Character voice


Father (protagonist), about 60 years old but craggily handsome, speaking to cute, young Vietnamese waitress: What’s your best phở on the menu?

Waitress: I like #5, with fatty brisket and round steak.

Father, with a slight smirk: Thẻ á (really)? Well, if you like it, I am sure I will like it. Give me the dặc biệt, nhé (the special, OK).

Waitress, fluttering: Wow anh (uncle), you speak good Vietnamese!

Father: Mọt chút thoi (just a little).

Waitress gives him a big smile: Oh no, you’re very good, anh! (She leaves for the kitchen).

Son (half-Asian, early 20’s): Nice, dad. So, you’re hitting on a waitress about 40 years younger than you.

Father: No, no, just trying to be friendly.

Son: I’ll bet you think she’s wringing out her panties in the bathroom she got so wet talking to you.

Father: What the hell are you talking about? Jesus…

Son: I know you’ve got this Asian woman fetish going on, all the fucking time. You married one, but you can’t stop there, can you?

Father: You can stop this bullshit anytime.

Son: I saw it on your fucking phone, Dad. Tell me the truth, you got girls over there in Vietnam? How many? Tell me, don’t fucking lie. Tell me the truth, or I will kick your ass. I may kick it anyway. Tell me! You’re cheating on my mother, right?

Father: It’s not your concern. You don’t know what I’ve been through. I love your mom but it’s been damn hard, dealing with her depression and anxiety, day in, day fucking out.

Son (rising in anger): Tell me, how many?

Father: It’s not your concern!

Son: Tell me, now, or I will fucking hit you, I swear.

Father (pleading): Michael…stop this…

Son: Tell me!

Father: OK, one.

Son: Fucking bastard. Who was it? What did you tell her? You just used her, right, you scumbag?

Father: That’s it, I’m leaving.

 

(Father gets up to leave, and walks outside the restaurant. Son follows him outside, and starts throwing punches at his father’s head. The father flees, with the son in pursuit. Just then, a police car happens by, and stops.)

 

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Character development


  1. The protagonist, an advanced middle-aged man, lands at LAX airport, and gets in a cab to meet his wife and two sons.

 

  1. Protagonist has just made love to a woman, and as she sleeps soundly next to him, he looks to the ceiling, gets up, and heads to the outdoor balcony overlooking the ocean. He lights a joint, sighs, and says, “Oh, shit, what the hell. What the hell happened?”

 

  1. Protagonist is walking on the beach on a bright moonlit evening, holding hands with a beautiful Thai woman. She speaks to him in a sultry sing-song voice. He smiles blissfully as the froth from ocean waves lap on his feet.

 

  1. Protagonist is in a bar in Bangkok with aging gray-haired men drinking Chang beer and watching naked brown Thai women swing languidly from poles to a driving rock music beat.

 

  1. Protagonist books air ticket for Bangkok online, with a determined look on his face.

 

  1. Protagonist drives his drug-addled son home from an emergency room visit. The son accuses his father of cheating on his mother, and as they get out of the car, the son throws punches at his father’s head. The protagonist tries to ward off the blows, and then flees. A police car stops, an officer gets out, and asks, “What’s going on?”

Fall Season Kicks Off in Middle East Conference with Navy vs. Syria State


cruise_missile_launch_navy_photoI envy my Texas Orangeblood brethren waiting for the fall season’s action to commence today. Here in Jordan we await the season opener in the Middle East Conference. We have heavily favored visiting (US) Navy up against Syria State in a still unscheduled match. Returning starter Tom A. Hawk Cruise will lead Navy’s quick firing “missile offense” against Syria State’s outmatched defense, though Head Coach Assad promises a “graveyard” for the visiting team. Navy’s “CEO” Coach Obama counters that injuries should be slight since Cruise and his teammates will be heavily armored, in fact aren’t even human, and they will disintegrate each time they score. Air Force, Army and Marines might follow Navy in future matches, all against hapless Syria State, which for curious reasons is decimating its own fan base. Meanwhile, Great Britain has decided to leave the conference, possibly to be replaced by France (of all teams) in a surprise move. Other match-ups in the conference include the longstanding Israel-Palestine rivalry series (which Israel leads 100 to 0), Egypt Army versus Muslim Brotherhood, and Iraqi Shiites versus Sunnites, where action has already ensued with more fireworks in store. TV deals are solid for the conference with non-stop global coverage provided by CNN, Al Jazeera and every major network in the planet. Syria State has landed a major equipment and sponsorship deal with Russia and won endorsements from China but it remains to be seen if this will assist its campaign this fall. Osama Bin Laden will not be returning for Al Qaeda (ever) but the squad promises a bevy of fresh recruits following this season’s kickoff. Hook ’em from Amman.longhorn logo

Where’s the Turkey (as in Texas A&M)?


