Re: Catcher part II?!

Subject: Re: Catcher part II?!
From: Will Hochman (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 23:16:15 GMT

Dear Tim, It didn't occur to me until years later that I should have
taken that crazy kid's question more seriously. We've learned so much
more about abuse and neglect, but in those days, picking up a young
kid with liquor on his breath and asking about ducks was just
someone to drop off ASAP. Fate would step in and out of my cab twenty
or thirty times a day and this kid was hardly memorable until he
becomes a character in novel.

Before this goes too far, I admit to changing my name but it wasn't
"Horrowitz" when I picked this kid up in the cab, I can tell you
that. Anyway, I should have guessed that the kid's whining about
where the ducks go in the winter was really about himself. But you
know, there are so many different animal rights groups these days,
who really knows what he could have meant? And as a cab driver, if I
let every question ruffle my feathers, I'd have never gone anywhere.
Thankfully, I went far enough to leave the hack behind, though I keep
the license current just in case. You just never know.

As luck would have it, one of my last fares was a Hollywood
producer-a true ideas man. So I pitched him my less rye, more canny
version of Catcher. I swear I could see this guy's eyes light up with
dollar signs in the rear view mirror. Sure enough, when the ride was
over, he had agreed to read my script. He even gave me a hundred
dollar bill and wrote his name and address on it. "Are you the
William Jameson Jr.? The one who produces all those Lucille Henderson
films?" I asked. "No change" he said, "just words."

Anyone who knows anything about Hollywood, knows that ideas are very
difficult to protect. As soon as I sent my script to Bill, the phone
bills escalated into a ticket to LA. From there, I met with producer
after pina colada after producer until they sent the writers in. To
make a long story short and less drunken, I barely escaped with only
my bank account intact.

I made it back to New York in time to start a Ph.D. program at NYU.
Of course, I learned a lesson from Hollywood about where the ducks go
and it's not there. And Hollywood did teach me to question the
critics. If you really want to know, that was the beginning idea for
my dissertation. Questioning the critics may be a bit too literary
and academic to stretch into thinking about phoniness. Only a poet
could do that.

The option on the script has long since expired. I'm sad to say, I
doubt there will ever be a Catcher II. Nevertheless,I remain truly as
pictured and stated on my vehicle operator's license issued to me by
the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission:

William S
License Number 403067


copyright 2002 will hochman

	Will Hochman

Assistant Professor of English Southern Connecticut State University 501 Crescent St, New Haven, CT 06515 203 392 5024

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