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Category Archives: Voices in My Head – Writing

The Real Ones: An Anthem for Buffalo

The Real Ones: An Anthem for Buffalo

You may have noticed that a lot of cities get contemporary songs written about them. Buffalo, sadly, has been lacking, which is funny for a city which spent the first half of the 20th Century being so prominent. So I decided to write the lyrics for a song about Buffalo’s old guard. This is my first attempt at songwriting ever. Now, I tend to write a lot of dark stuff, and this song is set from the point of view of an older resident of Buffalo who believes that trying to make everything the way it was before the march of progress destroyed the city will restore it to greatness.

No one’s bothered by the cold                                                                                                   We’re a guard that’s fighty and old                                                                                      Shoving heads into frozen white sand                                                                                Though we were once a promised land                                                                                    Kids file out with degrees underarm                                                                                    They’re not as real as us

Everyone is wrong                                                                                                                            We know what we are                                                                                                                We’re the tough ones                                                                                                                       We know our past was right

Corporate steel killed our jobs                                                                                                       Made us into mindless pack mobs                                                                                              Back in the day, everything was right                                                                                            In our past, the city basked in light                                                                                    Progress must be pretty bad because                                                                                   Breaks don’t come for us

We know we’re strong                                                                                                                That’s just how we are                                                                                                                    We’re the hard ones                                                                                                                        The future can’t be bright

Now our home can’t clean its slate                                                                                              Our football team lost four straight                                                                                              Hot bird wings helped bring us fame                                                                                     Other places just think we’re lame

Being tough is all we’ve got                                                                                                         With our once-big city left to rot                                                                                             Being modern won’t cross our mind                                                                                        Being great means we must be blind                                                                                               It’s a price we pay                                                                                                                             For being real

We’re the old guard                                                                                                                         The old ways were best                                                                                                              We’re the real ones                                                                                                                          We don’t care for the rest

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A Letter to the Grim Reaper

A Letter to the Grim Reaper

Dear Mr. Grim Reaper,

It’s time you and I had a little chat. We need to settle something: Among the famed and influential people you’ve taken from the world this year are David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, and now Muhammad Ali. Ali is the only one among them whose time had been seen coming for awhile. He was 74 – early old age, and a longtime sufferer of Parkinson’s Disease. But Bowie and Rickman – whom you killed within a week of each other – were both in their 60’s. Prince didn’t even get that far. None of them deserved to head off into the Grey Havens early. In fact, they were all champions of good causes who showed the world that it was okay to be different and stand out.

How the hell are you coming up with the names on your list this year, Mr. Reaper? You can’t be pulling them out of a hat – the odds of all four of those names being pulled from a hat that large are astronomical. They have to be in the billions. You need to start picking off some worse people to balance this out. Here is a list of names I’m practically leading the cheers to see go down:

Gwyneth Paltrow
Okay, I can admit that it’s not her fault that she’s the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and movie producer Bruce Paltrow. But damn if she doesn’t know how to ride the Daddy’s rich little girl routine to its most extreme end. She earned my sympathy at one point by performing an experiment to see if she could eat healthy for a week with the kind of money that poor people make. Turned out the answer was no – no shit, tell us something we don’t know – but her behavior both before and after that makes me wonder if she wasn’t trying to whip up some exotic French three-course meal during that experiment. For god’s sake, she just made news for recommending a solid gold dildo which cost more than most peoples’ cars – and if they live in certain parts of the Rust Belt, possibly even their houses. She puts out a list of Christmas gifts every year which are beyond expensive. If you’re trying to live like her, you’re going to be torn every month between buying her favored jumper or keeping your roof over your head. I’m halfway convinced Paltrow is a distant relative of the Solomon family from Third Rock from the Sun.

Tom Brady
You know, I thought there was progress being made in the eternal war against the image of the All-American Golden Boy. We were beginning to realize that good looks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. We were starting to appreciate the incredible athleticism that goes with other sports, including more cult ones like lacrosse. We were finally realizing that being a good person who does the right thing can have nuanced circumstances. But then here came Tom Cruise Sports Edition, pretty much embodying everything Grandmas want their granddaughters to marry. Tom Brady was cast in the same mold that also created all those evil movie jocks from the 1980’s that we hate so much. That would be bad enough, but there are a couple more details which make Brady the most insufferable version of the trope: The first is that we’ll never get to see him receive his satisfying comeuppance. Even with Rex Ryan having coached two of his divisional rivals, he always seems to survive an onslaught which should have killed other quarterbacks. The other is that he has given credence to Boston sports fans, who are the worst people on Earth.

