The casting of Norbert Fragg

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 14:23:58 EDT
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: The casting of Norbert Fragg
Dear Team,

Can it be? Is our foaming, bilious guitarist contemplating the next step in
mass culture success? Recent diary entries about mixed metaphors, doing
nothing, artistic re-invention and the insidious embrace of Microsoft can
only lead to the shattering conclusion that, given a chance and a choice, all
artists want to be Elvis. That's right, Norbert Fragg has gone Hollywood!


The sudden decision of Mr. Kenny G to release his two CD set through
Curdledman Money Grab entertainment, instead of the more humbling, though
occasionally bumbling Inspid Foaming Bile music discorporated, sent the Venal
and but not yet Feeble Leader to a distant Narnes & Boble bookshop where,
energized by a quadruple cappuccino, he perused pertinent pages of a somewhat
worn, tear-and-sympathy stained copy of Suicide for Dummies.

It was perhaps an impulse for de-invention that lent the opportunity to
audition for Mess Shugah, a small, but significant role in Mr. George Lucas's
next Star Wars film a compelling aspect easily likened to a key opening a
floor in which the grass did not seem greener. With nothing more awaiting
immediate attention than some tapestries left broiling by Dan the Gyro in
Fragg World Central's computerized metaphor mixing device, and some months to
go before my return to the Back Line as a lurking, if unlit, guitarist
performing in the reanimated double bubble edition of Wing Friction, the
offer received the hearty approval of  my hoarse little Goy-ah, herself an
actress of some reknown, who commanded me to cease mixing metaphors, shorten
my sentences, and follow the procedure common to those seeking infinite
wealth through temporary employment in the motion picture industry. "Oh, do
not ask what is it," she declaimed, "find an arse and kiss it."

A jarring journey to a sybaritic accommodation at the Stystalker Ranch in
California's woefully contrite Chagrin County, left me Grumpy and Mildy
Cracked. Personal greetings came via computer download: a holographic image
of the bearded and butyraceous Mr. Lucas flickered over the in-room hot tub,
welcoming me, assuring me that I was among his favorite guitarists,
announcing that he owned all of my recorded work and mentioning that the
sonic symbolism of "In Search of the Lost Power Cord" and "Knights in White
Rattan" had influenced his early films.

In keeping with Goy-ah's advice, I replied that, though it may have failed to
find its audience,  his "Howard the Hockey Puck" had lasting significance in
my life. Our conversation steered toward efforts to change the world. I
mentioned my refusals to buy frozen perogies and other grocery items produced
in nations with Stalinist concert halls. He said he gave up changing the
world long ago when he discovered that, due to an enormously clever licensing
deal struck with Microsoft, he and Mr. Gates would soon own it.

The audition took place in a room with flat, featureless walls painted the
color of moldy Stilton.  Images photographed against a "bleu screen" could
later be plopped in, Mr. Lucas said, to variously cheesy special effects. I
was told to that the part for which I was reading, Mesh Shugah, was a
Schizoidiac, a mystically manic, partially mechanical, musically
expectorating "spittarist" who enigmatically informs Annapkin Stystalker that
nothing he's got he really needs.

Mr. Lucas admitted that Bono, currently in rehearsal as the giant squid in
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical remake of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the
Sea, and Sting, who, in preparation for a world tour, will be staring at
himself in a mirror for several weeks, have both passed on the part. He
mentioned also that David Bowie auditioned for the part, and has yet to be
informed that he has been cast instead as a spaceship that, during the film's
climactic scene, crashes into Meatloaf.

I was asked to put a rubber chicken on my head and to "do nothing while we
take a level." I announced proudly that doing nothing has become my life's
work until Mr. Lucas's cell phone chirped. He politely excused himself and I
was told by a bright-eyed minion that Mr. Lucas really and truly loved
everything I did, and that he thinks I'm perfect for the part, and that he'll
get back to me as soon as he can, but I should please leave the room now,
because Ricky Martin is on a tight schedule.

On the return flight, I perused the latest edition of Acting For Dummies,
content with the knowledge that, despite what appears to be an utter waste of
time, a Fragg who can think quickly on his feet may still achieve what he
wants for himself:

I kept the chicken.

Bill Kent

Mike Stok