he'd sent me to a chiropodist. I'm going into a building in mid-town New York, and they have those elevators, and I hear a voice say "Kindly call out your floors, please", and I say "sixteen" and the doors close and the elevator starts going up to sixteen. And on the way up the ellevator says to me "Are you the guy that hit the televison set?" I felt like an ass, y'know, and it took me up and down fast between floors, and it threw me off in the basement. It yelled out something that was anti-semetic.
The upshot of the story is, that day I called my parents, my father was fired. He was technologically unemployed. My father had worked for the same firm for twelve years. They fired him. They replaced him with a tiny gadget, this big, that does everything my father does, only it does it much better. The depressiong thing is, my mother ran out and bought one.
So I drive up to the party and I knock on the door. The moose is next to me. My host comes to the door. I say "Hello. You know the Solomons". We enter. The moose mingles. Did very well. Scored. Two guys were trying to sell him insurance for an hour and a half. Twelve o'clock comes - they give out prices for the best costume of the night. First price goes to the Burcowiches, a maried couple dressed as a moose. The moose comes in second. The moose is furious. He and the Burcowiches lock antlers in the living room. They knock each other unconscious. Now, I figured, is my chance. I grab the moose, strap him onto my fender, and shoot back to the roads, but - I got the Burcowiches. So I'm driving along with two jewish people on my fender, and there's a law in New York State ... tuesdays, thursdays and especially saturday.
The following morning the Burcowiches wake up in the woods, in a moose suit. Mr. Burcowich is shot, stuffed and mounted - at the New York Athletic Club, and the joke is on them, because it's restricted.
Meanwhile they take me to New Jersey, bound and gagged, and my parents finally realize that I'm kidnapped. They snap into action immediately: they rent out my room. The ransom note says for my father to leave a thousand dollars in a hollow tree in New Jersey. He has no trouble raising the thousand dollars, but he gets a hernia carrying the hollow tree.
The FBI surround the house, "Throw the kid out,", they say, "give us your guns, and come out with your hands up."
The kidnappers say "We'll throw the kid out, but let us keep our guns, and get to our car."
The FBI says "Throw the kid out, we'll let you get to your car, but give us your guns."
The kidnappers say "We'll throw the kid out, but let us keep our guns - we don't have to get to our car."
The FBI says "Keep the kid."
The FBI decides to lob in teargas, but they don't have teargas, so several of the agents put on the death scene from Camellia. Tearstricken my abducters give themselves up. They are sentenced to fifteen years on a chaingang, and they escape, twelve of then chained together at the ankle, getting by the guards posing as an immense charm bracelet.
I was talking about this on TV last week. I escape always into a rich fantasy life, that comes from an unhappy childhood. I come from a poor family. My father worked at Coney Island. He had a consession on the boardwalk, where you knock over milk bottles with baseballs, which I could never do for my entire childhood. There was a tidal wave at Coney Island, when I was a child, ripped up the boardwalk and did about a million dollars worth of damage, houses and everything. The only thing left standing was those little milk bottles, y'know.
I was, I would say, overdiciplined which is really humiliating. I had to be home nine thirty, prom night. I made a reservation at the Copa Cabana for five o'clock. I took my date and we wathced them set up. I was, as a matter of fact, when I think of it, terrorised as an adolescent. I was not that young when it happened, I was...eh...I guess about thirteen or so at the time, and was on my way to an amateur music contest. And, my family is musical, you should know that, my father used to play the tuba as a young man, he tried to play the tuba, he tried to play "Flight of the Bumblebee", and blew his liver out through the horn.
Now I'm on the subway with my clarinet [jewish?] jazz musician style, unwrapped and everything, and these twelve guys come running through the subway. Really hairy-knuckled types, y'know, raced through there. Apparently they just come from a settlement house, y'know' as they were dribbling a social worker as they went through the car. They stop right over me, y'know, because I was conspicous, 'cause I had just eaten a sea-food lunch, I had forgotten to remove the lobster bib, y'know, so I looked like a farmer with a fat tie, y'know, with Neptune on it. They stand over me, they start cursing and smoking and tearing up seats, y'know. I don't say anything, y'know, I just sit there, look down, continue reading 'Heidi'. All of a sudden the leader puts his finger under my neck, like this, and goes feeww. I got up. He snapped his knee up, quickly, and I refused to give him the satisfaction of doubling over, but I did one of the greatest imitations of Lily Ponds, you've ever heard. I hit an M over high C and I'm being [????]. Showed up an hour late for the music contest. Came in second anyhow. I won two weeks at Interfaith Camp, where I was sadistically beaten by boys of all races and creeds.
Stay with us, 'cause it's brilliant.
Everybody is making cuffs and flies and cutting velvet, y'know, And a spaceship lands from another planet, and men get out with jackets and shirts and black socks - no trousers at all. They say: "Are the pants ready?" We say: "No. Could you come back thursday?". They say they must have them, 'cause they are going to a wedding, and we work dillingently and make pants constantly and they come to get them, and when they come to pick them up, they leave us with socks, hankerchiefs, pillowcases and soiled linnen, and they say: "Do it!", and the president of the United States goes on television and says that an alien superpower from outer space with superior intelligence is bringing us their laundry, and they are foiled, 'cause they travelled a hundred and seventeen million lightyears to pick it up, and they forget their ticket.
