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They Turn Shit Into Gold

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The two ambitious and young entertainment entrepreneurs had been working together for the past three years.

They seemed to be an unlikely duo: Mousy and Tommy.

Michael Mousy Mandlelap graduated from Queens College in 1973. He left for California with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Arts and Sciences. His partner Tommy Grant aka Tommy Afta Dark received the exact credential. He decided to stay in New York to pursue his dreams.

Tommy was a thin, tall, and very confident individual. His clothing was modish and stylish. Tommy’s gift: Even though he was always looking to get over, he never projected that impression.

Mousy looked every bit of Queens College Jewish as one could be. One word described him: Schlep. He appeared to lack confidence, but that was a dangerous misinterpretation. One might describe him as a Woody Allen look-alike. He wore black glasses, button down shirts and corduroy pants. But he did share one thing in common with his partner:  Mousy was always looking to get over. But Mousy never projected that impression as well.

When Tommy and Mousy first met, it was chemistry: all taking place in Professor Cleary’s Freshman English Composition class. Within minutes the duo realized they both were meant to be in the same business.

One of their original endeavors: Black American Bandstand. They put on neighborhood talent shows in the vacant lots of Queens neighborhoods. They promoted and featured local talent at no cost to the talent. On their makeshift stage, they appropriated electricity from street lamps to power the amplifiers and other equipment. That equipment was liberated from the Queens College Audio Visual Department. The unlikely duo sold tickets, hot dogs, pop corn and soda. The shows ran at a very profitable margin.

Sounds like a forerunner to Soul Train?

But their biggest creative success was their development of a video presentation. It was Pay for View before there was Pay for View. The name of the show: Beat The Draft! Based on the 1950’s-1960’s Network television quiz show Beat The Clock!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_the_Clock

In their updated version, the contestants: Three males of military draft age who were about to report for their physicals to be inducted into the Army and sent to Viet Nam.

The three are given a series of stunts to complete by Mousy and Tommy. These stunts  will hopefully, make one of them unfit (physically or mentally) for the draft. It was the coveted 4F classification. All this was videotaped Cinéma vérité style.

These outlandish stunts consisted of dressing up like a woman and seeing a psychologist. One contestant was to run while smoking cigarettes for 12 straight hours before the actual physical on a cold March evening, thus mimicking bronchitis.  The bizarre list went on and on. The series contained three half hour edited segments leading up to the fourth dramatic finale.

The winner goes on to: Beat The Draft! He is classified 4F. The other two contestants get as the consolation prizes: One way bus tickets to Canada, if they decided to split.

News spread throughout the underground college community. The demand for seats to view their video was insane. In addition, Mousy’s  half Italian cousin Nunzio handicapped the contest and set up a betting pool. They showed the videos in abandoned buildings.

The duo got the rep for turning shit into gold.

But all good things come to an end. On graduation day, Mousy and Tommy parted as friends. Tommy kept the handle, Tommy Afta Dark, which Mousy had given him. And as things usually go, they lost touch.

They found each other again over 40 years later.  Plenty of water had gone under the bridge. That is what follows.

*******

Tommy’s first major gig was working as a Dee Jay at a local New Jersey low power AM radio station. He made it into the coveted 6pm to 10pm spot on the biggest FM radio station in New York City. As Tommy Afta Dark dominated the radio scene, he invested his money into other financial interests.

His popularity grew rapidly.  Tommy Afta Dark became a top notch music executive. He now had an interest in at least 5 radio stations. Afta Dark Productions also promoted mega rock concerts.

But Tommy Grant lived the wild life and intentionally let Tommy Afta Dark dominate. He let his financial and creative skills fade over the years with that persona as well.

Tommy constantly had to fight off the IRS as well as other Feds.  They were watching his alleged monopolistic activity in the music industry, but were unable to crack him.

He was at his peak in 2011. From there it was all down hill.

Always having a taste for high end and expensive women, Tommy lived life in the fast lane. He was now up to being dumped by wife number 5.  Tommy was famous for never listening to his lawyers and bristled at the term prenup. It cost him. Eventually, the musical gravy train of money slowed to a stop as the Feds got closer and his “friends” started to bail.

So it’s now 2017 and Tommy is in a deep financial hole and personal funk. It’s even hard to keep the appearance of wealth. He needs help and he needs it now. Tommy Afta Dark longs for the camaraderie he once shared with his pal Michael Mousy Mandlelap. They were some team.

