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NOTES FROM THE HOLLYWOOD UNDERGROUND


Hollywood or Bust...
by Carter McCormack

Copyright © 2001, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


I’m in a SMACK DOWN without pay in a back alley off Vine. If you ever want to get noticed in Hollywood, try a stunt like this. Porn stars, whores, and she-males have congregated outside the cyclone fence and they’re waging bets like this was the WWF. It’s a regular hootenanny. Three black chicks are rapping like modern-day Supremes. Vampires with sunglasses have stepped out of the nearby bars and sniff the air like dogs. The smell of perfume and cologne mixes with the smell of garbage. I can see vials and bills exchanging hands. The Sylvia Saint lookalike says I get her melons if I win the fight. Think she bet a C-note on me. Sylvia’s looking better than any movie cause it’s summer and her gold skin’s glowing sex. She’s the Ultimate Woman.

I flash to an XXX with her hitchhiking and imagine myself picking her up. She puckers her lips and I can’t resist. I kiss her right through the web of fence. She’s got the longest tongue imaginable and I can feel it tickling my tonsils. Then the mood gets ruined by a pink Mercedes bus grunting down the alley spewing clouds of black exhaust. It’s got HOLLYWOOD OR BUST on its destination banner and there are murals of Monroe, Dean, and Gable on its side. The bus pulls over, the hydraulic door opens, and out comes a tsunami of passengers.

”Be back in the bus by 2,” the driver booms over his blowhorn.

Tourists from Idaho and Montana flood the alley. They’re snapping pictures of everything, including the vampires. One of the vampires samples a blonde girl's neck. Some fat guy with a cowboy hat bets the she-male who looks like Cruise his turquoise belt buckle that I’m gonna get whipped. The cowboy might be right, although I think I won round 1. A blue-haired grandma with a bag the size of Boise and a necklace of garlic exits the bus. She propels herself forward with a cane and parts the crowd like it was the Red Sea. She bets the Bacon she-male that I’m a goner.

”How do you know?” Bacon asks.

She pulls a tarot card out of her bag and shows it to the crowd. “The Hanged Man,” grandma chortles, “it’s in the stars.”

”Shutup, ya old witch,” says Sylvia. “That skinhead’s going down.”

”Not in the cards.”

”Eat noodles with your dentures,” I tell her.

In case you haven’t been following, my opponent is a behemoth skinhead named Squash, with swastikas, snakes, and German eagles covering both arms. His flesh is a graffiti jungle. His pal Spunk is watching from a wheelchair. I wouldn’t have been in this predicament if I had just minded my own business and let ballyheaded Spunk flirt with that dead ringer for Dorothy Hamil. But, no, I’ve gotta get macho and snap Spunk’s ankle. Now here’s his pal Squash playing MY BODYGUARD. Spunk is coaching Squash in his “corner,” which is Squash sitting on an overturned garbage can next to the fence.

”Round 2!” Spunk announces.

This time Squash comes out determined. Sweat and bulging muscles are giving his swastikas a third dimension. Grandma tosses him a bobby pin and tells him to gouge out my eyes. He drops the pin and comes flailing at me with windmill punches. I stand my ground and fire a straight right jab to his nose. That stops him in his tracks and I follow that up with a left to his jaw. He bounces off the fence and I come in for the kill. He fakes a left, I duck, and then he hits me with an uppercut that nearly tears off my head. There’s a roar and hoots from the crowd. Damn, I knew I should’ve kept my hands up. Bells are going off in my head and everything looks fuzzy. Grandma is jumping up and down to beat the band and telling all the vampires, she-males, and porn stars that she had the fight pegged all along and that her winnings will pay for her trip. Squash doesn’t let up. He hits me with a roundhouse and I’m down on one knee. A vicious blow smacks my temple and I’m on my back seeing stars.

To be continued.

Remember, it's not over until the grandma sings.




Carter McCormack is a veteran of 58 cattle calls in Hollywood. He lived in the infamous Hell House for a year because he was low on do-re-mi. His "big break" came when he starred in a 30-second TV commercial for Aqua Velva.

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