Lee Coggins is the Lead guitar player, singer songwriter for the hippie Jam Band, PRY. PRY is commercially successful band who has a solid touring fan base. They are about to go on tour opening for the Black Crowes. Hopefully their living the rock and roll lifestyle will not interfere with their future success. Morty Berstein is a former business partner of Lee's father who has been instrumental in loaning the band money over the course of the years. He has a rough exterior but a good heart.
Lee strode back into the room and Morty was, once again buttoning his shirt. It was a nice shirt, but it was just a bit snug.
“Can you believe this shit?” He asked Lee.
“What’s that, Morbid Morty?”
“Cut the Morbid, shit.”
“Cutting shit, would be morbid.” That was one of Mikhial's phrases, Lee remembered, having been told many “go cut shit” by his youthful nemesis.
“What are we playing $10,000 Pyramid? Are you listening? I got a guy…..he sold me this shirt, Nice shirt it was 10 bucks. Now I know why It was ten bucks.”
“Why is that Morty?” He was again fiddling with buttons on the Blue Hawaiian Printed garment.
“Isn’t it obvious, It’s defective, the buttons are too small for the holes and it won’t stay buttoned.”
“Did you ever think it was the size of your stomach that is defective. That’s kind of a small shirt for you, Buddy.”
“I’ve been wearing the same size since I was 20.”
“Yeah but you weren’t carrying the twins when you were 20.”
“It’s the buttons. So this guy….”
“You’ve got a guy for everything, don’t you.”
“I got this guy…” And Morty’s cell phone rings. He looks at the display grimaces and rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, what do you want?” He asks impatiently. He listens for a minute, then responds.”
“No.” He listens for another minute.
“NO, what did I just say No No NO, It’s their goddamn fault for printing the wrong date on the work order. You know how those people are. How many times do I ask them?
Huhhhh!?” He listens some more, his patience draining as quickly as his anger swells.
NO, Goddammit, no. They did that to my T-shirt Guy…’ He looked up at Lee who was giggling at the fact that Morty had a T-shirt Guy. Morty took a breath and continued.
“Listen listen, They…how many funerals..they have a year?” He waited for an answer. “Uh Huh, Am I right or what?” He asked. Then he continued.
“Listen, I am a fair man,” Burleigh thought, “No you aren’t.” Morty drones “They did this to my T-shirt Guy last time. He asked the bereaved, When did the deceased pass? Did they give him the date when he died, No, they gave him the date when he was brought to the emergency room. Too bad for them that he was brought in at 8 PM and died at 1AM. They wanted him to reprint the shirts for free.”
“How is it different?” Morty listens and then explodes one more time.
“LISTEN YOU YOU LITTLE SHIT, I DON’T CARE IF IT ONLY COST FIFTEEN BUCKS, I’m not doing it again…What?!!…Are you gonna pay for it?” He pauses. “I didn’t think so.” Lee was watching this scene with amusement. Morty hangs up.
“My son, he’s a genius but he’s crazy.” Burleigh muses that apple never falls very far from the tree.
“Some people you do business with them once or twice and you are a friend for life. Can you do this, can you give us a break on that, we’re good customers. Yeah yeah, good customers. Finally someone cheaper than me, Thank you, thank you make me feel like Malcolm Forbes.”
“What was that all ‘bout”
“A funeral. This gang banger kids gets it. So his brothahs and sistahs in the gang get the do it yourself kit, nice particle board with faux veneer finish, Real silk pillows nice lining…It comes with a static vinyl RIP banner with the Name of the deceased and the D.O.D printed on it. It comes off the casket and can go on the back window of your car. So they give me the wrong date, now it’s my fault that the date is wrong and I have to do it over?”
“Dude the guy is dead.”
“All of my customers are dead, you putz.”
“You’re a real fucking piece of work. Stereotypes just don’t concern you do they?”
“I’m the way I am, they’re the way they are, fuck them, fuck me, fuck you!”
“Well they, the customers who pay, are still alive. How much is it? Fifteen Bucks? How much for 20 of them, I’ll pay.”
“Are you paying cash, I’ll give you a deal….” Lee just exhales deeply and leaves the room. Morty calls back to place the order, so his son can let his GUY know that he reconsidered. Lee walks back into the room.
“Why do I smell pot?” Morty asks.
“Because you have a nose.” So he looks at Lee for a few seconds. Then as if the last couple of minutes didn’t exist he starts back in about the shirt.
“So this guy…he sells me this shirt. It’s defective the buttons don’t fit, right? I’ll bring it to the Polish lady at the X that does the shirts.” Lee smirks and asks,
“Have you tried that new Polish Bakery near Dymski’s”
“Naahhh, I got a thing a bout Polacks and ovens…not a good combination if you know what I mean….” Lee laughed.