Kanye West
Kanye West gets all the credit in the world as a creative genius. Of course, that’s only because he IS a creative genius. Just ask him – he’ll be the first to tell you so. Yeah, Kanye West plays the role of one of the world’s biggest divas. He’s one of those kinds of people who gets pouty is everything doesn’t go exactly right. Furthermore, can you think of any other celebrity who would try to peddle an undershirt for $120? That’s not even getting into his well-known award show rants, where he waltzes up to the stage, takes the microphone from an award winner like he owns it, and spends ten minutes rambling on about who the real winner should have been. As you can guess, most of the time, it should have been Kanye West.

Jenny McCarthy
So, given the choice between having your kid autistic or dead, what do you do? According to the anti-vaxxers, you let them die. Jenny McCarthy was apparently once a very smart student, but I think it’s probably time she asked the University of Google for a refund. McCarthy is the face of the anti-vaxxer movement, a farce started with bad research by a doctor who was disbarred 20 years ago, has no evidence to back it up, and is arguably a belief that goes with privilege. But McCarthy’s brand of lunacy predates her involvement with the anti-vaxxers: Before latching onto that, she was an outspoken proponent of the Indigo Child movement, even running a blog that served as a meeting site for Indigo people and even more special Crystal people. In other words, she’s a person who might be better off joining Scientology.

Mel Gibson
Oh Mel, what happened? He was one of the greatest and highest-paid action heroes in the world, but I can count on my deformed hand the number of other stars who fell so hard so quickly and ruined themselves. First of all, you can’t decline to call out your Holocaust denier pop. You also have to keep your id in check by at least trying to say when if you decide to drink. Bitching about the Jews is not only going to alienate a significant chunk of your audience, it’s probably going to piss off a lot of executives in Hollywood; after all, there ARE a good number of Jews in those positions. And being a devout Catholic while cheating on your wife makes you a hypocrite. Even when trying to pull himself out of his downward spiral, Gibson just couldn’t stop his foot from leaping into his mouth. This is really more of a mercy killing plea – Mel Gibson used to be one of my favorite movie stars before all this happened. Lethal Weapon, Mad Max, Braveheart, the man made some quality pictures. It’s one thing to screw up, but Gibson has made it impossible to take his side.

Those aren’t even the only ones I can think of. They’re only the ones I feel like listing off the top of my head. We know about ubiquitous reality stars, people who are famous for being famous, and loudmouthed pundits and bigoted politicians. They’re legion, and they all deserve to be escorted from this planet too. I don’t even have to mention any of their names. See, Mr. Reaper, the planet sucks to live on enough as it is. The people you’re knocking off this year are some of the types of people who make living here more bearable.

What’s stunning is that there are so many more of the worse people – and the indifferent ones – than the good ones. Some are stupid, some are evil, right wingers are usually both. Hell, there are famous right wing pundits in the United States right now who are openly championing slavery. (Who was it that defended it by saying it was “a full-employment system?” Yeah, please go kill HIM.) Isn’t Charles Manson still alive?

I know you’re just trying to get your own job done, but your hit list this year makes you look like you’ve been taking bribes from the Angel Mafia. And I don’t want to believe you’ve been doing that. You’ve had a sterling track record over the past few years. Yes, you’ve taken the good. We all miss Nelson Mandela, but Mandela was well into his 90’s and had led a long, full, and very productive life. But you also knocked off Osama bin Laden, Fred Phelps, and Kim Jong Il.

We need to see the bad people die too. I know you’re smart enough to understand balance. If we’re not getting enough balance, certain types of people will start to see your hit list as evidence that the bad people are the ones who are right.

See you around,
Nicholas

For Abuse of the English Language: The 2014 Acid Martini Awards

For Abuse of the English Language: The 2014 Acid Martini Awards

As you may be able to deduce from the fact that I spend so much time writing, I love language. (You little Sherlock Holmes, you!) I love my native language of English, and appreciate the little ticks and quirks that go with being able to use it well. English is considered a difficult language to learn, and there’s no better example of that than the fact that so many of the people who want to officialize English as our country’s national language have the linguistic capabilities of a seven-year-old. Maybe it’s an empowerment thing for immigrants; you know, trying to motivate them to learn to speak English better than they do? In any case, though, every now and then, little new words, suffixes, and slang terms pop up that lack the subtle sophistication of good English and come out sounding like Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit is trying to say them with a severe case of the mumps? Yeah, a lot of the more communal terms used in English drive me crazy, because it’s communal slang which slowly works its way into the common lexicon and changes the language. While I’m not against linguistic evolution, there are just some terms which should never, ever be used, for any reason. To honor the worst of the English language, I’ve created the First Annual Acid Martini Awards, named in honor of the drink I would like to offer anyone I catch using the following terms.

