Get by with a Little Help from Your Friends (Epistolary StoryADay 2014)

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

*for my brother Mark, my never-fail, go-to-guy in college and, well life.
“You’re a better man than I am Gunga Din.”

Andrew Barthus In Film 101. Each of us got an actor to research for our final project. Mine’s Cary Grant. I’ve got tons of information. Just like your thoughts on him, the paper.

Heather Hayes I think his accent is phony. It’s too forced—like he’s trying to remember to say every word that way. He should have just spoken like an American not a fake Englishman. Kind of like Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. He would have been more convincing if he just dropped it.

Austin Baily Kevin Costner? At least Grant kept his accent all the way through the movie.

Jason Kelly My grandma and great grandma drooled over the guy. Have you seen how his hair shined? I think he used a lot of Brylcreem.

Andrew Barthus What?!

Jason Kelly Brylcreem. Hair goo. You can still get it. Smell will knock you out, though!

Andrew Barthus He was born in England. In Bristol, I think.

Jake Tillman They have some great graffiti there. Saw some when I went to England for break. Hey, there’s a good detail to include. Say he was the Bristol’s “father of graffiti.” Then cite something written my Eugene Vincent Jr. to prove it. Your prof will have a hard time checking that one.

Andrew Barthus Who’s Eugene Vincent Jr.?

Jake Tillman My college roommate. He doesn’t mind if you put “Dr.” in front of his name.

Andrew Barthus He write other stuff?

Jake Tillman LMAO! His name. I haven’t seen him write anything else since the year started. His girlfriend does that for him.

Jason Kelly Lucky guy.

Jake Tillman He’s majoring in English! I kid you not! LOL! No really he’s here because his girlfriend is.

Courtney Grey I read in People that Grant’s dad put his mom in a mental institution for depression when Cary was 9. Told him she was away on a “long holiday.” He didn’t find out she was alive in a mental institution until his dad confessed on his deathbed. Tells Grant the mom’s still alive. Grant was 31. 31 and he hasn’t thought it’s weird his mom is still on vacation?

Jason Kelly Geez,can anyone spell g-u-l-l-i-b-l-e? How long did he think the “long holiday” was? I mean, wouldn’t you ask your dad after say five years. When’s Mom coming home?

Heather Hayes Did he ever go to see her?

Courtney Grey No clue. Didn’t say.

Heather Hayes Didn’t say?! Who writes an article like that and doesn’t say?

Jake Tillman Too bad, good story there.

Andrew Barthus Ask Dr. Eugene Vincent, Jr. what he thinks. LOL

Christian Belden Well, that would mess a guy up. No wonder he became an actor. Get out of that life one way or another.

Andrew Barthus Hey, Court, what People was that in?

Courtney Grey Don’t know. Saw it waiting at the salon. Cover was torn off.

Andrew Barthus No one really knows how Grant was cared for after that. His dad remarried and kind of left Grant on his own.

Christian Belden Now, there’s an a-hole for you.

Heather Hayes How do you just leave your kid? Must not have had child neglect laws around then.

Jake Tillman Yeah, but—hey, it’s still kind of the Mom’s fault.

Courtney Grey You dork! Spend a lot of time listening to Limbaugh?

Christian Belden Maybe Grant was relieved his dad abandoned him. Who’d want to live with that guy?

Andrew Barthus Did you know Grant was expelled from grammar school. How do you get expelled from grammar school? My research doesn’t say.

Heather Hayes Ah, geez.

Jason Kelly I think that Grant was troubled.

Andrew Barthus He became a stilt walker in a traveling troupe. That’s how he got to the US.

Heather Hayes If he wouldn’t have been expelled he might not have taken a stilt-walking gig, never gone to America, you know, “the finger of fate” theme.

Andrew Barthus The guy was doomed from the start. His name was Archibald Alexander Leach.

Courtney Grey Archibald???????? Right away he should have known his parents didn’t love him—or want him. Maybe he was an ugly baby? Who looks at a baby and says, “Let’s call him Archibald Alexander. It goes perfectly with Leach.”

Heather Hayes Maybe the name caused the mom’s depression. I’d be depressed if I had to go around calling my kid “Archibald” and seeing the reaction on other people’s faces!

Andrew Barthus Anyway, this story is still kind of sad.

Jason Kelly Eugene says there was a poet Archibald MacLeish.

Courtney Grey Hey! Eugene knows something!

Jason Kelly He says his girlfriend says so.

Courtney Grey My mistake

Heather Hayes Must be true then.

Christian Belden At least Grant was smart enough to change that handle.

Andrew Barthus Actually, the studio gave him the name.

Jake Tillman I’ve heard he was homosexual or bisexual. The studio name fits those theories, if you think about it.

Courtney Grey Cryptic

Andrew Barthus I got some great pictures of him and a guy named Randolph Scott at

Jake Tillman Poor guy went from one lame name to another.

Jason Kelly Yeah, no say on either one.

Andrew Barthus His daughter, Jennifer Grant, says he liked the rumor he was gay. Said it made the ladies more likely to try to prove he wasn’t.

Courtney Grey Well, at least five ladies tried. People said he had five wives.

Jake Tillman That proves the theory, all right!

Andrew Barthus He was a good dad, though. Quit acting when his daughter, Jennifer Grant (the actress)—only kid—was born. He let his wife, some woman named Leslie Caron,(sp?) pursue her career. He stayed home and took care of his daughter.

Heather Hayes A Renaissance man!

Christian Belden Or trying to make up for his father. Or up to his mother?

Jake Tillman Some would say that proves the homosexual theory.

Heather Hayes Like Limbaugh.

Jason Kelly When’s the thing due?

Andrew Barthus Tomorrow at 9:00.

Heather Hayes Yikes! You’d better get crackin’!

Jake Tillman Nah, you got time.

Courtney Grey How long does it have to be?

Andrew Barthus Ten pages

Jake Tillman Ten pages! Who’s the prof?

Andrew Barthus Silverstone

Jake Tillman Mr. or Mrs.?

Andrew Barthus Mr.

Christian Belden Silverstone! You lucked out. He’ll never read it. Probably just count the pages and look at format.

Heather Hayes Yeah, he’s a stickler for format. Have a good intro and conclusion and throw in a few quotes and “Cary Grants” and you’re good.

Courtney Grey I think you should write your paper about how young years affect a person’s life and career choice. You could use different psychologists’ quotes. Use that whole nature or nurture argument.

Andrew Barthus I like it. Jas, ask Eugene’s girlfriend if she’ll write it for me?


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