21 Slices
Medium 9781552452677

Frankie+Hilary+Romeo+Abigail+Helen: An Intermission

Spencer Gordon Coach House Books ePub

FRANKIE+HILARY+ROMEO+ABIGAIL+HELEN:
AN INTERMISSION

 

 

 

By Frankie, I mean, of course, Francisco James Muñiz IV (1985– ), son of Francisco ‘Frank-a-hey-ho’ Benjamin Eugene-Wallace Tyler Muñiz III (a Cuban-born restaurant owner of Puerto Rican descent), and Denise (ex-nurse of mixed Irish and Italian heritage), now divorced. The particular Frankie who, after watching his older sister Christina’s sterling performance in her Knightdale, North Carolina, high school musical, decided to pursue a career in acting, and who first got his chops as Tiny Tim in a local theatre production of A Christmas Carol. The home-schooled Frankie who slogged through several no-budget productions (The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, etc.) and commercials and made-for-TV movies (e.g., To Dance with Olivia, 1997, starring Louis [or Lou] Gossett, Jr.) until his role in the David Spade/Sophie Marceau romantic comedy Lost & Found (1999), which, though roundly panned by critics, raised him in the eyes of Hollywood casting agents and facilitated his first big splash at the awkward age of fourteen in the Fox sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, a mid-season replacement in which Frankie played the eponymous leading character with such aplomb and earnestness that he was nominated for Golden Globe Awards in 2000 and 2001, an Emmy Award in 2001, and was awarded the Hollywood Reporter YoungStar Award for his overall performance in the series. Malcolm in the Middle being the long-running comedy series detailing the antics of a middle-class family modelled after a sort of ‘dysfunctional American post-nuclear’ (perhaps best epitomized by The Simpsons), lauded and known to push specific target-audience envelope thresholds and known as the vehicle that enabled Frankie to star in several feature-film productions through the early to mid-2000s, such as My Dog Skip (2000), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Big Fat Liar (2002, matched with actress Amanda Bynes), Agent Cody Banks (2003, alongside actress, singer and activist Hilary Duff), Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) and Racing Stripes (2005, voice only), as well as to make numerous cameo appearances, such as in the films Stuck on You (2003), Stay Alive (2006) and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007). The Frankie who, over the last few years, has been transitioning out of traditional Hollywood acting roles, experimenting with various producing gigs (for example, producing in 2006 the film Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman, an interactive animated feature based on the popular ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novels, for which he also provided voice-acting alongside actors William H. Macy and Lacey Chabert) and expressing a desire in print and online media to do some ‘growing up’ outside the limelight. The Frankie who has decided of late to pursue an exciting and rewarding career as a professional race-car driver (ever since gaining his driver’s licence in 2001, Frankie has been consumed with a powerful love of driving and of cars [no doubt influenced by his father, Frank-a-hey-ho, who similarly indulges in car adoration but has publicly expressed fears regarding Frankie’s safety behind the wheel] – a love which has led to the purchase of several exorbitantly expensive automobiles [a total of nine in Frankie’s first year of licenced driving], such as the white 1995 Volkswagen Jetta from the film The Fast and the Furious [2001], a 2002 Cadillac Escalade previously owned by Penny Hardaway of the New York Knicks and a 1950s Porsche Speedster). The Frankie who, after more or less committing himself to the sport, took first prize in the 2005 Pro/Celebrity Race at the Long Beach Grand Prix and promptly signed a two-year contract with Jensen Motorsport, allowing him to race between the years 2006 and 2008 in the Formula BMW U.S.A. Championship, the Champ Car Atlantic Series (including the Las Vegas Grand Prix), the Sebring Winter National SCCA race, and drive for the PCM/USR team, finishing in the top ten in three races and completing the 2008 season in eleventh place (also bringing home the 2008 Jovy Marcelo Sportsmanship Award for his gracious and honourable conduct during the year’s competitions). The particular Frankie who, in 2005, was briefly engaged to hairdresser Jamie Gandy (a woman who bears a passing resemblance to Frankie’s ex-co-star Hilary Duff and whom he met on the set of the film Stay Alive) – an engagement that was swiftly called off due (in part) to Frankie’s hectic racing and travelling schedule, which left him a grand total of only forty days at home in 2007. The Frankie who is also currently engaged to Hollywood unknown Elycia Turnbow, aka Elycia Marie (a five-foot-four vintage clothing store-owner [standing one inch shorter than Frankie] tagged by many bloggers as ‘super hot’) who, in early 2011, reputedly assaulted Frankie and damaged numerous expensive artworks and pieces of furniture around his mansion in Phoenix, according to a 911 dispatch call made by Frankie himself, who was reputedly embroiled in such relationship stress and drama that he was pushed to hold a pistol to his head and threaten to commit suicide. The resilient Frankie who is currently mending his relationship with Turnbow/Marie and denying any ongoing suicidal urges, and who, among other appearances and racing projects, is currently playing drums for the rather middle-of-the-road, radio-friendly rock band You Hang Up.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781552452585

BriannaSusannaAlana

Heather Birrell Coach House Books ePub

BriannaSusannaAlana

AT THE TOP OF THE STREET where Brianna, Susanna and Alana lived was a parkette in the form of a teardrop turned sideways. The parkette had a slide, two sets of swings (one for babies and one for big kids) and a climbing frame in the shape of a rocket ship. Brianna, at six, was not a baby, but still gave the big-kid swings the respect they deserved. Susanna, at ten, loved the big-kid swings, and had the soar-and-smash scars to prove it. Alana, at nearly thirteen, was so over swings of any kind.

