Tuesday, March 16, 2010

“Uncle Buddy’s House”, Chapter 41: fiendish plan

Let’s rejoin our hero Buddy Best, at present in recovery from a conversation with one of his least favorite people, that ham actor whom Buddy chooses to refer to as “The Ancient Mariner”, the father of the lovely Cordelia, the young woman whom Buddy is possibly impossibly in love with...

(Click here to go to our previous chapter; if you must you may click here to return to the first chapter of Uncle Buddy’s House©. Rated R for sex, drugs, and poor plotting.)

Buddy had to go meet Marjorie Goldsmith and a writer from Entertainment Weekly at Musso’s. The writer was this little chick who was even shorter than Marjorie and had a voice like a fourteen-year-old’s, but she was nice, and weirdly respectful. Buddy felt a little sorry for her that he wasn’t Jude Law or Colin Farrell, but he got through the interview, playing his part, the hardscrabble no-nonsense independent, and as Marjorie saw the girl out he sat in the booth and thought about some of the idiotic things he had just said.

Marjorie came back and slid in across from him.

“You were marvelous, Buddy.”

“Yeah, right, hey, you sure she isn’t writing this for her high school newspaper?”

“She, dear boy, has a Master’s in journalism from Columbia.”

“Well, it’s nice to know she’s not wasting her degree.”

“Now, would you like to go to the Chateau Marmont for some tea?”



“At the Marmont?”

“I’ve got a suite booked for the day.”

“What are you, crazy?”

“Sony’s paying for it. I had the Coen brothers in there all morning meeting with the Japanese press.”

“Let’s go,” said Buddy.

(They drove separately, and on the way over Buddy realized, annoyingly, that he should get some condoms, and he had to detour down to the CVS near the Ramada Hotel on Santa Monica, and stand in line, feeling very middle-aged, and he bought a tin of Altoids peppermints, just to be buying something else besides his packet of extra-thins, not that the cashier gave a flying fuck.)

He had to admit, it was even more fun than the first time, and afterwards the expense-account-mad witch even ordered up a good bottle of Chardonnay. (Buddy had insisted on no champagne.) So they lay in bed and sipped the wine, and she even pulled a joint out of her purse.

“How is your mystery woman, Buddy?”

“Still a mystery. How is your husband?”

She gave him a little slap, and then she climbed up on top of him, lying on him and looking into his eyes.

“I must know who this minx is,” she said, expertly toking and then putting the joint between his lips. Buddy duly toked and she took the joint out of his lips.

“What exactly is a minx anyway?” he asked.

“I have no idea. A small furry animal? But who is she?”

“I can’t believe you don’t know.”

“You mean it’s common knowledge?”

She seemed professionally offended at this possibility.

“Forget it.”

“So -- that means -- Debbie would know!”

“Ah, Christ.”

“If anyone does she would know. Wait. It’s not Debbie, is it?”

Buddy tried to push her off but she held on to his shoulders.

“No,” she said, staring into his eyes from varying angles. “Not Debbie. But I’ll find out.”

“I’m sure you will.”

“So why not tell me now.”

“’Cause there’s nothing to tell.”

“Then tell me if there’s nothing to tell.”

So, finally, after more wine, and the joint, he told her, the whole weird story.

“That is a fantastic tale,” she said. “You naughty, naughty man.”

“Yeah, well, the only thing I don’t get is that weirdness with the Mariner today. What’s he up to?”

“That’s obvious. He thinks that you got Cordelia the lead in this Chris Lambert movie. So, he thinks by being nice to you and giving you the okay to ravish his only daughter that you will be nice to him and continue to give him parts in your movies. Or, put another way, if you agree to get him work he will let you fuck his daughter.”

“Oh,” said Buddy.

“Yes,” she said, caressing him down below, to some effect. “Oh.”

“But no way I will ever cast him again. He’s so deluded.”

“Well, then you can forget about fucking his daughter.”

“I already had forgot about it,” he lied.

“Shut up now,” she said, and she climbed up on top of him. “Let’s get Sony’s money’s worth out of this bed.”

Not much post-coital badinage after this one.

(He hadn’t come, which he didn’t mind, he was fifty-two years old after all and happy just to get it up at all, let alone twice in one afternoon. Marjorie however had come, or, if she hadn’t come she had given a pretty damn good impersonation of a woman coming.)

Buddy was still lying there breathing heavily as she briskly got herself dressed.

“Bugger,” she said.


Bugger bugger bugger.

Now what the fuck had he done? Was she going to start getting psycho on his ass already?

“What’s the matter, Marjorie?”

“Bugger! Where is my other shoe?”

Under the bed, generally, in Buddy’s experience, but he didn’t say this, and she was poking around under it pretty soon anyway, and sure enough she came up with it.

“Ah! Got you!”

And then there was another flurry of buggers.

“Marjorie, was there something I said?”

“What? Oh, no, darling! You’ve been marvelous. It’s just Terence and his soccer.”


