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30Apr/110

“The Cheat Sheet” – FREE STORY #6

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Romantic comedies are so predictable.  Or are they...?

COMEDIC ROMANCE

The beautiful brunette in the flowing dress walked with a purpose down a busy West Village street, though the street looked hyper-real. The sidewalks too perfect, even in how they were cracked and gum-speckled. The newspaper boxes too shiny and clean, like they were actually still installing new boxes for the dying media. The other walkers on the street a little too pretty, even for a very pretty area like the West Village.

Coming from the other direction down this hyper-real West Village street, a street you could somewhat recognize but not exactly pinpoint, came a handsome man in a tight t-shirt. Rugged and scruffy, chomping on some gum as if trying to get rid of its sugary flavor as quickly as possible.

As this handsome man neared a street corner garbage can—again, far spiffier than any Manhattan garbage can you've ever seen—he cavalierly spat the gum wad from his mouth, shooting it at the can, but missing just barely, the wad resting on the sidewalk. Moments later, the beautiful woman accidentally stepped in it.

The woman tried to lift her expensive shoe but it adhered strongly, creating an elastic affect which snapped her foot back to earth every time she tried to lift it in a tiny bit of physical comedy, though she was hardly laughing. She was rather furious, yelling “Hey!” at the handsome and unwitting man.

The man turned and asked if “Something's the matter?”

“You spit your gum on the ground and I stepped in it. Now I can’t get my foot up!” she cried.

“That wasn’t my gum,” the rake replied with a smirk on his face.

“But I saw you!” she countered.

“If you saw me, then why did you go ahead and step in it?” he volleyed back, a wiseass grin plastered on his face.

“Ugh! Could you just help me!”

The man casually bent down and grabbed the woman’s bare leg, looking up and cockily smiling at her as if he was touching her leg in a most romantic manner. The man finally removed her foot from the gum and, using a free newspaper from a bin, wiped her shoe clean.

“You’re lucky I don’t have you arrested!”

“For what?”

“For...for...for spitting gum onto the sidewalk!”

The woman stormed off in a huff and...the director called cut because this was just the opening scene in a soon-to-be blockbuster romantic comedy (working title: The One) directed by an intentionally eccentric director of some ambiguous Nordic origin who simply went by the name of Super-Sven (real name: Sven Erickson Johannes) and which was slated to be released by my company in the early summer of 2011.

The opening scene was what is called in my business—that business being the movie business—a “meet cute.” People in the business don't really use that term any more because it's been around since at least the 1930s and movie people have no regard nor knowledge for history—either movie or just historical history (why so many historical epics are historically devoid of accuracy)—but meet cutes still exist. Perhaps now more than ever. Hollywood's hacky like that. They are always the opening scene to a romantic comedy, a contrived encounter of two people under unusual circumstances, a purportedly comic situation created entirely to bring these two seemingly opposite people together. Back in the 50s and 60s, these opposites might be black and white or rich and poor or Jewish and Christian or even pretty and ugly. But nowadays, with all the PC bullshit and the desire to not offend any one less we potentially lose even a hair of box office share, we usually just make the “opposites” opposites in demeanor. Usually a cool, laid back stallion of a guy and some snooty cunt of a woman. I don't know about you, but I've never fallen in love after first hating someone's guts, but this must happen to other people a lot as audiences keep eating it up.

After Super-Sven called cut, Welsh actor Alexander Hugh Davies exhaled and smiled at his fellow actor and scene partner Shelly Clarke. It was weird to go from being contentious in a scene with someone to quickly being nice to them on the drop of a dime. The drop of a clapperboard.

Hugh was immediately apologetic to Shelly.

“So sorry I literally arrived a second before today's scene. My red-eye was delayed a few hours.”

“Don’t worry about it. I know you had that project in, where was it...?”

“Easter Island.”

Super-Sven approached. He sported a silver fox head of bushy hair, a full beard, and wore glasses and a denim shirt tucked into jeans with white sneakers. For inspiration, he had noted during pre-production that he would be spending each day on set channeling a legendary director both on the inside and out. Today he was channeling George Lucas for some reason, perhaps due to the action content of the day's work. Super-Sven wrapped Hugh and Shelly for the day, asked them if they needed car service (both declined), and told them he'd see them for their 6:00 AM call the next day. Then, Hugh and Shelly were again alone as underpaid PAs cleared stuff from set.

“Um...what time is it, Hugh?”

Hugh looked at his watch, surprised at what he saw. “2:15?!” He laughed, quickly understanding, and tapped the Timex. “Fuckin' prop watch.”

