Finally, my agent Mort is taking notice.
Sure, he scoffed at my idea for a dramatic series focusing on the travails of an Ocean City, New Jersey accounting firm as its team of crackerjack CPAs struggle to decipher the changes in the tax code, including how the new Treasury Regulations affect the capital gains tax and depreciation schedules using the declining balance method.
He wouldn't read my treatment about a pilot that explored the perils facing Taiwanese actuaries assigned to calculating insurance rates for 16-year-old drivers suffering from ADHD who are also being treated for a texting addiction. (I didn't even both mentioning to him my designs for a reality show that would team the country's best plastic surgeons in an effort to correct Bruce Jenner's plastic surgery debacle and make him look more like Mickey Rourke.)
And then I mentioned my wife's purse.
Mind you, this is no ordinary satchel. Sure, she has the standards you'd find in any overly protective mother's handbag: dental floss, band aids, Neosporin, Benadryl, Dramamine, nail clippers and a portable defibrillator. And there are the everyday utensils you'd expect from the ready-for-anything partner: a sewing kit, a flash light, a compass, linens and a complete set of Mikassa flatware.
Other than the weight I really shouldn't complain. No matter the situation she's always prepared. Like the time we were having a romantic fondue picnic when we ran out of sterno. Simple solution: she took out her solar-powered Bunsen burner and we resumed munching on our chocolate-dipped strawberries.
The idea for the script goes something like this: she is given 30 minutes to pack before heading out to some of the most perilous places in the planet (think the Peruvian Highlands, the Mauritania desert, Australia's Mulga Lands or Disney World's Animal Kingdom). She can take whatever she wants as long as it fits into her purse and passes through customs. When she arrives at her destination she must rely on her wits and the contents of her purse to get by. Kind of like MacGyver on menopause.
In the premier episode she is sent to the Columbian Andes with the assignment of preparing a complete shabbos dinner before sundown.
Without pause she whips out a freeze-dried brisket seasoned with bay leaves she stuffed into the outside pocket of her purse which she slow cooks in a portable martini shaker -- with a built-in ice maker -- she is able to convert into a crock pot. In need of a side dish she improvises her famous kishke recipe by killing a wondering alpaca with a makeshift bow and arrow made out of a knitting needle and a lanyard key chain my daughter made at camp. She then stuffs the animal's intestines with maize and rice (actually, it is quite delicious).
Dessert is bobka made from locally grown cocoa beans. And of course, given that this is South America, the meal would not be complete without a delicious cup of coffee she brews with a stainless steel tumbler. Not wanting to stay up late she decaffeinates the brew with an emery board and some charcoal briquettes she stored in her mascara case.
Mort was so crazy about the pilot he wanted me to write an entire season -- and my wife's kishke recipe.
I've been busy writing the season finale -- literally a cliffhanger as my wife manages to escape from the jungles of Myanmar by making a zip line out of a hairnet and a fishing reel she stores in a manicure kit which doubles as a tackle box.
The suspense builds the moment we drive her to O'Hare. We're running late when I realize I left my tollway transponder and wallet at home. At the very last possible moment I am able to turn off onto the cash-paying lanes but I am blocked by the tollgate. Frantic that she may miss her flight, I ask for 80 cents.
She reaches into her purse, pulls out her change purse and opens it.
"Sorry honey," she says. "I don't have any change."