English: Jerry Lewis’ signature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I wrote a short book. Below is an excerpt. Our brains are wired for storytelling so I am attempting to bring emotion and drama into the subject of Medical Nutrition through this fictional dramatization.
I can tell by the ‘Stats’ section of WordPress.com that there is a hunger for a discussion and dialog about Muscular Dystrophy and the disappearance of Jerry Lewis from the Telethon. I am getting search traffic from all over the world without any optimization on my part what so ever.
Chapter 1 – The Cure
He felt a hard, open emptiness, the feeling that comes and grows with the death of a loved one.
All he kept thinking was “I’m too old for this. I’m too old for this. ”
Outside it was gray. But inside it was misting cold sweat.
“You don’t ever raise your voice to me, you f#&k. You don’t ever raise your voice to me again!” the man screamed red faced and shaking.
He wasn’t listening anymore. He heard everything he needed to hear. He was trying to keep what had just hit from shredding him by holding the fragments of the past silent, while resisting thoughts of the future.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. He had it all choreographed in his head.
6-5-4- up audio, take camera 1, cue talent. It’s Showtime!
He would do an opening number, then tell the live audience and the viewers around the world that he was leaving. This was his last time. He would wait for a gasp of disbelief to ripple through the crowd.
That was the cue.
Spotlights would slow fade in on the life-sized posters on the stage of children in wheelchairs behind him.
He had the sequence down in his head. Timing was everything.
“Because, you know why? You know why this is my last time? Because, we found the CURE!”
The kids that were cured were standing up, hiding behind the posters. When the orchestra swell peaked and the horn section fired away that was their cue to burst through the paper. He’d made sure they nailed it in rehearsal. The spotlights would follow as they did a little dance number that involved lots of movement around the stage.
After you grab their attention, you can keep them there for a while.
Hold for applause. Who knows that might take 5, 10, 20 minutes
That’s when he would introduce the medical expert who discovered the cure. Do a quick Q&A, video montage, Q&A, more music numbers with the kids and then the fund raising would start.
But this time it would be for providing the cure to the children in need, not looking for one. The association would get a cut for the administration. Kids that were in wheelchairs would be walking again and he would go down in history as the guy that helped find the cure. A win, win, win, win, win!
He was literally fine tuning the performance in his head the night before.
But last night felt like a wicked game life played as his dreams were now light years away.
“You know who runs the show. Me. I do. And do you wanna know something else? Look at me. Look at me! You’re fired a##hole! Did you hear that? You’re f#&king fired! You are history!!!”
There were times that the year came around too fast when he didn’t feel he had it in him. Too tired. Too drained. Life happens. But once he got there–the stagehands, cameramen, lighting and audio guys–it was like a family. Once he saw that red light pop on, the adrenaline kicked in and he was unstoppable. But father time, begging for attention, had made getting to that launch pad more and more difficult.
That’s why this cure, right now, was God sent. It was a validation of everything. It affirmed what he believed about himself, the country he loved and the values his parents taught him.
He heard once that American Indians have a saying: If you heal something in your spirit, you heal it for your ancestors seven generations ahead and seven generations behind.
He’d be healing his spirit alright and healing thousands of kids as well. Maybe he’d someday look down from Heaven with Mother and Father to see them unveiling a statue in commemoration. The cure would render all past mistakes null and void. This meant a book deal, possibly a documentary. He would no longer be remembered as the zany, goofball comedian with a big heart. He’d be seen as a man of stature and determination.
So many ups and downs, so many regrets, yet so much magic, triumph and joy. His life’s work would culminate in this very moment. When he thought about it he felt young again like a kid. He wasn’t too old for this.
But right now he was living the impossible and to his surprise, at his age, he was taking it like a man. Because the fact was, he wasn’t too old for this either.
“Did you hear me? You know, you and that so called expert you’re so excited about are both sad, washed up fu#&ing clowns,
‘Now, that one’s a zinger.’ he thought.
“We did the research. He was fired from every real job he ever had and now you can join him.”
“OK, now you listen up and get this through your head. We will destroy you. We will take everything you fu#&ing have. We will take everything you ever have made in your life and send you to an early grave.”
A smirk quirked it’s way in, ‘These guys are scared.’
He had thought about Oprah, The View. You know, the daytime talk circuit that never called. They’d only ring if some ancient film legend kicks the bucket for a nostalgia piece. But there he would be with his guy, the medical expert that sent him the case studies. He’d show up with the kids they had cured. There were hundreds to choose from. But there was one problem.
His guy was a heretic. He wasn’t an expert in any particular disease. He was a radical non-believer. Together, they would be blaspheming a medical religion that took 100 years to build and now takes in 1.2 trillion dollars a year. After Prohibition ended Mob guys used to say “Hey, we need to find the new booze!” The Military Industrial Complex at 400 billion a year is pocket change. Pharmaceuticals are the new booze.
What this cure represented was a full frontal assault on the Medical Doctor and their beloved drug culture. It had the potential to rock the Healthcare industry to its knees with a fundamental shift in how we think and treat disease. And if you were primetime, talking to these guys was a akin to bathing your talk show host career in hot, boiling oil.
It was a scene from the movie Scarface played sideways, “Remember those tickets you wanted me to get for you Mel? Remember? Well, here’s two tickets to the resurrection. BANG! BANG!”
“Here’s some tickets. You’re going on a cruise. Take whoever you want.”
He tried to stay focused. ‘They call this a meeting? This is a shakedown, an assassination. If I could only put this into a script…’ His mind whirled and eyes darted.
“Remember! ONE word? ONE fu#&ing word! You signed a non-disclosure agreement.”
Because they knew what he didn’t.
There was no new cocktail or drug therapy offered here. It was science-based, clinically verified information showing that this entire 1.2 trillion dollar Healthcare monopoly was a complete and total sham.
This was the beginning of the end. So when this cure was presented to him, none of the big picture crossed his mind. None of it mattered really. These were his kids. They bore his name. They are in wheelchairs, for Christ sake. These medical experts were giving him hundreds of case studies where under their care these children would stand up and walk after being severely handicapped for years.
‘OK. No brainer.’ He figured ‘Let’s verify these findings and I’ll make an announcement live on the air.’
But by the ferocity of the attack he knew he had hit a nerve, he’d struck devil’s gold. Something he never imagined in a million years was happening. They were choosing to keep little kids in wheelchairs rather than to investigate a cure that would make them lose money.
He would emotionally deal with all of that later. That’s what was nice about being his age. What he didn’t like was having to monitor whether the shock was going to make him collapse on the floor or not.
But now that was beginning to pass.
He stared deep and looked at them hard.
It all made sense now.
He always felt that they were insincere in some way with their phony laughter.
He thought that these guys were just insecure, not ‘people’ people, out of their element, nerds.
That’s where he came in.
But he looked at their suits and ties and stared at their shoes.
These men came dressed to kill.
They were not awkward benevolent despots.
These were power hungry, bottom feeding, scumbag, jerk-offs from Hell.
And they were ruling over a kingdom that took half a lifetime to build.
“Two billion dollars.” Under his breath. “Two billion dollars.”
He looked at them one last time before closing the door. ‘I should fashion a whip and chase them out of the temple…’
The reality was it was not necessary.
Without him they were nothing.
Without his Kids it was over.