Shelly laughed, too, and Hugh got an idea.

“Hey, if you got a few minutes, that kiss-up second AD gave me a decent bottle of wine. Would you like to share a glass with me? We should probably build some rapport or something being that this is the first day we've ever been around each other.”

Soon, both Hugh and Shelly knelt side by side in his trailer, looking closely into a mirror as they removed their make-up.

“What exactly do I call you, Mr. Alexander Hugh Davies?” Shelly wondered.

“Hugh is fine. Hugh is my name. I had to take that unwieldy name because of SAG. Some washed-up asshole who was on some sitcom in the 60’s gets to be the real Hugh Davies. So annoying.”

“Well I’m the first asshole to be Shelly Clark, so other Shelly Clarks can be mad at me for the rest of time.”

Their conversations continued after a few glasses of wine.

“Have you worked with Sven before?” Shelly wondered.

“Once. On a commercial. He’s a good bloke, bit of an eccentric, bit of a hack, but his movies do quite well.”

“My manager wanted me to do this project. I’ve never really done a romantic comedy before but he says I need a hit since I haven’t had one in a few years.”

Hugh was shocked. “What about G-Spotting? I fuckin' loved that picture.”

“You saw G-Spotting?!” Shelly was even more shocked as it was a small indie film that only played four theaters in New York and LA and wasn't even available on Netflix as of yet.

“Of course I saw it. I specifically asked my agent for a screener. It was terrific. You were terrific.”

“Yeah, maybe,” Shelly lamented. “But it made about fifteen dollars at the box office.”

“Hey, fifteen bucks ain’t so bad. Wait...was that domestic or international?”

Shelly laughed hard. Hugh had a great sense of humor, she thought. Most actors were real stiffs. Perhaps he was different since he was...she couldn't exactly tell but she thought Australian maybe.

“If it was something you wanted to do, Shelly, then you made the right decision to do it regardless of box office. You should always only do what you want to do.”

Shelly smiled. He was funny and sweet. A rare combo. You typically had to be an asshole to also be funny. She suddenly felt a little tipsy. She wasn't one of those actresses that never ate so that even if the camera added those ten pounds they'd still look skinny as sin, she'd just been too busy on this day to eat, having only been able to snag some fruit from the craft services table during a brief camera set-up break.

“What time is it, Hugh?”

Hugh lifted his wrist toward Shelly.

“Remember? Prop watch.”

Shelly glanced at the small twin-sized trailer bed behind Hugh.

“You ever slept in one of those things before?”

“I AM a movie star,” Hugh half-jokingly boasted.

“Oh, so what, you take all your co-stars back to your trailer?”

Hugh feigned shock, putting his hand to his chest.

“You got a dirty mind, Ms. Clark. What I meant was, I AM a movie star so I usually sleep in a giant bed in my giant mansion. Not in a twin-sized bed in a trailer.”

They were soon having sex.

The next day on set, Hugh (as character “Gary McBride”) strolled into the Cock of the Walk past several clothed strippers gabbing. He briefly chatted with a busty blond named Erica about her lack of tips the previous evening. He took his place in the DJ booth and introed “Destiny” before she went on stage to dance for the lunchtime hour's few customers. Gary's boss, Guy Clemens (an overage frat boy archetype portrayed by popular TV star Mick Ritter), entered the booth to razz Gary for being late. Gary told Guy about his encounter with the pretty woman in the Village. Guy was intrigued, you could tell his character was always intrigued when it came to women, and wondered if the women had “big fakies, long blond extensions, a slutty look on her face?”

“Quite the opposite actually,” noted Gary.

“Disgusting. So tiny mosquito bites, pale skin, and...” and here Mick (as Guy) shuddered, “dark hair?”

That afternoon Shelly (as character “Lizzy Olney”) acted frazzled as she arrived late to a college lecture hall packed with students. She walked to the front of the room where she was greeted by her flamingly gay T.A., Ricky (no last name mentioned in the script, portrayed by straight comedian Andy Stevens), before launching into a discussion with her all-female class on Third Wave Feminism, noting that just because society is patriarchal, it doesn't mean women have to be stripped of their self-sufficiency.

After Sven called “cut” and “that's a wrap,” Shelly was surprised to find Hugh still lingering by the playback monitors, being that he had wrapped several hours earlier. He claimed he liked watching his co-stars perform in order to aid in his own “craft,” but quickly and embarrassingly amended it into an admission that he really just wanted to ask Shelly out to dinner.

