Some links before we get started today. It was a Snippet Sunday yesterday, and we had a post at our joint blog. Norma writes about moving disasters at her blog. Check out this gag image at The Happy Whisk. Before the weekend AngryParsnip had A Square Dog Friday. And Cheryl had fireworks at her blog. Now then, today I have something that might make me persona non grata in certain circles in the city of Chicago...
Hack Director Plans To Make High Octane Baseball Film; Cubs Fans Outraged
Los Angeles (AP) Director Michael Bay, who might well be the busiest man in Hollywood, threw a curveball at reporters with an unlikely new project, once he’s finished with other projects. At his production offices at Digital Domain, reporters gathered to hear his latest announcement, speculating as to what he might be tearing apart this time. Some speculated that it might be Care Bears. Others wondered if he might be rebooting To Kill A Mockingbird. And yet others were convinced that he’d be doing us all a favour and quietly going into retirement.
Bay came out on stage, flashing his usual dull witted grin while looking at his reflection in a hand held mirror. He stumbled into the podium, his attention more on the image in his mirror than where he was going. He slid the mirror into a pocket, and waved at the crowd. “Great to see you! Thanks for coming out. But of course you knew you had to. I am, after all, the greatest director of all time. Am I right or am I right?” The crowd of reporters were silent while Bay grinned in oblivious amusement. We wondered how long this latest grandstanding announcement might take. Some of us had deadlines. Others were developing headaches just being in the presence of this particular egomaniac.
Bay continued to prattle on. “Well, my next project, once I’m finished with other stuff, will be huge. Epic. I’m talking loud and noisy and really big and lots of explosions and hot babes. But it’s also going to be something unexpected. You see, I’ve decided to make a baseball film.”
Reporters stared at each other in confusion. What did baseball have to do with explosions, after all? Bay seemed to ignore the confusion and disdain. “You know, I asked Kevin Costner to be involved in this in some fashion. I mean, he’s done baseball films, and I cornered him at a premiere awhile back, and I said, Kevin, can I call you Kevin? I’ve got an idea for a film that’ll be even bigger and better than those baseball films you did. We’re talking real classic status here, man, and you and me, we can hit the ball right outta the park. Well, he wasn’t biting. For some inexplicable reason he seems to think I’m a horrible director- his words, not mine- and that he’d rather walk barefoot over a mile of broken glass than work with me.”
This reporter found himself completely agreeing with the assessment of Kevin Costner. Bay shrugged before continuing to speak. “Well, **** him. He’s too stupid to recognize true genius when he sees it, so I won’t work with him. Anyway, my film’s going to be big. It’s gonna be huge. Everyone will want to see it. I’m calling it Cubpocalypse. I’ve decided to take on the big story. The Chicago Cubs. October 14th, 2003. Steve Bartman. It’s got all the essential elements of an all time great movie story. With a little patented Michael Bay magic. We’re talking explosions, babes, chases, angry Cubs fans, and an elusive hero.”
For those not in the know, that particular night saw the Cubs inexplicably in Game Six of a National League championship, playing the Florida Marlins. They were leading in the eighth inning and the series when an attempted foul ball catch by Cubs outfielder Moises Alou was disrupted by a spectator, Steve Bartman. The remainder of the game turned into a nightmare for the Cubs, and they were quickly dispatched in the following game. Fans were robbed yet again of a chance to end the long drought for the Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908. They cast the blame on Bartman himself, who was escorted from the stadium by security for his own protection that night, under the toxic hostility of the crowd. Bartman himself has kept a low profile ever since, while Cubs fans refuse to forgive him. To this day, Cubs fans make use of Steve Bartman voodoo dolls at each game, and still burn him in effigy at the start of every season.
“Mr. Bay, the Steve Bartman story has already been told, and told quite well,” a Reuters correspondent pointed out. “There was a documentary some years ago called Catching Hell, which examined the matter in thorough deta...”
Bay cut him off. “Come on, do I look like the kind of guy who cares less about documentaries? No. I care about action. I care about explosions. I care about hot babes prancing across the screen in tank tops. I care about explosions. Did I mention the explosions? So of course the story of Steve Bartman and that night was tailor made for me.”
The reporters stared at Bay in a moment of stunned silence. Bay simply grinned like a buffoon. It is, after all, a common expression for him. Finally a reporter asked, “Are you aware there were no explosions that night?”
“Don’t bother me with details,” Bay countered. “I’m telling a story. That means taking some liberties with the facts. It’s very simple. I’m telling not just the story of what happened that night, as tense as it was. No sir. I’m also telling the story of what happened next.”
