Freudian Slips: April 2009

Freudian SlipsImage Hosted by


My Photo
Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

April 29, 2009

Lunch Brake

A corner liquor store receiving a truck delivery of alcohol to fuel bloodstreams ensnares traffic. The oversized truck plugs the narrow One Way Street and prohibits passage. I am the last car in the gridlock. After a few minutes into the waiting game, the car in front of me suddenly starts to reverse but there is no place to go except through me. I beep my horn but the impatient driver keeps coming. I shift my car in reverse mode to avoid collision. An SUV rounding the corner unexpectedly turns onto the same street. I tap my brake but swipe the SUV behind me at about two miles per hour.

Three males get out of the SUV leaving a young child inside and unattended. The situation goes from bad to worse. For some unknown reason, residents start throwing things at the idling first car from their stoops. A football is hurled hard through a passenger side window of a car parked two ahead of me. After the glass shatters, the occupants exit their affected car. Feeling like a sardine in tin, I look around at the grit of my dire surroundings. This is the same bad section of town that entrenched gang members killed one of their own for missing chapter meetings.

With all that is going on around me, the paws of three males try to gain entry at my doors. The driver is as big as a refrigerator. He shouts, “Man, open up. You hit my car.”

I shake my head in agreement but do not open my car doors. Instead, I push a button that closes my moon-roof because I am afraid they might try to eject me from my seat. Emotions but not myself shoot through the roof.

A second male comments, “Oh, no, he didn’t.”

“Eugene, he’s dissing you.”

Eugene looks upset. “Don’t do me like this! Man up.”

I crack my driver’s side window like a minimalist. I explain, “If you haven’t noticed all hell is breaking loose. This ain’t no hit and run. I’m sorry for hitting your car. I’m not going anywhere but I’m not exiting my car either. It’s not exactly safe at the moment.”

The men who had vacated their parked car begin fighting the residents in the street. Women and children run and scream. Everyone male from teenage years and up is either a hooting and hollering sightseer or a combatant. Rocks hurl. I am worried that guns will be drawn. The men surrounding my car pay little attention to the danger.

Eugene orders, “Watch him. Don’t let him leave.” His complete attention now turns to the melee. He shouts at the fight spilling down the street. I incredulously watch him head towards the fisticuffs. I hear Eugene offer a street fighter a vote of confidence.

“That’s how you hit him, Akel!”

My cell phone is inside a jacket pocket that I left in the trunk. My car is being guarded by men who I do not trust. After about the fourth time Eugene's loyalists remind me that I am not going anywhere, Eugene returns to the scene of the accident. He apprises his friends of a recent development.

“Dang. They just crashed my sister’s car on the next street.”
"Damn G, what are you gonna do?"

Fear twitches my face at unsavory angles. My voice crackles. “This is a riot.”

Eugene talks through my cracked window while the two others send out text messages. “Dawg, they listen to me on this block. Don’t be scared. I run this block.”

As Eugene offers me reassurance about his positive influence in the neighborhood, my focus shifts from his imposing presence to the action spilling behind him where a vexed man swings an ax at a rabid man hell-bent on taunting him. In between his ax missing and sparking the street, he is hit by roundhouse punches. Sweat cascades down my forehead. With all of this unlawfulness, I do not know what is taking the police so long to arrive and restore order. For some strange reason, I think about Tracy Chapman's song Across the Lines. I start calculating probability odds of Eugene owning a valid driver’s license, carrying car insurance and vehicle registration without any arrest warrants or drugs in his possession. The possibilities prompt me to feel him out on his commmittment to reporting this accident to authorities.

I reason, “G, let’s call the police. Use your cell phone.”

Eugene wants to parley my transgression into a shakedown. “Nah, money talks.”

I argue, “I don’t have any money on me to settle this.” My streetwise talk is like a survival instinct taking over me. “Ugh, I just hocked a gold chain for lunch money.”

He barks instruction. “Leroy, go into Millie’s house and fetch some gasoline.”

The thoughts that race through my mind in my parked car could have gotten me a speeding ticket. Leroy hustles from Millie’s house with a red container of gasoline about the same time I check for my running shoes. The direct sunlight reveals gas swishing around the container like it is itching for something combustible. Eugene pulls a white tee shirt from the back of his vehicle. He bunches it up then soaks it in gasoline. I convince myself that he is going to torch my car with a homemade molitov cocktail. Everything seems to be going up in flames and I will be burned alive unless I can outrun three men twenty years my junior across ground of their own choosing.

