Titles: A Parable
Remember my soul-sucking career?
As of a couple days ago, I no longer have it. Don’t know yet how the bills are gonna get paid, but I feel lighter. Wind at my back, angels singing and the Universe in harmony kind of “lighter.”
So, I got that going for me.
Anyway, it was one of my at-home-writing days and The Boss called. I’ll call him “Mr. Christian” because that’s his name — ever since he changed it to show the world just how very Christian he is. (Swear to god, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, I’m not making that up.)
Mr. Christian asked what he and the other company Big Guys could do to help me be more successful… except, we both know where my heart and passion lie and it ain’t there. So, we amicably agreed to part ways, with his assurance that I’m welcome back anytime and thank you for everything and we support you and your writing and stay in touch.
Next morning, I excised four years’ worth of crap from my desk and computer then made the rounds of goodbyes. I sincerely like everyone there (and they claim it’s mutual), so it took a while.
Towards the end, I was in another Big Guy’s office, my favorite of the Big Guys, in fact. I’ll call him “Tom, the Deeply Devout Christian Who Nonetheless Drinks and Cusses and Openly Wishes his Wife Would Put Out More and/or Let Him Smoke Pot.” He asked a lot of questions about my writing and what’s the next step for me, etc. And Ed the Hovering New Guy, who I really don’t know because he’s only been there like two days, jumped in. He wanted to know the title of my script so he can keep an eye out at the multiplex.
I explained that it hasn’t been optioned or bought – or even marketed, yet – so there’s no need to do that. (Actually, I just didn’t want to tell them the title, as it sounds a tad racy…)
Ed the Hovering New Guy pushed. He really wanted to know the title. I really didn’t want to tell them. Especially since Pastor Bill (a real Pastor-cum-Headhunter) had wandered in and was now standing with the others, watching me expectantly.
I struggled to change the subject, while they clung to it like freakishly-overt-Christian headhunters who don’t get out much. Then Mr. Christian joined the group.
I was backed against a wall – literally – by Ed the Hovering New Guy and the three most pious mid-life crisis sufferers I’ve ever known. Given no choice, I fired my last round:
“Even if this script were bought and made, studios usually change the titles. It probably wouldn’t have the same title if it ever–”
“Well, what’s the title right now?” Ed the Hovering New Guy probed (tenacious bastard).
“Yeah! What’s the title? What do you call it? Just tell us what it is…” sang the Gospel choir.
“Fine!” I blurted, desperate now to get away from this wall and this office and Ed the Hovering New Guy and Mr. Christian and Pastor Bill and even Tom, the Deeply Devout Christian Who Nonetheless Drinks and Cusses and Openly Wishes his Wife Would Put Out More and/or Let Him Smoke Pot. So, I grudgingly confessed,
“The title is EROTIC MUSINGS OF AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE.”
Four pairs of bushy eyebrows shot up.
Then Mr. Christian giggled, “Oh, I’d read that!”
Yeah… It’s always nice to know you’ve found a compelling title.