Sometimes I think the previews are the best part of the whole theatre-going experience; mostly because I think that not only do they show the best parts of the movie, but the movie I make in my head is ever-so-much better than anything Hollywood is going to turn out.
The scene is a placid street in a small town in West Texas. A nattily-dressed man gets out of a rental car and, carrying a large case, walks up to the front door of Rancho LawDog.
The doorbell is rung, and answered by a man of average height with what looks like a plastic orange rodent stapled to his upper lip.
“Mr LawDog, I have a proposition for you. May I come in?”
Against his better instincts, LawDog allows the man into his sanctum sanctorum, and even brews a cup of tea.
“Mr LawDog,” says the nattily-dressed man, opening the case to reveal a Black Box With A Big Red Button, “If you press this button two things will happen. The first is that I will give you a million dollars. The second is that a random stranger, someone whom you do not know, will die.”
“Pull the other one, mate, it’s got bells on.”
“I assure you, Mr. LawDog, I am quite serious.”
“You’re going to kill someone who’s a complete and total stranger to me, so that I can have a million dollars.”
“No, Mr. LawDog, you are going to kill a total stranger so that you can have a million dollars.”
“Oh. Did you happen to mention your name?”
“No, Mr. LawDog, that information is not necessary for this transaction to be completed.”
“Sooo … basically, you’re a complete and total stranger?”
“Yes, what does that …”
Two forty-calibre gunshots ring out, and the nattily-dressed man convulses and slides off the sofa to the floor. LawDog pinches the bridge of his nose and heaves the mighty sigh of a man beset by the tribulations of the world, then rises and steps around the coffee table. A third shot rings out. Always pay the insurance.
Keeping the muzzle of his pistol trained upon the corpse in his living room, LawDog weasles his cell-phone out of his pocket and hits speed-dial.
“Tole’s Mule Barn, head jackass speaking.”
“Hey, brother, you wouldn’t happen to have any of that quicklime left, would you?”
“Sure do. Need it?”
“Yeah, and if you could bring a shovel with it, I’ve got a beer for you.”
“Aw, crap. Again?”
“Yeah. Figure we’d stick him under the gardenias.”
“Not unless you moved the Cthulu cultists from last month.”
“Oh. Nuts. Hmm. You got any room in the wife’s herb garden?”
“Nope. Had a pack of Jesuit ninja assassins through Friday evening. One of these days they’re going to realize that this thing is a hammered leaf-spring wired to a broom-handle by a Pakistani blacksmith and then there’s going to be some red faces at the Vatican.”
“I wondered why I kept running over throwing stars with the lawnmower this weekend.” Ruminative pause. “Suppose we could stick him in the rutabaga patch with the mummy.”
“Sounds good … ohh … better double the hole.”
“You got a Spooky Henchman lurking in your driveway.”
“What? Hell! I’m up to my elbows in parts here! What sort of of bargain-basement creeps are they minting these days?! Can’t even wait a courteous amount of time …”
“Relax. I’ll get him on the way over. Need anything else?”
“Nah. ‘Preciate it, bro.”
See? Much better than anything Hollywood turns out these days.