TELEPHONE INTERVIEW — TAPE #55, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell Bell
L: Ellen Russell
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THIS TAPE AND TAPE #56, SIDE #2 WERE TRANSCRIBED IN LATE DECEMBER, 1996. UNATTRIBUTED SOUNDS ARE OCCASIONALLY LISTED FOR NEW TESTAMENT. I TURN ON THE TAPE RECORDER WHEN MY MOTHER MENTIONS THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD TELECAST I’VE BEEN ANTICIPATING.)
L: I thought that they started at eight but they’re already giving awards out. (“NO WAS AT” “IN THE”)
Q: For the east. See? Back east? It’s time-delayed for the West Coast.
L: So it’s already on, then?
Q: It’s live in the east.
L: Oh, I see. (“AND”)
Q: It’ll be tape-delayed here on the West Coast.
L: So that’s why. I couldn’t figure that out because I thought it was Pacific Standard Time but it isn’t.
Q: Anything else you’ve heard on the news interesting?
L: Garrett Glaser keeps saying (“YEAH”) that he just can’t believe how many stars are there and all the press. He said it’s huge. You never know what —
Q: Any news items about Don Simpson or O. J. Simpson or Homer Simpson or Simpson Simpson? (“NO”)
L: No. I haven’t heard anything. (“WELL HE”) He’s not nominated, is he?
L: Any of them.
Q: No, I guess not.
L: Have you heard anything interesting and newsy?
Q: Well, no. I guess (“THEY”) there are a lot of — Michael was telling me that (“D[ON]”) Don Simpson’s death was not drugs-related. (“OH” “OH DON”)
L: Oh, is that the guy that was in Bel-Air or something?
Q: He lived in Bel-Air. (“WELL”)
L: Yeah. They said (“THEY”) they thought it was natural causes.
Q: But everyone who knows him knows he’s had a long history of drug abuse. (“NO”) There was this vicious rumor going around for years (“THAT” “HE”) he would wear plastic bags on his feet because he would defecate on prostitutes and he didn’t want to get any of it on himself. Can you believe that?
L: (small laugh)
Q: That’s like one of the top ten gossip rumors of all time (“YOU KNOW”) that have gone around Hollywood. (“NO”) I was once joking that I would make a list of the top ten gossip stories. The other one was about gerbils and, let’s see, there’s another one about a famous manage-a-trois that stopped the making of a Paramount film for two weeks because the star had a black eye.
L: Who was (“T”) that? Who had the black eye? (“NO IT’S” “IT’S A LONG”)
Q: I don’t want to — wait. (“THEY” “OKAY”) You’re making me lose my train of thoughts now. (“SORRY”) Okay — ten. Okay — one, two — that’s two.
L: No, it’s okay. I mean (“OKAY”) first of all, nobody other than in the Hollywood community would even know who (“UH”) Don Simpson was — would care less.
L: (small laugh) (“I”) I mean they had to — (“HIDE”)
Q: Obviously, he wasn’t happy with all the money. (“YOU KNOW” “WELL THEY”)
L: Well, they had to struggle to figure out what he even produced and they came up with (“TWO”) two of his movies.
Q: I know. In his obituary in the Los Angeles Times it didn’t even have the title for “Days of Thunder” right. That was the last movie he did for Paramount. They called it something else.
L: I think they mentioned that one on the news (“HIS CAT”) I heard — and another one — (“THAT WAS” “YEAH”)
Q: I met him during the making of that film. (“WELL”)
L: He’s just another — ([A]NOTHER” “CARE”) well, it’s true but I’m sure his family cares — but nobody knows him. (“AND I”) No one except in the Hollywood community, like I said. Nobody else has dropped over dead or anything?
Q: I gave my book manuscript to Sherry Lansing. I also had a call from Ruth but —
Q: Ruth Webb.
L: Really? Ohhh.
Q: But I called her back and she hasn’t called me back. (“SO”)
L: What did she call you for, Mark?
Q: Because I called her just to say hello.
L: That was nice. I like Ruth. (“UM-HUH”) I mean I don’t know her but —
Q: I called Sherri too. Sherri Spillane. (“I WAS”) I was checking to see if she wanted to be my literary agent but she doesn’t so —
L: She doesn’t?
