With apologies to the brilliant and fabulously funny Helen Fielding and the hugely, and really rather annoyingly talented, Renee Zellweger.
DEDICATION: For all the Also-Rans. Everywhere.
Our epitaphs will read: ‘At least they gave it a bloody good go’.
Absolutely nothing in what follows is even remotely autobiographical. Really. Any similarities between these characters living or dead is utterly and entirely and mysteriously coincidental.
NOTE: IF you are in ‘the biz’ you may wish to skip over the Brief Educational Asides, which are really for civilians who don’t know what we all know. In an effort to sell thousands of this epic and achieve a retirement that does not involve a street, several large bags, a tarp and a shopping trolley, I am naturally trying to appeal to a broad audience: Biz and non biz; American and Brit; and so educational asides deemed necessary.
Even if you are in the business-we-call-show, you may only know how things work on one side of the pond – in which case educational asides may be, well, educational.
Before we begin there are two things you need to know:
- My strong ethical sensibilities dictate that, for the purposes of this book, my name is Brit Redway; although I may fess up, name names, dish dirt and come clean at a later date – almost certainly for desperate PR purposes and financial gain.
- It is ALL Renee Zellweger’s fault.
PROLOGUE – about 3 years ago. I think.
JAN 15, 2014, 6am-ish. Let’s say.
On Hollywood Boulevard. Literally. Like ON it. I have no diary handy but make mental tally until pure horror of it stops me.
BOOZE – lost count, have alcohol poisoning.
FAGS – 60 – awful, must have lung cancer.
CALORIES @ 10,000 – much greasy stuff can’t quite remember but almost certainly Mexican, not to mention those from beer.
ILLEGALS – definitely.
SEXUAL shenanigans?? – horribly unsure.
VOMIT – yes.
BLOWS TO HEAD – 1.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS? – utterly fucked.
So… like, UP YOURS, BRIDGET JONES!! Who’s the daddy now?….. Mummy now?
The Hollywood sign looks good to me at all angles except this one. Am flat on face, on pavement, looking at it through one squinty, slitty eye, head hammering in mother-of-all-hangovers-plus-something-else way – Aah.. possibly concussion.To left is handbag – clearly empty. To right – just the one shoe. Hmmm. Rest of me – dressed.
In right hand is bottle of beer, still upright. GET IT ON! Never let it be said I don’t know my bloody priorities, right? I imagine THIS is the reason for sorry state of face and head. I chose saving the beer over breaking the fall. Natch.
Raising head now. Ouch ouch ouch!! FUCK!!!
Dave The Homeless, my 7/11 buddy now – after one of my “random acts of kindness” usually guilt driven, that has SO had consequences – is grinning at me with all 3 teeth. And maybe even just a touch of concern. OMG. Realization.
Have ended up in gutter. Literally. Very very literally.
And am not so much looking up at the stars, as nuzzling them with my cheek. And Oh My God! The particular sidewalk I have passed out on? And the ACTUAL star I have landed on?
Renee sodding Zellweger’s!!
(OH, the irony will become more than clear, I promise and the message therein I will be SO slow to grasp.)
Dave lights up. I swig.
I pass Dave the warm beer. He passes me the fag.
Dave swigs. I puff.
Head needs to be cut off. NOW. And…. Yup.
Rock bottom has been achieved.
I finally mange to sit up and squat on the curb, legs splayed and toying with just the one shoe.
I hate heels. And I’m thinking I might look like the last hooker on the strip, the one that was so ropey looking and so very past her sell-by, she didn’t get a customer all night, ya know?
And then, through a strand of blonde slightly puke streaked hair, I am squinting at golden sunlight dancing over palm trees.
Yes, really. This #Hollywood.
But I swear, I swear to God (if I was sure he/she/it was there), that I can see my Dad.…. just, sort of leaning against a wall down there, at the far end of the block – in a suit, a trilby (fedora to the yanks), cigarette at his lips looking exactly like a bloke out of “Mad Men”.
This, in itself, would not be so unusual, although extremely bloody unlikely, were it not for fact he’s been dead for over 20 years.
I stare through the pounding patterns creted by my abused hypothalamus. And POUF! Just like that. Nothing there…except a faint wispy curl of cigarette smoke doing a sultry tango with the plastic bag. Wow.
I really need to get home.
In order for you to fully appreciate pathetic and desperate state of affairs that got me here, I’m gonna need to go back in time a little more, OK?
Hang on, yeah? I think it could be a bit of a bumpy ride.
I shall attempt to behave in a more seemly manner whilst I tell this tale and, for the sake of any unlikely rep I have left, refrain from posting nasty, rabidly drunken, selfies. Frankly, I never take any pics after the 5th beer – way too busy lining them up. But I expecyt some ‘mates; might.
Anyway, I’ll be back with the next installment during the next fortnight after I’ve …ohmygodgonnapuke….