Michael Phillips, The Airstream Chronicles - It Was Bound To Be Noticed

It Was Bound To Be Noticed

Well, it was bound to be noticed. I had to run a tape of a week old show last night because Arty was...umm...out of commission.

Now listen you bastards, I'm not saying Bell was drunk, no I'm not. In fact, no one could say for certain what Arty's problem was. Suffice it to say, we went to see the movie "Leaving Las Vegas," and Arty was deeply, deeply affected by the film.

In fact, on the way back to the compound, Arty insisted we stop at the Liquor Barn and pick up a shopping cart full of booze. They were having a sale on Popov vodka, and Arty grabbed a case. That on top of the gallons of Wild Turkey, Elmer's Budget Gin and Pic N' Save tequila sent Arty into a spin.

By seven p.m. Bell was out cold. The dogs were licking from the puddle of vomit his head rested in, and the wife had sped off in the K car, angered at yet another blatant display of alcoholic indulgence.

I briefly considered doing the show myself (I do a pretty good impression of Bell), but decided against it when the sponsors (C. Crane himself!) called with some new advertising copy.

"Art! Is this you?" Crane cackled.

"Um, yeah. I mean, no, it's MJB. What can I do for you?"

"MJB, where's that cocksucker Bell? I have some exceptional new ad copy here. Roust the lazy prick and get him on the phone!"

"Well C., problem is..."

"Aw, don't tell me...is he passed out in a puddle of his own puke again?"

"Well, uh..."

"Never mind. When he comes to, you tell him if this happens one more time, I'm pulling my ads from his show, understand?"

"Sure C."

There was a click, then a dial tone. Crane had told me before that he was growing weary of Bell's drunken readings of his advertisements, and he was seriously considering shifting all the advertising income to the Howard Stern show. The only problem was his yearly advertising budget on Bell's show would only buy one 30 second commercial on Stern's show.

Well, this wasn't my problem anyway, so I ambled out to the Airstream to watch the season premiere of "Savannah." I owed it to Aaron Spelling, after that unfortunate incident with Tori.

"What this room needs is more booze!"
- Sera "Leaving Las Vegas"

mjp
1/24/96

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