“No. NO. Fuck that fuckin’ noise, Billy: you’re Billy. You’re Uncle fucking Billy, Billy the K, Billy the Drummer, the dickpunchingest sonuva bitch ever lived and: okay, you’re in front of a room full of people in a brand-new tie with…someone…next to you wearing sunglasses indoors and pontificating about the Berber people and their castanets, but you’ve been in worse spots.
“Remember ‘Nam? The dying boys and the smell of the napalm and all the screams? And then you left the airport.
“It was during the hiatus and you had mouths to feed and when Bob Hope needed a drummer for his USO bullshit, you took the gig. The heat would have killed a lesser man, with fewer Hawaiian shirts.
“You soldiered on. Remember the sketches? Bob would dress up like a hippie and everyone would boo and then you would miss your cue because you were stuffing heroin into corpses getting shipped home.
“You soldiered on.
“And you can make it through this, Bill. When whatshisface finally shuts up, just be polite and thank everyone. Tell ’em you’re honored and get the fuck off the stage and figure out what’s going on.
“He’s wrapping it up. Here ya go, buddy. Don’t let me down.”
“Okay, Bill. Why did you feel the need to mention the Jews running show business?”