Wednesday, February 9, 2011


For the next month, Budding Ventriloquist will explore the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. The issue is not which one is "best." The issue is: Which movie would be even better if ventriloquism was part of the story?

***Second in a series***


Opening Scene
Leonardo DiCaprio washes up on a beach and is taken prisoner by (in the first twist) scrupulous Oriental thugs who bring him to a room. He has a conversation with a very intimidatingly scrupulous Oriental thug leader, who does not look like Ming the Merciless. Leonardo takes out a ventriloquist dummy and looks at his mouth. If the dummy talks but Leonardo's lips don't move, Leonardo is dreaming.  Turns out Leonardo has  created a technique to invade people's dreams as a ventriloquist, though the person he's invading believes he's a dummy.

The plot thickens
When trapped into using his gift not for good but for evil, he rounds up Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, and other great ventriloquists who have been hiding in plain sight as entertainment superstars when in fact they are escaped renegade slaves of Ming the Merciless, who is trying to corner the world vase market. Leonardo explains that he will take the dream ventriloquism to the fourth level.  He'll make his dummy talk, who is actually a rich guy in dummy's clothing. That dummy will stay at a very funky hotel and acquire another dummy who will then in turn talk through the mouth of a very muppet-like puppet who may or may not be Leonardo's mother. The mother puppet has a fierce gunfight with an army of snow soldiers.

Until it runs like molasses
Just as the mother puppet is about to die, the bell hop from the hotel (who looks a lot like Charlie McCarthy) gets a cell phone call and realizes that his smarty phone is actually a bomb. As the bell hop suddenly needs to sneeze, time comes close to stopping, and Leonardo and his ex-wife fall into a monolithic world that looks a lot like the old Polish south side of Milwaukee, where she and his wife live in the flat above her (or his?) mother and father.  Realizing that all he needs is to wish upon a star, because it makes no difference who they are, the bell hop sneezes, the oriental thugs tip over Ming's tea, all the cars lose their tires in  the huge car chase, Jerry Lewis is everywhere, and Leonardo wakes up in the bosom of his family, but his dummy is on a plane with the rest of his ventriloquist compatriots.  The suitcase of money seems real enough. His kids are happy to have their daddy back, even if the kids both sound like Jerry Mahoney and Mortimer Snerd.  Are his lips moving?  The credits role...

"The End?"

The actual plot of Inception was more complicated than this. Sorry if I had to dummy down the whole thing.  If you are like me, you saw the movie a while ago. So you might be saying, "Oh yea, I remember it now. What parts did he make up for this spoof?"
A ventriloquism book about the Dummying Down of America? 

Get my publisher on the line.
This is one of the rare times that I've used a concept twice on my blog by writing this send up of Inception. If you noticed it, you get a Budding Ventriloquist tee shirt*.

They're on back order.  Don't plan to wear it on Valentine's Day. Definitely won't ship in time.
* Available in black, white, turquoise, and sage - perhaps all at once.

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