Close the Gate!! Close the Door!!

There are two kinds of people in this world, those who close gates and those who don't. I am a gate closer. I grew up around large animals that were in fields and paddocks that were locked for a reason. It was hammered into me at an early age to close a gate when I passed through it. Where I came from, gates weren't just for decoration and if you didn't close them, a herd of cows, a bull, the horses, or sheep could wind up in a road or the neighbors garden. In other words, there'd be hell to pay if you didn't close the gate.

Fast forward about 50 years to 2008 and I am in an MTV video with Andy Samberg and Will Arnett. I play a cool biker dude who walks into the bar in the middle of a fight they are having and I am so cool, they stop fighting and try to be friendly to me, but I just walk by and give them a look that says, "You guys are so un-cool."

I had to walk into the bar and pass through a door. First, Andy was supposed to go through the door with a dead deer on his shoulder. Then, when I got my cue, I was supposed to go through the same door. So the door had to be closed after he walked through it and it was. I walked through the door and closed it. Then I did my bit. After the shoot, the director thanked me and I thought I had done a good job.

On the night of the MTV Music Awards show, I eagerly watched the show because the video was a promo on the show. But when I watched it I got a big shock because I had been cut out of it except for about a second when Andy says to me, "Hey," or something like that. Looking back on it, I realize why I got cut out. I stopped to shut the door. During the editing the editor probably thought, "Wow, he shut the door. Nobody shuts doors on film."

So shutting the door probably cost me my film career. I left Hollywood shortly thereafter and haven't been on film since then. No one in Hollywood, other than my friends, noticed.

One of the things that bugs me in life is people who don't shut doors and people who don't shut gates. Have you ever noticed that people in movies often don't shut a door? I watched "North by Northwest," last night and noticed that after the maid let Cary Grant and his entourage through the door of the house he was supposedly brought to against his will, she didn't shut the door.

What maid in real life wouldn't shut a door after letting guests into a house? There she is trooping through the house while behind her, the door is left wide open. It is so phony and yet, in movie after movie, TV show after TV show, nine times out of ten, they don't shut the stinking door. Why?

I was moving into a house with my daughter in Studio City and we had a gated yard for the dogs. Laurel Canyon Boulevard is a very busy road so we always made sure to keep the gates shut. Furniture was being moved in and cable guys came to install cable. During the confusion, one of the cable guys walked through a gate and left it open. Our miniature Australian Shepherd, Pyro, who had been right beside us a minute ago, went out the gate without our knowledge.

A few minutes later, one of the cable guys happened to be passing and nonchalantly said, "Hey your dog got hit by a car and I think it's dead." He continued on his merry way to install the cable.

I rushed out and found the little guy lying in the center lane with cars zipping by. I threaded my way back into the house with his limp and lifeless body in my hands and put him on the counter. I couldn't get a heart beat and as far as I could tell with a mirror, no breath. My daughter was in hysterics. I told her to call the emergency number for the Vet and I started working on Pyro. I did some energy work, believe it or not, based on IET and my experience as an energy worker. After a while I got a heartbeat and then, finally he was back with us and lifted his head.

Pyro had a badly broken leg and dislocated hip. He was missing one tooth and another was broken and his eye was swollen shut. He had to have a pin installed in the leg along with some wire to keep it all together. There was no time to blast the negligent cable guy over the gate, but his employers certainly heard about it later.

If I am ever in a movie or TV show again and pass through a door or gate, unless I have explicit instructions from the director, I'll still stop to close the door or gate. It may cost me my shot at immortality, but it's just something I have to do. So if you happen to see movie and there isn't a scene with a guy who walks through a door and closes it, that was probably a movie I was in and got cut out of, because I broke the rule and closed the door.


  1. Well, I'm a door/gate closer too, Bill, and I think the world would be a better place if more people were. Doors and gates are there for a reason. They're to keep something in or keep something out.

    Poor little Pyro. I'm glad he made it through that horrible experience, but it's so sad that he had to go through it because of someone's carelessness. He's a tough little cookie and a sweetheart.


  2. Not only am I a door and gate closer, but I'm a toilet lid closer, too!

    When we get our fence installed, the gates will be locked! No way am I trusting the whims of fate!

  3. Thanks for stopping by... I'm following you back.

    I totally understand what you mean. We actually have a double gate in our backyard (like a dog park) and go in and out through our laundry room to the garage to minimize any routes to the outside. People need to learn to close doors and gates behind them!

    Poor Pyro... I'm glad he was ultimately okay.

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot that one, close the toilet!

  5. I am always telling everyone to close the door. No one wants to listen. I am definitely a door closer! Growing up with indoor pets and living in a city, its a must.
    Great post!
    (Levi's mamma)

  6. Interesting and informative story that you have shared with us. Automatic gate closer is very helpful. We does not need to close the door manually and does not to worry about to close the door.