“My son, you silly. At his soccer -- no -- baseball practice.”


“Must run, must pick him up. Take a nap, darling, then order up some coffee or tea if you like, it’s all on Sony, little Jap fools, let’s spend their money.”

Soon she had blown out the door, and, fuck it, Buddy decided to have a little doze on Sony.

(Continued here, after Buddy wakes up.)

(Feel free to go to the right-hand column of this page to find an absolutely up-to-date listing of links to all other published chapters of Uncle Buddy’s House™. Portions of our story filmed on location at the fabulous Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, where for several generations the royalty of the entertainment industry have stopped to enjoy comfortable lodgings, fine European cuisine, high-powered wheeling-and-dealing and discreet recreation.)


Unknown said...

something tells me Buddy is going to regret this.

If any of the young ones get hurt, he will never forgive himself.

Marjorie seems quite nice too, though not to her husband. Perhaps it's an open marriage.

Buddy is a strange mixture of weak and strong (emotionally I mean. though the ladies seem happy enough with him).

Dan Leo said...

Buddy like many strong men is weak when it comes to the ladies. And it's funny, but I rather like Marjorie too (although I don't think I'd want to be married to her!).

Unknown said...

Dan and dianne:
I don't like Marjorie at all. Did she do the Coen brothers in the morning? One at at time or...
So it's part of her job, just as it's part of Buddy's job. (Or am I missing the signs of such an almighty attraction between them that denying it would be a sin?)
In which case, well and good. But if it's Marjorie the publicists' M.O., which she's valiantly balancing with motherhood, perhaps an office gig would suit her better. Not necessarily, of course, that's just my puritanical thinking. Maybe she's already explained the whole deal to her kids in an age-appropriate, Baby-Einstein kind of way.
But here's the thing. I tend to give Buddy a pass. At first I worried it was because he was a man. But now I think this kind of job activity works best if you either don't have children or manage to wait till they're grown up. Probably back when young Phil was playing soccer, Buddy was a star among the Hollywood soccer moms. And during that phase, I doubt I'd have given him a pass.

Dan Leo said...

Hey, now, Kathleen, the Coen bros are strictly business for old Marjorie! At least I hope they are...

I'm afraid to think about Buddy among the soccer moms. That's a "prequel" that I don't think we want to get into...

Unknown said...

Is there an equivalent of the Chateau Marmont anywhere else in the States? I can't think of any place with such a reputation.

Dan Leo said...

Manny: the Chateau Leo in Philadelphia.

Unknown said...

Now Kathleen, I think you're being harsh on Marjorie. Be fair. She showed that she has boundaries when she checked that Buddy wasn't already in a relationship, remember? She found Buddy attractive, and we know that Buddy is very attractive; see how many women
make themselves available to him.

I'm not so happy about her being unfaithful to her husband, but as we don't know her backstory, I'm not going to judge her for that.

What makes you think the sex is part of her MO? Did you mean her working MO (to keep her clients in the fold so to speak) or her predatory MO (how she finds her lovers)?

One last question: if she did the Coen brothers together, would they be in an incestuous relationship?

Dan Leo said...

Ha -- you made me chuckle, Di.

And nobody really knows what really goes on in Marjorie's or anyone's marriage -- not even at the divorce hearing...

Unknown said...

Hell, I don't even understand myself. If a person can't communicate with himself, what chance does anyone else have?

Dan Leo said...

Di and Kathleen: This little discussion made me realize again something I've thought about before, which is I tend to find something to like in just about all the characters that appear in these pages. I even like the Ancient Mariner, fer Chissake!

I guess this is something like when you hear actors talking about playing villains, Iago or Richard III, or just a bitchy character on a TV show, that the actor has to "find the humanity" in the character, no matter how nasty the character might be...

Dianne said...

I remember my English teacher in school talking about Falstaff or Sir Toby Belch as someone we love in fiction, but would find hard to tolerate in real life.

Who doesn't love Pride and Predjudice's Mrs Bennet or her unruly daughter Lydia? (Though I have a theory that Lydia would do very well in the current era) Even Elizabeth found that intolerable plonker Mr Collins exceedingly diverting in retrospect.

Now,the superficially charming Wickham was evil beyond doubt, and it is difficult to like him. But your characters in this novel are none of them evil imo; Even the dreadful Mariner is trying to be true to some ideal (artistic integrity?) beyond his own selfish satisfaction. His failure is his unquestioning self-satisfaction - imo anyway. As the author, ymmv!

Oh, have you read "Pride and Predjudice and Zombies"? I found it - well, exceedingly diverting!

Dan Leo said...

Ah, Di, your teacher was on to something there -- it's so much easier to deal with whackjobs when they're safely in the pages of a novel. Unless of course like Arnold in his current adventure, you happen to be stuck inside the pages of that novel yourself.

Haven't read "Pride and Predjudice and Zombies", but I'll put it on my ever-growing list.

(Oh, and thanks for "ymmv" which was new to me!)