Q: She had her chance. (“OH WELL” “HUH”)
L: I heard another little blurb about the Ruth Webb agency.
Q: Oh really?
L: It was a couple weeks ago when they said that they were — I can’t remember. (“THEY”) They had sent somebody back to a small town to do research on — God, I can’t remember the person. It was another scandal.
Q: Really? (“YEAH”) You’d think they would have wanted me for a client, right? (“WHEN”)
L: When he was growing up — I can’t remember who it was, though. (“YOU KNOW”) I mean it’s —
Q: Well, you know, Ruth is just finishing her book like I just finished my first book. And I hope she gets all the juicy stories in there like (“OH SHE”) the one about the horse laxative and —
L: Oh, well, I don’t know that. (“CHECK ON”) I’m sure that Ruth will have so many stories (“WEDDED”) and she’ll have her own little look upon it and — (“PILL”) (it’ll be) interesting, I mean. (“WHETHER YOU’LL”) It’ll be sort of coated with — well, you know. I’m sure she’ll make it sound —
Q: I’m sure she’ll talk about her son, Jack. She loves Jack so much. (“OH”)
L: Didn’t she have another one too? (“MM”)
Q: Mike. (“UH-HUH”) God, there are so many Michaels in my life. By the way, do you remember when I was in the sixth grade with Mr. Titus and Christian Tagge, who sat next to me — her sister died all of a sudden.
L: Oh, no, I don’t remember.
Q: You don’t remember that?
Q: Her name was Christian Tagge. She sat next to me. (“AND”) I guess her sister stopped breathing in the middle of the night and at the time the class discussed it because it was quite devastating.
L: How old was her sister? (“A FEW YEARS”)
Q: A few years older than her. I’m surprised you didn’t — (“NO”) you don’t remember because at the time I remember us discussing it. (“IT JUST”) She died — all of a sudden she just couldn’t breathe (“AND THEY”) and they did what — a tracheotomy — you know, like what Elizabeth Taylor had. When they open your throat. But it was too late.
L: Oh, you know, maybe you did mention it. Wasn’t that Mr. Titus? He’s the one you liked.
Q: Right. After the hell of Miss Hinkley.
L: (small laugh) (“WHO” “WITH THE”) I know. With the dyed reddish hair.
Q: With the wig, I think. (“OH WELL NOW”)
L: It was a terrible wig if it was. (“I MEAN”)
Q: I still will never forget going to take that mental retardation test and then going to see — what movie did we see after that?
L: Yeah, but that wasn’t Hinkley. (“NO” “THAT”) That wasn’t Miss Hinkley.
Q: Yes, it was.
L: No, honey. That was when you were still at Willard. That was a blonde-haired, younger teacher.
Q: No, I remember. Trust me. Every boy in the class she had tested because one of them committed suicide a couple years later. After I had my test, which I passed with flying colors, needless to say —
L: Isn’t that the one I had to take you to?
Q: Yes. And then afterwards we went to the movie down, (“YOU KNOW”) you know, at the Crown Theatre. What movie did we go see? “The Bible” — (“I”) I think.
L: I don’t remember.
Q: “The Bible.”
L: Honey, just —
Q: (mock Southern evangelical dialect) “The Bible”! I remember.
L: That’s nice, honey. (“I”) I don’t really remember.
Q: (sighs) (SIGH)
L: Remember, (“I HAD ON”) I had —
Q: I’ve had more than my share of trials and tribulations over the years.
L: Well, I think most people —
Q: Like at USC. That was so ridiculous.
Q: You know. The time that I was given a D for no reason at all.
L: I blame me.
Q: What?! (“I”)
L: I remember when I went down there and made a horse’s ass out of myself. (“YOU KNOW”)
Q: You tried. You were doing what any mother would do.
L: Of course. (“I”) Well, I don’t know about that.
Q: But they had no criteria. I was never (“AAA”) absent or even late. I did everything they asked me to and then all of a sudden bingo I get a D on a pivotal eight-unit production course when one of the other students in the class who delivered something that had jump cuts all over the place probably got an A because he was the son of a famous film director.
L: Well, see, Mark —
Q: And he was absent a lot.
