The director shouts through a bullhorn: “Action!” A cameraman perched on a hydraulic lift platform starts the pixels rolling:
[The scene: a blustery October afternoon in rural Western Illinois. A small dusty red car comes around a curve in a gravel road. On the convex side of the curve is a wall of trees; on the concave side a closely-cropped hill pasture. The car pulls over and stops. A man in a blue sweatshirt and white billed cap emerges from the car, stretches, and looks around. The man notices some sort of equine animal in the pasture and gets his camera out.]
[Photo taken, the man walks to the pasture’s electric fence and gingerly steps over it. The equine creature is now recognizable as a mule. The animal sees the man and begins to walk towards him eagerly, evidently mistaking the man for a familiar human.]
[The mule realizes that the man in fact is an odd-smelling stranger. The creature bolts into the trees bordering the pasture and finds his concealed horse buddy; they peer out from behind blooming fall goldenrods.]
The director shouts “Cut!” The man in the white cap approaches him and says, “How was that?”
“Larry, I think we got the scene; we’ll upload it to the studio server tonight so the editors can get to work on it.”
“You gonna need me any more?”
“Well, I’ve been thinking. We have the meth-lab raid scene coming up. I’m thinking you might be good as the master cook! Makeup will fit you out with a scraggly wig, and if you don’t shave for a few days you’d be right for the part. How are you at acting strung-out and paranoid?”
I narrowed my eyes, glanced shiftily left and right, and said in a strained low voice, “Did you hear something out there?”
The director laughed, and said, “That’d be perfect! You must have had some practice!”
“Well, yeah, back when I lived down in Hannibal — yep, I’ve had practice!”
The director called out to a couple of men in coveralls: “Let’s get that mule and the horse loaded up and get them back to their barn, okay?”
One of the men said, “You got it, man!” One of the men climbed into a pickup truck and began to back a horse trailer into the pasture.
I said to the director, “Well, Wilfred, I need to finish up my route. You have my number!”
“See ya, bud.”
I got back in the red car and proceeded on down the road.
A note to readers: when I signed my blogging contract lo those many years ago I first made sure there wasn’t a verisimilitude clause in it!