Shelly reluctantly accepted but told Hugh they couldn't go to a restaurant in L.A. lest the paparazzi catch them and immediately start some buzz. Instead, she entered her address into Hugh's iPhone and told him to come over for a home cooked meal at 9:00.

That night, as Shelly chopped veggies and prepared dinner, Hugh sat at a barstool next to to the massive island in her massive kitchen and sipped on a beer. They made small talk.

“It’s nice to be home for once. My manager makes me occasionally go to all these awful celebrity restaurants just so people will take pictures of me. I didn’t want that to happen today. Not yet at least.”

“The paps don't bother me in Hollywood.”

“But you’re really famous, Hugh.”

“Yeah, in Europe.”

“No one recognizes you here?”

“Oh, people recognize me. As Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jackman. Never myself.”

“Well, do you get bothered when you’re back home?”

“Nah. They let me be. They’re proud of me: local boy done good.”

Shelly smiled.

“I’m embarrassed to ask this but us Americans just hear 'sexy foreign accent.' We don’t know whether it’s Irish, Scottish, Australian...”

Hugh smiled. “I’m Welsh.”

Shelly nodded. "Oh. Wales."

Hugh was impressed. That dope, Mick Ritter, had thought he was from some country called Well.

While Shelly's back was turned as she sauteed some garlic, Hugh flapped open the laptop on her counter and started surfing. He read something and smirked. Not an asshole smirk like the way he smirked when he was portraying Gary McBride in The One, but a more pleasant smirk. Shelly turned over her shoulder, curious.

“What are you smiling at?” she wondered.

“You know how the first date is all about questions? Like a job interview. Just like you asked. Where ya from? Where’d you grow up? How are you parents? Where’d you go to school?”

“Right.” Shelly wondered whether this was technically their second date being that they'd already been drunk together, slept together, and, well, actually slept together.

“I hate that part of dating. So boring.”

“I’m sorry.” Hugh disarmed her, but she liked the feeling. Maybe it was the Welsh accent.

“No big deal. But it’s nice to go on a first date with a celebrity. I don’t have to waste time asking you those questions. I can just pull up your Wikipedia page and...”

Shelly dropped her spatula and sprinted over to the island to find Hugh actually on her Wikipedia page.

“...see you were born in Durham, North Carolina. Grew up in Charlotte. You made your screen debut at age twenty-one, you like to golf...hmmm...interesting. And it looks like Autograph magazine named you the second rudest female celebrity autograph signer of 2009.”

Dismayed, Shelly leaned in to read her own Wikipedia bio, quickly scanning the screen.

“Hey! It doesn’t say that!”

She snapped the laptop close. She found Hugh incredibly charming. Soon, their home-cooked meal was a home-burned one and they were having sex for the second time, in her enormous bedroom on her enormous canopy bed.

Afterward, they discussed what was happening between them. Hugh claimed he had never hooked up with a costar, heck, a fellow actor before. Shelly felt like she shouldn't believe him, but for some reason she did. She had to wonder why, though. He noted that he took his work very seriously and, until meeting her he'd never wanted to lose focus just to dip his pen in the company inkwell.

“I'll thank you not to call my vagina an inkwell,” cracked Shelly.

That was the line that made Hugh fall in love with her. Shelly had already fallen for Hugh. They'd barely known each other twenty-four hours.

Principal photography progressed with eccentric Sven shooting in sequence despite the $2.5M in additional costs to the studio. On the day Sven wore a bald cap with a pasted on ginger beard, Gary and Lizzie bumped into each other again, this time at a neighborhood coffee shop where she was a little taken aback to see him studying a text on Marcus Aurelius. “You're into the Stoics?” she asked, clearly shocked that this man she had thought nothing more than a Neanderthal was into something so cerebral. “I wrote my thesis on Stoicism at Princeton,” she added. She walked out of the coffee shop and couldn't help but catch herself grinning.

On the day Sven wore an E.T. ball cap, glasses, and a salt and pepper beard (he was beginning to realize there must be something about directors and their beards), Lizzie and Ricky attended a Yankees/Red Sox game. Ricky complained about always having to attend “boring” baseball games with her. Lizzie told him to enjoy the night air and eat his hot dog. Ricky made a mild sexual entendre about hot dogs. On the other side of the stadium, in the bleachers, Gary and Guy slugged beers and Guy taunted the Red Sox right fielder. Gary mentioned to Guy the amazing fact that he yet again ran into that pretty brunette and he, yet again, didn't have a chance to get her name or number. Just then, on the Jumbotron, the “Kiss Cam” was turned on, a popular segment between half-innings during which the camera quickly scans the ballpark, looking for couples, and encourages them to smooch each other for the entire 50,000-plus in attendance to see.