Totes
Apparently, this became a shorthand way of saying “totally” sometime while I wasn’t looking. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s inefficient, doing away with the finality of the S at the end of the adjective. Therefore, it can trip people up, and so it comes off as less shorthand and more of a way to blow out your windpipe at an early age if trying to use it in rapid succession. And that’s not even getting into the larger problem that exists with this term: A tote is a freaking bag!

Cray Cray
Here’s another adjective which can easily be mistaken for a noun. It can also be mistaken for a cutesy, precocious children’s nickname. Oh, look, here comes Cray Cray! A shorthand for the word “crazy,” cray cray is a failure because the most dominant letter in crazy doesn’t appear in cray cray: You don’t get that Z sound, and that makes for a term which hold less impact than the original version. So what tries to be a shorthand term for a mental condition just ends up perpetuating a bunch of negative stereotypes about people whose craziness isn’t obvious from the outside, and people will continue to mistake real crazy people for loud frat douchebros.

YOLO
Speaking of loud frat douchebros, here’s a term which we’ve started using in our craze for short, convenient acronyms which go well in cell phone texts. It’s the acronym for “you only live once,” that eternal excuse for frat douchebros to do supremely stupid things with complete disregard for the safety of themselves or those around them.

Staycation
This is a concept as old as time itself, and it’s not something I’m objecting to. My objection here is strictly with the way the millennials apparently felt the need to create a word which basically hijacked the concept and made it seem like something new and original which they thought up all by themselves. Maybe they felt the need to make the concept feel fresh and exciting, perhaps? I don’t know. What I do know, however, it that the whole idea of spending your week off from work sitting on your ass at home worked just fine when it was actually called spending your week off from work sitting on your ass at home.

Literally
This is a case where I’m not objecting to the word in itself so much as I am what the word morphed into. Literally has turned into a qualifier which is used to emphasize a greater point. This demeans the original meaning of the word, which is supposed to mean something that has to be taken as it was said. For example, if you stood in a line that was 30 miles long, you only stood in a line that was figuratively 30 miles long. If you literally stood in a line that was 30 miles long, it would have meant you physically stood in a line that physically stretched the entire length of Western Avenue. I hope whatever was at the end of that line was worth that kind of wait. I want to say I’ll literally lose my mind if people keep misusing literally like this, but I’ll only figuratively lose my mind.

Om Nom Nom
This is what Pac-Man kept saying as he gulped dots, isn’t it? It still only makes sense as the sound he makes when he eats.

Truncations
Now that I thought of this, strictly adding “totes” up there was shortening that list by quite a bit, although I do remain adamant that “totes” is by far the most vile offender. I guess I overlooked the other upscale truncations, like “amaze,” “obvi,” “whatevs,” and all the others.

Selfie
I can at least feel like this one is justified. People taking pictures of themselves on their cell phones is a relatively new phenomenon, and I abide by the belief that there’s a legitimate difference between selfies and real photographs. But that doesn’t make the word any more pleasant, and I’m hoping a better term eventually comes along that replaces it. I’m not holding my breath, though, especially not after that essay James Franco wrote about selfies.

I hope these words eventually end up going the way of other offenses of the English language like “jiggy” and that ridiculous “-izzle” suffix. Remember, language is very important. Little words can have a huge impact on people and events. We want language to be something that gets taken seriously, and the words on the list above are actively dumbing it down. So I think it’s time to start fending off these terms with a (figurative) pointy stick before the Germans start taking pity on us.

Happy Thoughts

Happy Thoughts

We live in a very sorry world which bombards us with bad news coming out of all orifices. So there are times when it helps to make a small list of the things in the world to be grateful for.

1 – Paris Hilton hasn’t been in the news lately.

2 – No movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches have been made in years.

3 – The Stanley Cup Playoffs are going in full swing.

4 – New Star Wars movies are in the works.

5 – The Polar Vortex is over, or at least the worst part of it is.

6 – Original basic cable television programs are better than ever, and truly worth watching.

7 – Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., and Samuel L. Jackson.

8 – Keeping a food diary is the easiest way to control your weight, and it’s cheap.

