Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pansy, and Porn or, The Passion of the Pansy

...just when you thought it was safe

New readers (all six of you) may want to scroll to the bottom and start from there, the misadventures of Pansy are chronological. God knows you don't want to miss a minute...

When we last left the adventures of the irrepressible Pansy Tham, she was out in the cold, having been canned at Thong World. Needless to say, our funny little heroine wasn't all that sad about the situation. Thong World was a personal hell. Unfortunately, Elsa the Friendly Gorgon (you have been reading from the beginning, haven't you?) wasn't forthcoming with more jobs. Friends to the rescue! A friend of mine got me a temp job as a game show tester. Yes, you read that right. They actually hire people to test out game shows. Who knew? This was at the time that every network was trying to get the next "Millionaire", and this was one of the other networks attempt. I don't remember much, except that I won a million in one round, and when I asked if I could try out for the real show, I was told in no uncertain terms "no". Also, (when I was on camera) I was asked a sports-related question, and the look on my face brought down the house. Alas, it ended, and the show tanked.

Then, as she has done so often before, a dear friend of mine offered me a job. She was working at a concern that was producing original content for the internet. They had won awards producing reality television for broadcast and were going to take the world by storm by getting people to watch live shows, at a price. I remember thinking at the time "good luck, dudes", since even to this day most people have the really high speed connections at work, not at home, and most workplaces have this funny habit af actually wanting you to, say, work. But what do I know? I don't have an Emmy. And it was money that I needed. I was at sixes and sevens: I even had to use my friends car to do the job (yes, my friend is a saint) that she hired me for. The original content was for a show that followed, 24/7 the antics of a young person in their new apartment. You could log on at any time to see an empty sofa, of a sofa full of a twenty-something people watching television, or if you were lucky, the 20-something people might be eating pizza, or having an argument. Or having lusty sex with four other twenty somethings of various sexes and perhaps an underage goat. Mostly, I assume, you got sofa.

In any case, part of my job was finding an apartment for this to happen. This was not as easy as it sounds, since there had to be an adjacent apartment in which would be all of the equipment to film Casa del (hopefully) Lusty Action. All of which was complicated by the tender sensibilities of the producers. Apparently, they had no compunction about airing every moment of the banalities or hopefully emotional and sexual fireworks of their filmees, but they were not going to saddle them with a "bad" neighborhood. God knows why- since these kids were lambs to the slaughter anyway, why not have them cowering on their sofas, watching cable TV and having obsessive end-of-the-world sex? If they were in a decent neighborhood, they'll be out partying. Then you have more sofa.

The seach continued. I was nearly three weeks into this and the producers were getting antsy. They had dinged three places as just being too unsavory, including a place in downtown LA that's now a pretty posh address. I particularly remember a place in Studio City, where the very nice elderly couple who ran the place managed to make me feel like something that slimed out of the LA river by asking if the cameras would be on in the bedroom: "what if they are having sex in there?" they asked. "Well," I said, feeling like pond scum "the cameras are on 24/7. if they decide to have sex in front of the cameras, it's live", meanwhile thinking "If they could get more subscribers, they'd have ecstasy drips and hot and cold running lube" while holding the cup of Postum the nice lady made and wishing that a large-ish hole could open up in the floor and swallow me whole.

Finally, I found the place. It was in Hollywood, but not in a part of Hollywood that was too scarily close to the boulevard to put off out west valley-dwelling producers. The property manager didn't care much about what I did with the apartments, as long as I had the rent paid and didn't cook up crystal meth by the pool. I was even in my own car- Pansy's PeParon was back, top down and proud, raring to go. I drove in to announce my triumph- I had the location.

I got a call from my friend who was off at a film festival out of state for the group. She was diffident. Clearly she was not happy delivering the news she was charged to deliver. She told me that I wasn't going to be needed during the time they were out. This with one of the producers in the next room. My friend and I cut to the chase- I was being let go. A bookkeeper had been fired a few days before and had apparently said something to the effect that I should be fired, since I just spent my time on the computer, so they called my friend and forced her to can me. K. I walked into the producers office, looked him straight in the eye (as he was trying to look at anything else) in my most mellifluous New England deb drawl forced him to shake my hand as I wished him well in his endeavours and gave him the address of his internet porn-pit.

My friend made sure that I got a thumping-good severance

Which takes me to the job I have currently. And if I ever lose this job: my what stories your little Pansy will tell!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I like to collecct old telephones: the bakelite ones that Joan Crawford was always taking one earring off to answer. I remember the first one I got was a big clunky Western Electric 202. I plugged it in by my bed. One Saturday morning, the LA Times called me to ask me to subscribe.

At 8 am.

On Saturday.

Back in the day when people had one phone, it was in a niche in the hall downstairs. Ma Bell made the bells on those old phones loud enough that eventually (no answering machines, and it was considered polite to let the phone ring at least 12 times to leave the person time to get to the phone) someone in the house would hear it.

Now imagine that giant freaking gong going off 7 inches from your head.

When I move, the landlady is going to be very perplexed by the fingernail marks on my bedroom ceiling....