“It's her!” yelled Gary when the "Kiss Cam" parked itself on a shocked Lizzie and Ricky. Lizzie was even more shocked when Ricky planted a big kiss on her kisser. “Why did you just do that?” she screamed, after the cameras were off them. “Just givin' the fans what they want,” noted Ricky. “I guess she has a boyfriend,” lamented Gary. “Go track her down any way, that guy looked like a real fruit,” added Guy, a line we at the studio hoped wouldn't be flagged as discriminatory by GLAAD.

Hugh and Shelly's second date took place at Hugh's Santa Monica rental home and, smartly, he ordered some sushi in. They fed each other hand rolls while playing a little game Hugh had just invented on the fly: all they were allowed to discuss that night, he said, were terrible things about themselves. Hugh figured that, since they were celebrities, and since so many terrible things were always said about them, they might as well lay their honesty cards on the table before going any further. Shelly agreed.

Hugh revealed that he had been married, but for just a week, to some girl he'd met on a vacation in Thailand who may or may not have been a prostitute.

Shelly revealed that she'd had her breasts augmented.

Hugh revealed that he had briefly dabbled in cocaine in his early twenties.

Shelly revealed that she'd had a year-long affair with a very famous man who was still married to his very famous wife who still didn't know.

Hugh revealed that, despite what her agent told her, he was actually making double her salary for The One.

Shelly revealed that she really had a thick North Carolina accent but that she worked really hard to lose it so that she'd be more castable. Hugh thought that was cute and made her show him what she really sounded like. When she did, he laughed and mimicked her the best he could. “I don't think you'll be getting cast as a gal from the Carolinas in any upcoming films,” she giggled. They ended that night in Hugh's California King, yet again having passionate sex.

From there, their romance progressed like most normal romances progress, even despite the fact they were A list celebrities (well, Hugh was actually B list in America, but who's counting?).

The movie proceeded according to the Aristotelian Drama Pyramid as run through an American rom-com Mad Libs fill-in-the-blank, despite Sven insisting he was making something “sui generis,” a word he'd just learned after having skimmed through a biography of Stanley Kubrick (another be-bearded director) on his iPad during his last cross-country flight.

Hugh and Shelly started boosting the national sex averages of fifty times per person per year at four minutes per time by having sex ten times per week (over the next two weeks) at an average of seventeen minutes per time if a "time" was defined as starting at Hugh's entry and ending at Hugh's orgasm, which was a totally archaic and patriarchal way to measure these things, but even your prototypical left-leaning pro-women Hollywooder, like myself, probably couldn't have come up with any better way of measurement.

Gary and Lizzie continued to run into each other, pretend to hate each other despite the obvious sexual attraction and tension, think about each other, then head back home to masturbate to those thoughts (the latter, of course, never filmed nor shown nor mentioned on screen because us producers were hoping for a more viably lucrative PG-13 rating.)

Eventually, their relationship reached a certain point of seriousness, even though Hugh joked that nothing in his life was “serious.” It's why he'd become an actor in the first place and not some boring CPA like his father. “I've never understood why when you decide to commit to someone monogamously you have to tell people you've gotten 'serious.' Because we haven't,” he told Shelly. “Haven't we decided to commit to each other because all we've done is laugh the last three weeks? There's been nothing serious about it at all. Just fun. Instead, can't we tell people we've finally decided to get 'comical' with each other?” Shelly laughed.

Gary and Lizzie were seriously getting sick of randomly running into each other at the bodega and the grocery store and the bar, especially in such a large city like New York, when the forces of nature, the parameters of simplistic scripts, insisted that something occur at the end of what was called Act One, in order to catapult the action to a new level, to “up the odds,” and make you wonder “What next?” In good scripts this was handled effortlessly, subtly, realistically. In Pierce Underwood's (author of previous rom-com smashes Status Update, Plus-One, and Groomzilla) script, this was handled by Gary amazingly being the only person to sign up for a $550 eight-week summer course on Corporate Feminism that Lizzie was teaching for the Learning Annex, a dramatic stroke only more farcical than their meet cute.

There are no second acts in life, they say, but since Hugh and Shelly were now in the second act of The One, they were spending everyday acting across from each other, which was great, despite the contentiousness of these scenes dramatically. They were likewise spending two to three nights of every week with each other, and all forty-eight hours of the weekend, mostly indoors.