Eugene stands between the two vehicles now with the gas-soaked rag. As I plot my next move, he does the unthinkable. In a circular motion, he buffs the paint marks off his SUV. He then walks over to my car. I shed actual embarrassment as he literally cleans my car. He asks me to step out of the car to admire his work. I hesitate but muster enough courage to finally venture out of the vehicle not knowing if it is the right move but hoping meeting him halfway will offer closure to the incident. His car is no worse for wear and my car carries none of his paint now but shows a small dent.

A middle-aged woman comes over and talks to Eugene as if I were not there, a proposition to my liking.

She asks, “What’s his story?”

“He’s shitting bricks because he hit my car.”

“G, what’s he doing around here?”

“He made a wrong turn.”

“I’ll say.”

Eugene clarifies, “He said he was going to Donkey’s bar for a cheese steak.”

I add, “Two cheese steaks.”

“Whatever." replies Eugene. "Stop trifling. I told you I wouldn’t hurt you.”

“You were right about that. I was wrong about that. G, are we cool now?”

“Yeah, we cool.”

“I’m driving off if you're cool with that?”

“That’s cool.”

I hand wave. “Thanks for accepting my apology.”

I get back into my car and quickly lock the doors as all of my G's turn to willikers. I start my car then put on my right turn signal. As I slowly drive around two bleeding adversaries combating in the street, I realize my psyche is withstanding a greater dent than my car.


April 25, 2009

On A Roll Like That

As I gently rolled my gym bag on wheels up the pitched sidewalk to Bally’s gym, I heard grunting sounds. When I rounded the corner, I saw a young man manually pushing a mid-sized car without its engine on across the width of the gym parking lot. He struggled mightily but seemed determined.
I hollered, “I have jumper cables, buddy. We can turn over the engine that way.”
No response followed. The man continued to expel vast amounts of energy pushing bulk metal. He cried for water.
I thought better of what I asked the moment after the words escaped me. “Do you want me to help you push it?”
I heard another man’s stern voice coming from inside the car. Wearing the crimson garb of a gym employee, he shouted through the downed windows. “Don’t help him. He paid for this personal training session.”
I stood there dumbfounded like the middle-aged out-of-shape person. When I workout, I just don’t roll like that.


April 22, 2009

My Neck of the Woods on Earth Day

I spent Earth Day contacting hired engineers and township officials to protest a proposed residential development that will border my three acre wooded property and affect preserved wetlands. Something has got to be wrong in my neck of the woods when I am fighting urbanization on Earth Day.

Labels: ,

April 20, 2009

Disarming Demeanor

In my community based social worker career, I have stepped into countless lives and private homes. No two people or homes are the same.

In 1994, a nine-year-old girl came through intake for agency services and wound up on my caseload. When I interviewed her mid-thirty something mother over the telephone, she seemed protective to a fault about her daughter, who held diagnoses of mild mental retardation and cerebral palsy.

Further conversation revealed that this was the mother’s first and only child. The mother did not work outside the home and described her life as evolving around the special needs of her disabled daughter. When I tried to schedule a house call to meet both of them, the conversation cooled and the mother’s voice trembled. The mother was uncomfortable with the arrangement. I offered to show proper identification upon arrival and gave her my supervisor’s name and phone number. Despite my attempts to assure her a home visit was protocol for case managers, she was reluctant to approve of me entering her home. She explained that her husband prefers to be home whenever a man enters the household. Understanding the family dynamics of this old fashioned household, I invited the husband to join us.
On the day of my visit, the school bus was late getting little Eleanor home and the father could not take off from his job. This left me home alone with the jittery mother for the first thirty minutes. I used my charm to appear disarming so that she might feel comfortable. She kept looking at the front door for her daughter’s arrival as if it were also an avenue of escape if need be. I sat at the kitchen table with my hands folded trying to build rapport by discussing her daughter’s interests.
When the short yellow school bus pulled up like a savior on wheels, the mother dashed out the front door. Soon Eleanor walked into the house with a determined gait tethered by her mother’s handheld grip. Eleanor began to play with age appropriate toys on the tiled kitchen floor. With my back to the mother, I kneeled to introduce myself to Eleanor. Through parallel play, we rolled a Barbie convertible car back and forth until she was giddy with laughter.
When I returned home from work, I cleaned out my pants pockets. To my horror, I found a large serrated steak knife sticking high out of my back pants pocket. I had used the sharp knife like overkill to cut a day old bagel that morning at my desk. Before trying to act disarming in a dangerous world, I must remember to drop my weapons before I can expect to drop anyone’s guard.


