Previously on The Beardy Douche Chronicles (working title, copyright pending):
Paul awakens and sits up in bed, startled.
Generously Breasted Redheaded Supermodel: What is it, Paul?
Paul: My hobo senses are tingling. Someone nearby wants to hire a temp!
Generously Breasted Redheaded Supermodel: But we’ve only made love seven times this morning. Can’t you stick around a bit longer?
Paul: Damn it, woman! Someone needs a temp!
Generously Breasted Redheaded Supermodel: It’s just answering the phone. Can’t they hire pretty much anyone? Don’t temps just spend the whole work day checking Facebook?
Paul: Yes to all of those questions.
Generously Breasted Redheaded Supermodel: . . .
Paul: But if they let me do it, I can use that $8 per hour to buy a sandwich! Farewell, boobs lady!
Paul lunges out the window, lands through the open sunroof of his rusted Ford Escort, and drives to his temp job as the assistant to the head of a major film studio.
My hideous, untidy beard – which I was required to keep untidy for an amateur acting role – had grown thicker over the weekend. It almost seemed as though my crappy beard could sense that I had important things to do. So when I showed up to begin working for the chairman of the studio Monday morning, I looked like Michael J. Fox’s character from “Teen Wolf”, if he were dressed for a business meeting. I looked like a smelly drifter who had been given half a makeover.
“Hey, that’s a nice dress shirt. I’d like it even better if your neckbeard wasn’t merging with your chest hair.”
Judging by the reactions of the other assistants in the department, I might as well have walked in with a beer in my hand and started asking people for handjobs. Who was this cartoonish hobo who had shown up to work for the head of the studio? Was he a deranged rapist who would urinate on things and bite people, or worse yet, was he a hipster?
The security guard who opened the studio head’s office for me checked my driver’s license twice. The second time, he held it at different angles to make sure all the holograms were there. “I guess that’s you,” he said, seemingly unconvinced.
When he opened the door, it was like stepping into a museum. I’ve seen some nice offices in my day: Big windows, breathtaking views, comfy chairs, a computer screen angled so no one can tell you’re looking at nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens. This office had all that and more: Expensive hardwood floors, an antique wooden desk the size of my car, and memorabilia from some of the most legendary films of all-time housed in glass cases like art exhibits.
Framed on the wall were original, hand-written letters from the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, and James Stewart. There was also a letter from Marilyn Monroe demanding that the studio sever all representation with her. To give a comparison, in my apartment the most valuable memorabilia I have is a signed photo of former Minnesota Twins utility infielder Al Newman. His penmanship is not as nice as Bogart’s.
None of this helped my nerves. Working for an important person is difficult enough, but when your face looks like you spent the last six weeks competing in a dogsled race, you get a little more tense than usual. I sat at the assistant’s desk, combed a few stray Honey Nut Cheerios out of my beard with my fingers, and waited.
Three hours later, I was still waiting. No one had walked in, and the phone hadn’t rung once. It was now literally like working in a museum, with nothing but silence to keep me company. I kept checking over my shoulder to make sure the Wilson volleyball prop from the movie “Cast Away” hadn’t come to life and escaped from its glass enclosure.
One o’ clock came, then two. Finally, around 2:15, the phone rang for the first time. It startled me so badly, I nearly fell out of my chair. The call was from an agent. When I said the boss hadn’t come in yet, the agent said, “Oh, that’s right. He’s traveling overseas this week, isn’t he? I’m so sorry, I forgot. I’ll try him on his cellphone.”
As it turned out, his assistant was with at home, rolling calls from her cellphone to his. I have no idea why they hired me to spend nine hours per day in the office looking at nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens.
In the two days of temping work, the phone rang maybe a dozen times. Half the calls were from the assistant I was filling in for, making sure I wasn’t touching any of her stuff. So I surfed the net, worked on some scripts I was writing, and watched Twins games on MLB.TV. The big breakthrough was on the second day when I found the massive stash of Hershey’s miniatures hidden in the kitchen. I ate about a quarter of the bag, then refilled it using one of the seven other bags they had in reserve.
When the week was over, I submitted my timecard online, locked the door, and went home to look at nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens for a week until my paycheck arrived in the mail. Perhaps showbiz and I were made for each other after all.