Fire with Fire (or get fired)
The Mickey Trick
Nickster the Trickster
Some people are drenched, freezing to death, on a stupid boat, with a stupid hat, while others are in a comfy news studio, suckin' up all the glory. Oh, well. No big deal. – Bruce, in Bruce Almighty
This is me, driving back from the airport with rainbows on my face, and on the back seat is a shiny red bicycle, with carbon fibre wings sheathed in two durable disc shaped bags. It’s very unusual for me to be out here, swimming between the traffic, but there’s a good reason. I’d competed in the 101km Pegasus Cycle Race, the biggest one day ride in the world, in some of the best cycling scenery in the world - the Protea Peninsula around Cape Olympus. Since all bicycles and broomsticks had to be escorted via Jumbo Jet back to Hansonburg, I was out here in the early morning drizzle, lights flashing through the rain and wet streets, fetching and carrying my bicycle.
While I’m on the subject, flying bicycles came out of the closet after the movie ET, thanks to motorists who on a daily basis provide a trigger mechanism for launching cyclists several metres – sometimes including somersaults – through the air. While this is certainly spectacular, it tends to cost the cyclist an arm and a leg, if not more.
Sorry about the other detritus in the car. The reader’s Digest, the Mobil petrol slips (from the previous century), brochures of University of Central Florida and a few tattered Anne McCaffrey paperpacks.
I turn on the radio, my windscreen wipers flicking frantically left and right while vehicles around me come to a standstill. I look in the review mirror: endless traffic lines in both directions. I hate this. I hate even more the fact that we’ve had beautiful weather for weeks, but on the day I need to drive way out of my comfort zone on highways I barely know, the Heavens open. Blessings are raining down upon me, I thinking, cynically. I realise I can probably get through this quicker on my bicycle, and have a quick flash of actually doing that.
It’s at that exact moment, where my cynicism starts to take flight, that the radio announcer on 74.9FM introduces an interesting guest. Geoff Woolf is an animator on the latest Dr. Sauce flick, Morton hears a Humbug! It is fascinating to hear Woolf describe the amount of detail his work entails. Weeks are spent rendering a few seconds of animation. He says he is fixated on hand movements, on the expressions on people’s faces. You can imagine, when you’re speaking to Geoff, his mind is picking up hundreds of subliminal signals an animator has to keep an eye on. He probably can’t help reducing you to a caricature while you’re talking. I can see him morphing The Devil into a blood sucking vampire with a gigantic oily black menacing shadow swimming around her. Those poisonous fumes would swim and roil like heat waves around her fetid personal space.
PING! Just then, an amazing idea occurs to me. Geoff says he is in the country to promote the flick, and I suddenly remember we are promoting a few animated DVD features from Blue Sea Studios on our competition pages. If I can meet Geoff I can pitch him my animation idea – Simon and the Cyclopede. I make a mental note to email Trudy at NU Tube if she knows about any plans to promote the Morton movie. More ideas fall over each other. The Devil will shoot this idea down as usual [YOU ARE NOT A WRITER, YOU ARE A WORM IN MY APPLE], but if I can get someone else on our team working on the story, then that…might….just…work. But who? The wipers whip back and forth, raindrops pop hard against the windscreen. People hoot and flash their lights. Thunder rumbles. And slowly I begin to move forward. My bicycle glints at me.
When I arrive at work I shoot off an email and am told Geoff is already here, and what’s more, he is going to be visiting all week.
I look up from my computer. The vortex of black smoke swirling over The Devil’s head moves off as she goes to ‘Ummm…’one of the mice. I nudge Samantha, who is eating a sandwich loaded with bacon and feta cheese.
‘Mickey. He does Multimedia. Well, he’s supposed to…”
Through the grapevine I am dimly aware that he has been asked to produce video and over 6 months he has produced one that was so badly edited it wasn’t used. Most of the time he is on Facebook, and Lord knows he doesn’t do much else.
I approach Mickey, speaking to him in hushed tones. He is very keen. Like me, he fancies himself as a bit of a filmmaker, so the opportunity to speak to someone in the industry resonates. He’s in.
“Just don’t tell her” – I dart my eyes in the direction of The Devil and the black hole swirling in the ceiling above her – “okay.”
“I swear I’ll keep this between us.”
I shoot off an email to Trudy saying we want to interview Geoff, and within a few minutes a slot is agreed and finalised. What’s more, Trudy says that we HAVE to watch the premiere with Geoff before interviewing him – company policy!
“NO!” The Devil shouts, making me partially jump out of my skin. I realise that she’s mindfucking the intern, and so I fully immerse myself once again back in my skin. I wipe my forehead, where the skin is still furrowed slightly. The intern beside her is standing nervously or rather is getting sucked to his feet by the vortex spinning powerfully on the ceiling, while a second maelstrom is forming around his feet. His computer begins to fizzle and shudder as the dark energy expands, and gusts of bad energy begin to swoop and swirl in the room. I wonder if I should dial for an ambulance. But all I do is hold onto my computer and wink at Mickey. We’re meeting an animator of a major movie. We are set.