(Note that portions of this radio play and the forthcoming
theatrical, one-hour play contain some direct transcribed Shepherd quotes
as found in my EYF!)
I have a suspicion that these are the things that, if somehow we could clear the decks and admit once, to ourselves, we’re not going to do it, and throw all this stuff out, we’d be better off for it. We ought to have a Dream Collection Day. You know how they used to have rag collection days, and old metal collection days? We ought to have a Dream Collection Day. Where everybody takes the half-finished model airplane out of the basement, the half-finished novel, the cracked guitar, and puts it out in front of the house. As a kind of public recanting, you see, for the salvage people to finally come and get. We’ll clean out all these poor, wonderful, idiotic, debilitating, defeating dreams. What a magnificent idea! Magnificent moment.
Me complaining? Oh, Shepherd’s not complaining, not at all. There is not one single word of complaint you’ll hear from me about life. Not one. I mean, I sit here looking at the raisins and I sit here looking at the dried apricots, I sit here looking at the vast, steaming, bubbling, hissing caldron, the fruitcake of life, and I realize—I realize I’ve hardly scratched the surface. Maybe one day I’ll grab that brass merry-go-round ring—that Dream!
And then one day back in the ‘80s, I really did hit the jackpot. After the jazz scene, the Playboy stories, the TV series, and all those other, lesser dreams, we made a movie that went all the way. At least it did on cable TV. Over fifty million people watch my movie every holiday season when it’s shown for twenty-four hours straight. Oh, come on, you know! A Christmas Story. The one where the kid almost shoots his eye out with the BB gun. The one where good old Santa kicks the kid in the face with his big black boot. Hilarious.