“At times one must make time for personal projects.” I think the Torah says that. Or maybe I thought it up. I don’t know. And I don’t need to know. Who really cares who thought what up? It’s a matter of who likes what. It’s a matter of what sparkles.
I’m working on a little personal film about the October War. I need to say something about my people’s persecution. What a mess it is over there. Such a happy little place surrounded by nothing but enemies. Haven’t we gone through enough already?! How many times do the Jewish people have to be killed or enslaved? Haven’t they figured out we cannot be destroyed? Haven’t our enemies realised that yet? We are protected by God, and that’s just the way it is. Sorry Arabs! You’re shit out of mazel tov, cause we ain’t goin’ anywhere. Sure you might be able to kill a lot of us, but you will never wipe us out. You will never make us disappear. God has chosen us to flourish. He has chosen us to succeed. That’s why God gave us show business. We have been given an industry and medium that we can run. But not only run. We have been given a medium and industry that we can use as a way to help people. To use to lift peoples’ spirits. We use show business to give to the world, even though the world has done nothing but take from us. In this way we are superior. In this way the Jewish people are selfless, much like God himself.
I’ve cast Liz Lee and Jenn Schatz. It’s quite a story, because they just went head to head at the Oscars. Liz was up for Sophie’s Decision and Jenn was up for Deadly Affair. Like I have to tell you this! You know who these legends are! To get them to agree to do the film I also promised that the film wouldn’t just be for Jewish rights, but it would also have a feminist agenda. I also happen to be shtupping them. Neither of them knows, but these are professionals, and I’m sure it won’t be an issue.
I play a wealthy Syrian, and Liz plays my wife. Jenn is a Jewish woman that we attack one day, during lunch. However you quickly learn that Liz is only joining in on Jenn’s oppression because I’ve forced her to do so. I’ve told her that for every Jewish woman we come across that she doesn’t punch in the face, she gets twice as many punches. (I know this is dark, but sometimes you have to go dark to deliver a powerful message that’ll win an Oscar.) Then what’s supposed to happen is Jenn stands up to Liz, they fight, then they realise that they are not each other’s enemy. That I am, in fact, the enemy. The ladies then band together, kill me and then Liz’s character converts to Judaism, and the two of them live a long happy life together on a Kibbutz. Oscar winner, right?
Action! The first scene goes great. It’s the scene where Liz and I come to Jenn’s Israeli home. We shake our fists at her, and scream out soon to be classic movie quotes:
“Give us your gold Jew!”
“Give us your dirty gold you dirty Jew!”
Jenn gives us one of her patented cries, and it’s very moving. The scene is beautiful. After shooting for about an hour we take a break. And here’s the thing about me: If things are running smoothly on a set, I get horny. Real horny. I can’t contain myself. And Liz and Jenn are looking tastier than ever in their woman suits. Since my character is married to Liz’s character, I choose her to flirt with. Thinking it might help our acting even more. Not that we need any. I throw her some air kisses, and she catches them and throws some right back.
Unfortunately Jenn catches us.
“What the fuck are you two doing? Are you fucking Liz, Combover?!”
“Yeah we’re fucking! What’s it your fucking business, Jenn?!”
“It’s my business, because I’m fucking him too!”
“You slut! I’m about to give you some business! Some fist business!”
The girls go at it. They’re screaming. They’re punching! They’re pulling!
I try to break it up. Big mistake! They both look at me and realise I’m the one they should actually be beating the shit out of.
“You can’t keep it in your pants can you, Combover?! Can you, you fucking Jew!”
They kick, they pull, they scratch, they pelt me with prop tomatoes!
After I’m good and bruised and covered with tomato, the legends storm off set. Never to return. Too bad. This would have sparkled!
But it’s not a major loss. It’s just a little personal project, and I financed it myself. And I’ll still get a lot of the money I spent back after taxes.
All Photos by Janicza Bravo
Photos featuring Liz Lee and Jenn Schatz
This is the eighth chapter of Combover, Brett Gelman’s new novel about Hollywood, the beauty of the Jewish tradition, baldness and murder. We will be serialising it throughout the rest of the year. Read last month's installment of Combover.