Episode 139: "More Suicide Than The Average Bear"

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1 November 2013


Peter Bagge

Origin of the episode title[edit]

Julie recalls a moment from Mo Rocca's interview with Mariel Hemingway on CBS Sunday Morning, in which the amount of suicide in her family's history is a topic. Julie describes the amount of suicide in the Hemingway family as more than that of the average bear.


Hi! This week's podcast features an interview with legendary cartoonist PETER BAGGE (Hate, Apocalypse Nerd), who wrote a new graphic novel about Margaret Sanger called WOMAN REBEL. This is a lovely interview with a wonderful man!

Also, Julie tells Banksy to not let the door hit his tush on the way out of New York City, complains about Turner Classic Movies and Drew Barrymore's undereducated introduction of some of the films on that there channel, half-recaps THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, and explains the depths of procrastination that one has to get to in order to put a bowtie on one's cat.

Plus: popsicle tangents! Lysol as a reasonably safe douching method, if you use the right proportions! And the presumed personality traits behind a man with a law degree who holds a full time job at DC Comics.

And: Lou Reed euology
Halloween makeup
Re-cap of HWYW Live!


Gothamist article about Julie and Banksy

Download the Episode[edit]

Episode Link

Monologue Transcript[edit]

Ooooh , spooky greetings. Hi everybody. Hello. Hello. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW.

It is as I speak to you now it’s Hallowed-ween. Man do I love not going outside of my apartment on Halloween in New York City it’s like one big bar crawl. I guess it was around the 90s when teens started wearing black and white makeup off of the Scream movies. Although correct me if I am wrong, it could be that teenagers always have always wore black and white makeup and this is something that has gone on for decades. Certainly with KISS, but KISS had a playful, one-eyed jack quality. They were shapes, lucky charms; there was a star around the eye and a horseshow around the mouth. Now it’s just get some black and white grease paint and smear your face and walk around Lafayette. Make everybody pretend it’s not happening. I would rather die than go to the Halloween Parade. I’ve never done that. I will never do that. It seems like a terrible idea.

I remember one year, who knows if this will be the most New York thing I will say in today’s episode or in general. I remember one year they televised the Halloween Parade on New York One, and if I remember correctly, Susan Sarandon narrated it or she was hosting it? This may have just been a fever dream but the idea that there was coverage of the Halloween Parade on New York One. Was it cool? I don’t remember. I think they were trying to make it cool. This is art. This isn’t a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yeah, I can tell because there’s no production value. Yeah well we don’t have a Newsies float we’ve got Lydia Lunch and Penny Arcade punching each other.

I should be nicer. Do you know what? I should be nicer. Lou Reed is dead. We should pour one out. We should mourn the loss of a great man. The end. Is it a different New York since Lou Reed died? It’s been a different New York since I saw him in his sweat pants at the cozy soup and burger. Every New Yorker has two phases of their lives, a time in which they had not seen Lou Reed in his civvies walking around sort of existing and the time after. I remember my favorite Lou Reed story, correct me if I am getting this wrong because I know there is a mythology and I don’t want to be the goon messing it all up. I believe there is a story about Lou Reed walking his two Weiner dogs in the east Village and he runs into Andy Warhol and Andy Warhol says, “Wow, great dogs.” Lou, “Thanks Andy, see you later.” Then a couple of weeks later Lou Reed runs into Andy Warhol and Andy Warhol has two Weiner dogs. Hey man, What the fuck? Maybe that’s the other way around. Sorry. Andy Warhol had the Weiner dogs, Lou Reed saw him. Lou Reed copied Andy Warhol, ran into Warhol, and Warhol was pissed, which is insane because Warhol’s whole thing was copying stuff. Maybe it was different for dogs.