L: Looking back now, (“I”) I know why. You were very, very young to be in that class. And it was cinema. And it was very hard.
Q: That’s what happened. One of the other instructors told me to wait a year.
L: Yes. (“I” “SO”)
Q: And I didn’t wait, thinking that, “Well, if there’s an opening (“I’LL J[UST]”) I’ll go ahead and apply. If I don’t get in, fine. But I’ll go ahead and try because I only have two years (of scholarship money) because I transferred from Pasadena City College. (“YEAH”) So I really didn’t have much of a choice but to try to get in. (“BUT”)
L: But the thing is, Mark, —
Q: But the thing is he was upset — because I was told that when we had our meetings. I was told, “Why didn’t you wait a year like you were told?” So that’s why I was given a D. Remember? You were told that too, I think.
L: I don’t remember. All I remember —
Q: I remember.
L: — that guy that was the dean or —
Q: He was nice. Mort Zarcoff.
L: I didn’t like him. (small laugh) Mort Poop. No way.
Q: He wrote me a letter and he said in the letter that there were some things — some of the circumstances he didn’t —
L: That was nice. I remember what he said. He said that — he was very impressed — I guess you’d done some writing too. (“SOMETHING” “AND I”) He did say — (“I WON”)
Q: Many awards. (“I HAD WON”)
L: I don’t care. (“I”) I expected him to step in there and — (“FIX IT”).
Q: Plus, he saw my film, I think. (“AND IT WAS A”) It was a very good, high quality film that I turned in for that class.
L: With all those ugly buglies in it. (small laugh)
Q: That was part of the point (“WHO” “WELL”) I was making.
L: Thanks a lot. I was in it.
Q: You’re the one who said “ugly buglies.” Not I.
L: No no no. You said that someone had come up to you (“NO” “B”) and said — something about, “Why’d you have the (“WHY DID YOU HAVE” “ALL THE”) ugly —” (“IT WAS A)
Q: The film was about —
Q: — a blind girl (“WHO”) whose mother paid someone to read to her.
L: Diane. (“O”) I don’t remember. (“AND UM”) You remember — (“HOW MANY”)
Q: But they said (“WELL”) they wanted me to hire somebody better-looking than the actor I got but the whole point was that she was blind so it didn’t matter. (“WELL”) So I didn’t compromise my artistic vision.
L: That was Diane. Wasn’t that Diane?
Q: Yeah. Sam’s sister.
L: Ahhhhhh. (“M I KNOW I REMEMBER”)
Q: Now she’s married to some Christian fundamentalist minister. (“WELL”) Not very happily, I might add. (“SHE WAS VERY” “SHE WAS NICE” “I REMEMBER” “WASN’T”)
L: Remember — how long did that — I remember my Saturdays had to be spent down there. (small laugh) My wash day was interrupted. (“RIGHT — WELL”) My day off. (“KIDDING”) I wonder what ever happened to that other nerd there?
Q: James? (“YEAH — AHERN”) I don’t know. (“BUT”) I wonder — (“OH WELL” “LOOK”)
L: Remember — (“HE” “I MEAN HE”) he used to try to say things that would shock me?
L: Yeah. (“REMEM”) We used to pick him up on the way. (“RIGHT”) Most of the time. And I can remember he would say, “There’s nothing like strawberries and sex for breakfast.” (“AND I HAD”)
Q: Remember? (“HE”) And he had (“YEAH”) an affair with a teacher. (“AT” “WELL MICHAEL”) PCC.
L: Yeah, but I didn’t know that you and Michael used to go over to her house too.
Q: Yes, but we didn’t have sex with her.
L: She must’ve really been desperate. I mean totally desperate.
Q: She just was free-spirited.
L: Well, it’s okay to be free-spirited. (“I MEAN” “BUT I’M”) Sure. But if you’re going to be free-spirited — (“CHICK” “I DON’T THINK IT” “SAY”)
Q: I don’t think it —
L: (If) that’s all that her free spirit could find — (small laugh) goodness gracious.
Q: I don’t think it ever held her back. (“I”) I don’t think she ever got caught. (“WELL I’M”)
L: Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t believe it or I would have gone down there — (“YANKED) well.
Q: Nothing happened.
