The Somerton Man Movie
Warner Brothers Studio.
4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522,
Telephone. +1 818 954 3000.
‘Hello, this is Warner Brothers, how can I help you?’
‘I’ve got a Brand New Story!’
‘Good for you, sir. I’ll transfer you to our script editing department, you will be speaking to Mr Sal Deviccio.’
‘That Mr Sal Deviccio?’
‘I’ve got a Brand New Story!’
‘Would you like to hear it?’
‘What? On the phone?’
‘Well, yes, is that ok?’
‘Geez, do I have a choice here?’
‘I’m the one who’s gonna be sorry, why don’t you write it out and send it in?’
‘It won’t take long, maybe you can record the conversation.’
‘What? It’s so good I’ll want to listen to it twice?’
Sal takes a cigar stub out of the ashtray, lights it, sucks until it sparks drop onto his desk.
‘Ok, you’ve got the floor.’
‘It takes place in Australia, maybe you can get Nicole Kidman for the female lead.’
‘Maybe I’ll hang up the phone if you don’t move your ass.’
‘You said that once already.’
Sal mashes his cigar out for the second time, looks at his watch.
‘What’s your name?’
‘Well, Benny, I’m having lunch with Scarlett Johansson in about ten minutes, I’ll ask her if she’s interested, so how about we get this show of yours on the road, ok?’
‘Yessir, sorry sir.’
‘For fucks sake, Benny, how many times?’
‘Ok. Well I have this bloke who comes to Adelaide because he thinks Scarlett is having his baby and he hasn’t seen her since, well, you know, when the baby event happened.’
‘You want Johansson to be pregnant, Benny?’
‘Well, no, you see she’s already had the baby about a year earlier.’
‘Right, no pillows then.’
‘But this bloke is poisoned or something and he dies just down the road from her house.’
‘And somebody put a piece of paper ripped from a book in his pocket.’
‘Yeah, that’s the mystery bit.
‘You don’t say.’
‘Yeah, then this is the tense bit because the piece of paper has written on it in Persian or something two words that mean ‘The End’ so that everybody thinks he committed suicide.’
‘Like in Iran?’
‘So he’s a terrorist.’
Sal winces, looks at the picture of all the Warner brothers on his wall and reminds himself that for $250,000 per sometimes he has to take a hit.
‘Are we nearly done here, Benny?’
‘Not by a long shot, Sal, because later somebody hands in the book that the piece of paper was ripped from and it has her phone number on it.
‘So, she killed him, right?’
‘Heh heh heh, you sure know how movies are supposed to end, don’t you, Sal?’
‘I wish this fucking phone call would end, Benny, I’ll tell you that for no change. Is there more?’
‘Lots more, Sal, because the police come around to see her then take her to look at a plaster cast of the body and she nearly passes out.’
‘A plaster cast?’
‘Yeah, because all this happened six months later after he was buried.
‘Why didn’t they show her a photo of him instead?’
‘Geez, Sal, I never thought of that. Do you think I should put it in?’
‘Good idea, Benny, don’t want anyone falling asleep at twenty bucks a throw for back-row seat at the movies.’
‘Oh, and I forgot, there was some funny writing on the back of the book.’
’Just funny, you know? Mysterious like.’
Sal eyes his liquor cabinet. Searches out the half-bottle of Seagrams he didn’t finish last night then rubs his face very hard.
‘But she killed him, am I right?’
‘No, because the police took her home after she nearly fainted and she never saw them again, ever.’
‘That’s it, Sal. What do you think?’