This reporter spoke up. “What happened next is that Steve Bartman felt awful, made a statement of apology, and made a point of staying out of public life."
“So you say!” Bay exclaimed. “I say there’s much more to the story. I say that we have ourselves a rabid band of Cubs fans. The toughest of the tough. Not too bright either, because, hey, they’re Cubs fans, and they seem to remain devoted to a team that’ll never win another World Series. It’s like we’re dealing with fans of the Maple Leafs, am I right?” Bay laughed. “Anyway, they might not be the brightest bulbs in the batch, but the idea is that years later, they find out where Steve Bartman lives, and they decide to take out their revenge on him. We’re talking epic freeway chases, death traps, the threat of being burned at the stake, stuck in a ticking time bomb of destruction, all to a rocking score and a solo rendition of Take Me Out To The Ballgame by Aerosmith. I mean, seriously, some of those Cubbie fans could conceivably be deranged mad bombers, right? It’s too bad Dennis Hopper is dead. I could’ve cast him as the mad bomber.”
The reporters stared again at Bay in stunned silence. Bay remained oblivious, checking his face in his pocket mirror again before replacing it in his jacket. “So anyway, without further ado, let me introduce you to our cast. First and foremost, as Steve Bartman, I’ve decided to cast...”
“Shia LaBeouf?” this reporter inquired.
“How’d you know?” Bay asked. “Shia! Come on out here, buddy!”
LaBeouf stumbled out, smiling at the reporters. “Hey, look at all the love for Shia! Shia is happy to see you!”
“What’s with talking in the third person?” the Reuters correspondent asked.
“Shia has decided that Shia must now speak exclusively in the third person,” LaBeouf explained.
“Does Shia know that Shia sounds like a horse’s ass when he does that?” this reporter asked.
“Shia thinks you are joking,” LaBeouf replied.
This reporter pointed to Bay. “Sir, this man doesn’t even look like Steve Bartman.”
“How do you know?” Bay countered. “Think of what he was wearing that night. Glasses, Cubs hat, turtleneck, headset... you could pass Steve Bartman in the street and never know it was him. Shia’s great for the part. We’re getting him set to play the hero of a generation. Well, the hero of a generation of Marlins fans, anyway. And as the hot woman he loves, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Megan Fox!”
Megan Fox came out, smiling in her usual vacant way, waving and showing off her ample cleavage. This reporter rolled his eyes. “You have got to be joking!”
“Of course not,” Bay declared. “It’s not as if Steve Bartman’s likely to come forward and object to any of this, so I can take whatever liberties I want with his life. And the third big role of the film, playing the mad bomber, Walter “Mad Dog” Burkov, I give you Nicolas Cage!”
Cage emerged from backstage, looking as if he had just stumbled off the stage of Leaving Las Vegas. Perhaps because he was stumbling as if drunk, a half empty bottle of champagne in one hand. “Hello! Great to see you! I’ll tell you, it’ll be a lot of fun playing the villain this time out.” He joined the director and actors at the podium. “And I’m sure it’ll win me another Oscar. Have I mentioned lately that I’ve won an Oscar?”
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming today,” Bay said. “Cubpocalypse is going to be the biggest movie of the year when we release it. People from all over are going to want to see it. Though I’m sure the local market in Chicago might find themselves wanting to avoid seeing it. Too many painful memories. Hey, I understand that, and I have plenty of other potential audiences who love my work that’ll make up the slack. I’ve got the greatest actors out there playing these roles, and I’ve brought myself to the equation. Big explosions, hot babes, hot cars. What else could you ask for in a movie?”
“Plot, logic, continuity, any of these ring a bell?” this reporter asked.
Bay laughed. “You’re such a kidder! Have a good day!”
With that, Bay and his trio of actors left. This reporter conferred with his colleagues. We agreed that attending press conferences held by Michael Bay were far more irritating to us than losing a chance at the World Series could be to Cubs fans. After all, we aren’t hopelessly deluded.
Following up, this reporter went down to sports bars near Wrigley Field to speak with Cubs fans. When told of the movie, they were furious. “Steve Bartman? A hero?” Max Kowalski, a bartender at The Watering Hole fumed, his eyes angry, nostrils flaring. “Steve Bartman is the most evil human being to ever walk the earth. And we will never forgive him. Do you have any idea how many people plan to raise a glass of champagne the day we see his obituary in the papers? Now, if you’ll excuse me, the game’s on. Our boys have a lotta ground to make up for, and the season ain’t any getting shorter, but this is our year. Cubs win the World Series this year, baby! Wooo!”
This reporter left the bar. Yes. Hopelessly deluded, the lot of them.