Andy Warhol liked eating candy bars and taking photographs of people who were famous. All right, checking off the today list- most perfect Lou Reed Eulogy ever, done. Last night HWYW Live was so much fun thanks to all who attended. We did something different this time, we performed Jesus Christ Superstar. That was crazy. It was so fun. Ted played Judas. I played Jesus. Jean Grae played Simon, AC Carl Newman played Pilot, Laura Benanti was ill, the fabulous Leslie Kritzer took her place as Mary and in a surprise appearance by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and Triumph played King Herod. There were children. It was a very special night. Thanks especially to Dickie DiBella who did things like get a children’s chorus together, and choreograph stuff, and basically everything. Will it be released as a podcast? I don’t know. I don’t know yet. I’m concerned about Andrew Lloyd Webber suing me to be completely honest. He has done cease and desist type of…he’s very litigious apparently. I know that Loser’s Lounge in the past had a hard time putting it up, doing a night of Jesus Christ Superstar because they’d get a letter from Dame Andrew Lloyd Weber saying, “Kindly don’t.” That sucks. So I don’t know, but perhaps someone…I have a vision of a Kickstarter…if we could get into a studio thatwould be the thing to release. Do you know what I mean? Last night was last night. That was just, it existed. I made out with Leslie Kritzer, nobody planned on that. Ted wore a tunic. Half of the shit that happened I don’t even….It was a festival of so much planning and so much spontaneity. It was a lot of fun. I know stories about things you weren’t at and how fun they were boring, so if you were not there, sorry. We’re working. We’re always working here at How was Your Week Incorporated, Jimmy Jazz industries were working on how to get the music to the people, just like Banksy-fuck Banksy!

Bansky’s gone. Today is his last day in NYC and I say good riddance. Good riddance to Banksy. Banksy has been a nuisance to the Metropolis I call home. I spoke about this on Monday’s extra-sode, How Was Your Manson, which if you haven’t downloaded, you must, you simply must. It’s by far the best interview I have ever done. I say that as someone who loves beating myself up with Jeff Guinn who wrote the Manson biography. As I mentioned then and I will mention now Banksy is a nuisance. Banksy has been terrorizing the streets of New York City including the Bronx. I know he’s in Brooklyn and there were goons charging to see the Banksy. $20 bucks to see the Banksy. On Sunday night I was in traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge I was tending to my Jesus gown that Judy Rosen made. She’s a genius. I was coming from here place in Greenpoint to Manhattan where I was going to meet a dear friend of mine, Renate, for birthday drinks. I end up getting stuck in traffic for at least half an hour probably closer to 40 on a bridge which means I can’t leave and walk. My claustrophobia is manageable. Everything is manageable with Klonopin. I had to pee. By the time I finally got off the bridge it was just take me back to my place. I’ll pee and go out for birthday drinks. As we pull up I realize my apartment building is surrounded by people taking photos. What are they taking photos of? It turns out they were taking photos of a Banksy. There was a Banksy. There was a Banksy outside of my apartment building in the form of, at the time, it was that installation he did of stuffed animals, puppets whose faces were sticking out behind slats of wood on a truck and the truck was blasting the sounds of animals in pain. That was outside as were a million people. I said to myself, “This won’t do.”

I went upstairs and I riled myself up. I texted Jake Fogelnest, you’re never going to believe this but you know who is outside my goddamn apartment is Banksy. He’s a nuisance. I’m going to call 311. 311 by the way for Non-New Yorkers is one of those things that Bloomberg… he’s not a schmuck, he’s a putz. But I also like him, but on the other ,other hand there’s Citibikes and letting St. Vincent’s the hospital for first responders (good, I mentioned 9/11) letting that be turned into condos. He’s tiny Jew with big ambiguities. 311 was Bloomberg’s big idea. He said, “Anything city related you can call 311. So if there’s a big puddle in front of you building instead of tweeting Cory Booker, basically you call 311.” Hey it’s the middle of the summer there’s a giant puddle that’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes, do something about it. Invariably the operator was very old, and would tell you call the police. So I told Jake I’m going to call 311 because I have a complaint of a Banksy outside of my building and Jake said that would be the funniest thing if you call 311. So I said I’d call 311 and I did. I spoke with a cranky woman. She wasn’t cranky she sounded as if Ed Koch were a lady. She said “311 how can I help you?” Yes I would like to report that there’s a crowd outside of my building and I want to report that they are all gathered and I think it’s because of that artist Banksy. She said, “What?” There’s a crowd outside of my building and I don’t like it. “Are they making noise?” No. “Are they blocking the entrance?” No. “So they’re not dangerous.” No they’re not dangerous, but there’s a crowd outside of my apartment building. “How can I help you ma’am?” I want you to help me make them go away. “So they’re just annoying you?” Yes! She put me on hold. Then I thought to myself is this even a bit if no one is here to witness it? What I am doing? She comes back on the phone and said, “Here’s the number for the police department,” because that’s all the people at 311 are qualified to do, they either give you the number for the police or the garbage people—put your couch on the corner and the garbage people will pick it up. If you want to call them here’s the number but they are only going to come Tuesday night.” Fine. Great. She gives me the police department’s number I say thanks but no thanks lady. I’m not going to call the cops. Although it would have been smart of me to feign a murdered and then called the cops. The cops could have caught Banksy. I live tweet my dilemma. I live tweet my annoyance with Banksy. By the way I didn’t make it to birthday drinks because guess what? When you go upstairs after dealing… I’ll put it this way once you get past the crowd of people there to see Banksy and you go upstairs you do not want to go back downstairs. Banksy could be lurking…He ended up making some sort of political statement. I was like a veal calf in my own apartment. I tweeted something like this then Gothamist ran a story about it and Gothamist commenters…I tweeted something like this is the worst night of my life. Gothamist commenters were like, “You fucking bitch!” Oh man! I was misunderstood on the internet. Hello 311, How can I help you ma’am?” I want to report that was misunderstood on the internet. “How can I help you ma’am?” Banksy leaving the city could not be too soon, I’m thrilled, thrilled!