April 13, 2009

Harry Kalas, Thanks for The Memories

It didn’t sound much like a baseball game when I turned on the radio. It sure didn’t sound like a Philadelphia Phillies broadcast. The crowd sounded subdued but then again the winless Washington Nationals don’t have much of a home field advantage.
I focused my attention on the Phillies who were at bat. Centerfielder Shane Victorino was at the plate. Scott Franzke was doing play by play. It sounded like he cleared his throat anticipating the next moment to come:
2-2 count to Shane Victorino. Swing and a loooong drive. Deep right field…Yes, folks, it’s outta here.
The verbage was the same on this homerun call as countless calls before it but the melodramatic cadence was so subdued that you might have thought an opponent just scored. The homerun call was devoid of that hometown pep, grandeur and emotion that we have grown used to with … Announcer Scott Franzke’s pipes sound choked up now. I hike the volume on my radio. Franzke lets the listening audience know Shane Victorino pointed up to the booth after rounding the bases.
It took me a couple of swallows before I understood the relevance of what Shane Victorino had underscored, what had just surreally happened. I realized that should have been Harry Kalas’ trademark call. Phillies iconic announcer Harry Kalas was dead at age 73 having collapsed in the press box before today's game. That's when I lost my voice.


April 08, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen

I’m standing inside Carmen’s, a famous Italian deli lamenting about not being called to the movie set of Law Abiding Citizen starring Jamie Foxx. Both the full length movie and my world class hoagie have just wrapped.
I catch glimpses of a polished man retracing his footsteps outside the deli. Carrying a brown bag, the man keeps stopping by the driver’s side of my car, which is parked closest to the store in the lot. Checking on the peculiar repetitive motion, I venture outside the deli and wind up facing a rolling camera and television's Big Daddy alongside my car.
A film crew is in the middle of taping an upcoming episode for Big Daddy's House which airs on the Food Network. They reset the scene for a take of the brisk business inside the deli. I wind up an extra on the set. The production company, Scriggs LLC, never knew another actor was among them. Sometimes when a law abiding citizen minds his own business, the camera finds a hungry actor like a Foxx in a hen house.


April 04, 2009

Puppetry of the Penis Audition

As an actor, I see all kinds of auditions but none may be as raw and whimsical as this recent inivitation.
Puppeteers for Puppetry of the Penis
Aspiring Penis Puppeteers invited to OPEN AUDITIONS on April 14, 2009 for the hit comedy, Puppetry of the Penis, for work in New York and around the globe. Make excellent money for weekend gigs in NYC. Penis puppeteers should come to the auditions with a complete lack of shame and a flexible working attitude, ready to learn some tricks from the Puppet Masters. Auditionees are welcome to demonstrate their own genital installations. Puppetry of the Penis is an equal opportunity employer and will audition both circumcised and uncircumcised genital origami hopefuls. Struggling members of the financial community are encouraged to attend. To collect your information kit and sign up to audition email puppetryauditions@
Maybe I am drawing a hard line but it just doesn't seem like a great place to hang out. I pity the puppeteer who has been working on his origami giraffe. He may have to really stick his neck out there in a stiff competition.


April 01, 2009

Clapboard Closing in Bazookas, The Movie

-Joseph Tornatore starts a scene in the upcoming comedy Bazookas.

This keepsake still picture represents the precise moment I spoke my first line in a motion picture. It was graciously sent to me by the movie’s director, Michael G. Leonard. The name of the upcoming movie is entitled Bazookas.
I deliver my single line from behind the decorated bar in scene 93D to actor Joe Campellone(Annapolis, Harts Ridge, Rescue Me, Sandy, Lightkeeper) This scene was shot after business hours overnight in a Medford, NJ bar way back on November 27, 2006.
Bazookas, the movie is coming to HD DVD this month. Pre-Orders are being taken at the official website. The funny trailer can also be viewed on the website. Warning: This is an unrated cross between Old School and a modern day Porky’s movie complete with nudity and risqué language. Let the following disclaimer go out to all my detractors. While I refused to disrobe in high definition film quality to ensure the movie’s success, I fully admit to getting my acting career started in dirty movies.


Free Image Hosting at