L: In those days (“YOU KNOW I WOULD” “PRETTY”)
Q: The funny thing is, though, (“IS THAT”) it turned out later on — (“SHE HAD”)
L: Outrageous. (“I GET” “MY” “OKAY”)
Q: I guess I heard something like she had sex with him because she wanted to build up his self-confidence and then he dumped her.
L: (laughs) Poor James. I remember him. (“OH WELL”) But I remember he used to say — (“LOTS OF LITTLE)
Q: I always thought he was one of the smartest, nicest people I knew.
L: Really? (“AND I”)
Q: For the life of me, I don’t understand why he (“I DON’T KNOW”) isn’t a big success. (“OH”)
L: I can tell you.
Q: Why? (“HE DOES”)
L: He does not — he was not appealing in any way, shape, matter.
Q: Writers don’t have to be appealing.
L: Oh, he was a writer?
Q: Writers can just write. (“OH”)
L: Yeah. Because writers can look like a nerd.
Q: Exactly. They usually do. Myself included. (“NO”)
L: I hope not. (“WELL”) With your beard.
Q: I think I look good.
L: Mark, you always were very, very good-looking. (“I KNOW”) You know you were.
Q: I think I look better, though, (“A”) with a beard.
L: Don’t say — I mean don’t even (laughs) say that about James Ahern. (“I MEAN”) He was young, then.
Q: I thought he was good-looking, myself. It’s just that other people — (“WELL I DAMN”)
L: Well, honey, ‘good-looking’ is in the eye (of the beholder).
Q: I also used him in my other films. (“LIKE IN MY”) My super-8 class. Like I did that one (“ABOUT”) where he destroyed all the eggs. He drew faces on eggs and then destroyed them. (“JOY”)
L: Yeah. (“THE” “WELL THAT”) I wonder what ever happened to little old Ethan Eller? I never hear anything about him. (“IT’S FUNNY” “YOU”)
Q: You just mentioned Ethan Eller. That family (in Oklahoma) — Twyla Eller is her name now. She married an Eller. (“OHHH”) Twyla’s last name is Eller. (“OH”) Isn’t that ironic?
L: Is this the second husband or —
Q: This is her first husband.
L: Oh, I see. (“THE POLICE” “WELL I WAS JUST”) The only reason I spoke about Ethan was that I can remember — wasn’t it Mrs. Drury who was head of the gifted program?
Q: Right. (“AND”)
L: And I — she called me at work (“I”) because you and your brother I guess wanted to be in it. (“SHE”) And she so much as said, “Well, this is really for geniuses.” And I know if her daughter was in it — (“IT” “NO” “SHE WAS NOT” “BUT”)
Q: We were in it so it doesn’t really make a big difference.
L: I know. She was saying — (“WELL SHE”) well, because you were so special and it almost sounded like she didn’t want you in. And I can remember she used to talk about —
Q: There’s no way of defining genius.
L: Exactly, but she used to talk about Ethan Eller — (“NO”) that he was a genius. And I can never forget the last year when I used to come down Woodland Road. I used to see him sitting there. He should have been in school. He’d be sitting on the curb. His head was down and I mean, obviously, he was on drugs. (“I ME”) I mean I was kind of stupid at that time. (“I — I”) I don’t know what ever he made of himself. And I used to say to myself, “If that’s a genius, thank —”
Q: What about Tony Lowe? He was a genius too.
L: Oh, I know. I — (“KNOW” “HE WAS”) he got the Avon scholarship. I’ll never forget that. Naturally, I thought you or your brother — (laughs)
Q: Oh, no. No.
L: I know. I’m a mother —
Q: We both got scholarships to USC, anyway.
L: I know. You know what the Avon was?
L: You know what you got with that, don’t you?
Q: What did you get?
L: (“ALL YOU”) You got to pick any college of your choice. And he went to Stanford, as I recollect. Plus, (“I” “HE”) they gave you a car allowance. They paid for your clothes. They paid for your — if you wanted to live in the dorm — (“MAMIE”) you got so much money (“IT WAS”) in those days it was like handing a kid $50,000.
Q: I always wonder about what happened to all those people you meet in school. Like I remember — (“LIKE”) what was his name? John Pentecost. What a name.
