CIP School in the Phils.

Doing a interview with funny people!!!!!!!

on July 28, 2012






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After negotiating with Mr. Coyote’s agent for many months, I succeeded in negotiating a fee and set up a meeting with that ever-frustrated chaser of the uncatchable Road Runner. I arrived at a long-abandoned bus station on a no-longer-used dirt road about 100 miles west of Nowhere-in-Particular, Wyoming.

On a cracked, splintered and wind-worn bench next to a rectangular opening that once held a door, sat the object of my journalistic curiosity, Mr. Wile E. Coyote.

He is pretty mangy. His tattered fir is nearly the same color as the bleached wooded slats holding up what remains of the bench. He is covered in desert dust and his bulging, blood-shot eyes are glaring off into the distance. He does not appear to be focused on anything in particular. He is just sitting there with his eyes open, breathing shallowly, steadily and slowly. He seems unaware that I have arrived.

I sit down a few feet away from him on what is left of the bench and put a box containing the fee his agent and I had agreed (and that his agent had packaged for delivery) on the splintering boards between us and begin:


(Trying to stare straight ahead just as he is, figuring he’s not much interested in making direct eye contact.)

Hello, My Coyote. You sure weren’t easy to find. In fact, it took me just under thirteen years to find the fellow at Loony Tunes who would admit that he was the one who still represented you. Then, he put me off for another three years. So it was sixteen years ago tomorrow that I began to try to find you so I could interview you.

(Somehow, I thought this little bit of self-disclosed effort would be a good way to begin. I didn’t work as he continued as though I were not there. I decided to try another strategy.)

That darned Road Runner. If I could ever get my hands on him, I’d give him the whooping of his lifetime for the way he treated you. You were always my hero in those cartoons.

(Not a word of this was true, but I hadn’t come all this way after sixteen years to be ignored. Hang journalistic honesty and integrity! This tactic actually seemed to be eliciting a response as Mr. Coyote turned his head ever so slightly in my direction and said in a barely audible voice…)


Darned bird. Drove me nuts. OH, I suppose it was a short ride, but the fool thing is still runnin’ and Beepin’ all over creation. (He pulls an old pocket watch out from under his bottom.) He’ll be by in just a few minutes now. You’ll see.


So you sit here and watch him continue to run and Beep. Is that right?


You are sure one fast learner, boy.


Sounds like the days of you trying everything under the sun to catch, stop or destroy the Road Runner are long gone.


Yup. (He wheezes a bit. It is as though he hasn’t spoken for a very long time. Then I recall that in the cartoons, he never actually spoke at all.) It ain’t all bad, though. At least all the things I used to do to try to get him that always backfired on me don’t happen anymore.


You mean all those contraptions you bought through the mail from ACME?


Yup. That was them all right. You know, when I let myself think about it (he was turning a few more degrees in my direction as though he had decided that I was there) I should’a tried another company. I paid for and tried 634 devices that were all fully guaranteed and not a blessed single one of them ever worked. I got left holding the wrong end of the stick every single time.

(Of course, as every watcher of Road Runner cartoons knows, that was accurate. Bombs intended to blow the Road Runner to smithereens went off in Wile’s face, jet packs designed to allow him to go faster that the Road Runner could run and catch him, inevitably sent the Coyote head first into the ground or the jagged wall of a barren cliff.)


I guess I wondered about that. It was kind of hard to understand why you kept going back to the ACME catalog when nothing they sent ever seemed to work right for you.


(With what I thought may have been just a tad of a tear in the corner of his eye)

Guess you don’t know about Payola, huh? (I thought that Payola was about getting AM radio stations to play certain songs back in the 1950s and early 60s.)

Well, let this ol’ critter give you a little history lesson. Ya see, son, (He was now looking straight at me) Merry Melodies and Loony Tunes had a deal going with ACME. I don’t know what you call it now… we ain’t got no ‘lectricity out here so I don’t watch TV no more … but back in the day we called it “Product Placement.”

ACME paid mega bucks to Warner Brothers and the scripts never gave me a choice.

(I am thinking: Wow! Some things change and some don’t)

One time after crashing three times and getting blown to smithereens four times in a single episode, I went to my agent and begged for a change. No dice. To those corporate coyote haters, I was getting paid to keep quiet and self destruct. Bad deal, huh?


(Almost in tears myself by now) Yes… That sounds like it was a terrible deal. What made you decide to stay that long?


Well, in the early days, we co-starred in comic books. No one really got hurt. But then when the series got rolling on TV, everything changed. Big bucks were involved. I thought about leavin’, but – and this may come as a shock to you, young feller – but there wasn’t a lot of work in these days for a clearly beaten up and desperate coyote. Do you thing the acting market has changed today?


(I considered his question but only for a few moments) No, I guess not. Pretty characters are still the rage.

(We sat just staring at each other for a few minutes when gradually, both of heads turned to the left and we saw a small cloud of dust approaching from far away across the dusty, deserted plain. Could it be …?!)


Here he comes. (He glanced at his watch and quickly slid it back underneath his bottom.) Right on time. (He stared out at the road and the red lines in his bulging eyes could be seen returning.)

(Not more than five seconds later, the cloud grew bigger and closer and past by us like a mini-cyclone on the dirt road. There was an undeniable “Beep-Beep” as it passed. I looked over at Mr. Coyote. He was sitting straight up. staring straight ahead just as he had been when I found him. I was not there so far as he was concerned. We were finished.

The interview was over and I knew it. As I got up to leave, I became aware, as I began to stand, of the box sitting on the bench that I had brought him as his ‘fee’ for the interview. I noticed something about it that had escaped me before. Stamped in the upper left corner was a black stamp reading, simply “ACME.”

A couple of hundred yards down the road I heard the explosion. Reporters tell about destiny – They don’t change it. Wile E. Coyote’s or anyone else’s.)


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