9 – Masturbation. It’s sex with someone you love.

10 – A lot of creative and thoughtful podcasts are free.

Me and Dutch

Me and Dutch

Consider James Joyce’s classic book Finnegan’s Wake for a second. There’s a book that continues to get every form of accolade, kudos, and dosh by an elitist literati for…. Let’s see, shall we, according to our favorite all-encompassing Wiki: Linguistic experiments, literary allusions, free dream associations, and abandonment of the constrains of character and plot constructions. It’s considered one of the greatest books ever written. I myself consider it one of the prime examples of the fact that the literati is a snobbish group which decides classics based on how much they hate books. After all, would you want to read a book for months only to end up believing it was a waste of your time? Yeah, they hate Finnegan’s Wake, therefore it must be a classic because they didn’t want to admit they spent ten years hacking through something this meaningless.

Now, I’ve tried to read Finnegan’s Wake in the past. My experimental shot at Finnegan’s Wake was even shorter than my go at a Jane Austen novel and the pretentious wealthy Victorian-era characters and threads in it, and that’s saying something. Finnegan’s Wake has to be read like one of those Magic Eye pictures that became hot in the 90’s. I constantly found myself moving the book closer and further from my eyes, rotating it in every direction to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. After finally throwing the book into the wall, something about it hit me: Finnegan’s Wake is the kind of thing that might come out of a third-grader’s imagination. If a third-grader had written it and turned it in as a class assignment, Teach would have slammed it with an F, with a skull and crossbones in place of the smiley face, saying it didn’t make any goddamn sense. I have half a mind to believe Joyce wrote it as a Fuck You to a teacher who failed him.

I also never understood the idea of trash books, and I always bristled whenever I heard someone refer to a book or genre I’m fond of as trash. First of all, that makes me wonder just how many of the books we consider classics now were considered trash when they were first written. Frankenstein, yeah, I know that for sure. Frankenstein, however, started out on the literary disability list by virtue of the fact that it was written by a, you know, woman, and therefore it has to be trash because women are too fair to be writers, doncha know. (It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the literati began giving Frankenstein its props.) What makes people the defining guardians of what’s trash and what’s good? My philosophy toward reading has always been the story over writing kind. Prose is nice, but if it comes at the expense of the story (Mr. Joyce and Ms. Austen, I’m still looking at the two of you), the book automatically sucks.

I was a high school student when I was introduced to Dutch books. I’m sure the literati reading this are now off to google great Dutch authors, but when I write of Dutch books, I think of one man: Elmore Leonard, the legendary crime author nicknamed “Dutch.” Compared to a lot of the books I had read by that point, the way Leonard wrote was shockingly minimal. My first Leonard novel was Glitz, a revenge story, and Leonard was writing blunt through the entire thing. He was writing as a storyteller, stripping his prose of all the unnecessary fat, letting his characters carry the book through their dialogue, and damn if it wasn’t an effective way to do things. To tell the truth, I thought Glitz was merely average, but I was interested enough to take a look at another book he wrote.

That book was Out of Sight. Perhaps you’ve seen the movie with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. Out of Sight remains one of Leonard’s most acclaimed books, and it was turned into a Steven Soderbergh flick is fondly remembered for some reason. Yeah, maybe I was disadvantaged by reading the book before seeing the movie, but I dismissed the movie about five seconds after I saw it. The book turned out to be a turning point in my literary interest list. I loved the main character, Jack Foley, and the smoothness and swagger he displayed in making his first bank robbery in a long time…. The day after he escaped from jail. I adored Karen Sisco, her take-no-shit attitude, and her willingness to employ violence against people who got a little too fresh with her. (I was pleasantly surprised that Jennifer Lopez didn’t end up ruining Karen Sisco in the movie.)

I kept reading through a handful of Leonard’s works. Out of Sight remains a personal favorite, though I took a deep liking to Touch and Cuba Libre as well. Somehow, I kept missing a lot of the better known books. I have yet to read Get Shorty, though I loved the movie. Hombre, Last Stand at Sabre River, The Moonshine War, LaBrava, and several others which any other Dutch fan worth his salt would have read years ago. As I write this, Pagan Babies is sitting on my nightstand. It’s brilliant so far, but not among his most discussed work.