L: Wasn’t he the preacher’s — no.
Q: Yeah, (“HIS”) he was.
L: Did he have red hair?
Q: Right. His father was a preacher or something. (“YEAH”) And then I always think of —
L: I liked him. I met him. (“HE USED TO” “HE WORKED”) He used to work down at that sewing shop (“I”) I remember. He waited on me. (“COUP[LE] T[IMES]” “NI”)
Q: Yeah, I mean — (“PUB”)
L: On Lake he worked. (“UM-HUH”)
L: I’m sure he did fine.
Q: There were lots of — (“YOU KNOW I”) I — (“YEAH”) I don’t know.
L: And the other one — Greg (“YOU KNOW”) Prickett — you know, he married Laura Arthur. And Matthew Brandstetter — you know what happened to him?
Q: Yeah. He almost became a Mormon and then he became a priest.
L: And I think he left the priesthood. I heard a rumor. I’m not sure if it’s true or not. And Ted Heublein.
Q: With his luck, Matthew will probably become Pope or something. (“WHAT” “PO” “NO I HEARD HE LEFT THE ORDER”)
L: I heard he left the order.
Q: I think they’re all going to be leaving the order pretty soon. Because of all the prophecies. There’s only one more Pope. (“WELL” “ON THEIR”) On the list of names or something. (“C”)
L: (sighs) (“IT’S JUST”) I don’t know why they have a Pope, anyway. (“TO TELL”)
Q: I know. I mean can — (“OH” “THAT’S” “GET ALL” “DON’T”) don’t get me started.
L: And most of them — and (“I”) — remember, I worked at a Catholic Hospital and they used to have priests come in (“YOU KNOW”) because they’d visit the patients. And, in fact, you know, the last couple of years (“THEY” “HEAVEN”) they lived right next door. Remember that? (“UM-HUH”)
L: But I mean most of them were drunks. I mean I can remember when they had — (“THEY WERE”) drunk. And the other one — the young one. I mean he was for the girls all the time. (“HE” “HE LEFT”) He did leave the priesthood and married.
Q: Well, that’s (“SO THAT’S”) something.
L: He used to go up on the —
Q: Some of them go after the boys, you know.
L: Most of them, I guess, do — (sighs) anyway. (“THEY”) But they got their apartment free. They got their car and they got spending money. It was a pretty nice deal.
Q: (small laugh)
L: They got their — (“AND”) and (“HOUSE”) housekeeping used to come over and clean their place for them. (“SO”)
Q: God, they lived better than we did.
L: And their laundry was done.
Q: Some vow of poverty. (“WELL”)
L: Are you kidding?
Q: Exactly. (“NONE OF THO[SE]”)
L: And especially if you get up there (in rank) — they used to have money hand over fist. (“I THINK IT”) Less now. People don’t give like they used to.
Q: I wonder why.
L: (sighs) Getting smarter.
Q: I think that (“THOUGH”) there’s only one 1% that has all the money throughout the world. There’s 1% of the population that has all the money and everyone else is scrambling (“YEAH”) to make ends meet. Something isn’t right. I think we need to “get the balance right” in the words of ‘Depressed Mode’ or Depeche Mode.
L: Well, I think if I were — if I didn’t own any property or anything, I — (“LIKE WHEN I”) they had — (“UH-HUH” “WHAT” “I” “TODAY”)
Q: By the way, you can answer a question for me. You know, I gave my book manuscript to Sherry Lansing. Was she married to Wayne Rogers?
L: No, they just went together. But I wanted to tell you — now this flat tax. Now if a family of four makes $36,000 — now that’s pretty good — they don’t pay a dime. And you know how much of a deduction you would get, Mark?
Q: How much?
L: I don’t pay anything either. (“UM-HUH”) Because you’re allowed to make the first $14,000 — (“YOU GET” “NO”) you get a $14,000 individual deduction on yourself. (“SO FIG”) So right there, Mark, (sigh) (“BUT”) the only thingthat’s bad in it — (“IS THAT YOU WOULD”) — can’t be able to declare your mortgage interest but it sounds like for people who don’t make a lot of money it would be pretty good. If you make $36,000 a year and it’s for your family you wouldn’t pay one dime in federal tax.
