Eric Kaldor
I’m Dying. Now Leave Me The Hell Alone.

imageBeating The Odds…

At this point I’m beating the odds.  The average American male life span is seventy seven years and I’m deep in my eighties and overall I feel pretty good.  But in America once you’ve lived eight decades—-they won’t leave you the hell alone. Want proof?  Here is the list of letters (all of them unsolicited) that I got last month: The Neptune Society, Burial at Sea, The Eden Mortuary, A Jewish Cemetery, The Forest Lawn Cemetery & Mortuary, a non-denominatial resting place.  That famous final resting place that takes up a large swath of The San Fernando Valley which could be used for public parks, schools, home etc. also sent me a 4 color brochure which must have cost a fortune.  The Mountain Society was more discreet.  Their letter head had the outline of a stately peak deep in the Canadian Rockies which, after cremation, would be my final resting place. I say no thank you. In addition to  these kind offers I gets solicitations from lawyers who want to update my will, prepare a living will or just go over my will so that anything I have left (and I’m trying hard as hell not to leave anything) does not go into probate. They make probate sound worse than death itself. And on top of these epistles which are going to make my demise better, easier and fairer to my descendants (whom as I mentioned I don’t care a whit about) I constantly get daily reminders about my failing faculties.  Over the last month and a half I have received letters offering me a free hearing test, a glossy brochure that rivaled Forest Lawn showing me the smallest, unobtrusive hearing aid, a letter with a discount on prescription glasses, two letters from hospitals extolling their expertise in replacing hips and knees.  A warning about the onset of diabetes and a Health Update from the biggest chain of hospitals in California. I also must include the letters I get about various contraptions. In the last thirty days I have received pamphlets about motorized scooters, wheelchairs, devices to help you get out of the bathtub and bed, reading lamps with magnifying glasses and canes with easy grip handles and no skid tips and, of course, walkers. And I also get magazines. (Lots of them.)  Every month there is a “glossy” from AARP with loads of advice on how to delay disease and death.  You’d expect that from The American Association of Retired Persons.  But what gets me are the newsletters I get from my unions and guilds I belonged to when I was a working stiff writer and actor.  Unions which I whole heartedly support.  Unions which give me a pension.  Unions which I still take an active part in.  But unions who constantly remind me of my impending death.  On the back of their monthly magazines they carry pages outlined in black and in a curly cue font listing all the members who kicked the bucket in the past thirty days.  I try not to but I always peruse the list.  I always find people I worked with, people I wished I worked with, and people I liked or disliked.  I look at their age when they passed.  I figure how much longer or shorter they lived than I have lived….And I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that there’s no rhyme or reason for death.  People I’ve actively detested sometimes crack a hundred and some great guys and gals go in their fifties.  It pisses me off. Incidentally, I categorically refuse to go to memorials or funerals but those those reminders keep coming too. And now for my final gripe.  I’m talking about the solicitations I get from retirement homes.  Everybody looks so fucking happy—-grown men and women are grinning like idiots over their lusty full of health laughing white haired mothers and fathers who seemingly are in the prime of their life.  There seems to be no pain, no decrepitude and certainly no death in these holding facilities.  It’s such crap.  And along with the grinning inmates these institutions give me lists and lists of amenities they offer.  There’s Gourmet dining (which I know includes only pureed stuff that is easy to chew), outings to gardens and museums (I’ve seen them all) workshops in how to use a computer  (I know how) arts and handicrafts (I have no interest) weekly variety shows (I cringe when I think of ninety year old broads singing ‘That Old Black Magic’) but despite all these misgivings one day I checked a retirement home out. My working days were in television and I was getting monthly missives from The Motion Pictures and Television Hospital and Retirement Home asking me when I was coming aboard.  Finally I felt it was time to pay them a visit.  The Motion Picture Home is just off Mulholland Drive a few miles east of Malibu.  It’s an idyllic setting and its’ grassy lawns, well kept grounds, large movie theatre (where the studios show their new releases gratis) heated swimming pool, well stocked gym, airy dining  room and small but efficient and immaculate living quarters are all first rate …and all in all it’s one of the better places to go and die.  And I support them wholeheartedly but if only they’d stop sending me mail——I’m not ready yet…and when I do I know how I’m going to do it.  Auto-asphyxiation.  That’s my route.  Hanging myself in the closet while I masturbate.  They say that’s the greatest high you can get. (Ask David Carridine—if you could.) But I’ll put that off for a while.  But when I pull (sorry for the pun) it off, you can do anything with my body that you want to…Forget all the burials in the mountains or at sea.  Forget the earth burials—-or  scattering my ashes to the winds.  I suggest leaving my withered old body where you found it—-in the closet with a rope around my neck, my hand on my crotch and a smile on my face.

How To Make A Porno For Dummies

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When I wrote my porno, I was an average TV writer, living with an average girlfriend in an average neighborhood. Next door to us in an average house lived America’s most successful pornographer, “The King of Smut,” as he was known, had been arrested numerous times. But that didn’t stop him. He considered that as a citizen of The United States of America, he had certain inalienable rights, with the main one being the right to film people when they fucked.

I admired him a lot.

One day my friendly neighborhood pornographer asked me if I wanted to write a porno for him. I leaped at the chance! I was between assignments, a position I frequently found myself in, and I grabbed an old Kojak script and morphed the formidable, homicide detective into a horny, old goat who had Priapism. Priapism is a debilitating disease in which the sufferer sports a constant hard-on. Because of this ailment, Kojak demanded all kinds of sexual favors from everyone he busted. But after he finally achieved orgasm—which always took extensive foreplay—he was a good guy and let the person go.

