“Nobody can disappear. The old man tried that. Look where it got him. He lost his teeth. First he lost his real teeth, then he lost his false teeth. You never knew that did ya’? He never confided in you. Yeah, he lost his real teeth one at a time. Woke up every morning with another tooth lying on the mattress. Finally, he decides he’s gonna’ get ’em all pulled out but he doesn’t have any money. Middle of Arizona with no money and no insurance and every morning another tooth is lying on the mattress. So what does he do? He begs the government. G.I. Bill or some damn thing. Some pension plan he remembers in the back of his head. And they send him out the money. They send him the money but it’s not enough money. Costs a lot to have all yer teeth yanked. They charge by the individual tooth, ya’ know. I mean one tooth isn’t equal to another tooth. Some are more expensive. Like the big ones in the back… So he locates a Mexican dentist in Juarez who’ll do the whole thing for a song. And he takes off hitchhiking to the border. So how long do you think it takes him to get to the border? A man his age. Eight days it takes him. Eight days in the rain and the sun and every day he’s droppin’ teeth on the blacktop and nobody’ll pick him up ’cause his mouth’s full a’ blood. So finally he stumbles into the dentist. Dentist takes all his money and all his teeth. And there he is, in Mexico, with his gums sewed up and his pockets empty. Then I got out to see him, see. I go out there and I take him out for a nice Chinese dinner. But he doesn’t eat. All he wants to do is drink Martinis outa’ plastic cups. And he takes his teeth out and lay’s ’em on the table ’cause he can’t stand the feel of ’em. And we ask the waitress for one a’ those doggie bags to take the Chop Suey home in. So he drops his teeth in the doggie bag along with the Chop Suey. And then we go out to hit all the bars up and down the highway. Says he wants to introduce me to all his buddies. And in one a’ those bars, in one a’ those bars up and down the highway, he left that doggie bag with his teeth laying in the Chop Suey. We went back but we never did find it. Now that’s a true story. True to life.”
Part of the theatrical experience is what you bring to it. We’re not encouraged to bring anything to an experience anymore. If you’re watching a scene where somebody’s getting beat up behind a couch and you can’t see it very well, then your mind goes to all your own personal nightmares, what could be going on there that you can’t stand to see, and that feeds your own emotional life. But if you’re seeing every graphic moment of it, then it lets the audience off the hook, so they’re not sharing in the experience of what’s going on; they’re not contributing anything to it.