Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Puppy Dead! Video story….

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Wrote a short-short story a while back called Puppy’s Dead.

Seems to be one of the more popular stories–at least people keep coming back for it.

So I’ve made a little video of it. Did the voice over myself.


Hope you enjoy. Thanks for coming by. –Vincent

Max Dix, Zero to Six: “The Monkey Brains Scene”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Another short excerpt from “Max Dix, Zero to Six”. The first half of this scene (Garden Scene) was posted last Wednesday. See this if only for the monologue on watching orientals on TV eat monkey brains…


Here’s some stills from this video excerpt:

The elderly man describes what he sees on the tv screen:
Monkey Brains 1

Close-up, fascinated by what he sees:
Monkey Brains 2

Less fascinated…
Monkey Brains 3

Here comes the moment when they lift the skull from the monkey’s head….
Monkey Brains 4

Monkey Brains 5

Disgust begins to seep into the characters….
Monkey Brains 6

Max is told what he has learned.
Monkey Brains 7

Imparting more wisdom for Max to guide his life by…
Monkey Brains 8

Last words of wisdom into the dark….
Monkey Brains 9

Video – Max Dix, Zero to Six, “The War in the Living room”, excerpt from the staged play

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Another short segment from my play, “Max Dix, Zero to Six”. It can only give a taste of the use of video work with actors. This concerns two brothers (as children) listening to their parents fight in the next room. Then the father leaves….

Here’s the link to the video.

Here’s another segment: The Soap Opera Scene.

Here’s some stills extracted from the video:

War in livingroom-1

War in livingroom-2

War in livingroom-3

War in livingroom-4

War in livingroom-5

Hope you enjoy. Thanks for visiting.

STORY – Puppy’s dead!

Friday, April 9th, 2010

dead puppy
Puppy dead!
My cutie little puppy.
I used to hold him fluffy and round and all warm all in my arms.
Now he’s a flat rug in the driveway. He no move.
I throw the ball for him to go fetch but he still no move.
Daddy bad daddy forgot to look when backing up big car this morning.
Puppy-doggie all brown and flat and squishy and not my cuddly-cuddly doggie out in the middle of the red wet driveway.
Who let puppy out?
Bad puppy.
Bad all the way asleep now puppy.
Why did this happen when I went to bed a happy very happy boy with puppy-puppy in his life?
Is mommy bad a bad mummy too?
Is Daddy dumb daddy?
My puppy is all dead and I am feeling dead, all too.
I cried.
Cried real loud, real long.
I cried for three days.
I cried for two and one half nights.
Then I sobbed some more.
Everyone left the house to take a walk around the block.
Away from my unhappy sobs for the dead puppy.
Then someone cleaned up the driveway.
No wet red driveway ex-puppy spots.
I walked to the middle of my lawn.
Stood there green all around my feet and the sun came out. Big and wide where I could not miss it.
I stretched me big and rolled down to the grass bounced once and smelled it deep in my nostrils and then in my all my insides.
Turned over, looked at some funny clouds for a while.
I wondered, cloud wondering, if it wasn’t time I ask to get a pussy cat.
Kitty, kitty, I will call. Kitty, kitty.

Story – Mike Grange, automobile mechanic, finds himself

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

car mechanic tells his story of becoming a lawyer in spite of himself
It’s hell now, just pure hell. Ever since I found myself, I see things differently, and it’s not particularly fun. It’s a whole new orientation. I sort of liked the way I saw things before, before I found myself. God, life, and me, were a lot simpler then. When I didn’t have a clue as to my real self was, I was pretty glad to just be living and sticking my hands in some nuts and bolts, proud when a motor purred. And after work, it was TV, beer, Sunday football games, the basics. It was a pretty good life.

Then I had to go and find myself.

And I discover I should’ve been a lawyer all this time. Jesus….

So now I’m attending night school, acquiring sophisticated tastes, learning big words, manipulating logical thought and instinctively looking for loopholes. I go to foreign films and like brandy. I read. Big books with small print. Front to back, even the footnotes. I’m hooked. It’s depressing.