Over all, I was pleased with my work.

And my pornographer neighbor was ecstatic about it; but asked for a change. He wanted me to add a break in the action exactly two minutes before the end of the picture. When I asked why, he said it was so the audience could zip up.

After I handed in the script with the “zip up” break, everything fell apart. The pornographer neighbor told me there had been a change in plans and that he was no longer going to make my movie! I was crestfallen, but reasoning was he had just gotten the receipts from his latest venture and it was breaking records! The King of Smut said his picture, TABOO, would soon out gross Deep Throat! The year was 1982 and people were flocking to pussy cat theatres and he needed a sequel to fill the seats. So instead of Kojak Visits A Whore House, I began writing TABOO the sequel.

Before I started, I screened the first TABOO. It was immediately apparent that the pornographer had ripped off the classic Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex. But instead of a mother inadvertently making love to her son and then plucking out her eyes in horror, the mother in the TABOO 2 was well aware of who she fucked. Moreover, she kept her eyes wide open during the process so she could see her son’s eleven inch dick. Then, after exhausting every possible sexual act with the kid, she batted her deep brown orbs and went after the rest of the family.

Over all, I thought it was a pretty good script.

And the pornographer neighbor loved my work, but there was a problem.

“What?” I said. “I put in the zip up break where it should be.”

“You did great.” He answered, “But I need a location. I haven’t had time to scout for one. How about we use your house?”

“My house! My girlfriend’s got two teen-aged kids livin’ there.”

“It’s spring break, I’ll send them to Palm Springs … on me.”

“I dunno. I’ll ask my girlfriend.”

“There’s an extra two grand if we can use your house.”

I repeated that I’d ask my girlfriend.

Luckily my average looking girlfriend had a more than average sex drive. She was also very curious and on top of that, she was overjoyed to get rid of the kids for a week. A deal was struck. I made my porno. It was a while ago but the rules are the same. Here they are:

Rule #1: Give your porno a professional look. Scratchy iPhone shots of your girlfriend getting hammered by a police dog are a thing of the past. They are now shooting porn in 3D and Cinerama is on the way. So when you shoot your porno use the latest techniques.

Incidentally when I did mine, though it was years ago, it was state of the art. TABOO 2 had the same production values as anything shot at a network, and that’s as it should be because my crew came from Little House on The Prairie.

So put a good crew together. During these uncertain economic times everybody’s moonlighting.

Rule #2: Stagger the start times. Women in high heels with pierced nipples, guys in tight jeans showing their pack, and strings of honey wagons being pulled up to your door; have a way of attracting attention. Always schedule production people first, then cast and make sure that both groups park down the street.

Rule #3: Have moisturizers handy. Male stars have to be ready at a moment’s notice. On TABOO 2, there was always a gaggle of guys playing with themselves while they waited to go on. Of course some dudes use fluffers, but for the most part, keeping dicks stiff was a personal affair. Incidentally, the favorite emolument was Nivea cream, it was best for the glide.— as one of the male porno stars informed me. So, to avoid halting production, be equipped with a lot of the stuff.

Rule #4: No amateurs. Though you have buddies who want to be in the movie, DON’T DO IT! Being a porno star is a calling, a knack, a God given talent. Amateurs come too soon, or don’t come enough or are unable to come at all. Using your friends is a waste of time, money, and your female stars’ patience.

Rule #5: Use very little dialogue. The average porno star can’t handle it. They’re ok at grunts and groans but anything more than “Fuck me in the ass!” is beyond them.

Rule #6: If you have young daughters, don’t film in their rooms. When I made TABOO 2, we shot scenes in my girlfriend’s daughters’ bedrooms and they were horrified when they saw what was performed there. Especially because it all happened under The Osmond Brothers, whose poster was hung over their beds.

Rule #7: Don’t fuck the porno stars. I made that mistake. A buxom brunette seemed to like me—especially after I took the time to coach her through two and a half lines of monosyllabic dialogue. When she finally got the lines straight, she blew me out of gratitude.

Unfortunately, my girlfriend caught us and she raised holy hell and shut the production down. “The King of Smut” was beside himself and never spoke to me again. But worse, he refused to pay me. But he finished the project someplace else and when I got around to watching it, I noted with dismay that he listed my name in the credits. It came up right after the zip up break! And it was s full screen!

The King of Smut had gotten his revenge.

Rule # 8: Don’t use your real name in the credits. You may go on to great things in life. You could solve the debt crisis, come up with the cure for cancer or bring peace to the Middle East—-But if your name is associated with a porno you won’t be the person who brought prosperity to America, cured cancer or brokered a peace deal. Instead you’ll be known as the slime ball who made Butt Plug Afternoons or April’s Golden Showers.

Of course if you’re the kind of person who wants to see his name in lights no matter what—-make sure your name is at the end of the picture. The audience is more attentive then….they’ll be zipped up.

Former TV writer (Hulk, Kojak, The Rockford Files), Wide World of Sports producer & Beverly Hills drug dealer now turned survivor, actor and novelist. www.erickaldor.com

Former TV writer (Hulk, Kojak, The Rockford Files), Wide World of Sports producer & Beverly Hills drug dealer now turned survivor, actor and novelist. www.erickaldor.com