Ed part two.

Posted in blog post on October 19th, 2009 by Merrill Markoe

jennifer_anistonLet’s say you’re a person who doesn’t buy the magazines at the grocery check out because you are the one in a million who doesn’t care who Jennifer Aniston is dating. You know you should care but you just can’t help it. You can’t find it in your heart to care. Plus their damn diets don’t work. And the “Fifty New Ways to turn HIM on” always turn out to be about taking a bubble bath surrounded by aromatherapy candles. How much more  about Lindsay do you really need to know?. She’s barely out of her teens. You have her whole life memorized.

But let’s say that one day you suddenly start seeing an endless parade of articles about someone you used to date twenty years ago. Let’s call that person Ed. You don’t really need any more information about Ed. You know more than enough about him. Even more than you do about Lindsey. These articles should be easy to ignore.

But what if the articles have salacious titles like “Inside Ed’s Secret World” and “What Ed Does to Lure Young Girls.” They cause you to say to yourself, “Wow.What’s with all the “luring”?. I don’t remember any luring back when I knew him. What does he do to lure them? Sticky wads of bills attached to invisible wire?”

So you open up the magazine, against your better judgment. And you slog your way past all those pictures of Jennifer Aniston. There she is in swimwear! Look! In leotards! At an award show! Why I didn’t know Jennifer Aniston did yoga! Well, I’ll be darned! She got a new haircut! Good for Jennifer! Oh no! She’s crying! Is she going to be okay?

And then suddenly where the luring article finally starts to get going you get a very weird surprise. There is a great big picture of you! Well, not just you.Its you with Ed from 25 years ago, taken at work by an L.A. Times photographer! But it’s big! Its a full half page!

You’re so caught off guard by it that you drop the magazine and accidentally make a Three Stooges noise: that wide mouthed one that Curly  makes before the clucking and the  finger snapping. It  is inadvertently loud enough  that it causes the people behind you in line to look at you and worry. Should they should be afraid of you? In the space of a single instant, you feel like you have mistakenly pushed open the door  of  an occupied public restroom while also being the person who was interrupted inside of the stall.

But the other people in line are the least of your problems because for a minute you think you hear the theme music to the Twilight Zone.  Is it possible you’ve entered some kind of a time warp? One of those other eight dimensions they always speak of in string theory?  Think! Where are you? What do you know about all this? Have you stepped in to a tear in the fabric of time and are now connected to a secret world of luring?  What if  when you get home with your Windex and your diet cola,  you look in the mirror and find that you are 25 years younger? Well, that wouldn’t be so bad would it? But..whoa, just a minute…What if it turns out that you are  the young girl who is  being lured!…”OMG!” you say, suddenly talking more like Lindsey and Jennifer than usual, “Are they telling me I was I lured?” Were you?  Maybe you were! Think back! Think! What do you know about luring! Well, there was that first date at Barney’s Beanery playing air hockey. If that wasn’t luring, what the hell was it?.  Although …wait a second… You weren’t all that young. In fact you were thirty in that fucking picture . But that L.A. Times photographer…was he part of the luring?

Then you get a grip.

To get grounded, on your way out of the store you decide to sneak a peak at a different one of those magazines. Just a return to reality. A little sorbet between courses,  to regain your perspective .And also, quite frankly, to learn a little more about Jennifer Aniston. Maybe you have been wrong to ignore her all these years.  Suddenly you have more empathy for the poor girl. Although it occurs to you that by ignoring her, maybe you’ve been doing her a nice favor.

And much to your horror, there you see that same 25 year old picture of you. Again. Only this time in an article about leading ‘a secret double life.”  Really? The last time you checked you thought having even one life was  more than you could handle.  Or is it possible there is another version of you running around somewhere twenty five years ago over whom you have lost all control? That can’t happen, can it?  That’s not the way reality works these days, does it?

You have to admit, an experience  like that would definitely be very weird, would it not?

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13 Responses to “Ed part two.”

  1. Becky says:

    Isn’t Mr. Ed a horse of course, or course? Though I always thought a talking horse was more of an ass myself.