But I just don’t know if it’s all worth it—really. This Self stuff. I’ve got all these new ambitions and worries. Career goals and financial liabilities. It’s tough. I wouldn’t recommend a true sense of self to anyone who’s been fooling himself for years and has already gotten used to who he thinks he is and has his habits, a beer belly, a life….

Maybe if I had discovered myself earlier, before I had all these pleasant memories when I didn’t know who I really was but was having a good time anyway.

My old friends really think I’m crazy now. They say, “Come on, Mike, you’re crazy. Stop going to college. My carburetor’s starting to go on the blink.” But I explain to these people, “This is the real me, since I found myself.” They back off as though I’ve gone loony.

Who knows. Maybe they’re right.

Nowadays, I just try to keep me to myself, stop having these urges to bill people for my time, and suffer in silence….

Taken from the book, “How to Find Yourself (or a reasonable facsimile).

Max Dix, Zero to Six, video clip, The Soap Opera Scene

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Isabel Walsh, Mehran Khalili, actors, Max Dix Zero to Six

In 2008, I wrote and directed a play that went on to win a couple of national and international writing awards called Max Dix, Zero to Dix. A modest video was made out of two performances, and I’ve taken the decision to start posting some snippets and scenes of it.

The quality of the videos does not live up to the quality of the acting, but I hope generous viewers will be forgiving. The video was shot over two separate evenings in front of an audience during its run in Brussels, and sometimes the lighting, the cuts, the grainy images, aren’t all they could be. Yet the videos will certainly give a taste, and one hopes, pleasure, in what was presented.

Scene from the play, Max Dix Zero to Six

I haven’t spoken at length about this play because there hasn’t been a need or an urge, but perhaps in time, and with interest.


Soap Opera Scene 1

Soap Opera Scene - Vincent Eaton play

George Taylor Memorial Award in the UK's National Drama Festival Association Playwriting Competition for 2008

Verulam award for best original play, Festival of European Anglophone Festival, Stockholm, 2008

Story – Big Toe Walkabout

Friday, March 26th, 2010

big-toe, story of big toe, big toes, fun fantasy short short fiction on big toes
My big toe detached itself from my foot and took a walk. My foot said, Ah shit, not again. I said, You let him go. My foot said, I didn’t let him anything. He does this when I’m not looking. I never see it coming. He just ups and—what’s he doing?

I looked at my big toe waddle over to the nearest corner and stand, like a little bald egg with hands if he had hands tucked behind his back rocking slightly to and fro and staring intently at the corner as if he was in a museum and he had finally come upon a painting worth his attention.

He’s looking in the corner, I told my foot and my foot said, What’s he doing that for? What’s in the corner that’s so special? I said, Nothing special that I can see. It’s just a corner.

My foot shook itself slowly back and forth. Toes. I’ll never understand them. And with that my other big toe detached itself.

Oh no! my other foot moaned. Oh please, I said.

This big toe headed over to my trash container and stood before it. I watched my toe watching itself in the metal reflection of my trash container and my feet tried to tuck themselves up under me to keep the other toes in place but I wasn’t having any of it.

Feet, I lectured. Feet. Two things I ask, one large thing, one small thing. I ask you to get me from one place to another. Also, I give you the small duty to keep my toes attached to the front of you. And you fail.

Hey, we tried—

I don’t want to hear it, I told my feet, who shut-up. Now I have to get up and go over there in the corner and then over near the trash thing, and retrieve them.

No! said my foot. No! said the other foot. We don’t have any experience walking around without the two big toes and cannot guarantee your safety. We would instead highly recommend that you remain seated until both the big toes return of their own accord.

What if they don’t return?

My feet thought about that. You could crawl?
For my toes? For my toes! I have my self-respect. So I sat there, waiting for my big toes to return but I waited so long that I got drowsy and fell asleep and when I woke up the light from outside was beginning to dim its end of the day light giving the room a soft blue look I always liked and I stood up without thinking and didn’t fall over. I looked down to make sure everything was back in its place before taking my first step.

