Eddie had pitched his show to all the major US and Canadian networks. Everybody passed. He tried England. The BBC, Channel Four, ITV, and Viacom all turned him down.
“Damage Control” was too good of an idea to give up on but he was running out of options. He was depressed. He was drinking during the day; his wife had taken the kids and gone to her mother’s house, in Cleveland.
“We’ll come back when you return to your senses.” She told him. She wasn’t a bad woman, and he wasn’t a bad husband but when he slipped into these funks she knew that it was better to keep her distance, let him work it out for himself.
That morning the phone woke him, it’s shrill trilling cut through his hangover like a knife. Groping for the receiver he brought the phone to his ear.
“Who are you, what do you want, and why are you bothering me?” he mumbled by way of greeting. He allowed light to creep in through slits of his eyelids and spotted the bottle on the nightstand. There was about an inch of brown liquor left in the bottom of the bottle. Just the ticket, he thought and grabbed it. As he tilted it up he realized that someone was talking to him on the phone. Sounded like Murray, his agent.
“Wait, wait, wait; Murray, is that you?” he asked.
“Yeah, it’s me. Who else would be calling you?”
“What is it, man? What’s up?”
“I was saying, I think I’ve sold your pilot. Can you straighten yourself up and be in my office by 1030 this morning? They want to meet.”
“What time is it now?” Eddie asked as he set the bottle back down and rubbed his face with his free hand.
“It’s eight o’clock now, Eddie. Look man, if you can’t do this I’ll try to reschedule, but these guys are going home this afternoon. I’m not sure when they’ll be back in the country.”
“They’re from another country, Murray? Tell me they’re from an English speaking country. Where are they from?”
“Televisa, Eddie. They’re from Televisa, in Mexico, and they want to start running ‘Damage Control’ on Canal de las Estrellas right away. They like the gritty urban setting and the juxtaposition of love and conflict between mother and son that you’ve written in. They told me they’ll see about expanding it to some of their other networks after the first season. This is a done deal Ed, we’re just negotiating the terms and conditions.”
“I can’t write in Spanish, Murray.”
“Doesn’t matter, Eddie. Doesn’t matter. You know what they said when I opened the discussions? They said, ‘No es nada tonto!'”
“What does that mean?”
“Literally, it means that it’s not at all foolish, figuratively it means that they think it’s smart. All you need to remember is that it means they like it, Eddie. It means they like it.”
“Alright Murray. I’ll be there.” He swung his legs out of bed and went to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee.