“Excuse me,” I said, “I’m trying to find Mr. DAY.”
Matter-of-factly, the young man said, “It’s pronounced DIE.” As in death, I thought. He offered his hand. “I’m Simon, Mr. Dey’s assistant.” Simon seemed like a genuinely nice person — or, at any rate, nice. In the environment of a Hollywood press junket, I challenge anyone to separate genuine kindness from vocational aspiration.
“Very good,” I said. “And thank you for letting me know. Standing by for Mr. DIE.” Then I waited by my car for another hour.
Catering trucks arrived. Wonderfully rich-looking food and desserts were shuttled past, into the bungalows. I realized I was starving, and I had to go to the bathroom. Always a bad combination.
At that moment, Lois approached. Apparently, she hadn’t qualified for the chuck-wagon ticket either. I liked her even more. I assumed she felt snubbed and didn’t want to make her feel worse, so I spoke to her as she passed.
“You know, I found out it’s DIE, not DAY,” I offered.
“Really,” she drawled, extending the word. She arched an eyebrow.
“His assistant just informed me.”
“Oh,” she said, with the slightest recoil and resignation.
“And I think he should be a fairly reliable authority,” I said.
“Yes, indeed,” Lois agreed.
“I mean, the only higher source would be Mr. DIE’S mother but, unfortunately, she’s not available.”
“Who is Mr. DIE, anyway?” Lois asked, finally pronouncing his name correctly.
One of the caterers walked by with a silver chalice full of shrimp. Without missing a step he said, “He’s the director.” ■
— Bob Canaan