I first posted this a little less than a year ago when my first novel White Picket Prisons came out. Since I posted a new post on Thursday, which is my usual “Throwback” day I thought I’d post a past Phil Factor for today. This one needed a follow up report that I’ve added at the end.
In much the same way that Darth Vader dogged Luke Skywalker throughout the series of Star Wars movies, Christian Slater has dogged me—one-upping and thwarting me at every turn and stealing my success, all the while smiling smugly and skating away after a wry, sarcastic comment. Well, no more I say. Hear me now and hear me loud, Christian Michael Leonard Slater. Your bloody reign of terror is in its waning moments and I shall savor my victory. Or perhaps, much like Luke and Darth Vader, there will be reconciliation and you will join the side of the righteous and the good.
Our story began in the maternity ward of a New York City hospital in the late 1960s. As our parents stood side by side gazing lovingly at us in our bassinets, they discussed names. My parents proudly named me with a regal middle moniker from my maternal grandfather. As my parents proudly revealed my name, your parents, with a look of concern, or perhaps scorn, huddled and whispered hurriedly before turning and smiling smugly as they revealed that you would be called Christian Michael Leonard Slater, the boy with TWO middle names! Only hours out of the womb and you were already attempting to steal my infantile thunder. Curse you! You swaddled demon! I thought to myself as I shook my tiny fist in the direction of your bassinet.
Our school years were inexorably linked with the spelling bees, school plays, and, of course, who can forget the 1975 Cub Scout Troup 316 Pinewood Derby? Each and every time my dream of grasping that golden ring, that top stair on the podium, that starring role or just a moment of applause from my classmates, seemed so close until…until the golden boy, Christian, would swoop in at the last moment and spell the word, remember the line, or perhaps have a Pinewood Derby car that seemed just a little too fast to be only five ounces.
Then, of course, was high school where I was the shy, skinny, guy on the track team while you were the rebellious, edgy outsider that all the emo chicks were into. Grudgingly, I have to admit that I did listen to your pirate radio station, but I hated myself for doing it.
As adults, now those petty childhood competitions are behind us. I thought I had moved on. But then, just when you had forgotten about me, you slipped. You left the door open a tiny crack and I plan to come barging through like the Kool-Aid pitcher on a hot summer day. I’m sure you were hoping I wouldn’t notice, but I did. It turns out, Christian, that I was one of the very few that noticed that you “starred” in a movie last year. Your movie Playback was only shown in a single theater for a single week. Playback grossed a whopping total of $264.00. Really? $264? Isn’t that pretty much just tickets and snacks for a family of four at the movies?
Dear Christian, it might interest you to know that in 2012, I, Philip One Middle Name Taylor, released a book, a humorous murder-mystery novel, White Picket Prisons. Much like the lion of the Serengeti, I am stalking you and your paltry $264 movie. I dare to dream that I could take down my mythical Darth Vader. That sad little movie will be your Deathstar and your downfall as my novel grosses more than $264. I’m not there yet, but I am confident, Christian, that with the support of my friends, I shall finally best you. Where are your friends, Christian? They were certainly not in that theater watching Playback. A few years from now, I also hope to savor the final irony as you come groveling and begging to play the role of Cooper in the Lifetime network movie based on White Picket Prisons.
As a follow up, I am proud to say that after a year my White Picket Prisons has earned more than Christian’s sad little movie. If you haven’t read it yet, why not? As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share it by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or anything else. Have a great Saturday!