Here are some artists I like John Currin. Lisa Yuskavage is ok. I like Cezanne. I don’t like Banksy. Not my cup of Banksy. I’m doing my cabaret show at Joe’s Pub. You should get tickets. It’s four nights. Get tickets to that.

Are you aware that Matt Lauer dressed up like Pamela Anderson from Baywatch for Halloween and tucked his situation, not completely? Every Halloween, the anchors of the Today Show as per tradition, before Anne Curry was even a sprout in her parent’s minds, have dressed up like crazy characters. The Today Show anchors, besides last year because of hurricane Sandy because it would have been improper, although you know Matt Lauer really wanted to tuck his dick and scrotum..he wanted desperately to aim them both towards his asshole and tape it down and put on a woman’s bathing suit over stockings, and the producer had to say, “Matt, it’s not the time.” One year later Matt Lauer is psyched. He puts the blond wig on. You have to look this up because this really happened. This isn’t something I’m making up to be vulgar. Matt Lauer wore a ladies swimsuit on network television. Is it because no one watches NBC anymore, Zing? Is this why people aren’t talking about it? It happened. That’s shocking. Baywatch happened 35 years ago. Millenials don’t know what Baywatch is. The people who watch the Today Show may know what Baywatch is but do you think they enjoyed seeing Matt Lauer’s dick and scrotum being taped behind his asshole? I don’t think they did. I can’t imagine anyone liking that except for Matt Lauer for his own twisted reasons that we don’t understand because we’ve never understood Matt Lauer.

Then Willie Geist dresses up like David Hasselhoff and I’m supposed to reconcile my emotions with the truth. I have to experience that truth in real time. That’s too much. That’s too much homework. You have to look this up. I’m telling you, Matt Lauer dressed up like Pamela Anderson of all god damn people. Why now? Why this? Why that? This is all Matt Lauer asshole driven stuff that we’re dealing with. We are dealing with it. I am. I don’t know if you are. People seem very concerned about Kanye this or some other youngster that. I don’t care about Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Kanye west—actually I kind of like picture of Nicki Minaj sometimes when I’m depressed. Please look that up. It’s very upsetting.