Q: Wow. (“DO YOU THINK”) So do you think that’s a good solution or a bad solution? Do you think we should do away with the income tax? (“WELL YOU”)
L: No, it’s not doing away with it. Of course, the Democrats always say —
Q: Did you hear about Anne Rice?
L: Anne Rice? (“WR”)
Q: That letter to President Clinton? It was a really strange letter. (“DON’T KNOW”)
L: Anne Rice? (“SHE” “YOU SON OF A”)
Q: You know — the author of Interview With The Vampire. (“OH NO I”) [The correct title is Interview with a Vampire.]
L: No, I didn’t. (“WHEN”)
Q: She wrote this letter in Variety to President Clinton. Basically, she wants to do away with income tax so she can give her money to her relatives and not have to pay tax on it. And she also wants there to be a national health insurance program. I definitely agree with that.
L: That’s what Hillary was working on.
Q: What happened to that?
L: There wasn’t any way to pay for it. There wasn’t any money to pay for it.
Q: I thought that was (“THEIR”) their big prime initiative.
L: See, a lot of people (“WANT TO GET”) want to get rid of — (“UH” “YOU KNOW”) not all of Medicare. They want to — (“YOU KNOW” “WELL I THINK”)
Q: I think the insurance companies are totally corrupt. Look how it’s been with Blue Cross. (“THEY ARE”)
L: Oh, of course, they are. Well, sure, but when Allene — (“HAD”) she had both of her knees done. (“SHE HAD BOTH”)
Q: Um-huh. (“YOU KNOW”)
L: And I mean that was Medicare. (“WELL” “IT”) Plus, they had a supplement policy but it was (“YOU KNOW” “FREE”) free. And I mean why does a 77-year-old —
Q: Why was it free?
L: Because Medicare. (“PICKED UP” “OH” “SEE” “I MEAN THEY” “YOU KNOW LIKE” “SHE KNOWS”) That must have cost like some $50,000. (“YOU KNOW”) Do you think (“THAT”) that if they — believe me, if both my knees went out right now — I don’t have Medicare. I’d just have to limp around. (small laugh) (“WHY”)
Q: Don’t you qualify for Medicare?
L: Uh-uh. Oh no. You have to be sixty-five to get Medicare.
Q: Oh, I see.
L: Nope. (“BUT”)
Q: What else is there? What about Medi-Cal? You qualify for Medi-Cal?
L: I don’t know. (small laugh) I don’t know. (“SWEETIE I”)
Q: In case you needed something — (“YOU KNOW” “WELL” “WHY ME”) You don’t have insurance. (“SO” “RIGHT”) So I guess you would qualify for Medi-Cal.
L: I guess if the Mexicans come in over the border, have their baby and then go back to Mexico — and they qualify. (“I MEAN” “BUT I — I” “THAT I”) I do believe that Medicare has gotten a little bit out of hand. (“I MEAN”) I mean (“AND I’M”) — and I’m old.
Q: Have you ever gone to supermarkets and seen — I’ve seen nothing but food stamps being used at supermarkets? (“YEAH”) Have you noticed that?
L: I rarely ever see any.
Q: Yeah but look at your area. (“RIGHT”) I mean you wouldn’t. (“REALLY”)
L: I rarely, rarely — the only time — I did see them once — was a mother and she had her little kid with her. The little kid was pushing his own little — at Pavilions they have these little kiddie baskets and kids can help. And they were divided. The things that she had — food stamps don’t — (“ONLY”) only pay for food. I mean it doesn’t pay for anything else. (“IT DOESN’T”) Well, it pays for toilet paper and stuff like that. (“BUT”) Like you can’t buy cigarettes. You can’t buy liquor.
Q: Thank goodness.
L: You can’t buy cat food. (“OR”) Anything like that. But (“THEY”) she had food stamps (“AND NOW”) and I looked at both of her baskets and I tell you. (“SHE HAD”) She had more expensive stuff in her basket that food stamps were paying for than I did. Plus, (“IN THE”) in the other —
Q: God will provide.
L: — basket that she had to pay for, herself, (“NO”) there was choice little things in there. Plus, she was a smoker. (“WELL”) I don’t know.
