(Last night I dreamed I was a big deal television talk show host, and that my guest that night was Death.)

Me: Welcome to the show.

Death: Thanks! It's great to be here.

Me: I hate you.

Death: Excuse me?

Me: I mean, I hate you haven't made a movie in so long. I guess you've got one out now, though. What's it called? "Annie Hell"? "Singing in the Pain"? "Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner"?

Death: I don't have a movie out.

Me: "The Flim-Flam Man"?

Death: I don't have a movie out.

Me: You don't?

Death: No.

Me: Then why are you here? Don't tell me you finally wrote a book of your own.

Death: Nope. The reason I'm here is because you invited me here.

Me: Whoa---whoa there, Reapster. I didn't invite you here. I don't like you. I don't like your work. I never have.

Death: But this is your show. Why would I be here if you didn't invite me?

Me: I have no idea.

Death: I guess your sponsors invited me.

Me: No. My sponsors don't run this show. I run this show.

Death: Oh, come on. I think we both know better than that.

Me (standing): Get out. There's been a terrible mistake. I want you off this show. This is a happy show. This is a show about making people feel good. It's about having fun. You don't belong here. Get out.

Death: But my segment isn't over.

Me: Yes it is. Good-bye.

Death: I'm sorry, John. Really, I am. But I'm afraid I just haven't done yet what I came here to do.

Me: Get out! Get off my stage! Leave this building! You're not welcomed here! You have no business here! Go away!

(Death remains placidly gazing out toward the audience. My in-house band begins playing, softly at first, and then increasingly loud, until I can't even hear myself screaming. Though I'm unaware of it, we cut to commercial.)

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