I will also mention that I watched a lot of TV this weekend. That’s great. I was under the weather and I thought to myself, well if I am going to be playing Jesus Christ at the Bellhouse where I have always wanted to be crucified, look if you are going to be crucified it may as well be in Gowanus. I thought to myself, I’m going to rest up. I’m going to have some soup and I’m going to watch Turner Classic Movies. Everybody says Turner Classic Movies is home to the best movies. Just because they are black and white doesn’t mean they are good. I saw a real stinker on Saturday night. Do you know what it was called? Bride of Frankenstein. Oh it’s a classic, oh no, not Bride of Frankenstein. That movie stinks! I watched the whole movie. Bride of Frankenstein the character doesn’t even come out until the last ten minutes of the movie, the whole movie is spent debating whether to make her. By the time they actually make her, Elsa Lanchester stunningly beautiful woman-beyond, beyond, beyond. Lisa Marie’s prototype, created, then they roll the credits. What? You knew it was coming for an hour and a half you’re watching men be like, “Say?” “Here this out.” “By Golly.” It was a bad movie. There was also a side plot involving tiny people in jars that no one prepared me for. I don’t remember, at a certain point I stopped paying attention. I kept waiting for the beautiful woman to show up. Again, I don’t know, I’m just making this up, it was one of these things where visually I though Ah! What’s going on? Why are there tiny people in jars? Because there just are. They had the technology to make people look smaller than they are in real life. They were excited about using that. So there was a ballerina in one jar. In another jar there was a giant Henry VII tearing into a turkey leg like nobody’s business wearing velvets. You’d think they’d be sweaty, those fat kings in their velvets. You know they’re doubloons, everything is very heavy about them, they’re eating mutton, potatoes and gravies, and it seems like a lighter fabric like a mesh… That was stupid. By the time the lady shows up it was over. I will also add that an extra layer of infuriation occurred before the movie even began because Bride of Frankenstein was presented as par t of Drew Barrymore’s favorite movies. Have you ever seen on Turner Classic Movies where she and Robert Osborne sit in that little cozy set? Drew’s on the couch. Robert’s on the chair. They talk. They introduce a classic movie. It is invariably cringe-inducing. Drew Barrymore does not seem smart. If I didn’t know anything else about Drew Barrymore and all I knew about her was that this woman is on television introducing these movies, I would think she was the dumbest person alive. Why is she? Oh, because she’s a Barrymore. Oh right, the Barrymores were actors. So why are you giving an actor a chance to weigh in on a movie? They don’t know anything. If you were doing a retrospective of the Coen brothers in 100 years would you get Ryan Reynolds and say, “Hey Ryan do you want to introduce this movie and say what you thought about Fargo? No! I don’t want to hear what Ryan Reynolds thinks about Fargo or anything else.

Drew Barrymore is sitting on this couch and Roberts to his credit is really doing the heavy lifting. Matt Lauer could learn a thing of two from him. He’s very nimble and able and other things. He says, “Drew what do you like about this movie?” She goes,”I love this movie. The hair is so iconic.” What? No way! She really said that. You know that there’s an hour of material the editor could have chosen from and that was the best thing they got. She also said, “I love this movie. I’ve read the book.” She made sure we knew she read the book. Do you know people who don’t go to college or high school, of high school and college because they are child actors and they are wildly famous and have drug problems and sex with people, you’re jealous of them. They don’t go to school so they figure I’m just going to read important books that they have heard of and they pick lousy books. I wouldn’t read Bride of Frankenstein. It’s not my thing. Do you know what’s a good book on the list—the canon? I can’t think of a single book. What’s good? Lady Chatterly’s Lover? Lady Chatterly’s Lover was a whole lot of ruckus about not a lot of fuckus, do you know what I mean? What did I like in college, The Awakening? This is like feminism 101—yellow wallpaper. Drew Barrymore is in her trailed trying to get through Ulysses because she didn’t go to Bryn Mawr and I need to deal with the consequences of that by hearing her talk to Robert Osborne-good and say, “I read the book. I love this movie. The hair is iconic.” She also said, “It’s so ahead of its time, the lighting is from another era.” Fuck you! What does that even mean? It’s not true the lighting could not be more 1930 whatever. I don’t even know a lot about film and if you showed me any, it wouldn’t have to be the Bride of Frankenstein or Elsa Lanchester, what is this still from? I’d say, “The 1930.” She had nothing to say. It was dumb. That movie stinks. That woman is beautiful.

I also saw The Bad Seed which is hilarious and wonderful. I cannot recommend that movie enough, 1956. It’s one of Jon Water’s favorite movies and you can tell why because everything that little girl says sounds like it’s coming right out of Mink Stole’s mouth. At the end she’s randomly hit by lightning and dies. I’m just putting that out there. I know it’s a spoiler. It comes out of nowhere and it happened because of the haze code. Because in the play and in the book—I read the book and loved the book—she kills her…and gets away with it. Basically this is what the Bad Seed is about. It’s about a psychopathic little girl who had braids and looks like Cindy Brady. Her classmate Claude wins a trophy for best penmanship. She wanted that trophy so she kills Claude with her tap shoes and Claude drowns. She made it look like an accident. Her mother has to reconcile with that. She gradually learns that her daughter is a psychopath even though her daughter often touches her face and says, “You’re such a pretty mother. You’re such a beautiful mother.” At one point Claude’s mother comes over and ? the scenery because Claude’s mother is drunk and she says, “I miss my son. You don’t know, there’s something funny about it. Claude has the funniest print on his forehead like a shoe. I’m drunk.” She literally said that. The gardener finds out that Claude is a sociopath but she doesn’t care. It’s a great movie. At the end she’s going to the site of the murder and she’s on the pier. She gets hit by lightning. The end. In the haze code if someone did something bad you had to punish them. Villains couldn’t get away with shit. Don’t go pussy. There had to be consequences for things.

