Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘We All Aspire To Be Assholes’

Not really an asshole, but he does work in showbiz.

 by Larry Brody


Once again, I feel that I must remind you. Every word in these poems is true, one way or another, and these poems all are part of a search – not necessarily successful, I admit – for a larger truth. The event described in this one shook me to the core when it happened. Now it just seems like, “Oh. Yeah. Right.” Oh those crazy, zany aspirations!

We All Aspire To Be Assholes

“We all aspire to be assholes,”

A Hollywood friend says to me.

“Megalomaniacs! Misogynists! Creeps!”

Twenty-five years ago my Hollywood friend

Was young and hopeful, his face open and

Smiling and naive. Now his blonde

Hair is dark, his look tight, mouth rolled like a snail.

I can’t tell if he has closed down because he

Let out too much of himself, or because

Too much of too many others got in.

We swap stories of other executives’ selfishness,

Arrogance, and dirty deeds. Then he leans back,

Thoughtful, looks past me, out a wall-sized window

With a Wilshire Boulevard view. “A few years ago

I worked at Disney,” he tells me. “They’ve got a

Good one there. The boss works seven days a week,

Has a slogan: ‘Don’t work Saturday

If you can’t work Sunday too. We had a meeting

One Sunday afternoon. Him. Me. Three other suits.

I was putting together a Davy Crockett series,

And needed a corporate level decision. Nothing

Creative, just whether or not something would be

In keeping with the Disney image. A decision only

The boss could make. The five of us discussed

Things, and then, suddenly, the boss nodded off.

He was asleep at his desk! His chin rested on his

Palm, his eyes closed. Sssst, he was gone,

Like a tire without air. The suit who was talking

Stopped in mid-sentence. We looked at each other.

I nodded toward the boss. ‘Should we…?’ No one

Said a word, but all three suits shook their heads.

We sat silently for a minute…Two…Three…Four…

Then, with a sputter, the boss shook himself,

And his eyes opened, refocused just like that.

Immediately, the suit who had been talking

Resumed exactly where he’d left off.

The boss listened, said something wise, made his

Decision, and our meeting was over. We filed out, and

Another group entered so the next meeting could begin.

He hadn’t missed a beat! Didn’t even

Know he had fallen asleep!

Oh yes,” sighs my Hollywood

Friend, “he’s a good one! Twenty years younger

Than I am, and the man I always wanted to be.”

I nod. I sit silently. My Hollywood friend

Has a job to give out, and I need it.

We all aspire to be assholes,

No matter how much—or how little—we know.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

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