by | Mar 20, 1994 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

I’m . . . putting on my top hat, brushing up my bow tie . . .

And working on my speech.

This is the year I win an Oscar.

“I would like to thank the members of the Academy,” I will say, “for recognizing my achievements . . .”

I do not act. I do not shout or cry, at least until the electric bill comes.

I do not dress like Batman.

“. . . it’s true, I’ve done a lot over the years, and it’s nice that the Academy has recognized my efforts . . .”

I am not a famous face. I do not yell “Cut!” I do not do nude scenes with strangers, although, to be honest, I’m waiting to be asked.

“. . . for me it began years ago, in a small suburban movie theater . . .”

I will win an Oscar anyhow.

“. . . when I paid $3 to see ‘My Fair Lady’ . . .”

I deserve one.

“. . . and then came the Disney films, every one of them, ‘Pinochio,’
‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Mary Poppins’ . . .”

I really do.

“. . . and then came drive-ins, where, week after week, I paid for two tickets and, to this day, have no idea what films I saw . . .”

My shoes are shined. My limo is waiting. I am confident, because the Oscar is supposed to show appreciation within the film industry. And who makes the film industry what it is?

I do. Every time I plunk down $7 to watch Steven Seagal kick someone in the head.

“. . . and then came the Rocky movies, II, III, IV, V . . .” Anyone can act

Haven’t they been giving those statuettes to the wrong people? Doesn’t it seems awfully indulgent that, year after year, they take three hours of prime-time TV to hand out awards to actors and directors and Best Foreign Sound Adaptation in a Documentary About Plants — when it is us, the moviegoers, who pay the freight, endure those endless previews, the stale candy, the nuclear-sized Diet Cokes — only to watch Chevy Chase?

We drive through rain and snow, park six miles away, stand on huge, non-moving lines, while someone named Missy, whose biggest accomplishment to date was a “B” on her math test, tries to figure out why the butter machine doesn’t work.

Then we hand her $70 for junk food.

To watch Pauly Shore in “Son-in-Law”?

We do all this work, and they give out awards to one another? And we watch? That’s like being passed over for a promotion, and offering to bake a cake for the new guy’s party.

Does the word “sucker” mean anything to you?

“Furthermore, I would like to say that the Karate Kid movies were particularly trying, and I look at them, and sitting through “Flashdance,” as two of my biggest achievements . . .”

Think about it. When most businesses give out appreciation awards, they give them to their best clients, “the people, without whom, our business would not succeed.”

That’s us, isn’t it? The audience? Aren’t we the difference between success and failure?

After all, anyone can act. Anyone can have an agent, a masseuse, and Lakers tickets.

How many people will plunk down seven bucks to watch “Weekend at Bernie’s III”?

Huh? Huh?

“. . . and then came the time I sat in a wad of bubble gum, and the usher conked me on the head with his flashlight . . .” It’s not easy for fans

It’s not as if life has gotten easier at the theaters. The prices are now high enough to support a small family, the screens keep shrinking, and the multiplexes now sell road maps.

We get commercials to start films, followed by these ridiculously overdone cartoons and shorts that tell us why we should never, ever, even think about talking, chewing, or actually breathing during a movie.

(These shorts are directed, no doubt, by film school grads unable to get work on a real project, such as “Porky’s V.”)

And then — after 10 minutes of credits — the movie actually starts.

And it has Madonna in it.

“. . . so for all we have endured, I want to thank the little people, like the babysitter who only earns $20 a night . . .”

Yes, sir. My tux is pressed. My cuff links are in place. I have sent a message to have Cher meet me at the door.

This is my year. I’ve waited a long time.

“. . . in conclusion, I would like to say that Tim Burton needs serious medical attention, and this Johnny Depp guy, who’s his barber? . . .”

By the way, you ask, what about the actors and actresses? What about the directors, the writers, the producers, the best boys? Don’t they deserve something?

Of course. When they make 25 films, give them each a gold watch and say

It works for the rest of the world.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

Subscribe for bonus content and giveaways!