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Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 11.23.05
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

I oughta be in pictures or, Movie Star moi

With the release of the 50 Cent bio-pic Get Rich or Die Tryin', I've been thinking that if thuggish rap star Mr. Cent can have his "life" story told at age 20-something, why not me?

After all, I'm all of 40. And so I've been working on the treatment for my screenplay, tentatively titled You'll Never Cover Ploughing Matches in This Town Again!

The film opens in an East Coast town (the seedy section, the part without any Tim Hortons). We see a tenement surrounded by squalor. There might be rats, we're not sure. We hear the sounds of a mother in labour. Luckily, this is happening in a nice clean hospital clear on the other side of town and the birth goes perfectly smoothly.

We next see the newborn child in his crib. That's me. In the quiet darkness, my father kneels by the crib and whispers. "You're going to do great things. I can feel it. You're going to do what I could never do… because of the mining accident." (A bit of dramatic licence; Dad's a bookkeeper.) "Look at those legs - born to play hockey." Then he places a skate beside me in the crib.

"What are you, nuts?" cries my mother. "He'll slice his mouth open. Here, chew on this." She removes the skate and tosses me a book to gnaw on.

Next, we zip through my childhood years in a montage of vignettes showing how I overcame adversity, accompanied by an evocative period song. I'm thinking "The Unicorn" by the Irish Rovers.

We see such traumas as me having to go to bed a full hour before my older siblings, my older brother shoving a garden stake up my nose, scratchy kisses from grandmothers. There's the part about getting dumped by my first real girlfriend… for a hockey player (irony).

And then we see how as a survival mechanism our hero retreats into reading, mostly Mad Magazines, which are also good for chewing.

Then we get into my gang years. By "gang" I mean "high school band." It's a vicious world and quite frankly I'm lucky to have gotten out. I'll manage to do this thanks to a crusty old mentor (guardian angel? guidance counsellor?) who sees my potential. He approaches me beaten and bloodied after an oboe altercation.

"Is this the life you want?" he says all crusty-like. "You wanna be a bum and second-clarinet all your life? You could do more. I see a talent in you, a talent for superficial writing of no particular consequence. It's going to be huge in the Nineties."

A little later on there's the love scene. I'm thinking Angelina Jolie. Did I mention I play myself?

Next there's a series of scenes showing my climb to success: University, house-painting, gun-running in El Salvador, my first big magazine column about underarm deodorant (no, seriously), and then the betrayal of my best friend (Casey Affleck) in order to land a coveted job at a Quebec weekly newspaper. I'm the talk of the town (North Hatley). Soon I'm a bigshot, living in a mansion in Fitch Bay. I turn my back on the little people, some not so little people, people of all sizes, actually.

And then the fall. I'm accused of fixing a municipal election to bring in a mayor who is both bigoted and, in actuality, dead. His opponent just happens to be a hockey player (sweet revenge).

I'm forced out of my job, lose my home and family and end up on the street (Dufferin). This prompts the Oscar-inspiring scene in which I declare, "The French say I'm anti-French. The English say I'm anti-English. But I just want to be loved! And have a cool car!"

Next there's an underwater fight, the discovery of Incan gold, a jet-ski chase, another love scene (Jessica Alba has already expressed interest), and finally redemption when I am given a job as a weekly columnist by an editor who turns out to be (surprise!) my crusty old mentor!

The end. Or is it…?

That's pretty much my life. Sure, I've taken a few dramatic licences but it's all in the name of art, because it's important for the public to hear stories like mine and Mr. Cent's. Did I mention I sing the title song?

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