Things That Go Bump in the Night

by John Delach

Part 1: It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn


Most often when we bolt upright in the middle of the night a horrible thought has invaded an otherwise restful sleep cycle. The cause is part mental, part emotional, a psychological imperative that usually includes a physical element. It is the night-cycle manifestation of a festering emotional, personal, economic, health, work, or family problem. An erupting volcano. Something we thought we were managing and believed we had under control when we drifted off to sleep. Yet it intensified and finally metastasized into a fully-formed crisis of immense and unsolvable proportions. Sleep is ended, welcome to panic city, like it or not.


The so-called “shit” just hit the fan! First; we take inventory. Is the bed wet? Did I have night sweats? Did anything worse happen? All the while, try not to disturb your mate. Breathe, breathe, deep, deep; calm the heart. Sit up: “Where’s the dog, don’t trip over the dog.” Okay, quietly, safely walk to the bathroom. Close the door, put on the light, sit down, breathe…breathe…deep breaths, calm down, relax, calm down…


All the time, an internal alarm keeps repeating; “Oh my God, Oh my God; what have I done? How did this happen? What can I do, and on and on and on…


Slowly, catch our breath, calm down…grasp the actual problem, begin to understand; the early stages of panic control.


The thing about these episodes is that they really do happen in the night and recur time after time. Nobody is immune but I do believe as we work our way through the actual damage assessment and gain control, we realize it’s not as bad as our panic imagined and we can take comfort that it is always darkest before the dawn.



Part 2: Hooray for Hollywood


I wonder what erupting volcano causes the “big brains” to panic in the night. Those world leaders who hold the fate of civilization in their hands; what brings on their “oh shit” moments?


I know if it were me, North Korea and their Looney Tune leader, Kim Jong-On, would be my recurrent nightmare and my principal source of panic attacks. If I were unlucky enough to be president, I would be physically ill trying to figure out how I could make a deal with China to take him out, rub him out, make him go bye bye, cease to exist, make him disappear, not come around anymore or swim with the fishes. Jong-On is the most dangerous man on the planet and only the Chinese can remove him without the threat of Armageddon.


Trump has a big brain working for him who should be devoted to making this deal come about. Rex Tillerson, now our secretary of state, ran the biggest non-government mother f***** on the planet; Exxon-Mobil. He has both the big brain, horse trading experience and the chutzpah needed to pull it off.


But, at what price? The Chinese will not go easy into the night and sign off to do this on the cheap.


They want a serious payback in return. Tillerson must make the Chinese an offer they cannot refuse. It won’t be easy. Rex shouldn’t be surprised if they ask for us to relinquish Boeing or Lockheed in return; something that we simply cannot afford to do. Negotiations will be tricky, very tricky. Tillerson will need to have hidden cards waiting to play, but not playable until darkness sets in and the impasse becomes overpowering. He will need an overnight time-out. An aide to the Secretary makes the motion: “Ladies and gentleman, it is late and this has been a difficult day. We’re all tired, exasperated; please, let’s call it a day. I propose we re-convene tomorrow to see this through.”


The majority so moves.


The next day, negotiators return exhausted, still exasperated and frustrated; tired of the same old arguments and positions. They just want it to end. Timing will be perfect for the Secretary of State to play his hand. This is how I expect the inde documentary later filmed at low-budget studio in Astoria, Queens will capture this break-through agreement:


(Scene: A modern, wood-paneled conference room overlooking Beijing. An American contingent sits on one side of the table facing off against a Chinese contingent. The room is quiet. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson speaks to those assembled:)


This has been a long and difficult road for all of us. I too am running on empty so I realize just how frustrated you are. I keep saying to myself, “Ole Rex, there’s got to be something special we can do for our Chinese friends to repay them for this difficult task.”


Goodness knows I’ve thought and thought about this and you know what? Maybe, just maybe we have something to give you that you’d love to have, something that will put you on the map as a world player and, at the same time, light up the lives and bring joy to all of your people.


Please understand this will not be easy for us. Mercy no, many Americans will be saddened and depressed over our loss but, if it didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t be a fair trade.


I asked myself, what is the one thing you desperately need? What are the Chinese people desperate to call their own? And the answer is, of course, a first-rate motion picture industry. China is the world’s biggest box office and you deserve a top-notch film industry of your own.


And so, my friends, we are prepared to offer you Hollywood! That’s right, Hollywood! All of it, I’m talking about the studios, theme parks, actors, directors, producers, movie makers, key grips, best boys, their homes, their friends and families; the whole lock, stock and barrel. You have shipped entire steel plants from America to China, whole automobile assembly lines; this will be simple. You can create a  new Hollywood. If you build it, they will come. Bel Aires, Beverly Hills, Malibu, why even the Hollywood sign in your own image and likeness.


I know this will work. Let’s face facts, I am not loved by the people of Hollywood and neither is the president. They hate us and will be thrilled to move to New Hollywood. They will feel empowered and emboldened to escape our clumsy regime.


By golly, why it’s a win-win.


(Sounds of approval fill the screen as heroic music intensifies. The screen fades to black and five seconds later, the following statement appears on the black screen:)



Dateline: DEN NORSKE NOBELKOMITE. Oslo, Norway: September 30, 2017 –The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the President of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao for his monumental effort that successfully returned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea into the family of nations.


(The music stops. Ten seconds later we hear the sound of a telephone ring and Tillerson’s voice:)


Good morning Mr. President.


Good morning Rex. You know that prize rightfully belongs to you.


Mr. President, It’s good it went to ole Hu. Heck, I’m just a lit’le old Texas boy who doesn’t need some kind of a prize.


Well, thank you Rex.


Mr. President, just doing my job but you’re welcome.