    • Cathy says:

      I think I’ve seen the picture in question. I hope you find some satisfaction in that today, you look like a better, wiser and not-that-much-older version of you from 25 years ago. Ed, not so much.

  2. Nancy says:

    Wow, I think about some of the people I knew and dated twenty five years and longer ago. I dated people I worked with. I dated the boss for a couple of years, actually a couple of different bosses for a couple of years each. That kind of thing was different then. There were no corporate policies about who you could date. There were no “news” magazines trying to document everything about everyone’s personal lives. I was not so unusual, all those years ago. Lots of girls dated their boss. The world is so different now. My life is so different now. Yes, the Twilight Zone. That describes it pretty well.

  3. Tom Sullivan says:

    I think you’re on to something here.
    I suggest you turn it into a movie.
    You should write and direct it. Jennifer Aniston should play you. Whoever she’s dating this month can play Ed.
    I hope you’ll consider making the movie in German with subtitles.

  4. Merrill Markoe says:

    That is definitely the kind of idea I can run with. You will, of course, receive screen credit. Perhaps something along the lines of Key Grip or Best Boy.

    • Tom Sullivan says:

      You are generosity itself!
      I don’t wish to appear ungrateful but could you possibly make me a gaffer?
      I always suspected I have hidden gaffing abilities.

  5. Margaret says:

    Of all of the people with a knowledge and awareness of the past relationship between the gal whose unique grocery store experience you described in this post (let’s call her Merrily) and this Secret Double Life Ed fellow, does it ever seem like this Merrily person is the only one who has actually moved past the 20 year old breakup and is long over it?

  6. mdingo98 says:

    cheers to merrilly and her dogs

  7. Sally says:

    It’s not about diet. Cigarettes and restylane. Take a stroll down restylane. I want to hug whoever named this.

    I don’t think of you as lured. You’ve been credited with creating stupid pet tricks and stupid human tricks. What are some others? I thought just bulbs and just shades were yours too.

    Here’s a question to distract you from wondering whether you were lured. How come Nora Ephron is allowed to make movie after movie even though they suck and most of them don’t make any money? Now Julia and Julie is making money so she will make another movie.

    This restylane is just an illusion. Nothing can stop time and life is too short to waste any of it wondering what you were thinking 25 years ago.

  8. Merrill Markoe says:

    Dear Sally:
    I was actually just kidding about being lured. I was just exaggerating to try to illuminate how bizarre it is to see yourself included in an article with a lurid title. For a minute I thought I was part of a Phill and Nancy Garrido expose. Plus it seemed all the more absurd that someone had to find a benign picture taken by an L.A. Times photographer 25 years ago to give a very weak premise a little more heft. I also found the extremely loaded word ‘lured’ to be funny. The only thing that lured me was the naive idea that becoming creative partners with a romantic interest when we were both on the way up was a smart reasonable thing to do…a lesson that all who attempt it find out is a very very dangerous proposition. George Burns and Gracie Allen made it look good. Very few others escaped unhammered. And Gracie died young.
    ‘Just Bulbs’ was mine. But I agree with you about not dwelling on 25 years ago. As it turns out, I agree with you so much that I am not going to compose the rest of that list.
    As for Ms. Ephron, I stand in awe of the way she has her finger on the zeitgeist. She just launched a hit play. Her books are on the best seller list for years at a time. Some of her movies were giant. Some lesser. That’s the movie biz.(And personally, she has been very sweet to me.)
    PS: Time to lose the cigarettes.

    • Sally says:

      You are so much smarter than I am that I find it uplifting.

      I have no knack for the zeitgeist. I didn’t know Ms.Ephron launched a play. I know she is concerned about her neck. Nora’s parents were creative partners. I don’t know if they were happy. But I do love “Desk Set” so I should be kind to their child. Or their children. I think they all work together.

  9. Jim Ward says:

    Oooh, I’ll play! Was Ed = Brad Pitt?

  10. Beth the copy editor says:

    I am late catching up. Just Bulbs was yours? But there was a store called Just Bulbs! Did you open that store just so there could be a bit on the show??