Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Holy delayed reaction Batman!

During my foolish youth, I decided I didn’t need to wear flip-flops in the gym showers (’cause I was a rebel like that) and as a result have Plantar warts on one of my feet. They’re not very large – mostly due to my doctor being pretty vigilant about removing them before they get to the point where they might cause pain – since I do, after all, spend a large portion of my working life standing.

For some reason, I picked up a really tenacious strain and the little bastards are completely resistant to any treatment besides cutting them out, so I have to have it done every so often. It’s not a big deal – they numb the foot, cut the wart out and then for a week I can’t wear any shoes but those horrible Crocs things.

When the doctor gave me the news today, I burst into tears at the idea of another procedure – completely out of character for me. I’m not normally weepy, and this really isn’t all that big of a deal (the worst part of the whole thing is the injection into the nerve to numb the foot). I just sat there in the chair with tears running down my face as I said “Yes, Friday’s fine. No, really… it’s fine” while the doctor gave me that concerned look.

Ten bucks says that as I’m on my way out of his office tomorrow, he hands me a prescription for Prozac.

The only explanation I have is that it’s a delayed freak-out from the dog bite. For the few days right after it happened, I had nightmares where I’d wake up thinking the dog was biting me again – I could actually feel the teeth closing on my leg – but they went away, and I thought it was fine. When I told a friend (whom I called for a ride home from the hospital) about my little meltdown today she said “I’m not surprised – you were way too calm just after it happened.”

Post-meltdown, I had to do a freebie for a gaffer I work with a lot who’s trying to jump up to DP, and needed a few of the normal crew to help light a blue screen shot for a micro-budget feature (Freebies suck, but when someone gives me a lot of work I’m kind of karmically obligated to do them).

Keeping an even exposure isn’t as important in this day and age of digital (back in the day when effects were shot on film and composited on optical printers, an evenly lit bluescreen was critical), but it has to be pretty close and the light on the actor can’t spill onto the screen, nor can the actors throw shadows onto the screen due to unfortunate light placement.

A bit much for a Craig’s List ‘copy and credit only’ crew, so we showed up, set up the lights, shot the shit with the nice folks and then took off once we were no longer needed.

I was the butt of the jokes all day, as anytime I lost my train of thought during a conversation, mislaid my gloves or couldn’t make a decision, it would instantly be blamed on the case of rabies* I’ve now got. This escalated into jokes about my howling at the moon while turning into a werewolf and… and… well, there was one more, but I forgot.

It’s not a full moon, so it must be the rabies.

*I do NOT have rabies – but next time I work with this group, I’m going to stick an Alka-Seltzer ™ tablet in my mouth at breakfast so I’ll walk onto the truck foaming at the mouth, while acting really nonchalant about it (“What are you staring at? Do I have something stuck to my teeth? What?”).

Couch of the Day:


Filed under: couches, Non-Work, Work

17 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I follow your diary daily, and am disapointed when,in a spare minute,the current post is one already read.

    On the Fox lot yesterday I almost stopped two working women to ask if P.A. was on their crew; until I remembered you are convalescing.

    As a mere youth of five or six my family lived across the river north of Universal City. Down a short street was the home of my buddies, Terry and Skipper Murphy.

    Famous locally for their confident young boy attitudes, also marginally noteworthy as the sons of WWII superman Audie Murphy.

    The German Shephard they owned freaked out one afternoon in the midst of a backyard full of loud and busy neighborhood kids, and bit me on the right bicep. Only once, but once was enough.

    After being stitched up by a lying ER doctor (“no, I’m just cleaning up over here”) I enjoyed a momentary celebrity in the neighborhood but then that was that.

    I hope you will strip your dog tale from your daily focus, as there will be no financial reward easily gained, no eye for an eye satisfaction, no profit of any kind.

    As you fall into another Season of (to your readers)noteworthy Industry adventures I hope the Dog Bite will become another one up anectdote to share with the crew during the slow parts of your production daze.

