I’ve put ideas out into the collective unconscious before, only to have them robbed and bastardized without any input from me. Joe Piscopo’s stinker, “Dead Heat?” Mine first (“Harry Cadaver”). JCVD’s “Timecop?” I had the idea two years earlier with the same title (this one I’ll forgive because it’s not that creative). Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy in “Meet Dave?” I originally thought “Osmosis Jones” plucked my idea of having Robin Williams inside of Bill Murray’s spaceship body, but “Meet Dave” robbed us both (“The Neuron Conquest”). Even He-Man stole (or borrowed liberally) a character I entered into a contest. Their Snout Spout was my Elephantom.
Then I saw this commercial for Flagstar bank yesterday at the bar. I guess it premiered in this year’s Super Bowl, but since that game was so good (Giants spanked the ButtPats), I probably hit the can during the ads and missed it.
This reminded me of a story I wrote in high school and submitted to our literary journal called the Curio. No wonder I never dated.
B O X I N G Y O U R H E A D
I feel deviated like a septum. Separated, apart from what it seems I should be a part of. Not fitting in, a circle in a world of squares. Here I, Lucas Pendleton, sit at the counter of Sigmund’s Soda Shop, and I watch my peers across the way, celebrating and playing by the jukebox. And I can’t be with them. I’ve tended to put my head in the proverbial box for years. So now’s the time to consider it for real.
Here’s a napkin and… here’s a pencil. I need to write this down or I’ll forget. If I did put a box on my head – cardboard being the only choice – it would need to have strategically placed eyeholes so I wouldn’t stumble through life (I do enough without a cube around my head).
As for eating, I would feed my mouth through the opening in the bottom. I wouldn’t need to talk with anyone. The only thing anyone cares about is your name, if even that, and I can have that printed across my forehead. If no one was asking that question anymore, I wouldn’t need earholes. There, the designs are finished. And I’ll never remove my perfect separator for any reason.
Rain. It’s raining outside now. I need to compensate for the dampening spirit that falls from time to time. I’ll draw a little umbrella that could be attached to the top.
Look at them standing over there. Not a care about my plans of seclusion. Will they be sorry, not at all.
They don’t know me anyway. That’s so clear.
Clear. I see clear because of my contacts. How will I remove them? I’ll get corrective surgery done on my eyes. That’s easy.
What’s another problem?
Hygiene. Well, I’ll deal with that as it comes along.
Sleeping comfort. I’ll pad the walls.
Television, movies, and music. How can I enjoy if I can’t hear? I’ll add earholes to the design, very small ones.
A sneeze, I just heard a sneeze. What if my nose runs, or I sneeze? That could get messy. But only I’d know, and only I-I-d–achooo!
“God bless you.”
–Care. Did someone say that to me, or the other guy? Maybe I’ll respond… just in case… to be polite. “Thanks.” See, it wasn’t–
Well, it’s a female voice, coming from behind me. Should I look? Or did the other fellow say thanks at the same time I did. I’ll say another thing to check. “That’s nice. Thanks.” Stupid, stupid…
“Really? You think so?”
It’s gotta be me. I’m gonna look. I grabbed the counter and hand over hand I turned around to see a woman standing behind me, beautiful as could be. She wore splashy hued shoes and a colorful box-pattern dress. Her flowing brown hair came down past her shoulders from beneath the box she wore on her head. I couldn’t believe it, I was in love.
“Whatcha doing?” she asked me as she tried to peak at my napkin. I just looked at her eyes shining through the sufficiently cut eyeholes.
I sighed in response to her question. She approached me, and I then noticed the earholes she had made. Her cute ears were exposed enough to easily hear me as well as the other man sneeze, yet she chose to ask God to bless me!
“A box, huh? That umbrella idea will never work. Believe me. Oh, believe me.”
She pointed out my flaws in design, and I didn’t care! She tilted her head to me and smiled. She cut out a space for her mouth… and her gorgeous smile.
“Why do you need a box on your head, anyway?”
“I’m thinking the same thing!” I said. I hope she thought I meant her. She brushed her right hand through the top of her flowing brown hair. I didn’t even notice the top and back portion of the box were missing.
“I mean, you’re attractive.”
“As well as are you.” I saw her cute nose wrinkle when I complimented her.
“And after all, you thanked me… twice.” She laughed an uplifting laugh. “Quit designing that box for your head. It’s a waste of time. Come on and dance with me.” Her smooth rosy cheeks lifted because of her smile. I could see her entire face. Her entire head.
She took my hand and did that twinkle thing with her eye. There was no box on this woman’s head.
With my free hand I crumbled the napkin. There was no box on this man’s head either.
I threw the napkin in a trash can – a trash can in which, as I was informed later, contained several wet pieces of cut cardboard… and a broken umbrella.