This was all before I started writing myself, though, and a good while before I began trying to experiment with fiction. It wasn’t until I started writing up my own fiction that I began to see the effect Elmore Leonard had on me. I try to write dialogue as realistically as I can. Leonard was also a firm believer in – his words – cutting out the stuff people don’t read. That’s often taken as a fancy statement for not prettying up the prose. I try not to do that, and I’m a much better writer when I don’t. My head, however, hasn’t quite figured that out yet. In the late 80’s, Leonard typed up a quick list of ten rules he always applied to his writing, and I like to believe I apply several of them to my writing. One of his rules is to never start with weather. That’s a law I took to heart – I don’t think it’s an accident that “It was a dark and stormy night” is mocked as a cliche. Don’t overuse the exclamation points is another one. The word “suddenly” might as well have four letters. Tagging dialogue with any word other than “said?” Don’t try that. Qualifying adverbs? Forget them.

Some of those rules, I live and die by. Others, I always keep in mind but can’t help breaking them sometimes. Yeah, “suddenly” is a terrible word to use at the beginning of a sentence if you’re trying to keep a tense atmosphere, but I do sometimes use it in the middle of a sentence. Also, I have occasional adverb problems; I fear readers won’t get a feeling I’m trying to convey unless I use them at certain times.

When I started acquainting myself with other authors and forms of literature, I put Leonard on the backburner, but never completely forgot him. He was always there, and my periodic looks in the library archives almost always include a stop in the L section, where they would scream “Read me!” You better believe I wanted to. Hell, I even intended to, but I have a very broad range of reading interests. I’m embarrassed that it took his death for me to come crawling back.

It was only recently that I started to feel comfortable shopping my fiction around, and I’m not enough of a dope to try to offer any writer’s advice. Here’s a little nugget of wisdom that I’m willing to fight to the death on: Read Elmore Leonard. I don’t care how haughty the tone in which you lecture me about how Dickens or Twain changed your life. I don’t care if you’re a Harvard English Professor the university is giving Alex Rodriguez cash to. You’re not too good for Elmore Leonard and if you think you are, then I’m too good for any of your literary opinions.

A Historic Post on the Phrase “An Historic”

A Historic Post on the Phrase “An Historic”

Okay, I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time now: If I was writing the laws, anyone who ever used a variation of the phrase an historic, in absolutely any context, anywhere, would have their tongues immediately cut out.

The phrase is a disgusting mangling of the English language and a violation of basic grammatical rules. It doesn’t look right in print, it doesn’t sound right when said aloud, and any first-grader at even the crappiest schools would be able to tell you it really isn’t right. This odd phrasing of the term a historic came to my attention a few years ago and its been driving me nuts ever since, largely because so many of the people using it are the ones who bitch the most about language being mangled.

Let’s get a quick ground rule settled right off the bat: As anyone who has ever seriously studied the English language – and to make myself clear, by anyone who ever seriously studied the English language, I mean everyone who ever heard it in any capacity – knows, the an sound is to be used before any consonant sound. A is used before any vowel sound. Got that? Now, the letter H, for those who have forgotten all linguistic schooling beyond the second grade, is a consonant. Vowels are pronounced with open vocal tracts, so there’s no pressure buildup and therefore no constriction. That’s in contrast to consonants, which are articulated by partial closure and more movements in lips and teeth.

I don’t know how the term an historic came to infect English. I read an article in the Chicago Sun-Times some years ago which suggested that, when many people pronounce the word historic, they tend to say it like the H is silent and so the result sounds more like an istoric. I can’t say I’ve ever personally heard anyone pronounce the word like that. If that happens, it sounds like someone was too lazy to pronounce a letter. Is this country suddenly so fat and lazy that people get tired trying to pronounce the briefest of exhaling sounds, lest they faint? Or are they uber-fit folks trying to give a lecture to a university history class after a marathon?

I wish I could be bigger and write this off as just another passing trend, like I did with the ridiculous izzle suffix that was all over street slang some years ago. But apparently an historic has been being used for decades, by prominent people. Like, you know, English teachers who get paid to teach the English language the way it’s supposed to be read and spoken.

The Long-Lost Pilot Episode of CSI: Buffalo

The Long-Lost Pilot Episode of CSI: Buffalo

I once caught a want ad in the local newspaper saying that if I wanted a CSI franchise in my city, I had to call 1-800-CSI-5555. Wanting some decent publicity for my hometown, I made the phone call and was immediately made the executive producer. They sent a screenwriter to help me bang out a pilot that was supposed to be sent in in a week. Everything was all set – we managed to draw the attention of a crew of acting and music A-listers to star! Unfortunately, due to New York State and City of Buffalo government regulations, the pilot episode failed to ever get off the ground. Regulations and moral questions prevented us from, you know, doing much of anything without first giving the Mayor’s office and Common Council all our money for film taxes and bribes. So here’s the long-lost script for CSI: Buffalo. You’ll just have to use your imaginations. Enjoy!