He longs for the days when they could turn shit into gold.

*******

Mousy Mandleclap did make it out to the West Coast. He wound up producing and directing low end porno movies. He kept the appropriate handle of Mousy. But, unknowingly, that was his key to break into the somewhat legit show business.

Mousy was banging a young wannabe actress. Shanna Carrillo begged him to give her a screen test. He reluctantly compiled. But she really sucked, (no pun intended.) This bim was awful and a moron to boot, as even a porn actress. But old habits die hard (like his pinga.) Mousy always dug Hot Hispanic broads, even back as a teenager in Queens.

The two eventually broke up, and she just dropped out of sight. He kept her film on his shelf in case he wanted to use it when indulging in self abuse. He loved her unique brown, round and firm nutty jugs.

Remember, this was before breast implants.

When it came to women, Mousy loved to say he’d always sliced ‘em and dice ‘em - translation - achieve penetration(s) and then cut them loose. He renamed the one night stand to the one night lean.

Mousy was doing okay financially. But he wanted to be successful in more than just raunchy porno movie production. Mousy had higher aspirations.

The Feds were keeping an eye on him as well.

One fantastically sunny Kodachrome LA LA Land day, a gigantic Mexican man shows up at Mousy’s office. The Mexican ominously takes out a photograph from his inside vest pocket. He asks if Mousy knows this particular actress.

It is Shanna Carrillo, the bim with the unique nutty jugs.

Mousy answers in the affirmative.

Mousy nervously feels something is not kosher. But he remains outwardly cool, even after he notices the big gun in his Mexican visitor’s shoulder holster.

Before the Mexican can even make a threat, Mousy is one step ahead of him. Fearing for his life, Mousy gets the film. “Here’s all the film I shot of her.” He says handing over the tin 16mm film can. Mousy is keeping his cool. Luckily he cleaned the can with Windex immediately after his last self abuse session. It is no longer semen sticky with his fingerprints.

This Mexican could bend him into a pretzel if he made the wrong move or said the wrong thing.  Mousy then culturally appropriately thought, he might get strung up and beat like a piñata.

Mousy had to remain cool.

The Mexican surprisingly strikes a pensive pose. He says, sans any Mexican accent, “I’m going tell my boss you’re a stand up guy.” Slowly moving toward the door. He stops, turns and says: “Thanks, the violence associated with my employment is very disturbing. You just made me not ruin this lovely day God has given us. May Jesus be with you.”

The door closes and Mousy breathes a sign of relief. For the hundredth time this month, he swears off bimbos. He needs a change. A big change. A life change.

*******

Changing his name to Todd Shannon: Mousy invented his new Hollywood identity. This included revamping his wardrobe and loosing his New York accent. Mousy forsakes his shabby 1969 Earl Scheib painted Yellow Ford Maverick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkdtOOYdQOs

His ride is now a sleek hot red Ford Mustang convertible. After all, he’s in California, land of the no down payment!

His break incredibly came the day Todd opened his fledgling television production company: Shiksa Productions. Shiksa is Yiddish for a non Jewish girl. He loved Shiksas, especially Hispanic ones with nutty jugs. The name of the company was his creative tribute to the hundreds of Shiksas he has soiled over the years.

But unknowingly, he had a Guardian Angel.

The lovely shiksa Shanna Carrillo whom he had soiled and screen tested has now left her mark on his destiny. She happens to be the niece of some but big shot rich Mexican.  This Mexican operates on the fringe of organized crime, his name: Juan Carrillo.

Todd is not into the overall LA Rice and Beans scene. He is clueless and probably thinks Taco Bell is a Mexican telephone carrier. Todd lives on Kosher deli food and pizza.

Juan Carrillo is of a somewhat nefarious background. Juan wanted all evidence of his niece Shanna’s wild past destroyed. She was now residing in a Mexican convent, soon to be shipped off to college in England. Better later than never. Luckily for Todd, for some unknown reason she unintentionally put in a good word for him with her uncle.

Todd received a visitor on the first day Shiksa Productions was opened.  The visitor was The Big Mexican who had picked up Shanna Carrillo’s porno screen test film when Todd was Mousy.

The Big Mexican was now bearing a gift.

Todd was given a contract to produce and direct a 13 episode Mexican television Novella, with an option for 26 more episodes. The Big Mexican had apparently kept his word to let his boss, Juan Carrillo, know that Todd (Mosey) was a stand up guy. The boss had kept an eye on Todd (Mousy).