I had once a pain in the chestal area. Now, I was sure it was heartburn, y'know, 'cause at that time I was married and my wife cooking with her nazi recipies, y'know, chicken Himmler. I didn't wanna pay twentyfive bucks to have it reaffirmed by some medic, that I had heartburn. But I was worried 'cause it was in the chestal area. Then it turns out my friend, Eggs Benedict, has a pain in his chestal area, in the same exact spot. I figured if I could get Eggs to go to the doctor, I could figure out what was wrong with me, at no charge, so I con Eggs. He goes. Turns out he's got heartburn. Cost him twentyfive dollars, and I feel great, 'cause I figured I beat the medic out of twentyfive big ones, y'know. Called up Eggs two days later - he died. I check into a hospital immediately, have a battery of test run and x-rays. Turns out I got heartburn. Cost me a hundred and ten dollars. Now I'm furious. I run to Eggs' mother, and I say: "Did he suffer much?" And she said: "No, it was quick. Car hit him and that was it."
I must pause for one fast second and say a fast word about oral contraception. I was involved in an extremely good example of oral contraception two weeks ago. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, and she said "No".
I have been in Europe for the last six months making a film called What's New Pussycat, starring Peter O'Toole and Peter Sellers and myself, in that order, and it's the first time in my life, that I ever acted in anything like that. I have acted before, but I don't count it, many many years ago I was the nursery school play, when I was a child. I played the part of Stanley Kowalski in the school play of A Streetcar Named Desire, and I was one of the great five years old Stanleys. And..I wrote the film, and it's an autobiographically movie. It's based on the experiences of a great ladies man and I ... you're laughing? ... it so happens, on my honeymoon night my wife stopped in the middle of everything to give me a standing ovation.
Yes, as a matter of fact, you should know the etymology of how I got to Europe in the first place, which is fascinating. I was appearing in Greenwich Village at a coffee house in Bleeker street called the Integration Bagle Shop and Flea Parlor. I was the master of ceremonies on the bed, y'know, and I was on with real Greenwich Village acts, y'know, myself and an eskimo vocalist, who sang Night and Day six months at a time. A little blond girl with a child by a future marriage, y'know, [???] and in walks one night mr. Feldman, our producer, and he just adored me on sight. He thought I was attractive and sensual and good-looking, y'know, and just made for motion pictures. He is a little short man with red hair and glasses. And he asked me if I ever wrote anything before, and I have been a televison writer for years, and I wrote a three-act versed tragedy about a vetenarian faith healer, who restored speech to a parrot, y'know, and I also wrote a short story about my first year of marriage, which Alfred Hitchcock showed interest in for a while. And he flies me out to Europe, absolutely all expenses paid, TWA flight, y'know, movie on the flight and everything. Irene Dunne in The Life of Emelia Earhart, y'know, ... sitting shaking on the plane, y'know.
And I meet a girl at my European analyst's. I have to explain this: I was going to a European analyst, that meant a European boy can see my analyst for six months, y'know. The neurotic exchange program. And I invite her up to my hotel. I get all ready for our dinner date, y'know, I anoint myself completely, I beat my body with auto wrenches. I throw an ample light on me, to make me look really effective. Two little backlights to give me the illusion of three dimensions, a baby spot to pick out the brown in my eyes, and I put on my mood music records, y'know, my Arthur Godfrey Hawaiian music. She had invited me over to her place, but I didn't want to log the lights and everything, y'know, so...and...oh! I didn't dress properly, this was partially my fault, I know how to dress better now, but I was not a good dresser a short while ago. You don't wear argyle with dark blue. I had on dark blue socks and an argyle suit. I looked like a farmer, y'know, and my radiator breaks and the hotel room is absolutely freezing, and I'm ashamed, y'know, because she is going to come into a cold room, so I go into the bathroom and I turn on the hot water in the shower, which is an old Brooklyn trick to heat the apartment, and hot water comes down and billows of steam come into the living room. And icecold air is seeping in under the windowsill and the two fronts meet in the living room, and it starts to rain in my hotel room. I'm standing there in the rain, and I did not do well with the girl.
Europe for me, as a matter of fact, was a series of near misses. I was at a cast party with our cast, and I was in the corner and I was playing the vibes, very sexy like a jazz musician - up and down. And a great girl comes up behind me, really elaborate, and she says to me "You play vibes?" I say "Yeah, it helps me sublimate me sexual tensions." She says "Why don't you let me help you sublimate your sexual tensions.", so I figured "Great", y'know, "here's a girl who plays vibes." I turned quickly and asked her out for a date, but Peter O'Toole, who's in the movie, asked her out first - aces me out, y'know - and she was a beautiful girl, so I said to her "Could you bring a sister for me?", and she did: Sister Maria Teresa. It was a very slow night, y'know. We discussed the New Testament, y'know. We agreed that He was extremely well adjusted, for an only child.
I mentioned before that I was in Europe. It's not the first time that I was in Europe, I was in Europe many years ago with Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had just written his first novel, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said that is was a good novel, but not a great one, and that it needed some work, but it could be a fine book. And we laughed over it. Hemingway punched me in the mouth.
That winter Picasso lived on the Rue d'Barque, and he had just painted a picture of a naked dental hygenist in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Gertrude Stein said it was a good picture, but not a great one, and I said it could be a fine picture. We laughed over it and Hemingway punched me in the mouth.
Francis Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald came home from their wild new years eve party. It was April. Scott had just written Great Expectations, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said it was a good book, but there was no need to have written it, 'cause Charles Dickens had already written it. We laughed over it, and Hemingway punched me in the mouth.
That winter we went to Spain to see Manolete fight, and he was... looked to be eighteen, and Gertrude Stein said no, he was nineteen, but that he only looked eighteen, and I said sometimes a boy of eighteen will look nineteen, whereas other times a nineteen year old can easily look eighteen. That's the way it is with a true Spaniard. We laughed over that and Gertrude Stein punched me in the mouth.
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