Morty raised his eyes like Groucho would. “You’re a funny guy Morty.”
“Now stop interrupting me….I got this guy,” Morty rolled his eyes at Lee’s reaction. “and he sells me this shirt. He asks about my wife. So what does wanna know about my wife for, you know? How’s your wife how’s your sister that kind of thing? No. So told him the story…didn’t believe that I was boning the blonde in the commercial. Well my wife believed it, 50% of the profits from my business going to her believed it.” Lee is just stoned and giggling at this point.
“So this guy, he’s a religious nut. You know white shirt, name tag they knock on your door at 8 in the morning. See You Next Tuesday, you know what I mean?”
“No, I never do…”
“He hands me this book…”
“What was it? A book on how to properly tip in restaurants?”
“This guy…hands me a book and says, I 100% guarantee that If you and your wife sit down together and read this book, you will not be separating and get back together.”
Morty starts laughing. “I’m gonna hide the book and make SURE she doesn’t read it…”
“You better, 100 percent is a pretty good guarantee.”
“Ah, what’s a guarantee, anyway?”
“So speaking of books, you are doing good with your book, eh? You were on the radio, on"Fresh Air" - I heard it.”
“I got it published that is all that matters.” Lee Said.
“What about the music, the records, They matter. Am I right, or what?"
“Yeah of course they matter. Dude, I would be lost without my music. But with writing…books are important, they evolved from the most basic form of communication, drawing something in the dirt with a stick or a drawing on a wall is one thing, but a book is tangible…a part of your mind which can be held in someone’s hands." He continued, "You hear music, I can play music but a lot of people can’t. I can feel the music when I play it that is tangible…for me. But for others…not the case. A book can be held. It is important. That tangibility is what is important for me. Holding a disc isn’t the same. Even though it is shiny and may have a mirror finish, a book is more like a mirror any day. Anyone can look inside it and see themselves.”
“You can say that about anything” Morty replied.
“Gee, thanks! And I think it was you who asked for my opinion.”
“And who cares what I think?”
“So you really boned that Blonde? What’s her name?”
“Cassie.” Morty said fiddling with his cell phone.”
“She’s cute, she has that PJ Soles look. How does a disturbed little man like you end up with her?"
“Truth is stranger that fiction Judgey wudgey. PJ who? Am I supposed to know her.”
“Omigod, PJ Soles was every girl I ever wanted to date in High School. Did you ever see Rock and Roll High School with the Ramones? Stripes?”
“Yeah Stripes, With Bill Murray and Harold Ramis.”
“Yeah, PJ Soles is the hot MP that gets the Aunt Jemimah treatment.”
“Oh yeah the Aunt Jemimah treatment…Yep, that’s Cassie alright.”
“So are you guys a thing?”
“What’s a thing?! Ehhh, we get together. I don’t want another relationship.”
“Dirty old man. I bet her funeral is already paid for.”
“And what’s wrong with Barter?” Lee laughs.
Morty gets another phone call and screams at his son a little more. Lee actually got to get both sides of the story on the days that Morty’s son would corner him in the Real Estate office and tell him how he was a “genius and an artist and Dad, just doesn’t appreciate that. And he always calls me a cocksucker.” It was also troublesome when he would give Lee pictures for cover art for the next album or worse song lyrics. His usual disclaimer was that he only has a 25% voice in what happens with the band. Not to mention if he actually wrote a song based on some of his depressing lyrics, a good number of the audience would probably commit suicide. Morty finished with the phone call.
“You know, there’s a reason I go to probate court every Thursday.”
“I don’t want to know.”
“I love real estate, you know why?…Because you make money while you sleep. But you gotta go to probate every Thursday, eviction day.”
“One more time, what does Cassie see in you?”
“Same thing my ex-wife does dollar signs. She sees that I make money when she is hopping on top of me and she sees that I make money when people die.”
“Oh Morty….” Lee just shakes his head.
“Okay Mr. rock and roll star, what can I do for you?”
Lee tossed an envelope over to Morty and said, “here is the Vig”
Morty Shot him another evil eye as Lee chortled. He reached for the envelope.
Seriously, Morty. Thanks for funding the DVD. It all there plus the 10%.
“You’re a good boy Lee, your parents should be proud of you.”
“Everyone’s parents should be proud of their children.” Lee couldn’t resist the dig.
Are you ready?”
“Hey man, Remember what Eisenhower said about the Judeo Industrial Apartment Complex.”
“Whaaat?! You think you’re funny but you’re not.”
“We’re two peas in a pod, you think you’re serious.”
I got something to show you. It’s a new commercial. Different from the old one it was stale…boring. Ready!”
“Sure, Morty, fire away.”
