Before I became a hugely famous movie star admired and desired across the globe I made some good money appearing in corporate safety and training videos. Fun fact about those videos, the people in them aren’t necessarily bad actors (although many of them certainly are). The people that pay money to make those videos want you to act kind of weird and robotic in those roles because they think it makes their target audience pay attention better.
Their theory is that if someone is watching something boring that’s being portrayed in a naturalistic and believable way it’s easier for that someone to ignore it because nothing draws their attention, but if what they’re watching is mildly annoying/disturbing it’s less likely for their minds to wander. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s a little inside baseball for you folks.
For one of these corporate gigs I did a sexual harassment training video. Just the one time. My agent, who normally could care a little less than I liked about my health or safety prepped me for that shoot like I was going to do porn. It seemed strange at the time, but I understood why soon enough once I got on set. I have never been sexually harassed like I was working on that sexual harassment video. You know, AS A JOKE.
For example, it was categorically funny when Jamie Azarian grabbed me by the hips and dry-humped me with a fully erect penis inside his pants because we were working on a sexual harassment scene and IT’S A JOKE. It wouldn’t have been funny if he was serious about it and we weren’t doing a sexual harassment skit, that would be sexual assault, but it was and he was just kidding around so that’s why it’s funny. Because IT WAS A JOKE. If you don’t think that’s funny you need to LIGHTEN UP. See, it was a skit about sexual harassment, that’s what makes it funny when someone sexually harasses you.
The thing you absolutely must remember is that humor is subjective. For example, when Jamie Azarian got so drunk that he died in a single car accident driving home from a party at Keifer Sutherland’s house I thought that was very funny but his mom probably had an entirely different reaction to her piece of shit son dying because he was too stupid to live. And I know for a fact that when I went to Jamie Azarian’s memorial service and told Jamie Azarian’s mom that her dead son was a piece of shit she didn’t think that was funny at all, while Martialla on the other hand did think it was funny. Not laugh without your hand covering your mouth funny, but funny nevertheless.
What does this have to do with anything? I’m getting there.
Heading due East (Martialla’s note, we were not heading due anything, we went south almost half of the time) we came to a river. A real river, a river flowing with real water, not a river filled with oil or mud or pus or bile or rendered animal fat or human misery in liquid form. Just water. Dirty river water, but still, water.
We saw the river from a ways off, rivers being fairly conspicuous, and from a less far ways off (but still pretty far off) we saw a boat on that river as had been prophesied. When we headed for the boat it seemed like it sped up to try and get away but how fast does a boat go? Fifteen miles an hour? Twenty? It can’t be much more than that. Granted that might actually be fast enough to get away from some of the dumpster-cars around here, but there was no way they were going to escape us.
The boat looked somewhat like that one in Jaws. What was it called, the Crocodile? Or maybe I just think that because the boat from Jaws is the only boat I’ve really ever seen other than speed boats and pontoons and it wasn’t either of those kind of boats. Whatever it was it was in rough shape and it had been apocalypsed up with barbed wire and sandbags and random junk hanging off it, but it looked like an actual boat from our time – not some scratch-made piece of crap raft.
There were three people on it that we saw on the deck. One of them standing out in the open like a moron, was a really gaunt Lurch looking fellow if Lurch was 5 feet tall instead of being a giant. He had a spear clasped in his overly-long fingers which seems like a dumb boat-weapon to me but maybe it was primarily for spearing fish. Crouched down behind the boat-side so that we could mostly only see the top of her head was a woman that looked like a witch from a fairytale – lumpy and hunchy and warty to the Heavens. She was clutching a bottle, an actual glass bottle not an earthenware lump.
But it was the third guy. The third guy was halfway in cover in the little house thing on the boat (stern? Forecastle? Poop deck?) and he was holding a good old honest machine gun (Martialla’s note, it was an assault rifle not a machinegun). But the thing about the third guy? He looked exactly like Stewart Benjamin, who was one the other actors working on that sexual harassment training video. He didn’t put hands on me like Jamie Azarian during that shoot, he was classier than that, he just mimed mouth-fucking me while I was trying to deliver my lines. AS A JOKE GEEZ.
My first thought was “What is Stewart Benjamin doing here? I thought he ODed in the bathroom of a Sizzler”. My second thought was “oh come on man, another person who was cryogenically frozen? This is getting to be a bit much” because no one we’ve met from this time has been that non-mutated. My third thought was “what did he just say?” on account of when he saw me he was so shocked that he literally dropped his gun and I was distracted by that.
“Ela? What are you doing here?”