How Many Screenwriters Does It Take
to Change a Lightbulb?

When my new editor e-mailed me that he's had quite a lot of trouble finding "solid" writers in L.A. I had quite a lot of trouble not spit taking Skinny Vanilla Latte all over my new fablet. I did shoot him a reflexive LOL, then wondered if I should have gotten so collegial with him right off. He might have been after a lamer if more reassuring response, such as, "I'm on it, sir." Something exhibiting the slightest command of appropriate workplace parlance between two people of letters who've never formally met.

"Seriously?" I added instead. "You should prolly know we're not a solid bunch out here as a rule."

Prolly? For some reason I'm now opting to address the guy like he's another Echo Park loser instant messaging me on Match.com about how he'll prolly sell a public sculpture at some point.

I guess I was hoping for a laugh as opposed to the whole palpable silence thing, but now I'm thinking the rest of the world just isn't in on the standard comedic setup here. If the one about the Hollywood screenwriter is an inside joke in an insider town, how could our esteemed colleagues elsewhere know we local writers are always the butt of it?

"An actor is a schmuck," Jack Warner once barked. "A screenwriter is a schmuck with an Underwood."

Then there's the one about the starlet so stupid she slept with the screenwriter. Da da boom. I'll be here all week, folks!

As for how many screenwriters it takes to change a lightbulb, why change it at all when it's a masterpiece just as it is?! This typically follows an inquiry from the development executive as to whether it really has to be a lightbulb, rather than, say, an egg salad sandwich. We're all so predictable in this town; no wonder we haven't come up with a new plot in the last eighty years.

Anyway, I am off to reclaim my dignity as a formerly noted wordsmith. I have a freelance assignment for a travel magazine -- an actual, honest-to-god printed one on high gloss paper. Apparently, they still have those, and not all of them feature a cover shot of that fat, bikini-clad porn star pregnant with some rapper's bastard. Though there might be a script idea there, come to think of it, your classic scags-to-riches story.

Yeah, hands off the lightbulb, bitches.


  1. How many screenwriters does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Why? Can it get even dimmer?

  2. Ha! Personally, I steer clear of them, like Blanche Dubois. Have you never noticed I am age indeterminate?

  3. I have noticed that. You look 25 and sound like Bette Davis' last day.

  4. HAHAHAHA. That was a throaty laugh, by the way, with some ghastly bouts of coughing in between.