Production date: 2000-2006
Was reclining in the proof-reading room one morning making some corrections and improvements to the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle and otherwise ideating with cold resolve when who should come in tweedling and toddling and full of life with his funny little shoes and precious little haircut and his curious blue eyes but Clayton, one of my grandchildren. "Hi, um ... um, I mean ... Grampa George Clark?"
"Grampa George Clark, because ... oh yeah, I mean, I forgot I lost my Game-Boy and I can't find it."
I wiped a bit of drool from his chin and tousled his hair. "Clayton? I think I fascinate you."
Big sigh. "And ... and I'm fuckin bored."
Contagious, that. But wait: he was carrying something, gray, rectangular. Familiar in a far-off way, calling up a recollection, indistinct, of pain and madness. Carefully: "Clayton ... what is that ... device?"
"Oh, um, it's my c'puter."
Ah. Thought I'd banished them from the Clark Estate. "Of course. The Internet. A little child-porn to start your day." Heh-heh.
He opened it against all sense, washing me in its dread light. "See, I'm makin a movie on the c'puter. Look."
Bits of color imagery scattered before my eyes like roaches in the light of day, horrible, horrible ... yet I had to laugh. A coincidence, you see. Just the previous day I had instructed Travis, who directs my movies, to get a new tattoo. Off he went. During the procedure I purchased the tattoo parlor in question, then communicated to the artist, via Blackberry, my desire to have him tattoo Travis with the news of his immediate termination. Then, because it was an ass-tattoo, I pre-positioned a mirror in the public showers down at the Y, after which I quit movie-making in disgust, the best idea I ever had. Anyway, it was a coincidence because, you know, can you fire grandchildren?
Me: "Clayton, how old are you now?"
He stared at me, lost in thought. "What? No wait ... twenty-six."
Twenty-six. They grow so fast. "Clayton, when I was your age we made movies by hand, one --"
They grow so fast. "-- one delicate frame at a time. You could no more use that computer there to make a movie than you could use it to, say, create a coherent spreadsheet."
He wiped his mouth. "Huh-uh. They got software that could make it. Software made my movie and it fuckin rocks."
"Of course it does. But rocking is something senile people and tards do, Clayton. It's time we took you to the next level. For example, a screenplay --"
"Nope," he said imprudently. "Microsoft Screenrighter makes a software that writes your script, and then it uses a team of softwares to rewrite it and change the original premise."
What say? I sat up. The folks at Amiga had been outdoing themselves, evidently ... perhaps the Japanese were involved. "Alright ... but I would be obliged to use actors," I said bitterly. "But ... I don't want them to act. I've seen what can happen."
"So easy, use Adobe Deadpan Pro, adds whatever acting you want to their face."
Breakthrough? "Show me," I commanded. "Quick, boy!"
Giggling, Clayton with three keystrokes applied to the visage on the screen a poignant smile, cruel yet disturbing, and more lifelike than what human powers alone could attain.
I excitedly finished the crossword and flung it from me. "And I wish to use a bong. For stylistic reasons. But ... I'm against them. So, no bongs."
He shrugged. "My posse and me just use MacMovie's bong plug-in."
I thrust a finger in his face. "This final point is critical, Clayton. And don't lie to me. What I need is --"
But he knew. "A no-brainer, Grampa George Clark. Just use Filmhater 2000 software. It watches your movie for you so you don't have to, and with the proper programming, um, finds it heartwarming."
Saving me said torment. I gave him a hundred dollars, some stolen items and a picture of a bong, and instructed him to have the computer generate a four-part cinematic tour dè force making fun of idiots. He did not disappoint: eight years later The Idiocy Trilogy was born. Warm, witty, wise, I have know idea, all I know is that, according to my careful observation, idiots everywhere behaved more ridiculed than ever, no mean feat.
I formed an Awards Division, which turned into the best idea I ever had, because The Idiocy Trilogy immediately won awards for Best Trilogy, Best Idiocy Series, all the best awards. They were nice awards, bronze. I was so pleased with them I had the Awards Division award themselves one.
Well, some best ideas are crappy; others just lay there, taking up space. Some best ideas are meager, foul, plain, or dreary; others have no qualities at all. But as I sit here today -- a movie-maker once again, with a house full of computers -- I know that I'll never forget the day when I had the best idea I ever had.
Surely you've guessed it. Yup. Having grandkids. Best idea I ever had.