What a dilemma. Don’t think about the debt ceiling. Kevin McCarthy and George Santos are busy threatening to bring the economy to its knees, taking your job and your house, stealing your car and dog, and, OMG, Matt Gaetz dating your daughter?

Your basement is flooded? Get a sump pump.

Yes, most of this Sunday morning is about flowers, dinner parties, visiting your elderly grandma in that expensive nursing home that is waiting for your check. You’re a TV writer? Make her sleep in the garage.

No. You live in Winslow. You’re helping parents work their Wi-Fi, getting gas for your truck, getting the rainwater out of the basement, or rescuing your wife’s nephew, who’s living in a tent in Oakland. The big stuff. You’re thinking things wouldn’t get worse.

Look out. They just did.

Breaking news: The Writers Guild of America, better known as WGA, has called a strike.


All of the writers whose names you don’t know and never will are striking. Do you care? Of course not, you’re struggling to buy groceries.

The Writers Guild of America has received strong statements of support from several other powerful Hollywood unions, including SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters, the Directors Guild and IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.)

What’s that mean for you? Nothing. It’s about unions. Remember unions? Of course not.

You watch late night shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” In other words, everything will be black. Get out the Monopoly game and Bicycle cards.

This strike hits home for me. I was one of those writers, and I have family working in the entertainment industry in Hollywood.

My son-in-law, a set decorator, is a longtime member of IATSE. He’s important. A set decorator isn’t someone who hangs pictures and arranges pillows. Think a cinema architect who builds stuff.


My youngest daughter, Jillana, is a Hollywood actor’s agent with Progressive Artists Agency. She has actors who are on series — not new series, mind you, returning series — that are supposed to start production for new seasons. Jillana tells me that “nothing can start until the strike is over, and writers can go back to work.”

One is on a sitcom where the writers are at tapings where they can rewrite jokes if they don’t “land” with the audience or just don’t play right.

At some point if the strike is still ongoing, God forbid, everything will be pushed back, and if that happens they may not get filming done in time to air the new seasons when they plan to. You got that?

Take a moment to think of the “background people” — professionals who will get hurt the most. These are invaluable workers who help support productions, such as drivers, costume dry-cleaners, set carpenters, lumber yard workers and makeup artists.

You’re thinking, “These people make big bucks, live in Beverly Hills mansions, eat in expensive restaurants and drive Mercedes. I should worry about them?”

First of all, the average writer lives in an apartment. Only a top few make big bucks and in L.A., the biggest of bucks don’t go very far.


Gas in central Maine is up to $3.40 and that hurts. In Los Angeles gas is up to $5.07.

A one-bedroom apartment goes for $1,050. Two beds? $3,000 a month.

Now back to your basement problems. How’s your sump pump working?

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

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