May 19, 2013

Source: Marco Walker

Dear Gato”€”

You really should try the ozone therapy”€”cleans your blood. Kiedis does it. Everyone should do it. Ignore the Wikipedia warnings; it was used in Europe for decades to keep livers from failing. Ask Anthony. Why die young, asking yourself: “€œIf only I”€™d have tried the ozone treatment”€?

Speaking of death, in fact, I”€™ve been reflecting on the time I officially died for four days. Back in the tsunami of 2004. Yes. I was there. Christmas “€™04. That’s why I don”€™t need to catch the movie. I saw it with these eyes. I might consider myself blessed. I mean, how many people can say they were at the tsunami? I can. I”€™m a survivor and I have the passport stamp to prove it. 

Anyhow. To return to Mickey’s story. Item: Nazario worked the border guards perfectly, as we smuggled a comatose (in fact he was simply unconscious) Mickey back into the US. If you remember from last week, Dr. Feelgood didn”€™t work out. It was the best tactic, with the temperature heating up as was the case, tension on the airwaves from the studio execs, agent, wife, ex-wife, manager, lawyer, studio lawyer, and LAPD Missing Persons Dept. (What idiot called them in? As it happens I know…it was Dagen Bleu. King Rat. Ring a bell?)

“€œThank God for assistants.”€

I told Mickey when he woke up that it seems I work harder for him than his talent manager does. His reply: “€œThat’s what friends are for.”€ Then with a little more consideration to his old friend he asked: “€œHave you seen my manager recently? John Belushi had nothing on him.”€ He had a point. I felt much more that could be said about the manager but we both quietly decided that therapy might be a better time for that.

In fact I did see Pauly Preiss, the manager in question, and it’s not a pretty picture. How easy it is to slip from going concern to charity case. In Pauly’s case, the poor guy has nothing but his clients to fall back on, and we know how they behave. The clients, at least, have their talent to fall back on, if not a lot else. Life skills included”€”excluded”€”whatever.

Nazario performed an A-1 job of getting us across the border without any red tape. It turns out that the San Diego portal, the world’s busiest border, is not so painful to navigate by ground if you know the right people. I don”€™t want to romanticize these evil killing machines, but if you look at it in a feudal context, these narcos are indeed the local aristocracy. 

Anyhow, thanks to “€œthe engineer,”€ we benefited from the cartel’s moving spider web of vehicles attempting to cross the US/Mexico border in ever-shifting formations. They”€™ve got the system worked out like Pac-Man.

At any given moment”€”in the six- or seven-lane traffic that’s always backed up at the northbound border crossing”€”at any moment, night or day, a full 20% of the vehicles are owned and driven by members of the cartel. They own an unspecified percentage of the guards (even I don”€™t want to specify, though I know the number. I”€™m not ready to die, and it could just as easily be at the hand of Homeland as by the cartel, were I to write this figure here or anywhere; some things are best left spoken) as a consequence of which they have information on approximately 90% of the border and customs guards”€™ movements. 

When a guard who is, shall we say, sympathetic to the cause steps into the guard box on, for instance, lane number three to relieve his fellow guard for an hour or so, an APB goes out to all the other cars waiting in line. And the merchandise from all the cars not in lane three is quickly and covertly transported (by young boys and girls with school backpacks, as far as I can see; and of course the souvenir sellers)”€”all transpo”€™d across the lanes and into the cars on lane three. Whose drivers now know, in advance, that for the next hour or two they have a laissez-passer. 

And so it goes. In this respect, the crossing over was uneventful. Smooth, even. We were the beneficiaries of the network, the largesse of the godlike Big Man, wherever he may be. It would have been a lifesaver for Mickey”€”and this was how our conduit sold it to his chief”€”if Mickey hadn”€™t woken up just as we were passing the Ralph Lauren outlet mall situated off the I-5 near San Diego”€“and if he hadn”€™t suddenly expressed a desire to go shopping.

Mick had vague ideas about what had happened in T-J but as far as he was concerned, he had just woken up from a deep and rather satisfying siesta. The dude has ninety-nine lives! I was more relieved than pissed off, but I told him firmly that no one was doing any shopping whatsoever. He took it philosophically. I asked him how he was feeling and he said great. I asked him where he wanted to go and he said the office.

We obliged. The dude also has ninety-nine problems, the first being the screenplay for Fantasy Island, Part I: The Plane is Here…the subtitle is the total work Mickey had done, to date, on the story. Brilliant capitalist that he is, he had embraced the idea of a trio of Fantasy films, no doubt imagining himself writing the next two scripts at a base rate, moving-average-adjusted increase of 30% per script, despite the fact he can”€™t even write “€œFADE IN.”€


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