by Art Shay
(Swans - December 29, 2008 - January 1, 2009)
Ishmael: He's gone. At least that's what the Times says. Dead and gone.
Blurg: Who's gone?
I: Pinter. Only 78 and gone. He was an actor then a playwrote.* He was a Hebe married to this Lady -- Antonia Fraser.
B: The one they called the kiddie machine. She had five or seven. Kept slipping out of her like launching submarines at Southport. With her first husband till Pinter nailed her. I don't know if they had any together. She was royalty, like Princess Diana, but sober. I heard maybe eight kids, three they don't mention.
I: Englishwomen love to fuck -- why not. The babies just come in the wake of all the fucking they do. Why not.
B: Why not what?
B: Yeah, it's a shame now it's gotten so popular. It's overdone. How'd you know he was a Hebe?
I: He came to our Temple for Hannukah services. He wore tsitsus on his shawl.
B: No need to be vulgar, Ishmael. I thought he was a non-observer.
I: He was circumcised or circumscribed, or both. A hell of an observer though. He could see right through you. Eerie.
B: He wrote religion was the opiate of the people.
I: No, that was some other Hebe.
B: Didn't he write about this car taker? Stole Rollses and Morrises. There's a dilemma for you. Parts not interchangeable at all.
I: Care taker. Not car taker.
B: What's the diff?
I: None to me. You going to the funeral?
B: He won the Nobel prize.
I: There'll be toffs at the funeral. Might be good for business.
B: They don't carry billfolds in those hats. I'm going for the wine and sponge cake.
I: That's life as he saw it -- you slither out, you make a few stupid moves, you win over a proven stud mare, you sell your papers to the British library for 3 million pounds, then you die.
B: You make it sound easy.
I: It is easy -- for some of us.
B: For others it's godawful Hell just waitin' around for the other shoe to hit.
I: This Turkish shoemaker had to hire an extra hundred shoemakers to make the right model.
B: And the next day the Pope came out against terrorism. That oughta stop it in its tracks.
I: The best shoes don't leave any tracks. Who's running at Ascot today?
B: I say we skip the funeral and go to the races. He'd've wanted it that way.
I: I think he's faking it. He'll be back in a fortnight like Bush, as if nothin' new happened. I can't believe Harold bought it.
B: And what about Cheney?
I: I hear Hell rejected him so he'll be back as well. What's for din din?
* Playwrote is one of my favorite words. A play I wrote -- my first -- ran for six weeks here in Chicago. It was called "A Clock for Nikita" and it was a comedy and love story about a young Russian who designed an alarm clock that played Tchaikovsky -- wake the workers up happy. I used to review books for the Chicago Sun-Times and the book editor was the great Herman Kogan. Whenever I wrote a book review he would list me in the credit box as, "Art Shay is a famed photo-journalist, the former Bugle Champ of the Bronx, and a distinguished playwrote. His play A Clock for Nikita (Khrushchev ordered the first clock) ran recently at the Stagelight Theater." So playwrote, alas, in referring to me, means a one-play-produced writer... (back)
If you find our work valuable, please considerfinancially.