- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Sellevisionby Augusten Burroughs
"You exposed your penis on national television, Max. What am I supposed to do?"
"I didn't expose it, Howard, it just sort of peeked out."
"It `peeked out' during the Toys for Tots segment in front of twenty million viewers, many of whom were, not surprisingly, children. It's twenty-four hours later and we're still receiving faxes. The phone lines were so jammed last night that no one could get through to place orders. Plus I've got every mother in the country threatening child-abuse lawsuits."
Howard Toast, the executive producer of the Sellevision Retail Broadcasting Network, glared at the show host who was sitting in a black leather chair on the opposite side of his large glass desk. Behind Max and facing Howard, a bank of television monitors silently played live broadcasts of Sellevision, QVC, and the Home Shopping Network as well as broadcasts from the other three "B-class" networks.
Howard leaned forward and said quietly, "Jesus fucking Christ, Maxwell. This isn't the Playboy channel, it's Sellevision."
Max ran his fingers through his hair, a nervous habit. "Look, I was wearing a bathrobe, it was Slumber Sunday Sundown. We were all wearing bathrobes."
Howard's normally placid, waspy features contorted with frustration. A vein on his temple pulsed. "Max, the other hosts weren't naked under their bathrobes. It's just — well, there's no excuse — seven-year-old children and their mothers just shouldnot know that you're uncircumcised." He took four Advil from the bottle on his desk and washed them down with cold coffee. "I mean, this could be worse than that Cuban raft-boy thing."
Max wiped his hands on his slacks. "Look, I'm sorry, it was an accident. I already told you, Miguel knocked my latte over onto my lap in the dressing room while he was doing my makeup. What was I supposed to do, wear soaking wet boxers? C'mon, man, I had less than four minutes before I had to go on air, I had no choice."
Howard straightened the stapler on his desk. "You should have borrowed Miguel's underwear," he said angrily.
"Miguel is Hispanic. He doesn't wear underwear. Besides, that's a disgusting thought, even if he did."
"Not as disgusting as showing your dick to families all across America while they're sitting down to eat dinner."
Max rolled his eyes. "Jesus, Howard, you make it sound like I did it on purpose. Like I'm some kind of exhibitionist or something."
Howard leaned back in his chair, sighed, and looked up at the ceiling. There was a silence between them, and Max glanced over at the executive golf-putting toy in the corner ofthe office. Howard leaned forward and placed both hands on the desk, palms up, like he had nothing left to offer. "Max, I'm very sorry this had to happen, but if I put you back on air, I'll lose my job, the station will be boycotted — as it is, you're just lucky your penis didn't make the cover of USA Today."
Max leaned in, blinking. "So what are you telling me? You're saying, what, that I'm fired? Is that what you're telling me?"
Howard nodded his head solemnly. "Yes, Max, I'm afraid we're going to have to let you go. There's no way we can let you back on the air after this, just no way."
Max's hands flew up. "I can't believe you're firing me over this."
"I'm sorry, Max, I really am. I've got a few friends over at QVC and the Home Shopping Network, I could give them a call, see if they're looking for anybody. But you might have to start off doing the overnight. And if worse comes to worst, there's always" — he shifted his gaze toward one of the television monitors that was currently displaying an electric egg scrambler — "the E-Z Shop Channel."
"I can't fucking believe this," Max said, slumping in his chair, letting his mouth fall open.
"Max, America's premier retail broadcasting network simply cannot be associated with a controversy of this...magnitude."
"Oh, well, gee, I guess I should take that as a compliment," Max said sarcastically.
"It's not funny, Maxwell. It's sad, is what it is. It's very sad that you were so careless. You're a good host. But you crossed a line and, well, there are consequences."
Max left the office, mortified as security personnel accompanied him while he collected the possessions in his office, and then escorted him out of the building like a sex offender.
Copyright © 2000 by Augusten Burroughs
What Our Readers Are Saying
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:
Other books you might like