" March 26, 1999

Right now Shakespeare is the hottest writer in Hollywood. This isn’t the first time a writer who’s been dead long enough for his works to be public domain has become the toast of Tinseltown, and with good ideas in short supply, there’s going to be even more grave digging over the next few years in an attempt to appeal to jaded audiences made up of mostly teenagers. Who’s expected to be the next author whose books no teenager will read but whose movies will be more popular than baggy jeans and nose piercings? According to some, it’s going to be Kafka. I have no idea why, and, frankly, I don’t think it’s going to work. In addition to the film that was vaguely about Kafka’s life that bombed at the box office a few years ago, some Kafka story scenarios will show why he’ll never by a Hollywood darling:

The Metamorphosis: Okay, the "troubling dreams" of Gregor Samsa mentioned in the first sentence could make for a really cool opening sequence, but the story goes rapidly downhill from there. The main character, as you know, finds that during the night he’s been mysteriously transformed into a giant dung beetle. It might be popular with some, but every male out there remembers that, sometime between the age of twelve and fifteen, this happened to him. He went to sleep one night a normal kid and woke up hairy, gangly, and with the ability to consume anything. No wonder everyone thinks the story’s actually about a cockroach.

Address To The Academy: A talking orangutan tells the scientists who gave him human intelligence what’s wrong with the human race. Everyone who is or has been a teenager knows what it’s like to know everything and have to stay in school anyway. Besides, smart-assed simians are already a dime a dozen in movies these days. Josephine the Singer, Or, The Mouse Folk: The mysterious popularity of a mouse who is just like every other mouse is examined. The only thing the examiner is able to conclude about her is that she contributes absolutely nothing to society. With its present conclusions it won’t go over well with prom queens, rock stars, or CEOs, but with a completely different ending and some catchy songs Disney might make a go at it.

The Penal Colony: A sadistic madman has created the ultimate torture device. This is one scenario Hollywood has done and redone for years. It’s called Oscar Night.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Advancement opportunity:
Crap job.

Entry level:
Really crap job.

No experience necessary:
The mother of all crap jobs.

Administrative assistant:
Crap job with a title.

Ground floor opportunity:
Crap job with a company that will file bankruptcy within a year.

Progressive company:
Employees get to wear jeans every other Friday.

Team player:
Must deal with dangerously territorial co-workers with rabid

Upbeat personality:
Must neither threaten us with any kind of lawsuit nor use the drug and alcohol rehab benefit within the first year.

Word processing skills essential:
There’s a crippling case of carpal tunnel syndrome in your future.

Public relations:

Professional appearance important:
$20K/yr job that requires a $100K/yr wardrobe

Pleasant telephone manner:
Be the voice of 1-900-HOT-TIME

Salary range $24,000 to $32,00:
The salary is $24,000

Jeans job!
Minimum wage temp job in concentration camp conditions.

Will train:
Prior conviction of a felony or two no problem.

B.A. required, master’s preferred:
Must be an M.A. willing to work on a B.A.’s salary

Civil service:
This job was filled from the inside six months ago.

Women & minorities encouraged to apply:
White males need not waste the stamp.

Outstanding benefits package:
Health insurance.

Tons of variety!
We took all the heinous tasks no other employee would do & rolled them into one job.

Top-notch communication skills:

Beautiful offices in attractive location:
Brand new ticky-tacky windowless building where the picture frames all match the carpeting.

Woman-only job with the responsibilities of management & wages of a migrant worker.

Executive secretary:
The most powerful position in the company

You’re looking at a minimum of 80 hours a week from now until we force you into early retirement.

Salary commensurate:
We’ll pay you whatever the hell we feel like.

Salary negotiable
We’ll take the lowest bidder.

Competitive salary:
We’ll pay you up to 10% more than your last job and not one penny more.

Competitive starting salary:
Ten cents above minimum wage.

Pleasant atmosphere:
A staff of pod people.

Professional atmosphere:
Zombie pod people.

Fun, creative atmosphere:
Pod people from hell.

Dynamic atmosphere:
Zombie pod people from hell.

Gal Friday:
Anyone who actually applies for this job deserves it.

Open to very broad interpretation since no one really knows what this means.

An Anagram, as we all know, is a word or phrase made by transposing or rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. The following are quite clever. Someone out there either has way too much time to waste, or is really deadly competition at Scrabble.

Dormitory: Dirty Room
Evangelist: Evil’s Agent
Desperation: A Rope Ends It
The Morse Code: Here Come Dots
Slot Machines: Cash Lost in ’em
Animosity: Is No Amity
Mother-in-law: Woman Hitler
Snooze Alarms :Alas! No More Z’s
Alec Guinness: Genuine Class
Semolina: Is No Meal
The Public Art Galleries: Large Picture Halls, I Bet
A Decimal Point: I’m a Dot in Place
The Earthquakes: That Queer Shake
Eleven plus two: Twelve plus one
Contradiction: Accord not in it

This one’s amazing:
"To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in
the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."

In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent
hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.

And the grand finale:
"That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." –
Neil A. Armstrong

A thin man ran; makes a large stride, left planet, pins flag on moon!
On to Mars!

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