Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hollywood and Jelly Beans

Bear with me here.

The most money I've ever made on a screenplay was about $15,000.  I earned that money off awards and grants for a screenplay called In Ntesinan, which was a laugh-a-minute comedy (not) about the horrible plight of Innu in Labrador ("Ntesinan" is the Innu name for Labrador), where gasoline huffing had become a way of life among the young people.  Being a broke student at the time I wrote it (and thus having no possible way to put my boots on the ground in Newfoundland), and also figuring that, when it comes to things Canadian, Hollywood is easier to fool than the bouncy but not too bright Golden Retriever who is TOTALLY SURE you've thrown that tennis ball,  a little bit easy to fool, I wrote the script without ever setting foot in the province about which I wrote.

Granted, I still haven't set foot in Labrador (see: turbo-prop), but part of In Ntesinan took part in St. John's, which I described as "a small city nestled against the stormy waters of the North Atlantic."  I'll give myself a shard of credit for using a homey word like "nestled," but other than that, no pats on the back for the generic "can't-you-tell-I've-never-been-there" writing.

Yes, I know what you young 'uns reading this are thinking. You're thinking, "Carter, it's called Google Earth. Or Google Images. Or just plain Google. Any one of these things would have solved your problem."  And I'm thinking, you little smart alecks, this was 2001, when telling someone to "google" something meant you were slurring because the alcohol was talking.

Well, in any event...a big oops about my description of St. John's. And thanks, Hollywood, for being so entirely gullible.  I enjoyed every dollar you paid me, and Sallie Mae, Chase Student Loans, and Mastercard enjoyed those dollars exponentially more as they got to keep them.

So here's that dark-and-stormy city, St. John's:

This is also St. John's:

As is this:

And this (the blue and orange house there is clearly owned by one of St. John's many Mets/Islanders fans):

It's just about the most vibrantly-colored city you'll find north of Bermuda.  They call these brightly colored houses "Jelly Bean Rows," and they're all over town.  They clearly deport people who paint their homes beige straight off to Nova Scotia.  It's just not done, luv.

The best thing about Jelly Bean Rows: You can find them with Magellan safely locked away in the glove compartment, serving his time-out.

The worst thing about Jelly Bean Rows:  You may feel a serious urge to paint the exterior of your brick Astoria walk-up magenta upon your return from Newfoundland. My landlady, Mrs. LePera, and I are currently negotiating as to whether this is called "artistic trailblazing" or "vandalism."

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