Q: So let’s see if there’s anything else we should cover? I don’t know. (“I — I — H[OW]”)
L: And how did your appointment with the doctor go, Mark?
Q: I just wanted him to lance it. I didn’t want him to inject it with an anesthetic and he wouldn’t. He refused. (“HE”)
L: So he didn’t —
Q: I said, I just want you to lance it like the last dermatologist did. He tried, I guess, but it was too deep. He would have to cut. So I said, “Well, fine. Cut.” But he wouldn’t because he thought there’d be too much bleeding.
L: If he’s a good doctor he would know. (“SO”)
Q: No —
L: So he injected it?
Q: No, he did not. I would not let him inject — you know what happens to me when —
L: How did you get it done then?
Q: I didn’t get it done.
L: So it’s still there?
Q: Yeah. He said there’s no problem. (“YOU KNOW”) He said it’s not going to get into my bloodstream or anything.
L: (dismayed) Mark.
Q: What? Well, I know. It’s very uncomfortable. (“I JUST” “IT’S LIKE”)
L: I think you should have it —
Q: It’s like a bump on my neck. (“YOU KNOW”)
L: Honey, first of all, believe me, if I went there I’d want a local so fast that I mean I would grab the needle and stick it in there myself.
Q: My horoscope said absolutely not: ‘Do not have a local anesthetic for the time being.’
L: I don’t believe it. (small laugh)
Q: It’s true.
L: I don’t believe it. (laughs)
Q: Would I lie?
L: Not knowingly. (“I DON’T BELIEVE”) Which horoscope was that?
Q: I think it was (“ONE OF THE”) the L.A. Weekly. And you know — remember my eyes? Whenever they would put an anesthetic in my eyes I’d pass out. [After this happened once, Dr. Gordon used an alternate test where he tapped my eyes with a test material.] So I definitely don’t want anesthetics.
L: Honey, that was because you were afraid.
Q: No, it was not.
L: Honey, that’s when you were very young.
Q: It happened some years ago with Dr. Gordon.
L: Yeah but —
Q: So now he just taps my eyes with an alternative method and does it that way.
L: They put that stuff in (“TO SEE IF YOU”) if you have glaucoma.
Q: They dilate your pupils (“YEAH” “BUT THEY”) but he doesn’t do it with mine (“BECAUSE”) since that time I fainted. There’s another way of doing it. (“OH”) So he always does it that alternative way. (“OH”) But I wasn’t frightened then and I still passed out.
L: Well, I don’t know, honey.
Q: I joked, (“I’M HAVING”) “I don’t want another out-of-the-body experience. It was like when I was a child in school and (“I”) thought the aliens had come back that time.
L: (sighs) (SIGH)
Q: I’m trying to think what other memories I had as a child that I might not remember. (“WHA[T]”) What’s something that happened to me as a child that was strange that I might not have remembered?
L: I can’t think of one thing as a child that was strange.
Q: Dad said whenever you fought that I would always cry and Michael never would cry.
L: Well, I’m sorry we fought so much. I mean I didn’t really — (“I ME”)
Q: There’s just a few times that I really remember. Like the time that —
L: I was never really there. I was — (“USUALLY OUT WORKING”)
Q: — he hit you and you played dead. That was the one time that I really remember. (“YES I DID” “I”)
L: Well, I did that on purpose. I scared the poop out of him.
Q: Yeah but you also scared your kids half to death.
L: Well, I know, honey, but I was — remember, dear, I was young and stupid.
Q: I know.
L: That’s why it’s not good to —
Q: I also remember TV dinners being thrown on the floor. Remember how Michael — (“WAS”) was Michael afraid of King Kong or were we both afraid of King Kong?
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I ALSO REMEMBER AS A SMALL CHILD BEING FRIGHTENED BY THE COMMERCIALS FOR “EQUINOX.”)
L: You were both and I was naughty to do that.
Q: What did you do?
L: I had “King Kong” on. (“YOU SAID I”) You didn’t like it and stood in front of it so you couldn’t see it and then pulled my skirt up so you would see the monster and then let my skirt drop. But I thought you kids were just playing.
Q: Well, the funny time — (“THE M[OST]”) the funniest thing that you ever did that was really scary to Michael was when you pretended to prick him on the arm (“AND THEN”) with the bloody cotton ball.