I said, Hello, again, Big Toes, and welcome back, and then I went for a short walk.

Conference Tongue

Friday, March 19th, 2010

on writing, sex, writers conferences
The very first thing of the very first morning at the very beginning of the twelve-day writer’s conference, I was waiting outside the dining hall to take an initial tour of the campus lead by some young post-graduates who possessed minimal tour guide skills.

My reader, the professionally published writer-teacher guy who would be reviewing my manuscript and conferencing with me, came up out of a crowd of people, and introduced himself—later, from co-conference-goers more experienced than I in such matters, said this was out of the ordinary, your reader approaching you—and because of this they looked at me as though I was someone of potential special interest.

He introduced himself to me. “Mr. Roberts? I believe you are one of my victims.” Then mumbled, “I never remember titles and names”–then remembered me and mine. He asked if I had really, truly selected him to be my one and only favorite reader over all the fourteen other prominent teacher-writers available. I indicated I had, tactically avoiding saying he was my second choice, really. He said, “I want to know because I apply the scalpel differently to those who have specifically chosen me compared to those who have not.” I then definitely allowed him to believe he was my first, best choice…after all I wanted to get my full money’s worth.

He asked me what I was most worried about with my manuscript.
“…I am not confident of its shape…?”

We began walking on this tour, taking up the rear, chatting. He thought that I needed to rethink the material more as a straightforward memoir, just as a possible alternative.
He was intense, focused, sardonic.

He confided that he wasn’t too sure of the value of this conference, or any writing conference, although he was there for the third year. “There are four levels this works at,” he told me. One: socializing: drinks, receptions, parties. Two: business contacts, literary agents, editors, visiting publishers. Three: physical favors with the opposite sex. Four: writing. With so few hours dedicated to actual writing discussions, he seemed pessimistic about any in-depth fixing of writing. And there were a 144 of us 12-day students. He led me to believe, without stating it too obviously, that it would be up to me to reverse the order. Writing first, sex second, etc….

“I’m going to cut off here because this tour isn’t going anywhere.” He turned, noticed a woman passing, a student. Made a remark to her: “Where you staying?”
“In the French dorm.”
“You’re lucky.” He eagle-eyed her. “And why don’t you invite me there?”
She smiled and shrugged and kept walking. He watched her as she moved away, then turned to me.
“Is that number three on your list?” I asked.
He smiled and cut off.

* * *

I had to wait till mid-way through the conference to get my chance at some of that “physical favor with the opposite sex” stuff which was supposedly so rampant at these conferences. It was to be from an auditor. That is someone who sits in on classes but cannot participate. Like a groupie, like an auditor, like a hanger on. Kathleen was her name: a wanton healthcare professional, I was to find, with whom I had spoken now and then during the first week.

One evening, at a mini-celebration halfway through the conference, she told me she had three favorite people at the conference, and that I was at the top of her list.
She was already pretty drunk when she said this.
I said, Ah.

Just like that she placed her hand flat against my chest, and alarmed my delicate artistic sensibilities by suggesting, “Blow jobs and the clitoris. We could do that.” I tried to think of a witty retort to this, but nothing in my background or social skills had prepared me for this type of provocative suggestion.
“Yes,” I murmured, “we could.”

Now for eight days it had been hot and muggy and sticky and for these eight days I had grown plenty horny so what-the-heck I tried a kiss on for size, just to sort of get the lay of the land, check if my testicles would tingle as our tongues probed and partied.

I was anticipating, even hoping for slightly parted plump lips, and gradually to work our separate ways to a more sophisticated tongue tango. What I got was the romantic equivalent of the Grand Canyon.

She placed her upper lip somewhere just below my nostrils. I believe she hooked her lower lip under my chin.

Startled, and not a little concerned, I nevertheless tossed my tongue in there to see what would happen. No slick, moist porpoise of a tongue rose to meet mine in order to frolic and splash. My tongue hung in the dark, in the void, alone, like a diving board over the deep end of an empty swimming pool.

I made a valid effort, and waggled my tongue in the generosity of her whole-hearted though unskilled desire. I believe I licked a couple of molars.