  2. foreign agent, fawning says:

    Whee! for the Alka-Seltzer. You’re so cool.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Check the web for an herbal remedy called ‘Heal Warts.’ It stinks to high heaven but it works, though you may have to use more than one treatment. I have successfully used these on plantar warts myself.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your humor in the face of excruciatingly bad circumstances is inspiring. Post traumatic reaction is not surprising. You will get through all this.
    On the warts, I’ve had ’em, long ago, and they did eventually go away, don’t give up hope.

  5. Steve Woolf says:

    I just have to say how great a blog this is. I’ve been reading for many months and I’ve told tons of people about it. No other industry blog is as personal, informative, and flat-out useful as this one. I hope you get as much out of your day as I do reading about it! :)

  6. Wen says:

    I was in the Valley today, driving down Moorpark and it was couch of the day heaven! Seriously, on a 1 mile stretsh I saw 5 sad, lonely couches. I totally thought of you.

  7. Sheri says:

    Ok, so the couch thing…I’ve got to know, is it a parade? Like the cow parade? Like your site.

  8. the crocs aren’t so bad, al pacino religiously wears a black pair, and his daughter has a pink pair. his son wear purple or blue, which i am sure leads to some kind of uncomfortableness in the pacino household.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Your latest couch photo brings up a complicated issue. Is it still a couch when only the frame remains? Put differently, is there some minimum level of “couchness” that must exist for it to retain the “couch” identity? The answers are difficult to grasp.

    Iron Rails & Iron Weights

  10. jmb says:

    hey…I’m glad I found your blog. I was just clicking on “next blog” and finally got one I can relate to. I live in LB, and work in locations, so it was fun to find another crew person’s blog to read.
    I am totally jealous of your “couch of the day”–it’s such a great idea!

  11. Crocs are the new Birkenstocks. Not quite as bad as Uggs but approaching it. Avoid them if you can, I don’t care how many members of the Pacino family wear them.

    Peg, the delayed emotional reaction is natural. The kind of fear and panic we display when being knawed on by a viscious animal is very deeply rooted in our DNA. Probably originates to when we were vermin being chased by dinosaurs. Sometimes it can come out at a surprising time, like during a deep massage. Other times it just comes out spontaneously. And better out than in.

    I used to live in downtown Manhattan and watched the Twin Towers fall on September 11th. Initially I reacted to it like a journalist: senses heightened, detached. But now I surprise myself with how amplified the emotions are over time. It is almost six years later and my eyes always spontaneously fill with tears when I see footage of it. I didn’t know anyone who died. All of my friends made it out. But still, the emotional storage bank is a cocktail of brain chemicals. Who knows how it all works.

    About the warts…two words: duct tape!

  12. Marste says:

    Christopher B is totally right about the duct tape. My aunt gets really bad plantar warts, and that’s exactly what she does: duct tapes them. She says it suffocates them. Beats me. But apparently it works really well. And no doctor trips!

  13. Anonymous says:

    RODDAWG: says,

    those “crocs” are some ugly ass shoes!!!!!


  14. Tiffany says:

    I got bit by a dog once and it was really scary. I was riding my bike and the dog didn’t like bikes. My scars have finally gone away.

    P.S. You might want to get an acupuncture treatment or to calm you nerves. It always helps me when I’m stressed or my hormones are freaking out.

  15. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is brilliant! I just love “Couch of the Day”. I came across your blog by complete accident, and glad that I did. Consider me a quick fan.

    As for those warts… I had them when I was a teenager. I never had anything done to them… they just went away on their own when I was in my mid 20’s. Good luck with that.

  16. clarkman says:

    That couch frame is on my block — WeHo, right? It’s been there for WEEEEEEKS.

    Get well soon!

  17. Alessandra says:

    the couch looks vintage but i think it’ll look way better with a huge fluffy mattress. as for warts, yeah i finally got rid of them just recently. thank god for amazing dermatologists. it’s a major turn off for guys..good thing i got rid of them before hooking up with this hot guy i met at webdate*dot*com.

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