L: I don’t remember that.
Q: You said, “Now let me just try this. (“BECAUSE IF IT”) If it bleeds, that means you’re going to die.” (“SO YOU”)
L: Oh no, I never would have said that.
Q: No, you did. I’m telling you.
L: I never would have said that.
Q: So you pricked him and then you showed him a clean cotton ball and showed me one that you had dabbed ketchup out of his sight and that was the one you pressed against his arm.
Q: And you gasped. (“AND THERE WAS”)
L: No. (“BECAUSE YOU SAW”)
Q: You had put ketchup on the cotton ball.
L: No. (“I — I”) I’m sure I never did that.
Q: Oh, definitely.
Q: I remember.
L: Mark, I’m sure I never would have — (“DONE THAT”) first of all, I would never — (“IT WAS”)
Q: You were just joking.
L: Mark, first of all, (“I”) I wouldn’t have —
Q: It was a joke. I remember. I’m sure Mike would remember too.
L: I don’t know. So what has your hypnotherapist been telling you?
Q: He said he’s the reincarnation of Richard the Third. (“WELL BESI”)
L: Well, that was two weeks ago.
Q: He looks just like Richard the Third.
L: Poor thing. (“NO” “SO I’M”) We don’t want to hear about him. (“I ME”) What’s he saying about you? (“I”)
Q: I gave him my book manuscript to read so I think he’s still in the ‘gathering information’ stages.
L: Honey, (“I THOUGHT HE”) I thought he was there to hypnotize you into solving your problems.
Q: You don’t understand — hypnosis is not what most people think it is. Hypnosis is just being very, very relaxed. And that’s something that’s very hard for me. Uh-oh, a car alarm just went off around here. (“OH”) Oh no, it’s a police siren. (“SO ARE YOU”) So are you going to watch the Golden Globes?
L: Now are you going to watch them?
Q: Yeah. Michael jokingly said that (“THE GOLDEN” “IT LOOKS”) the set looks like 666 so tell me if you agree.
L: (dismayed) Mark.
Q: That’s what he said.
Q: Isn’t that funny? (“I MEAN HE”)
L: I mean what is he — (small laugh) (“HOW YOU THINK”) from “The Omen”? I mean I love those spooky movies. In fact, there’s one out now I’d — (“IT”) when it comes on TV I’m going to watch it. (“WE ONLY”)
Q: Did you ever go see “The Omen” with us when we were small?
L: Yeah. (“YOU ALSO WENT TO SEE”)
Q: What else did we go see together? We went to see “The Other” together I remember. (“WELL YOU KID[S]”) That was — they had a (“THE TWIN”) first day at the theatre where all twins got in free. (“SO IT’S LIKE”) For some reason, I got to see all these horror movies.
L: Mark, they were not considered horror. (“THEY STAY” “HAD”) They had the rating system then also. (“IF YOU”) If you were — you had to be accompanied by an adult.
Q: You took us to see “Marnie.” Do you know that (“WHAT”) we might be related to Hitchcock? On this letter that I got from another Russell family tree (“THERE”) there are Hitchcocks all over the place.
L: (sighs) That’s nice.
Q: I’m also trying to figure out if I’m a relative — (“YOU KNOW THE”) the one that Uncle Bob sent me, there’s this name that you see everywhere. Hall. Hall is everywhere.
L: I can’t imagine why. It’s one of the most common names.
Q: I know but you think of, like, Manly Hall and Annie Hall. (“I MEAN” “IT”) I mean the possibilities are very interesting.
L: Look at the phone book.
Q: Well, I know.
L: I mean please, Mark.
Q: That’s why I’m trying to figure it all out.
L: Heck, these are — look in the phone book under Guiterrez and how many Guiterrezes — (“GOOD”) there’s Halls — (“I”) that name is —
Q: Well, we all come from Adam and Eve so — but I don’t know. (“WELL”)
L: Maybe we came from Seth.
Q: Who’s that?
L: Don’t you know who Seth — (“THAT” “NO”) that’s why I couldn’t get into the Bible study because if they had gone back into Genesis — (“THEY”) because I remember (“AF”) after —
Q: Who’s Seth?