Tommy has been bugging me to post ever day. He keeps sending me messages — update this blog daily he writes. Like I was working for him or something!
I called him to see how his ears are and they are OK. He said his doctor told himi to put ear drops in his ear every time he starts to get an infection. I was thinking maybe he scratches his ears too much. I could just see him scratching his ear with an old style beer tab or a cork screw. Tom — if you are doing this — itching your ears with a corkscrew — it would be better if you put a little Cortisone on the end and that way the infernal itching (the ear mites) would stop. It is the itch/scratch cycle you keep initiating — especially when drunk! Tom– please stop itching your ears too much!
I am working in the background on a long post about Chess, probably my favorite game to play. Tom annoyed the fuck out of me several weeks ago by calling me up and asking me what kind of chess set to buy. When I told him, he quickly said “that is the stupidest thing you have ever said.” I hung up immediately. I had been bear trapped.
For those of you who have never had a conversation with Tom — he has a habit of doing something we (his friends) all call “the bear trapping.” This is characterized by Tom calling you up and saying “what is a great Indian restaurant in the East Village to go to.” “Rose of India,” one might say. “That is a horrible restaurant!” Tom will immediately yell, and often then he will hang up. That is why it is very important to hang up on Tom first
OK — who is Tom? Tom is Tony Millionaire and everyone we know is called Tom. Like Peter Landau is Tom and Tony is Tom and David Johnson is Tom and even Danny Hellman is Tom. The reason for this goes back to the very old days when I was living in Midtown a couple of blocks away from David Johnson, one of our old cronies David and myself would often get together to watch movies and one time, we watched the Exorcist We were both struck by how the movie sets up horror by first establishing an atmosphere of depression, guilt and loss of faith. The priest, Dmitri, has let his mother down. Later, the devil appears to the priest and says “Demi — why you do this to me?” After that, often, when drunk, I would say to David Johson, “Demi — why you do this to me?” Like one time he had a French girlfriend who smelled very bad and I looked at him and said “Demi — why you do this to me?” Later, David broke up with that French girl.
Several years later I found myself calling David Johnson Tom and he was calling me Tom and Tony called me Tom and I called Tony Tom, and of course, we all called Danny Hellman Tom. I remember one day wondering why we all did this — and I finally traced the memory back to the Exorcist It goes back to “Demi — why you do this to me?” but somehow over the years it became Tom and the whole part about “why you do this to me” was dropped. But it is implied. Every time I call Tom by that moniker I am invoking the Devil in that movie including all deleted scenes. This is what makes for an effective name. Deep subtext.
It somehow seems very good to call everyone Tom. Perhaps it would be a better world if such a convention were in place. Anyway, Tom and me are trying to put this rule into place. We are meeting little resistance.
So I guess the chess post will have to wait. I am now reminded of how I tried to stay out of playing computer games but that one time I pirated a copy of some shooter game which you could play on a network, and it came with a copy of something called FORTRESS which was a really awesome add-on. With it you could construct a castle that was a kind of server and hook up with people all over the world and fight with amazing weapons like flamethrowers and shotguns. Often these castles, which could be of enormously complicated design, were uninhabited when one logged in. Sometimes there would be one other person there and you could run about, killing each other over and over again. I found myself playing this game late into the night. It was what I had promised myself I would never do, yet I was doing it. Finishing one game, I logged into another castle, this one in England. I was 47 years old and running around a castle in England with a flamethrower. There, a little fellow with a shotgun in one hand and a pulse rifle in the other kept killing me over and over again. After killing me well over 100 times, he typed to me the words “do you talk?” I answered, “well, i guess I do.” ”How old are you?” said the warrior. ”I’m 47.” I said, “How old are you?”
“I’m ten.” said the warrior. So I logged off and never played that game again. I went back to chess, which might be the subject of my next post.