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Compromises: The Shining


How creative compromise could have killed "The Shining."

After many arduous months of meticulousness Jack Nicholson wakes from his by-now standard two-hour slumber to get an early start on the last of The Shining's big set-ups. Expecting an icy veneer o'er a frosted maze of shrubbery, he is bewildered to find Stanley K. and his D.P. John Alcott hunched over a miniature bonsai tree.

"Heeeey, Staaaaan," Jack says.

"Yes, Pain In My Ass Second Only To That Emotionally Retarded Waif Shelley D?" Stanley replies in his most mannered tone.

"What kind of happening is this, Staaan? Where's the maaaaze, maaaan?"

"Well," Stanley says, running his fingers over the tassels on his cat o' nine tails. "Seems the studio doesn't want to finance a live replica of a maze. Seems we're over budget and over schedule. Common enough, of course, but they know you're in a hurry to play another louse for that pompous closet homosexual Mamet. Postman...Postman?"

"Postman Always Rings Twice," Jack interjects.

"Something like that," Stan says. "Well, they just won't spend another nickel. So Roy [Walker] swiped this from the massage parlor we went to last night in Aspen.

"But Staaaan, ha ha, this isn't exactly life size, is it? I mean, ha ha, this is, ha ha, quite another animal, isn't it?"

"I suppose it is," Stanley says. "Don't worry, though. We'll do sixty-five takes until we strike gold. Bishop to pawn!"

"What do you want me to do with it, Stan?"

Stanley stares off blankly for what seems like twenty minutes, occasionally breaking to chew on his beard or plot his next chess move. Then he turns back to Jack and clears his throat.

"Ya know, Jack, I can't really tell you. Cuz I don't really know what I want, but I know what I don't want."

"Brilliant!" exclaims a Time Magazine journalist standing nearby. "Genius! Pure genius!"

"Okay Stan," Jack says. The camera rolls and Jack wields his notorious axe. With Stan on the edge of his director's chair and all in suspense, Jack slowly lowers the weapon to his side and unzips his corduroy pants. He carefully pulls out his pecker and proceeds to take a leak on the bonsai trees.

In the distance we can see little Danny Torrance riding around in circles on a tricycle, drool oozing over his bottom lip, chin receding into his neck.

Just as Stan readies his megaphone and goes to call "Cut!" Jack jiggles off the last drops of urine he can muster and throws his head back, letting go with a barrage of barnyard animal noises loud enough to pierce the eardrums of Hunter S. Thompson in nearby Woody Creek.

A crooked pedophile's's smile crosses Stanley's face and he turns to Alcott, saying, "Checkmate!"

The A.D. calls cut and Stanley strides on to the set and slaps Jack on the back. "That was the stuff, Jack."

Jack grins like a Cheshire and runs his hand through his wild hair. "Well, that's what I'm here for, Staaaan."

"It was great," Stan says. "Really, really amazing. Let's do it eighteen more times and this time, instead of a bonsai tree let's have you pissing on Danny."

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