Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Law and Ordies

***Whew! Time for a breather, I think. After the two longform burned manuscripts I could use a change of pace, and I'm sure you could, too. For the next few days I'm going to burn some old essays, so each post will be self-contained. I haven't decided which major work to burn next, so if you have a request for a genre or format, post it in the comments and I'll see if I can accomodate you. We'll plan on cracking the next magnum opus starting Monday.***


The date was November 9, 2001. I recall it vividly. Except for the date. The date I had to look up on the internet. Nevertheless, there it is, me pretending to have an excellent memory. It's too late to take it back now. Well not really, I could easily go back and delete it. But I won't. Because the date is important. I actually found two dates on the internet, one site said the date was November 9, 2001, and another site said it was November 2, 2002. Using my own powers of deduction I determined that it was most likely the former for two reasons: I seem to recall seeing it while I was living in the dorms and I was dating my wife by November of 2002. Since I moved out of the dorms in Summer of 2002, and I'm sure I wouldn't have been watching Conan O'Brien while I was dating my wife (at least, not as religiously as I did while I was dating my hand) I am roughly 60% certain that it must have been November 9, 2001. Or, it could be that the internet is wrong, although that is virtually unheard of.

Nevertheless, the date was probably November 9, 2001 and I was watching Conan O'Brien on the television late at night. Picture, if you will, me, probably in the dorm, my roommate probably asleep, watching television. Conan has a very predictable format for his show: monologue, banter with Max Weinberg, skit (or skits), commercial, first guest, commercial, skit, commercial, second guest, commercial, musical or comedy guest, credits. I love Conan O'Brien's grasp of the absurd, but being a low rent late-night television show, he rarely has good guests, ergo, I usually tune out during the first commercial break. The night in question, regardless of when it was, had a particularly memorable skit for me, especially in retrospect.

I suspect that Law and Order: Criminal Intent had just come on the air, because Conan was making fun of the glut of Law and Order shows on the air. He decreed that they would be having an awards show called the Law and Ordies, wherein the best Law and Order show in certain categories would be given an award. They then cut to a few rows of folding chairs, perhaps forty, and Conan announced that they had invited all the cast and crew of the three Law and Order shows to appear. It was hilarious, because only Chris Maloney of Law and Order: SVU was there, in a tuxedo and everything. He of course, started looking over his shoulder, sort of hoping to see someone else, but of course no one else was there.

Then the categories began. One or two, I think, were legitimate for Law and Order shows. There was Best Wisecrack, I think, and Best Body Found in Strange Place. Now you have to keep in mind that every time the winner was announced they would cut to the row of chairs with Christopher Maloney sitting alone and looking over his shoulder. And of course, SVU never won. So they kept announcing "Law and Order" or "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and there would be clapping and no one would claim the prize. And then the funny categories began. My favorite was the Best Title Card. Law and Order fans know that almost every time the characters change location a black card with white writing appears accompanied by the "Doink Doink" noise Law and Order is famous for and it says something like:

Apartment of Jose Gonzalez
1407 Market Street
7:45 pm

Of course, every single title card is exactly the same, except for what it says. So it was hilarious seeing them say, "Law and Order", "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and "Law and Order: SVU" and showing the exact same thing three times, and then arbitrarily choosing a winner. Which was not Christopher Maloney.

And then came the best part which was the montage of cops drinking coffee. It's not as though in Law and Order the cops are constantly drinking coffee. Occasionally they're having lunch or something, but it's never been as though coffee was a huge part of the show. Nevertheless, Conan shows a montage of the greatest coffee drinking moments in Law and Order history, including Lenny Briscoe (God rest his soul) drinking from a styrofoam cup and Ice-T (or Ice Cube, I always forget which) pouring a cup from a coffee pot. While on the subject of Ice-T or possibly Ice Cube, I'd like to mention that his character is the suavest guy on TV. Every time I see him in some awesome suit, acting like a badass, I go, "Damn, he's smooth." And he is.

So finally, I forget what it was, but finally Law and Order: SVU wins something (it was the last category) and Christopher Maloney jumps up, cheering, like he just won an Oscar or something, and accepts it, getting all choked up, even though the whole rest of the night they'd been snubbing SVU and he was the only one who bothered to show up. It was hilarious.

Why do I mention all of this, you ask? Fuck you, I don't have answer your questions.

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