Speaking of pussy, Suzanne Somers who loves shooting liquid hormones directly into her vagina, and I imagine she smears them on her vulva as well has weighed in on Obamacare. I don’t know what she said. I don’t think she likes it. Homeland is ugh…Homeland is fine. Homeland is fine. It started off terrible and now it is fine. This week Carrie had to do the yoga play, it was so stupid. It was so stupid if you think about it, but then you got into it. There’s a terrorists leader they are trying to catch from Iran got falafel on his shirt and that was a whole beat. He went back home with terrorists. He needed a clean shirt and they gave him. What the hell was that? Is that going to pay off? Or did I just watch a man get falafel on his shirt while eating in a car? That was a substantial part of my attention during the day that could have been spent elsewhere. Even though this show is supposed to be so brilliant, Obama watches it right? Its supposed to be the best show on TV, Emmy award winning…is it supposed to be the best show on TV. Not after Breaking Bad. Man that was dumb. I have already said that.

To put the premier of Homeland right after the finale of Breaking Bad is an exercise in contrast that Showtime does not need. Anyway, point being, critically acclaimed, Emmy-laden drama getting gradually worse every season getting, however worse it is, it is still respected in the community, in the show business community. It ends with the following line. Carrie is abducted from her home. Carrie is Clair Danes. She is nude at one point but they don’t show us her breasts. Why does that matter? She gets to the terrorists; the guy who spilled the falafel is the baddie. She in the room with the baddie and this is the last line of the episode, “Carrie Mathison you’re in good shape, must be all that yoga.” Credit.

The yoga thing was that she faked going to yoga class so she could help find Brody’s dumb daughter whom everybody hopes dies. This show is… it is what it is. You got to watch Mandy Patinkin shoot ducks, pretend to shoot geese while he was having a conversation. It was a nice bit of business. It was like on Dynasty where Joan Collins was shooting fowl while having a conversation, it’s a good rule of thumb to give actors a bit of business while they are talking about something else. That’s a helpful hint. If you make stuff or write stuff or act stuff out you and are doing something while talking about something else. It’s very satisfying. Don’t talk about the thing you are doing. That is an improv tip. I learned that in improv class a thousand years ago.

Dr. Conrad Murray is out of prison as of Monday. My eyelift is scheduled for Thursday. No, how is he…? Dr. Conrad Murray… I wish him well. I wish him well, and I wish him the best of luck with his practice. Practice makes perfect. Is it coincidence that Lou Reed died after the CBGBs movie came out? Is that mean to ask? Amanda Peet wrote a play. I told you I watched a lot of TV. Are you guys proud of me? Good, good, good. Remember last week when I was like I don’t know if I am going to have children I don’t want to die alone? Well I reconciled that. I watched a lot of TV this week, I stayed inside. I’ll either have a family or I won’t. I’ll meet someone and have a family or I won’t. I’ll meet someone or I won’t. Do you know what I mean? I don’t know what I mean how could you know what I mean? Just barrel through it. Talk about TV shows you were going to talk about, fine. CBS Sunday morning is for old people who have jitterbug phones. Jitterbug phones are cell phones you give your ailing mother if you are a Baby Boomer, or your grandmother is you are a Millennial or a Gen X person. They have three buttons on them. They say HOME, FUNERAL, GRANDCHILDREN. You don’t even have to press it, you can put a nub. They are cell phones for people who are old so they are not confused. Those and ads for plays and ad for problems that happen when your body starts deteriorating are all over CBS Sunday Morning in addition to Mo Rocca on a trampoline with Mariel Hemingway asking her about her family tree and precisely how much suicide it contains. SPOILER- more suicide than the average bear. I am watching CBS Sunday morning and then there’s an ad for a play with Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker called The Commons of Pensacola. Usually ads for plays are really dumb. You hear a couple lines of dialogue and mostly the graphic design of the poster but the font is kind of moving. Sometimes you hear someone read a quote from a critic, then that’s it. In this particular ad it was just Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner staring at us. Then at the end we learn it was a play written by Amanda Peet. They buried the lead on that. It didn’t start with A New Play by Amanda Peet. Or Amanda Peet, actress, playwright? The Peetness was hidden. Am I overstating this? Blythe Danner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amanda Peet, guess who is in the commercial? The actors. Guess who wasn’t? The playwright. Amanda Peet would probably show up sometimes with a baseball cap, no makeup, maybe a pony, a low ponytail, yoga pants. She’d say, don’t mind me, I’m not here, and then maybe the director would ask Amanda Peet a question just to make her feel that it was good she stopped by before her run or after. Amanda Peet. I kept expecting Amanda Peet’s head to pop up between Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker’s because her presence was felt. Isn’t it thrilling that actresses are writing plays now? Only famous ones, that’s what’s exciting.

