Thursday, May 29, 2003
The Road to Zanzibar, Bali, Morocco, and Gehenna Dept.
It's been a birthday kind of week. This blog turned one, someone who may or may not be involved in the production of this blog turned a year older, and today Bob Hope turns 100. Overflowing with pre-summertime birthday spirit, I gave Bob Hope a call at his Malibu compound.
Bunsen: Bobby! First off, I'd like to wish you a happy one-zero-zero.
Bob Hope: Who the hell is this?
Hope: Bing? Bing, is that you?
Bunsen: Oh...of course it is, you old cooter!
Hope: Hold on, I have to turn down this huge machine that's keeping me somewhat alive. [A loud, clanking noise followed by the sound of air rushing out of a balloon.]
My throat might fill with loose clots, so bear with me.
Bunsen: That's OK. So how does it feel to be a year older?
Hope: Binger, I gotta tell ya -- I'm so old my blood type is a hieroglyphic. [A wet, rattling cough] I still got it.
Bunsen: That's funny. You do "still got it."
Hope: Take my wife, please!
Bunsen: That's Henny Youngman's joke.
Hope: Fuck fucking Henny Youngman. I'll kick his fiddle-playing keister if I ever see him again.
Bunsen: Henny died five years ago, Bobby.
Hope. Oh. Am I dead?
Hope: Wow, I've been getting calls from dead guys all day. Frank, Sammy, Farley, Andy Dick. What about you, Bing, you dead?
Bunsen: Yeah, I left over creative differences in 1977.
Hope: Wow, this call must be costing you a fortune. Let me call you back.
Bunsen: No, it's OK. We've got flat-rate calling in hell.
Hope: Oh, that sounds like a good deal.
Bunsen: It's not bad, but the rate is two million souls a month.
Hope: You still got it, Binger.
Bunsen: Thanks. [my cell phone rings] Hold on, I gotta take this.
Harrison Ford [via cell phone]: Bunsen.
Ford: This isn't funny. He thinks you're the ghost of Bing Crosby.
Bunsen: I don't know if he necessarily thinks I'm a ghost.
Ford: Don't split hairs with me.
Bunsen: Listen, he turned down his iron lung thing to talk to me. I can't dilly dally with you right now.
Ford: Leave the geezer alone.
Bunsen: Hold on. [back on phone] Bobby?
Hope: Still here.
Bunsen: It's Harrison Ford on the other line.
Hope: Oh! I love Indiana Jones. And that one where he he humps the bear.
Bunsen: Star Wars?
Hope: That's the one.
Bunsen: He says Happy Birthday. He also says your time on earth is up, it's time to come home.
Ford: I didn't fucking say that!
Hope: Oh, does Indy think I should turn off the machine?
Bunsen: I think that's what he might be getting at.
Hope: I can't reach the plug from here.
Ford: What the hell is he doing? Stop that!
Bunsen: What's that, Harrison, he should try harder?
Hope: I'm too tired. Maybe after lunch. I gotta tell ya, is there anything they can't mash up into a paste? I still--
Bunsen: He says to take your time, Bobby.
Ford: Cut it out! I've got to get over there and stop this!
Bunsen [to Ford]: Just hop in your helicopter, Indy. [to Hope] Bobby, I gotta run. I hope you got the flowers I sent.
Hope: I always thought you were a gay.
Bunsen: It doesn't matter so much in the afterlife, Bobby.
Hope: OK. [another rattling sound] Machine's back at full blast, I gotta go.
Bunsen: Don't pull the plug, Bobby. That Ford's a major league asshole.
Hope: OK. Bye, Bingers. See you when I see you. [hangs up]
Ford: Now he thinks I'm an asshole.
Bunsen: He's already forgotten you. Like everyone else will after "Hollywood Homicide" comes out.
Ford: But it's got It Boy Josh Hartnett in it with me.
Bunsen: Was Ashton Kutcher not available? Hartnett's so over.
Ford: You know, people go to the movies to watch me.
Bunsen: Not this time, Doctor Jones. Not this time.
Ford: You should probably disclose to your readers that you're being paid for mentioning "Hollywood Homicide."
Bunsen: I will admit no such thing! When's that out, June 13th?
Bunsen: I have to go.
Ford: You probably should. I have to go call Hope and tell him to pull the plug.
Bunsen: Until next time, Indy.