by Marie Marshall
Two Noble Dudes
So I bust my ass with a script, and the man writes back “Don’t send me no more films where the guy writes with a feather!” So I figure – what the hell – I’ll do him a Western instead, ‘coz it’s been eighteen years since Unforgiven. I had this idea where two gunslingers get in a fist-fight over who’s gonna marry the big cheese rancher’s daughter, and the sheriff breaks up the fight, tells one to get outta town, and throws the other one’s ass in jail. Then he busts out and the other guy comes back, and they shoot it out, and one guy beats the other to the draw but falls off his horse, then they’re gonna lynch the first guy but the rancher’s daughter begs for his life… and… and… But anyhow, the studio sends me this co-writer (some bald limey with a beard), and he says like bring it up to date. So okay, I say, how about we do “Two Bloods in the Hood”, ghetto-style, y’know, urban stuff with gangsta rap, and he says “Blacksploitation’s so seventies, Fletch!” (only with this English accent) “We need the final duel to be a car chase… explosions… kung fu on the top of a burning building… and the girl needs to kick arse too.” (Yeah, he actually said “arse”!) And he goes on, “Willis and Schwarzenegger are too old, so get me the guy out of 24 and someone out of Stargate Atlantis.” But the studio calls and says they’re going with something by Dryden and Davenant, and I say to the limey, “Take it from me, it’s gonna be another piece of crap like Propsero’s Books.” I mean, gimme a break!
Love’s Labour Won, or Rosencrantz and the Stapler
O thou, the very stuff of draftsmen’s dreams,
Whose sheaves by naughty Zephyr scatterëd
Abroad in autumn, are unruly reams,
Come hither to my bare and virgin bed.
What ghosts of lovers past come fluttering,
As I thy bends of wire do contemplate
By midnight candle, pale and guttering,
And, moth-like, beat their wings against my pate?
I love thee! Ah, thy handle firm and true
That nestles in my eager, cuppëd hand!
Thy spring, that all my force cannot subdue,
Which, when I bid ‘Contract!’ doth then expand!
Ah, Rosencrantz! Thy stapler is the sun,
Love’s labour now secured by staple-gun!