Just above the parkette was a used-car lot, and next to that, an apartment parking lot, and next to that the apartment building itself, a brownstone of moderate proportions. Surrounding the brownstone was a well-manicured lawn that had been sectioned off in the northwest corner by yellow police tape. The police tape had been there for eight days and now appeared slack in places, fatigued.

From the observation pod at the top of the rocketship, Susanna had a good view of the goings-on around and inside the police tape. She observed, then reported her findings in urgent bulletins to Brianna and Alana. The former received these bulletins eagerly, if indiscriminately, jumping up and down below the pod, while the latter sat on one of the rungs of the slide yawning and peeling back the petals of skin around her fingernails. Still, whatever Susanna could tell them could not in any significant way diminish or augment what they already knew. The reason for the police tape was that somebody had been murdered.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781552452585

Dingbat

Heather Birrell Coach House Books ePub

Dingbat

DAD DIED IN FEBRUARY of my seventeenth year, in the backyard, while feeding the birds. Mum found him flat on his back, looking for all the world as if he were napping on the soft pile of snow he had just cleared from the space beside the feeder. When I got home from school, the ambulance had not yet arrived. Mum would not let me in the front door.

Go back to school, she said, her face white as bone.

When I kneeled beside my father, I was cheered by the fact that his eyes were closed. Dead people stared blankly into some unfathomable beyond. I laid my hand against his face. The skin was not warm, but it had a tender elasticity to it. I pulled his toque down over his forehead. There was a tiny curlicue of wax sitting like a hardened spot of Dijon mustard inside his ear. He was not dead.

Dad? I said, and leaned down close, so that he could hear.

A paramedic shoved me to the side.

Mum and I sat on the steps of the back porch and watched the uniformed men work. And it was work. They pushed and prodded at him, blew into his lungs, shocked his heart. We could see our breaths in the air, but sweat soaked their baby-blue shirts into navy. They did all that they could do. Still, they could have done more.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781552452585

Bye Bye Flangle Nuts

Heather Birrell Coach House Books ePub

Bye Bye Flangle Nuts

NOW, CLOSE YOU EYES, Rosa said. But close them as if theyre open, or youre surprised, if you know what I mean. Its maximum important not to bunch the lids up.

Jeremy leaned his head back and thought that even when his eyes were closed he had to pretend he was awake. And he didnt need to pretend, because he was. Always. Awake.

Thats good, but youre doing something totally fucked with your eyebrows now. Rosa smoothed one of his brows with her index finger, leaned close, possibly to kiss him or identify an imperfection, then pulled away. He heard her rifling through her instruments, pictured the glorified tackle box teeming with tiny pots and slender brushes, her irked efficiency as she worked free an eye pencil or cheese-shaped sponge.

Awake with your eyes closed, Rosa said. Were going to make you gorgeous.

He nodded.

Stay still. Remind me to call Maddie about Mum later, will you?

He nodded again.

Stay still, Rosa said.

Jeremy stayed still and thought about his sister, Maddie. He had been asleep when she called mid-afternoon – six months ago now – sleeping off the twelve beers and fearlessness of the night before. The phone rang at least eight times that he could count before Rosa picked it up. How fantastic it was to know that the racket was over with, what irreplaceable relief. He turned his head into the pillow, flipped himself over with effort and felt sleep squatting on the bridge of his nose.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781552452677

The Land of Plenty

Spencer Gordon Coach House Books ePub

THE LAND OF PLENTY

 

 

 

Date: February 9, 2005

To: Szychszczecin, Gary ‘gary.szychszczecin@subway.ca’

From: LNC ‘l.c.royale@sympatico.net’

Subject: Re: Advertising Arrangement

Dear Gary,

I’ve been considering your offer. It’s a deal, man. You’ll be helping me more than you can fathom. Sincere thanks to you (and your father) for thinking of me in my time of need.

So how about we jump right in. How’s this, for instance:

If I decide to buy the small veggie subs (and by small, I mean the modest six-inchers), and I politely refuse those thin bricks of processed cheese (American cheese, they’re called in happy commercials) or even the smallest dollops of mayonnaise or oil (called ‘sub sauce’ by those in the know) or other fatty and high-caloric sauces (Chipotle Southwest, say, or Sweet Onion, light of my life), and I have this assembled and rolled in Nine-Grain Bread with its roughish, earthy exterior and thin particles of flax seeds, then I can begin a new life – not necessarily a longer or more worthy one (for who can foresee the stupidities and vagaries of time: public transit dragging, falling ice, penis tumours, high-profile legal betrayals), or even a life remembered by a generational fetish group, or one preserved in pigeon-shit-splattered iron and bronze or in the pages of rotting, useless books that stand with jutting chins before the last fire or storm wipes away their synthetic inks, but a life that is now and then touched by beauty, and goodness, and occasional mercy, because SUBWAY, you obviously know the secret – that life is shit.

See All Chapters

See All Slices