Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pay me to play dead

Out of the blue one day, a buddy of mine said, “I have never seen a bird die of natural causes.”
I stopped dead in my tracks and thought about this for a moment and realized, neither had I.
Now every time I watch a bird fly past, I wait for it to clutch its chest, flip over and fall to the ground.
Other birds would rush to its side and try to do beak-to-beak resuscitation, but alas, it was natural causes that killed their fine feathered friend.
Perhaps low-fat worms could have made a difference, who knows.
I did see a bird get hit by a five-ton truck on the highway once. The bird flew in front of the truck box and went splat in an explosion of feathers. Not a natural death, but about as close as I have come.
Maybe the bird died of a heart attack when he saw the truck coming at him.
To this day I often think of my friend’s musing when ever I see a bird of any sort.
However, it was my mother-in-law who asked a question that haunts me the most.
We were watching a movie that had a brief scene of a guy who was killed in some manner or other.
The actor’s entire role was to lay on a gurney and look dead. Not too challenging a performance.
My mother-in-law said, “I wonder how much he got paid for that?”
Again I stopped and thought about this question, and now every single time I see some one playing a dead person I wonder how much they got paid.
I thought the bird thing was driving me crazy. Every time I watch CSI guess what I think?
That’s right, “How much did the dead guy get paid to be a dead guy?”
By now I am sure you have figured out I have waaaaay to much time on my hands and not nearly enough to think about, but still, I wonder what is the going rate to just lie there and not move?
Not a lot of range is required and just about anyone can do it.
“So what is my motivation?”
“Your motivation? You’re dead. Your motivation is to be dead.”
“Should I make a strange face when I’m dead? How about a look of anguish?”
“You’re dead. All we need is a look of being dead.”
“Hmmm, so you want me to look dead then?”
True, it is an acting job, but it would hardly jump off the pages of a resume.
“So tell me, what role did you play on CSI?”
“Well, do you remember the dead guy with the look of anguish on his face - that was me.”
“And how much did you get paid for that?”
I did a story on a company doing a commercial for a soft drink and they paid their extras $200 a day, even if they never set foot in front of the camera.
That’s pretty good money for doing nothing, almost like a management position with the government, only the manager slot involves more pay for less work.
So a dead guy would warrant at least that much, maybe more.
That’s pretty good money for just laying there doing nothing. With those qualifications, being appointed to the Senate is quite possible.
But the dead guy would probably make the politicians look bad because by comparison, he would be too motivated and active. The bar would be set too high.
“Mr. Speaker we have word that someone in the Senate is actually trying to accomplish something and we want it to stop immediately. Who is making us look bad you ask? That dead guy over there. Talk about an over achiever. He attends every single meeting. Pretty soon we will all be expected to attend meetings and that will seriously cut into our get-paid-while-doing-nothing time.”
I wonder how much a senator gets paid.

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