Friday, December 16, 2005

December 16, 2005
Had an eye exam at two yesterday. The fifteen-year-old optometrist (these docs seem so young!) told me I have a "floater" in my right eye, and also one in my left eye to boot, but I just can’t see it. I asked him if there is anything preventative I could do, or should have done. Nope. According to the teenage doc, "Nothing helps." No diet changes, no lifestyle modifications, no zinc supplements, no exercises. He says about 50% of people get them and that the older you get the more of them you get. It's floating plasma, blah blah, blah blah, jaba jaba jaba stuff (he told me in some detail but I can’t remember anything, other than I can’t do a damn thing about it, except "get a yearly checkup" Thanks Doc.)

After my test I picked out some new glasses with titanium rims in case I ever have to command an Abrams Tank. Kind of cool, though, no rims, but the price tag: $495 ($650 without insurance!). I told the sales woman, "I need to tell you my wife thinks I would be an idiot to buy glasses here, and she thinks I should take the prescription and go to Costco and buy the rims there. Hope you understand. I have to live with her, not you." This went over about as well as Bush making torture jokes at a Sunni Chamber event.

I got this in the Email bag this morning:
Hey Bob...Dwain Bond, piano player here. It's the end of civilization as we know it. I just saw a bumper sticker that reads. "Seen Brokeback Mountain? Don't ask don't tell!"

"Tell the truth!" That was the first greeting I got standing on Allen Street in Tombstone on Wednesday morning. We were setting up the first shot at 7:30 and a city road crew were inspecting dirt piles along the street when a trio of orange-vested city manager types (one might have been the mayor) looked up, saw me, pointed and barked out the above greeting. I smiled and said I couldn’t really help myself. He didn’t laugh and kept walking.

Twenty minutes later, we were filming the Virgil Earp shooting in front of the Crystal Palace when a guy with a white beard walked right up to me, handed me my Wyatt Earp book with a pen. I took the pen and the book and asked him how he wanted it signed and he said, "To John. I’m sorry for that bad article I wrote." He was referring to our coverage of "How to Save Tombstone" which, among other things, suggested they put dirt on the streets to cover up the asphalt, which they were doing even as we filmed. As I handed him back the book he said over his shoulder as he walked away, "I’m probably the only guy here who forgives you." Gee, thanks.

An hour later, we were in the Birdcage Theater to film a segment on "call drinks" and the owner’s son came up from the house to sign a release. "I probably shouldn’t sign this," he said shaking his head, "considering what you wrote about us." I glanced nervously at their magazine display and noticed they had every single issue of True West of the past year, except the Saving Tombstone issue.

In the Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, one of the town fathers told me off-the-record, "Everything you said in that issue was the truth, but people here in Tombstone just like to beat up on people."

Not everyone was critical. A guy named "Hoss" watched us film an O.K. Corral bit, then came over and said he was a huge fan of True West Moments. That was sweet. But thirty minutes later, while we were filming near Hafford’s Corner, Doc Ingall’s pretty wife stepped out of the store there and said, "The reason Ben Traywick is mad at you is that negative article you wrote about Tombstone." When I laughed and said it wasn’t negative (she’s a friend of mine!) she said, "Yes it was. You come down here and pay taxes and then you can talk." Okay.

So naturally, the film crew began referring to me as, well, here’s an example: when we got to the courthouse, Tom Malone the teleprompter guy (not to be confused with Tom Malone, Sr. who is a subscriber to True West) wanted to know which script we would be shooting and Jeff, the sound guy said, "I don’t know, ask The Man Who Saved Tombstone." It’s hard to be a prima dona with guys like this dogging you.

"If you’re out to beat a dog, you’re sure to find a stick."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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