Morris Crimpanfortis figures it’s high time to get back in the saddle and start pitching up a storm again. Realizing it’s been over a year since he last pitched Noreen, he contemplates some allowance for rust. He thinks about one of the shows he pitched in Burbank that featured camel races at Las Alamitos. He wonders if he can dust off this pitch and substitute ostriches for camels. They, by the way, were the camels with one hump, not two. He wonders if the hemorrhoid cream company that agreed to sponsor the camel races will be amenable to other sponsorship opportunities. But what if Noreen turns him down, like she always does? Has he learned anything from his year in exile? Does he now have the stones to stand up to her? Time will tell . . . 

TO: Morris Crimpanfortis V

FROM: Morris Crimpanfortis V

RE: Second Thoughts about First Impressions


When you’re Pitching Noreen, Timing is Everything

I check the digital display on my flip phone. Thankfully the satellite is up and running today and I have a signal. It is going on 4:00 PM EST, well past lunch hour in the Windy City. I take a deep breath, putting my feet on my littered desk, listening to something crunch beneath my heel–and not caring what it is.

I pause before I dial. It’s been over a year since the last time I did this. Do I actually think I’ll be able to pick it back up again like riding a bike? What’s the other one they talk about? Oh yeah falling off a log. I guess if you’ve ever done something one time, your muscle memory is supposed to toggle into place and everything will take over from there. Right? Isn’t that what they always say?

Pitching with Purpose: Only One Bite of the Apple at a Time

It becomes glaringly apparent that I don’t even know what I want to pitch. I don’t especially want to open with a really good one. I don’t want to waste it on a practice run. See, I get only one bite at the apple. I never get to come back for a second try. That’s just the way it is. Those are the rules I must play by.

The other tough part about his whole thing is the circumstances involving my last pitch in Burbank a year ago. I do my best to shut it out, but usually end up reliving the night when everyone was in my face, getting all hot and bothered about me having disparaged the family name with such an ill-begotten production. The lesson learned was this: doing an infomercial for a body cleanse product is one thing. You follow the old adage, “Just the facts, ma’am.” My problem came when I took matters into my own hands and made a game show out of it, including the disastrous decision to go live without a safety net.

Noreen had been riding herd on me the whole time I was in Burbank, doing a credible job of shutting me down with all my pitches. But secretly I think she enjoyed fielding them because bits and pieces appeared in her own productions. For instance, how can her reality show about the water treatment plant have ever gotten off the ground unless I hadn’t originally pitched the same show as a sitcom? Just sayin’…you don’t need to dig too far to realize Noreen is a Class-A rip-off artist. I’ve thought about suing her, but Daddy would probably raise a stink. Do you think I should do it anyway?

What’s there not to Love about this Show?

I think about the game show I pitched to Noreen in Burbank where contestants, mounted on camels, race around the track at Santa Anita. The contestant who gets the most correct answers during the Q & A round gets the fastest camel and the inside lane. The contestants who blow chunks in the Q & A mount lesser competitive camels. And no, don’t get me started on one hump two–that’s the argument that doomed the whole production in the first place.

Changing Up the Camels for Ostriches

I think twice about repackaging this show and pitching it again to Noreen. Maybe instead of racing around Las Alamitos on camels, contestants could race on the backs of ostriches around some abandoned racetrack back here in coal country. I wondered if changing it from camels to ostriches would be enough to disguise the fact that this was basically the same pitch as the one I gave her in Burbank.

I sigh deeply. This is not getting any better with age. What if she shuts me down? Then my whole dream will be dashed upon the rocks. Oh well, I’d better at least try. If she denies me an audience, then I might have to go directly to Daddy. But that will defeat the purpose and get me exactly nowhere.

See . . . Daddy is way too busy to take pitches.

Oh, before I forget: the sponsor for the camel racing show was a company that markets hemorrhoid cream. Maybe they’ll want to sponsor some of the shows I’m pitching now.

Ya think?