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A Man Named Max
By Dan Rustin
Copyright 2000 Dan Rustin
A poem about why movie moguls name characters Max.

If you live to be a hundred
You may meet a man named Max;
Quite possibly your uncle
Or the man who does your tax.
But the chances are unlikely
You'll meet another Max;
They're a novelty, like Spike Lee,
Compared to Bobs and Toms and Jacks.
So then, how come every movie,
Whatever else it lacks,
Is sure to have, right in your face,
A character called Max?
No, I'm not making this stuff up.
These simply are the facts.
But what's the explanation
For this big-screen fascination
With the moniker of Max/
The reason, simply stated, is
Most films are made by hacks
Whose idea of clever scripting
Is to name somebody Max.
You can almost hear them plotting it
In their rumpled writers' shacks:
"This'll really break 'em up!
"They'll make wee-wee in their slacks!
"They'll be rolling in the aisles!
"We'll give 'em cardiacs!
"Cardiacs, my tush!
"We'll give 'em heart attacks!
"And they'll really toss their cookies
"When they learn his name is Max!"
Fellas, we got news for you.
Creative work is hard to do.
It has broken many backs.
We're tired of the cliche plots,
The formulas, the easy shots.
The worn-out artifacts.
Breeds comedy,
Not a character named Max.
And folks, if you're watching late at night
Like most insomniacs
And on the screen
There comes a scene
With a character named Max
Don't stretch out and relax
Take control--the remote that is--
And give it several whacks.
You're bound to find a decent film
With no character named Max.