I was working as a producer’s assistant on the Warners lot. I invited a friend to a premiere one night. We got there late, only to be turned away. A man with a suit showed up. They let him in. I couldn't believe the preferential treatment. “Hey!” I shouted, “What up with that, G-money?” “He’s from Warner Bros.” “So am I," I cried, to no avail. I never did get to see Malibu’s Most Wanted. I knew why they let that Warners exec in. It was the suit. I dug my old college-debating grey flannel number out of my closet and wore it to the office. Everyone on the production asked me why I was dressed up. Did I get promoted? Was I going to a funeral? I just smiled. The buzz began to build. I had to drop by set to deliver some papers to my boss. Everyone else working on the film was in casual clothes. Grips in shorts and sandals, my boss in an untucked dress shirt and corduroys. Jeff Robinov, the President of Production at the studio, was visiting my boss on set. He waved to me and said hello.
This was a guy who once sneered at me when the chicken sandwich I ordered for him came with barbecue sauce on it. But out of my assistant-wear, he didn’t recognize me. He actually thought I was worth acknowledging. I took my girlfriend to another premiere. At the after-party, we sat down in a booth. Danny Devito came waddling over. “Hey, how are ya?” He shook my hand. My girlfriend turned to me – “Do you know him?” “Nope. It’s the suit.” By the end of the night, I had a verbal deal to direct Danny in Matilda 2 and plans to get together at his summer home to meet Rhea and the kids. I went to the bathroom to take a shit. As I was straining, there was a knock on the door. I opened it, covering my junk with my hands. It was the bathroom attendant. He assumed I was someone to take note of and offered to wipe my ass for me. Apparently all the bigwigs enjoy personal ass-wipe service. I took him up on his gesture, tossing a five in his tip jar on the way out. It was the cleanest my asshole has ever been and probably ever will be. I wore my suit to work the next day. “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have” is a good slogan. Until you find yourself chasing your boss’ dog through the backtrails of the Hollywood Hills.
Lesson learned? Pricklers and dogshit never really come out of flannel. And Danny Devito is a fucking liar.
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