A movie crew used my paper’s newsroom as a set this weekend, spending the night with an amazing amount of equipment both in and outside the building.
I wasn’t among the lucky few tapped to be extras, but a co-worker sat at my desk during the filming.
I had a hunch this might happen, since my desk has a perfect sight line to the Big Guy’s windowed walls. I suspect this is so they can always keep an eye on me because I am trouble, or at least amusing.
Nevertheless, I cleaned off the desk — strategically. Some items were left in plain view: A Tom Seaver Starting Lineup figure, a mini Statue of Liberty and the photo of me, Dad and Cousin Tim at Shea Stadium.
And, of course, Costco IV, my silent companion. His two-gallon domain sits on my desk, serving a calming influence and bookend for my reference materials.
And as you can tell by his numerical name, the life expectancy of the tank’s previous occupants has not been especially long. But this guy has been here since spring break, which means he was born not too much before then.
In his little world, the Mets’ late-season collapse of 2007 in ancient history. Johan Santana has always been a Met and the Yankees have always been also-rans. It’s a happy little world.
But I arrived this morning to find a note on my keyboard. "Dave, I’m at your desk as an extra in the movie with Val Kilmer. I’ll hold up the goldfish so it will be famous!"
Not good. Not good at all.
I think we all see where this is going.
It starts with a small scene, strutting and splashing in the bright lights of stardom. The right people will notice.
Soon it will be "Val said this," and "Val said that," and "That Charlie Sheen is really fun.
Then he gets an agent and I have to hear, "Costy, baby, you’re too big for that bowl! Let me get you outta there!"
The sycophants start hanging around my desk, getting in the way while I’m trying to take calls from school board members. Then, it’s "Have your people sprinkle a pinch of goldfish flakes with my people."
Soon he’s sitting in the lap of some Fox sitcom starlet in the row behind the dugout at the World Series in one of those shameless promos.
Then Costco IV starts living fast. Maybe too fast. Appearing at Obama rallies with the other A-listers, the parties with Paris and Brittany, replacing the water in the tank with Dom Perignon.
Then the inevitable arrest and the confessional appearance on "Leno," followed by the rehab, the cameo in the very special episode of "Desperate Housewives," the comeback, the relapse then — BAM! My fish is lying there bloated and dead on the sidewalk in front of the Viper Room, with some has-been from "21 Jump Street" quickly flushing something down the toilet as the cops and cameras show up.
Next thing you know, I’m back at Petco crying in the aquarium aisle while some unsympathetic clerk drops the newly-christened Costco V in a plastic bag full of water to head back to a freshly scrubbed tank.
I just don’t know if I’m ready for all that right now, at least until after the Braves series.
Damn you, Val Kilmer.