Hey I want to give a shout out to the man who I would not be doing this podcast had I not been as wildly influenced by him. He’s tremendous. I want to give a shout out to Tom Scharpling who is ending the Best Show on WFMU as we know it on December 17. I want to say Best Show for life and if I know Tom, and I know Tom, he’s just getting started. Mazel Tov which means literally good luck in addition to congratulations. But luck, where we’re going, we don’t need luck. Flips down sunglasses, puts garbage into the flux capacitor. He already put garbage in the capacitor. You are already in the car on your way Back to the Future.

Howwasyourwiki.com is my favorite website in the world. It remains my favorite website. I check Howwasyourwiki every day. I am disappointment when there are no additions to Howwasyourwiki.com. I would like to make Howwasyourwiki.com the one stop shopping spot for How Was Your Week needs in regards to photos of pets listening to the podcast, pretending to read my book, actually reading my book. If someone can make it so those things are up-loadable to Howwasyourwiki that’d be terrific. Also I put Jimmy Jazz in a bowtie tonight. That was a new low in my procrastinating.

This lovely woman Courtney from the website the Reductress had given me a bowtie for him. She even wrote a follow up email, any photos of Jimmy in the bowtie? Oh, not yet. I’d look at the bowtie and think I’d have to find a collar that it goes around, and then I’d forget it. I was in a point of procrastination in my writing tonight. I’m on deadline. I’m going to put a bowtie on the cat. Oh remember there’s no collar. I’m going to look around the apartment for ribbon. I couldn’t find a ribbon. Oh look a shopping bag that’s like a gift bag. I’m going to take the handle off it’s like a ribbon. Knot it, put it on the cat as a dry run, the cat oddly likes it. He’s rubbing his head against it he’s getting a little cat-nippy weird. Put a couple of photos on instagram. Is it time for more food? This is what writing is. Do you want to be a writer? If you want to be a writer, suffer. That’s a new phrase for a T-shirt of something like a T-shirt, a mouse pad. DO you know how it is usually writers write. What was the thing in Throw Mama from the Train? Have you seen Throw Mama from the Train? Before Danny Devito was surrounded by Millenials barking disgusting things about homeless people on fire, prostitutes, and crack cocaine everything else on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia that boys and men find absolutely delicious, deliciously funny. I like parts of that show but mostly I find it so not for me. It’ so not for me that it’s not for me. What do you do when you are at a party and you don’t know anyone? You leave the party.

I like that girl. I think she’s really good. Before Danny Devito was surrounded by those, and that guy who is really funny, Charlie Day. I like him too. I liked Horrible Bosses. I’ve discussed this. Before Danny Devito was surrounded by the cast of It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia he was paired with one Billy Crystal. He was paired with a lot of people in the 198s. He was paired with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was paired with Bette Midler. He was paired with his own god damn wife Rhea Perlman, but In Throw Mama from the Train he was paired with Billy Crystal who played a struggling writer. Writers write, he would say to himself. He couldn’t find the adjective for the opening line of whatever it was, a play, a novel, a short story it doesn’t matter—The night was ____, hot, humid, blah blah blah blah blah, meanwhile, I don’t remember why but they have arranged that Billy Crystal will kill Danny Devito’s mother. Owen! Owen! The mother comes up with the right adjective-sultry. That’s it, the night was sultry. These are things you put into your writer’s advice brain that you go to when you’re not thinking about the thing that you need to actually put on the page. What if I read about writing? Sometimes it helps. Anything helps but actually writing. Writing is very hard and a lot of it involves suffering. Suffering involves finding a string to put around your cat’s neck so he can look cute in a bow tie.

We have one guest this week…