Morty fiddles with the remote looking from the hand held device to the TV and back. He continues going back and forth for a few uncomfortable seconds until finally he presses a button. He fiddles with his shirt one more time, reinserting the button in the hole. The machine clicks. He hisses to himself and mutters as the tape pops out and the screen goes blank. He is looking at the remote again and pushing buttons. He turns to look. Noticing his guests’ patience waning as he quickly turns his body back. He truly intended to turn back around and nudge the tape back into the carriage, with his hand, causing the VCR to automatically swallow the tape, power up and begin playing. However, his fat “Guatemalan purple” covered ass clumsily made contact with the tape sticking out of the VCR and did the job for him
Rubbing his eyes having seen Morty start the tape with his ass, Burleigh Coggins tries not to laugh and then winces as he sees the title of the trailer “Morbid Morty’s Discount Caskets’
As the tape rolls you see the visual shot of a funeral parlor with a couple weeping at the casket paying their last respects. An announcer says with a soothing voice.
“He marched to the beat of a different drummer. He loved life and broke the mold every chance he got. Why would you want to remember him like this? Burleigh coughed a single laugh at the image of a nerdy looking corpse in a bad suit.
Morty’s eyebrows rose smiling to himself as he noted Lee’s reaction. The scene cuts to Morbid Morty dressed as death and holding a scythe. He is standing next to Cassie with her fourteen hundred dollar pair of tits. He rips off his mask and starts shouting his schpiel.
“COME ON DOWN TO MORBID MORTY MAUDLIN’S DISCOUNT CASKET SALES AND BEREAVEMENT SERVICES.
EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT US TO PLAN YOUR SERVICE CHECK OUT OUR CASKET PRICES. WE HAVE TOP OF THE LINE CASKETS BELOW WHOLESALE.”
The blonde with big tits asks, “HOW DO YOU DO IT MORTY?”
MORTY SHOUTS as the Video cuts to a scene of the Casket Warehouse, where a sales man is showing some of the merchandise to a potential client. In the background a forklift is removing a casket from the top shelf.
“HOW DO I DO IT? WE BUY DIRECTLY FROM THE MANUFACTURER. AND WHAT THEY DON’T MAKE , WE CAN GET. He sliced through the air with the scythe. WE SLASH THE PRICES YOU WILL SEE OFFERED BY MY NATIONAL COMPETITORS. The blonde checks out a vaudeville sized price tag on a casket and demonstrates her approval of the casket by squeezing her tits together with her arms and giving a little shake. Morty shouts again,
“WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? MY PRICES ARE SO LOW PEOPLE ARE DYING TO PAY THEM.”
The blonde squeezes her tits together Then she asks?
WHAT ABOUT THE SERVICES, MORTY?
HE SHOUTS Cut to scene of Poolside service as steam from jacuzzi rises up next to casket.
“WE ARE A DISCOUNT CASKET WAREHOUSE WITH A LOW OVERHEAD, WE DON’T HAVE A FLASHY VIEWING PARLOR. THAT’S WHY AT MORBID MORTY’S WE BRING THE FUNERAL TO YOU. Cut to a scene of Morty wearing the Death Costume as he drives up in a hearse that has a flatbed trailer attached with a brightly painted coffin sitting in the middle. He stops and rips off the mask again.
CHECK OUT THE DEATH ROCKS SERIES OF CUSTOM AIRBRUSHED CASKETS – WE HAVE LED ZEP, OZZY, BEATLES, AEROSMITH, AND THE EVER POPULAR GRATEFUL DEAD. FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY WE WILL PROVIDE, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST A TRIBUTE BAND TO PERFORM AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE, WITH A PURCHASE FORM THE DEATH ROCKS SERIES.
FOR THOSE ON A BUDGET WE HAVE THE DO IT YOURSELF MODEL. IT IS MADE WITH STURDY PARTICLE BOARD. WITH A FAUX WOOD VENEER FINISH. ASSEMBLES QUICKLY WITH A SCREWDRIVER AND AN ALLEN WRENCH. ACT NOW AND WE WILL INCLUDE A 5 FOOT STATIC VINYL CUSTOMIZED R.I.P> BANNER WITH THE NAME OF THE DECEASED, AND THE DATE OF THEIR DEPARTURE. THE BANNER CAN EASILY BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE CASKET TO THE BACK WINDSHIELD OF YOUR CAR.
Cut to video of two ganstahs with a sobbing shorty placing a sign the says RIP Pito 4/20/2005 on the windshield of a pimped out Toyota.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? CALL MORBID MORTY’S TODAY. WE PUT THE “FUN” BACK INTO FUNERAL.”
There was silence, Burleigh sat motionless digesting what he had just witnessed.
“They are going to hang you by your balls for this”
“Eehhh…ask a guitar player for an opinion.”