Writings


The Feared Wag (1973): The legendary (?) high school paper that refuses to die, despite our best efforts. Such a success it was, one might be fooled into thinking I enjoyed a single minute of it. It Includes my imitation of San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen.
Simply Divine (1976): A hypothetical sitcom script that I wrote for an undergraduate course taught by "Bewitched" creator Sol Saks, who, surreally enough, gave me an A. Note the dated '70s references to Lohman and Barkley, Fotomat, and the use of "trick" as an adjective. A somewhat similar plot would later turn up on "Mork and Mindy."
Promotional articles for KCSN-FM, Northridge (1977): A couple of instances of fleeting sincerity about locally based ethnic music programs then airing on this NPR affiliate at California State University.
The Quantum Mechanics of Agricultural Workers in Their Relation to the Lattice Theory of Bacterial Calculus (1982): A parody of Scientific American from a time when I had no car and traveled everywhere by bus, which in Los Angeles called for as many magazines as I could get.
The Mad Consumer (1982): This thing, which reads like S.J. Perelman on acid (and with good reason), was intended to be the first chapter of a novella. If I had finished it, it would have been about three times longer. In '86 I made some slight revisions and gave it its current title, but it remains open-ended and I have no idea what would have happened next. A more accessible treatment of the same idea can be seen in the 1990 film "The Freshman."
Constitutional Divide (1983): A blackout sketch that either does or doesn't make a statement about schizophrenia.
Second Guest (1985): Reginald returns after 70 years. Saki is my favorite writer. I discovered the stories at age 12 and bought the 1976 anthology as a young adult. I have continued to revisit the stories and to be inspired by their irreverence, dark side, and brevity. This imitation recycles a small amount of dialog from an otherwise discarded radio script I wrote in 1979.
Unfinished screenplay (1985): More deranged ramblings from my trapped-in-Hollywood period, combining an Allenesque ensemble cast with Lynchian surrealism and a notable lack of plot or purpose, just like my life at the time when I was working in a brush factory. (Very nice people there, though.) I am rather partial to the 7th and 9th scenes, the rest not so much.
Pain in the Year End (1985): The L.A. Weekly, where I had earlier been an intern, seriously considered running this parody of Christmas letters (probably because they were afraid I would kill myself otherwise, but I'm letting time take care of that). Unfortunately, I submitted it too late in the season to make it into print.
Ye Mensans Tale (1987): For 10 years beginning in '83, I was a member of Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa. In February '87 (at which time I was editor of the events calendar) the chapter chose the theme "Mensabury Tales" for its Regional Gathering. In that spirit I wrote this parody of Chaucer that demonstrates my command of rhyming iambic pentameter, which is a must in today's competitive marketplace.
Words to Eliminate from Your Vocabulary (1987–88): A briefly recurring newsletter feature written for the erstwhile stock photo agency Westlight. It appeared in five issues, but the last one (Vol. 2, No. 3 of Briefings) seems to be lost.
Working West Light: You Help Me, I Help Myself (1988): Another old company newsletter article presented in before and after versions.
Contributions to Alternative Rock SIG (1988–94): Items that ran in a fanzine published by Sigourney Street (aka Doc Square) of Boston, as part of a Mensa special interest group (SIG) devoted to alternative rock. I was reluctant to contribute at the time because I wasn't really comfortable writing opinion pieces, but apparently I survived the experience unscathed, as today you can find equally worthless opinions of mine on IMDB and Amazon.
Top Ten Reasons to Work at Westlight (1991): An office joke that I tacked on the bulletin board in the lunch "area" (it didn't quite qualify as a room).
Fractured Flickers Episode Guide (2005): Descriptions of all 26 episodes of the 1963 syndicated series that is one of the funniest shows of all time, based on the three-DVD set available.

 

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