It was at that moment that my testicles realized that they would be retaining their testosterone burden for another sticky night.

The author as a live cartoon character

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Sometimes I get to do things I enjoy for money. While I do a certain amount of voice overs in a comfy studio, last week I was asked to do some live voice for animated characters at an international conference held in the Brussels Conference Center.

This was the deal. Conferences have speakers. Between speakers there’s not much snap, or great segue, no keep awake punches. The conference’s communications guy wanted some snap and got the idea of having satirical figures introducing speakers, delivering boring conference information, and suchlike. I had a contact, Tanya Arler , who got my name in the bag, and after a conversation, I landed the gig, as did Tanya.

During the morning, I played one of the two hecklers from The Muppet Show called Statler and Waldorf. I was Waldorf, the big-jaw one. muppets
Then in the afternoon, I played the Dalai Lama using a high-pitched Chinese accent that would never ever fly in the USA as being totally un-PC. Europe is less contaminated by such niceties. Satire has a bigger bite and stronger tradition in these various necks of the EU woods (what’s the old saying in the USA theater? “Satire is what closes on opening night”).Vincent Eaton as the Dalai Lama cartoon + Arnie cartoon This photo was taken off the monitor that showed what audience saw on the auditorium screen.

The performer who did the other voice sitting next to me was Olivier Schalbroeck a Belgian improv pro and we had a lot of fun sparking off each other and messing with the script. He played the other muppet and Arnie.

Here’s the technicalities. Software was used that, as I spoke into the microphone, the mouth of the character moved and the audience heard it simultaneously and, if all went well, they were entertained and laughed. For various facial movements, two techies, one per character, had joysticks and could make the eyebrows, cheeks, hairline and lots more move. Techies watching monitors & cartoon set-up Here you see the techies with 1) a joystick, 2) a screen for the characters, 3) bottom screen of the audience, and 4) camera shot of the stage.) It’s compact, workable and a bit flying by the seat of one’s pants.

Ideally one has a single director in such events. But we got three, which is always a generally awful idea. First the Communications Guy organizing the conference came in early and told us to add things to the script and interact with the audience and mock the speakers, and be daring, try things, shake it up. After we got going in the morning, our producer who put this all together, Dimitri Oosterlynck of Magicworlds, wore a headset and squatted next to us listening to suggestions/commands coming from the head booth telling us, bit by bit, not to interact with the audience so much, then skip the interacting with the conference speakers unless they did so first, not to be so “aggressive” and in short, by the afternoon, don’t be daring or shake it up. Dimitri tried to guide us as well, more gently, screening us from the client. But with three directors, three directions, and then us two talented meatballs, Olivier and me, trying to tiptoe gigantically between them and pleasing everyone and getting blander and more beige as the day wore on.

Here’s a photo I took off the monitor showing the excited looking audience seated in the conference center of Brussels.Audience in monitor waiting for Vincent Eaton to perform as cartoon character

Here’s the stage (photo off monitor again) where the cartoon characters would appear on the right when we were “on”. Stage screen

We were asked to write, then re-write the script according to what was being said by a speaker. This photo is a shot of the desk/table I sat at. script table of Vincent EatonThere are two microphones: one for making the mouth of the character move, the other to be heard in the hall. There’s the folder of the event. Pages of the script. A yellow marker, to mark My Words so I would say them and not my partner’s. A pen to add jokes and scratch out jokes and rewrite again and then wait for someone to direct me after I had said it and ell me not to be so daring, or quite so long, the next time.

Overall, it was a success, I was told. The Talent just had to be in permanent creative adjustment mode from morning to late afternoon. And it was a great energy suck. Five minutes of action, 30 or 60 or 90 minutes of wait around while a speech was made or panel discussion went on. Repeat for nine hours.

Matches – Union Oyster House (Boston)

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Boston Union Oyster (Boston) Matchbook front I picked these matches up in a eatery in Boston. I was in town for a different reason. To experience something glorious and historic. The experience ended in a small, sharp expletive.

The following video was inspired by the matchbook from the Union Oyster House.