Hollywood Shorts: Quickie

Charles Ray was a popular juvenile star in the 1910s and ’20s, but by the ’30s, his career was on the rocks, and he turned to writing. Here’s another in a series of offerings from his book, Hollywood Shorts, a collection of short stories set in Tinseltown.
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“Yuh esk I should lissen. Den vy I shouldn’t express de sentiments vot I hear a audience remark? I give hup.”
“Hey! Don’ give hup de ship ven de picher is sinkink. Maybe it can be fixt. Lissen, a foist preview don’ mean nuttink. I gottit ideas how it can be fixt hup.”
“Fixt, sure. But ve made de picher on buttons. Vot ve goink tuh use fer money? Enswerink me dot? Evertink costs money, even a button on a sut costs money.”
Don’ talk in clucks an’ suts. I’m alrady dizzy from de cost hof dis picher. Also I’m seek vit vorry, an’ yuh give me riddles tuh enswer. Vot yuh chatter gives me pennisitis!”
“Vel, remember von tink. I vas against de story from de start. I said in de foist place dot de boy shouldn’ta had a sister, an’ in de second place he shouldn’ta got married so soon in de foist reel.”
“Marriage is a law vit censorship!”
“But a vife is no romance.”
“Vot is it den?”
“It’s silly!”
“More riddles!”
“Is it a riddle ven a picher is a failure?”
“Who said our picher is a failure?”
“Vel, jus’ look at de pipple comink outa de theater vit upturned noses.”
“I don’ see any upturned noses. Anyvay, it’s a cold night. Pipple are sniffin’ at de air, not de picher.”
“Uh-huh? Maybe I’m wrong, as dey say in de comic strips!”
“You are wrong half de time. An’ yuh are certainly wrong about sniffink.”
“But not about scoffink!”
“Sniffink, scoffink, no vonder I’m seek!”
“Just de same, de time has come ven ve should take de bull by de troat. I tink ve should blame somebody, an’ dot somebody is de cutter.”
“Nobody’s tuh blame but money. If yuh got lots hof money, den yuh don’t need tuh produce a picher in poverty row. If yuh haven’t, yuh stay with de small fry ducklinks.”
“I’m glad dot yuh have de feelink vot I got.”
“I didn’t say I had de feelink yuh got. I said yuh make me dizzy, not de picher. De picher’s hokay vit a bit of cuttink. Vot ve need is elimination.”
“I vus tinkink dot. Let’s move on somevere.”
“Sure, vot I need is to sit down. Maybe vot ve need is tuh forgit de picher. S’pose elimination is de tink, vot den?”
“Let’s have a sandwich. Maybe some herrink an’ a beer, den tuh bed an’ hope fer inspiration.”

“I don’ need no inspiration tuh know dot our picher smells!”
“It don’ smell so bad. A smelly picher can be fixt hup vit romance.”
“Sure, if de romance don’ smell.”
“Don’ be kittenish!”
“Say, am I kittenish ven I feel a loss comink? Go ahead, from both ears I am lissenink.”
“Vil yuh lissen tuh my eliminatin?”
“Hokay, but elimination ain’ evertink.”
“Ever good film doctor says it, like ever udder doctor says it.”
“Hokay, lemme havit!”
“Lissen, I sure gottit a episode in my bean dot don’ smell from old-fashioned picher stuff.”
“Vel, ever picher has a sequence dot’s vallopie, yes?”
“Sure, if you can get it, an’ hit’s avay from de censors.”
“I gottit.”
“Vot is it?”
“Vel, besides de surplus dot dis picher should haf a baby, vitch I von’t go into now. It should have a mudder, a sister, or a vallop, yes?”
“Lemme have de vallop foist!”
“In our picher ve got a uncle, yes?”
“An’ am I sorry!”
“Dot’s right! Now instead of makinnk ‘im de uncle, make ‘im a Bow—a Bow Bummer. You know, nifty, guy.”
“Easy. Change some of de dialogue. Ven he says ‘I’m your unkie,’ change it. Ven de goil says ‘My uncie!’ change it. Costs nuttink, almost nuttink.”
“Vot does dot do?”
“Dot makes ‘im a chance as a lover. More sexy, get it?”
“Morris, it smells!”
“Not so much as de whole picher business smells!”
“Maybe yuh should go back tuh de pickle business. Dot’s a smell business, an’ I ain’ kiddink.”
“Vel, stop de kiddink! Forget de past. Vot ve goink tuh do now?”
“Here’s an idea I been tinkink vile yuh been goink nuts. Let’s give de picher a screwy title. Make de audience tink dey don’ quite undersatnd de plot, like in Berkeley Square. Den, on account of ignorance, dey don’ make no visecracks tuh each udder.”
“Lissens good! Already it sounds lke a major picher vit cost.
“An’ I got de title vich sounds like class.
“De Love Complex is a screwy title. Ain’ dot a vollop?”
“Votsit mean?”
“Ah-hah! I got yuh right hof! Dot makes it hokay. Because as long as I von’t tell yuh, you get hot for de plot.”
“But I know our plot. It ain’ so hot!”
“Vel, I can’t expect tuh fool everbody.”
“Besides, our plot ain’ susceptible to a Berkeley Square treatment. Ours is a farce.”
“You’re tellink me! Are yuh tryink tuh be funny?”
“No, I’m makink reason, an’ I tink I reason dot hit’s better I go home, vere hit’s quiet, an’ get away fro dis traffic.”
Me too. I feel a little seek. Maybe I’m comink down vit sometink.”
“Yeah, you’re comink down vit me an’ argue all night abouta treatment. De picher is de only tink vot’s seek.”
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