Setting: Ralph Wilson Stadium
A group of crime scene investigators is walking down the stairs in the 100 level of Ralph Wilson Stadium. They include McCoy, the well-worn Captain; Beukelski, the person who does the autopsies; Rammenhuigul, a decorated by-the-book officer; and Bonnelli, an eager rookie. They are being led down the stairs by one of the stadium cleaners.

McCoy: What seems to have happened here?

Cleaner:There’s a dead body right at row 26. You can’t miss him. You’re standing on him!

McCoy: (Quickly steps off body) Oh! I thought that platform felt suspiciously soft and squishy!

Beukelski leans down and removes the body’s jacket. It’s wearing a New England Patriots jersey with Tom Brady’s number.

Beukelski: The man is wearing a Patriots jersey. A Tom Brady jersey, no less. (Leans down to take a closer look again) Well, I can tell you he didn’t accidentally fall down the stairs.

Bonnelli: At least he had good seats.

Rammenhuigul: Don’t make fun. I’ll put it in the paperwork.

Bonnelli: You and your paperwork.

Beukelski: Yeah, looks like he took a hell of a beating. There is no consistent pattern which would indicate a fall down the stairs, and he appears to have a lot of splotchy bruises on his torso. He has shoulder pads on for some reason, which nullified some of the damage. What I find odd, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of blood around for someone who got beat up and died that way.

Rammenhuigul: There goes my faith in humanity. Who the hell would ever do a thing like this?

McCoy: You say that so much its lost all meaning. It’s Buffalo. It’s a Bills game! People get hurt! They die! Anyone who gets caught just gets fined $50 these days.

Rammenhuigul: Yeah, but it’s usually not so brutal. You! Person with the broom! Did you happen to get any sight of just what happened to this poor guy?

Cleaner: Yes, but there was no sign of him being seriously hurt. We just cleaned up the little bit of blood and all the teeth that spilled and figured he would get up and walk it off. You know Boston people. They keep telling everyone how tough they are, so I figured he’d be fine.

Bonnelli: Dude, I went to the academy in Boston. The guys there talk tough, but they’re all a buncha worthless mouth breathers. Punch me!

Cleaner punches Bonnelli several times in the face and stomach.

Cleaner: Okay, what’s your point?

Bonnelli: Boston guys can’t stand up to that kinda punishment. They’ll fall over if you flick their ears. Tough in big cities ain’t like TOUGH.

The body begins stirring

Bonnelli: (Shocked) Maybe I spoke too soon.

Beukelski: Don’t look now, but our corpse decided it’s not a corpse after all.

The body slowly gets up as the crew watches in amazement.

“Dead” Body: Oh, the cops! Boy, am I glad you guys showed up! A bunch of hooligans beat me up after the game! Luckily I was wearing shoulder pads, but I think I hit my head on as I fell.

Beukelski: Oh! Well, that explains everything!

Rammenhuigul: Not everything. Why are you wearing a Tom Brady jersey?!

“Dead” Body: Because. I’m Tom Brady.

McCoy: Oh. You look so different without your teeth!

Tom Brady: Yeah, I know. Lucky me, right? Except without my teeth, I won’t be able to blind opposing defenses anymore.

McCoy: Yeah, uh, good – lucky you, I think.

Rammenhuigul: Well, I guess I’m saved a little paperwork, but not much….

Bonnelli: Anyone else thinking what I’m thinking?

McCoy: Way ahead of ya!

As Tom Brady pulls out a mirror to check his boyish mop-top head, the four officers all take a step back at the same time, pull out their guns, and shoot him until they’re out of ammunition.

Beukelski: Well, I can say without any reservation now that Tom Brady is dead.

McCoy: To South Buffalo! To the bars!

Rammenhuigul: Drink to a good day’s work, well done!

The four officers turn to walk out of the stadium as the cleaner leaves to get the mop. Bonnelli lags a little in back to talk with the cleaner.

Bonnelli: You sure you got this mess, dude?

Cleaner: You should see some of the things I’m forced to clean up on gameday! This is no problem!

Bonnelli suddenly turns and quickly moves back down to Tom Brady’s body. He gives it a kick.

Bonnelli: And that’s for the hotel comment!