Those two unintentional testimonials bred an unintentional, but beneficial result for Todd.

Todd became the go to guy for Mexican television Novellas. But as with all to many creative people, his coke habit and taste for hispanic hookers with nutty jugs cost him all the money he made during those years. He thought el tren dinero would never end.

Todd always rubbed the wrong people the wrong way.  You’d think he was a awfully inept chiropractor. But he had his Godfather to intervene and protect him from his stupid and potentially deadly behavior.

His Godfather, Mr. Carrillo had recently died of natural causes on his vast ranch in Mexico. Todd now became fair game to be fucked with after all those years of protection.

One of the Mexican drug cartels had their eye on Shiksa Productions. Probably to launder their mounds of drug money.

Todd’s first post godfather mistake: The always financially strapped producer tried his hand at forbidden Mexican kiddie porn to get out from under.

The Cartel was upset because Todd tried pulling the kiddie porn racket off without asking for their blessing. That was forgivable, but cutting them out of the initial profits? Forget about it. They used that excuse to cut in on his shit.  They started by cutting him completely out of his shit, and soon would be cutting his balls off to let him bleed to death.

Shanna saved his life. She had married to the head of this cartel and appealed to her husband to spare Todd.

The cartel was instructed to have Todd dispatched back to New York. They had to make sure he had all his body parts attached and in working order. He was banned from the United States west of the Mississippi River and all of Mexico and South America as well.

Broke and dejected, Todd returned to New York City.

*******

Mousy reached out for Tommy. They decide to meet back on the campus of Queens College for a nostalgic get together. Each knew of the others problems. It's time not to commiserate, it's time for action.

Mousy said to his old pal: “Let’s turn shit into gold!”

*******

Only a few television executives would still take a call from Tommy.  Tommy nervously asked Mousy, “You’ve pissed off the Mexicans, now you’re shooting for the Blacks?”

“Stranger things have happened, this is probably our last chance.” Mousy said. “Let’s go for it!” He knew it was the hottest topic around, and believed he knew how to make money out of it.

*******

They met with a few producers that were moral enough to remember when Tommy was all that and did them a solid when they needed one. Tommy asked who was going to be the lucky producer to invest in his fantastic new reality show? The show that was guaranteed to be the focal point of attention in the entire country. The show that would make the country stop and watch at 8 PM every Thursday evening.

Tommy and Mousy came upon with new formula to turn shit into gold. Its working title: DAT CAUCASIANS MINES. The following is a synopsis of the treatment submitted to the producer(s):

The show has a genial black host, three Caucasian challengers and one black contestant. The three challengers, through their own stories and guest testimonials try to win favor with the black contestant. Their goal is winning him or her’s acceptance of their white guilt and other micro-aggressions.

The Caucasians claim to be uniquely qualified. Boasting of their inbreed racist aggressions and their resulting Caucasian guilt, it is their goal of becoming the outstanding Caucasian apologist who wins.

An evaluation of the severity and stupidity of the Caucasian apologists aggressions ensues. A panel of three black experts on Social Justice is available for consultation to the black contestant.  This is the humorous part of the show when the blacks agree on how stupid and useless Caucasians are, especially these specific challengers.

This section uses subtitles to translate the eubonics.

The contestant then decides which Caucasian will win a week of demeaning servitude to assuage their white guilt. This entire experience will, of course, be recorded to be telecast at a later date.

For dramatic and comical effect:

The black contestant will ring The Flip Wilson Memorial Chime directly pointing to his choice and say:

DAT CAUCASIANS MINES.

*******

Epilogue:

Dat Caucasians Mines has become the most popular television game show in history. It is very popular in most international markets as well.

Tommy and Mousy are now financial solvent again. But this time, reason rules. They are both sober and have made conservative investments. The two partners are being influenced by having married age appropriate women.

As they meet for their daily lunch, they wonder why they ever parted back in 1973.

The two partners, now as in 1973, with only a handshake between them as their bond enjoy their victory. They smile and salute each other:

Shit into Gold, That’s Us…… We Turn Shit - in -To - Gold.

Visit www.FrankieNeptune.com for a more diverse selection of short stories.

Stephen A. Murray’s first novella “The NYPD Chronicles of Frankie Neptune” will be available in

December of 2017.

 

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