Lizzie was furious and embarrassed. Embarrassed only one person had signed up for a class she was teaching to supplement her income so she could afford to take a sabbatical semester to help abused women in Vermont at the start of fall; furious her one student was this “frat boy” who was clearly only taking the class to annoy her. Despite his ever present smirk, Gary insisted his reasons for taking the class were honorable, he was truly interested in learning the subject matter, something us as audience members skeptically believed despite what we knew about his character.

Staying in each other's mansions having sex marathons was great, but Hugh and Shelly began desiring the ability to leave the house together, grab a drink, dinner, see a rock show, shop on La Brea, simply hold hands on set and let it be known they were together. Shelly's manager publicly “outed” their relationship by “anonymously” tipping off one of his Hollywood blogger friends that the new couple would be dining al fresco that evening at Beep-za (a hip neo-pizzeria that made brick oven pizza that tasted like it just came from the microwave) where they shared a medium Veggie Addicts pie.

As the film progressed, the two-dimensional supporting characters in Gary and Lizzie's life became even less dimensional, now simply used as occasionally appearing sounding boards for our main characters to work out problems without the script having to resort to clunky, “on-the-nose” narration.

All the tabloids and blogs were excited about the new romance between Alexander Hugh Davies and Shelly Clarke. I was even more excited as it was giving our film tons of free buzz well before principal photography had even wrapped.

On the morning Sven wore a suit over top a fat suit and kept saying in a jowly drawl, “Goooood evening,” Gary and Lizzie accidentally kissed each other during a late night study session. They quickly retracted their heads and acted like they were disgusted with each other.

Hugh started getting annoyed that just going out to grab a bite or a pint, even if he was alone now, had become a media circus. Shelly thought he should be thankful that the simple act of dating her had made him into a much bigger celebrity on these shores. Hugh reminded her that he may have been less famous than her, but he was still getting a larger salary than her. “Plus points,” he added, a fact she hadn't known and which he hadn't shared with her until then.

Gary wondered aloud to Guy why Lizzie retracted so quickly from kissing him, even when she clearly wanted it just as much him. “Must be because she's still dating that fruit,” insisted Guy, the second time Guy had called Ricky a “fruit,” something that would surely be noted by GLAAD.

With only ten days left in shooting, and only six weeks into their relationship, Hugh told Shelly that he thought they should quit seeing each other. He was still attracted to her, but perhaps that's all their relationship ever was: a sexual relationship. “Love at first sight is easy in a business where all your co-workers are a sight to behold,” he noted, which Shelly thought sounded both like a complement and a slam and, perhaps, a confirmation that he had actually done this kind of thing before despite what he'd initially said.

As Act Three drew to a close, on the last day of their class together, Gary told Lizzie his feelings for her. Lizzie was torn, trying to fight her own clear feelings for Gary. Yet, all she could do was tell him he'd gotten an “A” in her class. Gary left the building distraught, confused as to why Lizzie wouldn't fall for him the way he'd fallen for her. That night, he went to his job at the strip club where we learned that he wasn't working at the strip club for some sleazy reason. He wasn't even working there just to earn a little extra loot, no, he'd been working there as a secret way to observe strippers and strip club owners in their environment for a massive academic book he was writing about the feminism of strippers. Unfortunately, only us in the audience learned this and not Lizzie, who had decided, on her own, that she really was in love with Gary and wanted to go tell him. Using the address he'd used in enrolling for the class—a class he was taking in order to help him with his book—she excitedly marched over to “West 45th and 7th Ave” looking for Gary's apartment but instead finding Cock of the Walk...and Gary inside introducing “Heartlights” to the stage for a dance. Lizzie was disgusted and dismayed and fled the scene. Gary never saw her.

Luckily, both Hugh and Shelly were professionals and were able to finish out their shooting schedule with no problems arising on set.

On the last day of shooting, our set designers had turned soundstage G into a replica of Grand Central Terminal for what I was certain would become an iconic scene in the genre, despite its real-life inaccuracies. Like in any good rom-com, Pierce Underwood had used this final scene to recall something from the opening scene, the meet cute. When Lizzie had fled the Cock of the Walk dismayed, Guy, outside smoking a cig, had curiously noticed her, mentioning to Gary that he thought he saw “that chick you wanna pork” come into the Cock. Now Gary was the one dismayed, telling Guy he had to jet. He sprinted to Lizzie's apartment, but she wasn't there. Taxied over to her classroom where he found Ricky, who informed Gary that she had decided to leave early for Vermont and, in fact, was probably about to board her train right about now.