Texas-TCU Pregame, Thanksgiving Classic

It’s Thanksgiving morning here in Amman and we will feast on turkey, all the trimmings, and whip cream topped pumpkin pie later in the day like every red-blooded, corpulent American, and in fact, we’ll repeat the food orgy the day after Thanksgiving, this time deep-fried turkey with all the trimmings, fried up by a Houstonian oil man friend of ours here in Amman who will be introducing non-Americans to the pleasures we enjoy before arteriosclerosis onset. Twenty thousand calories and depth-chart testing fat loads later, I will be in touch with my lean friend W.E. about his weight loss program. To offset in a minor way, I’m planning a turkey trot a bit later in the day in our neighborhood hills of still warm Amman, before the food kickoff begins in earnest!Sadly, though, I will not be able to witness the real kickoffs of Thanksgiving weekend college football classics like USC-Notre Dame, Alabama-Auburn, Michigan-Ohio State, Texas-TCU…wait, is that the Horned Frogs, not our beloved Aggies? No collie barking and peeing on the sidelines, no corps turds goose-stepping at midfield to the tune of the Patton theme song, no crew-cut gay guys in ice cream outfits leading the knee-hugging 13th man in schoolboy cheers? C’mon amigos, say it, you miss ‘em, you really, really do. Now TCU ain’t bad, perhaps not Sammy Baugh-good or the spoilers that they were in the early days of DKR’s career, but the Frogs are worthy, to be sure, and like Willie says, they have the potential to derail the four-game streak that has emerged from the still too memorable consummate ass-whupping the Horns took in Dallas in mid-October, witnessed live in Jordan. You’re right, W.E., the jury’s still out, on the coaching staff in particular. Two games to go, then maybe, Inshallah, a bowl game where we get the opponent you don’t want but c’mon, just for old times’ sake and a story line  we see Johnny Football and his resurgent College Station brethren clashing with an old friend. Happy hookin’ to all this Thanksgiving Day, and let’s win in Austin today.

Willie Earl’s Longhorn Blog

Down and out in the Tenderloin, a Longhorn lament


I just got in from a few days in San Francisco. I observed the World Series victory parade for the Giants, million fans lining Market Street, wearing orange and black on Halloween Day in a highly festive atmosphere. It made me think that it might be a while before the Horns fans don the burnt orange on Guadalupe celebrating another national championship. Since that fine post-Rose Bowl day in early January 2006, we had some good seasons with ‘ol Colt and gang, but look at the situ now. Vince Young is no longer in the NFL and the Horns are no longer a BCS threat, it’s been a hullava long time since we whupped a ranked team, and meanwhile, we’ve been whupped plenty good by many teams that love to hate Texas. It’s been good times for them and Horns haters everywhere. Yeah, it’s a bit maudlin, I know, but the fortuneteller I consulted in the Tenderloin in Ess Eff said it wasn’t looking good for the boys and pointed me in the direction of a crack dealer hanging out on

Sutter and Hyde. I opted to go the Ace’s bar instead, downed about ten chilled Tecates with lime, and felt better for it.

Binders full of coaches want the Texas job


Imagine the joy, on the off chance, of flicking on ESPN, to see if maybe the Texas-Oklahoma game might be on live, prime time, in Amman, Jordan because Gawddamnit, it was! I set my dinner plate in front of the large screen TV midway through the first quarter with the family to watch what was supposed to be a college football classic and midway through the second quarter, gagging on my chicken, hit the exits. This is the third season I have missed Texas football and I think exile in Jordan is as good a place to be as any because I ain’t missin’ nuthin’. I have lost that lovin’ Longhorn feeling. Invite Mack to your next tailgate BBQ, stick a fork in him, he’s done. Sure, Mack helped create the Texas athletics’ money machine, and he sure is a nice feller, and made friends with Matt McConaughey and all them high school coaches, but he’s just not producing to expectation with a $5 million buckaroo package. So maybe that money monster creation will be his undoing, because Texas has the cash and a fading reputation to go out and buy a coach who can do something. There has to be binders full of coaches out there who would love the Texas job, says Mitt the twit (as reported by the British press).