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My Transformation into a Plastic Bill Murray | By William Musgrove

Six months ago, Bill Murray, the last of the real celebrities, perished in a hospital bed. The doctor overseeing this titan of entertainment resurrected Bill the day after his death so he could die all over again as an homage to Groundhog Day, which the academy has dubbed the greatest movie ever produced. Even with no more stars twinkling in the sky, people haven’t stopped creating. Far from it. These days studios just cast plastics instead. And with Bill gone, I now get to flex my comedy chops.

I’m auditioning for Groundhog Day 17. My face and body have healed from the slicing and dicing. Seated around me in the waiting room are other plastic Bills. They pretend to speak into microphones, to kiss Andie MacDowell, to play piano. I’m filling in a crossword. I’m set. 27 down: Best year? I write 1993. Everyone knows time began recycling itself in 1993.

A botched plastic Bill comes in holding a clipboard.

“Bill Murray,” he says.

We all stand at once. The botched Bill points at me, and the rest of the Bills bash imaginary alarm clocks.

I walk into the other room where three casting director Bills sit behind a table. I deliver a few lines, and one of these Bills claps. Another one hands me a stuffed groundhog. Another one says: “I feel safe.”

I feel safe, too. Inside Bill Murray’s skin and with “I Got You Babe” looping in my head, I feel like a cozy childhood memory.

I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and do this all over again.


Will Musgrove is a writer and journalist from Northwest Iowa. He received an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ghost Parachute, Inklette, Serotonin, Defenestration, Rabid Oak, Tuna Fish Journal, The Daily Drunk, Barstow & Grand, Flash Frontier, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @Will_Musgrove.

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