Sunday, December 14, 2014
Cancel My Reservation
Now we're getting into the CANCEL MY RESERVATION era in this Bob Hope biography. And you know what that means: you're not qualified to read my "blog" "posts" about it anymore. I have to email this stuff directly to McNeil. It's too sad and obscure for you to grasp. I guess I'll mention that Bob Hope's son just lost all his money (the son's money, I mean; don't worry about Bob Hope's money!) investing in a movie called WHO FEARS THE DEVIL?, "based on a series of fanciful folktales... about an Appalachian balladeer who is transported back in time." But the weirdest part is that "Arlo Guthrie was originally cast in the lead but he didn't work out and had to be replaced by an unknown." I find it inexpressibly touching to think of Bob Hope's broke son sitting around thinking, "If only Arlo Guthrie were in this movie! Everything would be different." See, I knew you wouldn't understand. Say, did you know that one of the short stories in my supposedly forthcoming collection (2016!) is called "Cancel My Reservation"? No, why would you? And the book originally had an epigraph taken from the closing theme to CANCEL MY RESERVATION, a kind of ersatz Osmond Brothers number. But I replaced it. And for a while I considered using part of a Dwight Garner review for the epigraph: "Peter has left behind a wife, Bea, with whom he runs a small parish in an English village, and their cat, Joshua, about whom we learn way too much... This reader did not mourn Joshua’s freakish death." But then I was afraid that readers might think I was endorsing Mr. Garner's gross pronouncement rather than marveling at its chilling soullessness. (Hey, I had drinks with Dwight Garner at City Grocery Bar and he seems like an okay guy. I even made him a mix tape! Ha ha, what a suck-up.) So then I had to couch that Garner epigraph in some other epigraphs to give it context, like Mark Twain saying something good about cats, and then Garrison Keillor saying something dumb about Mark Twain in the New York Times Book Review, but it got too complicated, it spiraled out of control, it started to get like MOBY-DICK! So never mind. Forget I said anything. Oh, Bob and Shirley made up and liked each other despite their political differences, you'll be glad to know.