Friday, January 04, 2008


Jesus O'Malley is home. Jesus was this tough Irish/Puerto Rican kid I grew up with in Rahway, NJ. He was twelve, but had the swagger and life-savviness of someone three times his age. He wasn't particularly big, strong or intimidating, but he could disarm any situation by doing something extraordinarily harmful to his person. Once while being threatened by three older Latino boys (one of whom was his cousin), he took a skateboard and smashed it over his right knee, shattering the board and taking himself out of Pop Warner football for the remainder of the season. Another time, while trying to impress Maria Rugerio, Jesus drove a Phillip's head screwdriver into his left ass cheek, causing the permanent disability to sit correctly on a toilet seat. These odd, self-inflicted acts were so outrageous and disturbing they always pulled focus from the conflict at hand. Not sure what triggered his impulse -- anxiety, a desperate need for attention, mutilation complex? Whatever the cause, Jesus was a peacemaker. And each painful escapade earned him respect and street cred. Not bad-ass, tough-guy credit, but fearful, unpredictable credit. Jesus had no impulse control. Everyone knew that sooner or later, the acts of terror would find their way off-self onto others. By the time he was nineteen, Jesus O'Malley was serving a 25 year sentence for three counts of second degree manslaughter. I was recently informed by a mutual childhood friend that Jesus was released from prison last May. He has changed his name to Joe and is an assistant manager at the TGI Fridays in Watchung, NJ. Good on you, Joe, good on you. As horrific, blood-filled memories of my childhood experiences with Mr. O'Malley came rushing back, I got to thinking about my own, immediate pain. I pondered -- faced with the conflict and impasse between the WGA and AMPTP, what would Jesus do? A wooden picket shoved up his ass? Pulled out slowly to ensure maximum splintering as it passed through the soft tissue of his anus? Perhaps a well swung bullhorn to his mouth, shattering four or five front teeth? Maybe diving under a Teamster van or impaling himself on the finial spears of Paramount's majestic gate? So many body parts, so many options. All of which, I fear, will be a bit less painful then the ones we are going to be faced with in the upcoming months.

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