Gary hauled ass to Grand Central where he amazingly saw Lizzie hauling ass, too. He tried to catch her but she was fast, allowing us to recall when she had mentioned she was a college sprinter at Vassar in what we thought was an off-the-cuff manner in the Second Act. Our shooting day began with Shelly (as Lizzie) bursting through the revolving doors into Grand Central and Hugh (as Gary) following suit some fifty feet behind. Here, Gary realizes, and so do we, as locked-in audience members, that if he is unable to stop Lizzie from boarding the 8:25 to Vermont then they will never be together. Which we want them to be.

Gary calls after her. “Lizzie! Lizzie! Lizzie! I love you!!!” But she either can't hear him, or doesn't want to. Soon, she is sprinting toward track 124, her track, where the train to Vermont is calling “All Aboard,” about to leave, yet Gary still can't catch her. Down the track she goes. “Lizzie! Lizzie! Lizzie! I love you!” he calls.

Finally, Gary has an idea. An idea? Heck, he has no choice. He pulls a piece of gum from his pocket and begins chewing. Once it's a sticky wet wad he hurls it ahead of him toward Lizzie, but his throw is too short. He tries again. Again, too short. And again, one last throw before she will be on the train, about to leave the station. This wad of gum lands just inches in front of her and Lizzie doesn't notice and she accidentally steps in the gum—in the same shoes she was wearing in the opening scene—and she can't get her foot unstuck and her train pulls away and Gary pulls up and they look at each other and both are panting hard and Lizzie kind of looks mad.

And he says: “Lizzie, I love you. I can explain.”

And she says, “How about you unstick me?” but she's finally smiling. And then they hug and kiss.

It was the little things like this that made the audience feel smart and as if they had been along for the entire ride of a couples' romance from meeting cute to finally falling in love.

Privately, during that shooting day, Hugh had told me he was furious at how Shelly kept missing her mark. Later that same day, Shelly told me she was pissed they'd cast such a “rag-armed Welshman” in the role as his weak throws of the chewing gum kept messing up the blocking.

A few months later, at the public premiere at the ArcLight, it was no surprise to me that all the “normal” people in attendance went crazy for The One, it was clearly going to be a hit with the female demographic and make me a bundle. I heard a group of twentysomething girls beside me even say, as the lights went up, “I want that. I want a Gary.”

Walking out of the theater, I caught up with Hugh and Shelly begrudgingly holding hands so the paparazzi could get it on camera as they exited, still forced to pretend they were dating and in love for the sake of the picture and to counteract the internet buzz that they'd broken up. I stood behind them and between them, my arms resting on their shoulders, as they graciously fielded a few questions from entertainment reporters.

“Hugh, Shelly, great picture! Are you guys planning on making a sequel?”

Hugh and Shelly looked at each other and smiled big, as if they were two people still madly in love, pondering their next move, their next movie. They were truly great actors, great stars. They both turned back to the reporters and spoke the same words at the same time.

“We'll have to see how things go...”

© 2010 Goldfarb

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You'll love the rest of the collection too, all stories about the sexes, sex, and sexiness in New York, which features these ten other tales:

"The References" -- The final few lines of one's resume are usually devoted to references that can tell a would-be employer you're the right person for the job. One's life references are a little different, but even more important.

"The Ambiguous Woman" -- A man struggles to figure out exactly what a woman is thinking while on a date with her.

"The Boyfriend Trials" -- A fed-up thirty-year-old woman has a most interesting methodology in searching for the perfect partner.

"Health" -- Arthur Lampkin is the sex-ed teacher at a Staten Island high school whose life is a living hell of comical sex-ed tools, oversexed teenagers, and an undersexed home life.

"The Feminist" -- Kelly Meyers is the only male professor at an all-girls college.

"He Proposed" -- The day a woman gets proposed to is the most exciting day of her life. And, she can't wait to tell you all about it.

"Born. Again" -- What happens when a sexually promiscuous New York atheist spends a weekend with a chaste Midwestern Christian?

"Gross Humans" -- If you knew what most couples did behind closed doors, you'd be repulsed.

"Ain't Nothing Like a New York Romance" -- There can't possibly be a better place to fall in love than New York City. Can there?

"The Cheat Sheet" - [plot redacted]

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You can purchase THE CHEAT SHEET on Amazon Kindle for a paltry 99 CENTS here:

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