The Ballad of Johnny The Banker: A Tribute to Tommy Wiseau’s The Room

Jo Thornely
5 min readMar 3, 2020

He bought his future wife a dress, all satiny and red;

There’s a chance he’ll hump it later, just before he winds up dead.

I’m sorry for the spoiler there, but surely you can tell

That even just five minutes in, this thing will not end well.

His neighbour Denny pops in, rather than just walking by,

And when Johnny sees him at the door, he says to him “Oh , hi”.

Now it’s time to do the nasty, give his bed another notch,

But with one small creepy hiccup, in that Denny wants to watch.

Johnny’s up for pillow fighting, but spectators aren’t allowed;

Because love is blind, but Denny’s not — they say that three’s a crowd.

Have you seen his buttock muscles yet? Just watch them bow and flex!

As he grinds on Lisa’s abdomen, we see them do the sex.

Their love-making is poetry, or petal-coated prose;

Johnny wants to sing to Lisa twice, and tell her she’s his rose.

Next morning, Lisa’s mum stops by, she really likes to visit

And a conversation’s not complete without a nose-touch, is it?

Nor without Lisa’s confession that she’s out of love, or bored,

She announces it at whim to an increasing drop-in horde.

Is Lisa bonking Mark? Is Mark betraying Johnny? Is he?

Yep! They bump uglies a lot, despite the fact he’s very busy.

Johnny’s florist doesn’t recognise him, which I think is strange;

Still, he buys some roses, pets her dog, and lets her keep the change.

When he feels like eating pizza, Lisa’s ordered it! Hey presto!

It’s half bacon with pineapple, and half artichoke and pesto.

Their dinner’s as confused as Lisa’s wavering devotion,

And he’s just so disappointed at not getting that promotion.

He’s not really a big drinker, not for him the lure of tipples,

But he needs a pick-up and another crack at Lisa’s nipples.

If you don’t like neckties ‘round your head, then drinking’s pretty risky,

But if that’s the kind of thing you like: half vodka and half whisky.

Lisa has nice legs and thinks that Johnny has nice pecs,

So there’s nothing for it but to have familiar-looking sex.

Is Claudette a loving mother, or a meddler? What’s the answer?

The only thing we’re sure of is her brief, distracting cancer.

Now, if saying “who the fuck are they?” is something that you like,

Here’s some chocolate-laced fellatio, with young Michelle and Mike.

But before she even gets a chance to fiddle with his balls,

In comes Lisa and her mother, and then Mike forgets his smalls.

When your name is Denny and you think you’ll buy some meth or crack

From a tough guy in a beanie, then be sure you pay him back

It’s important to remember: drugs aren’t cool and drugs aren’t funny,

And Chris R (no further surname) really wants his fucking money.

Yes, the roof sure sees some action, it’s a bottle-throwing spot;

And where Johnny says it’s bullshit. Did he hit her? He did not.

Plus it’s also good for football, and for stories with no point,

And for threatening psychologists when Mark’s had half a joint.

Now Lisa’s having second thoughts: she’s had a change of heart.

Poor Johnny’s at a loss and says she’s tearing him apart.

(If you need a little toilet break, you won’t have long to wait

You’ll be zipped back up before we pan across the Golden Gate).

Lisa comes home from some shopping, all the spoons in frames are glistening;

She tells her mom she’s cheating — in the shadows, Johnny’s listening.

He’ll tape a call confirming what he just heard her say live;

And he’ll use a tape recorder straight from 1985;

And he’ll hide it in the lounge room and he’ll plug it in the socket

And he’ll fill it with a tape that he just found there in his pocket.

Hey, it’s Peter the psychologist! He’s really hard to spot

Because he’s only in three scenes and then, quite suddenly, he’s not.

Peter won’t run Bay To Breakers, so he says, as plots all thicken;

He just doesn’t like the weirdos, or perhaps it’s ’cause he’s chicken.

Cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep;

Cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep oh look, Denny’s still a creep.

When they’re having conversations, hey, you know what might be nice?

With the unexpected bonus of theatrical device?

First you throw the football to him, then he’ll throw it back, and then

Just repeat it in tuxedos clearly made for bigger men.

But you have to be quite careful dealing with dramatic balls,

Because regardless of your sportsmanship, somebody always falls.

At a coffee shop, if you’re to stay hydrated like you oughta

You should order, quite specifically, some cheesecake and some water.

When choosing what to talk about, discretion is essential

Like, Mark’s sex life is okay, but Johnny’s work — that’s confidential.

This film’s timeline is elastic, first it’s weaving, then it’s ducking,

One minute Mark drinks tea, then he’s on top of Lisa, fucking.

Then he’s back with Johnny, jogging in a San Francisco park,

Then again, he’s back with Lisa. Wait — are you a wizard, Mark?

It’s almost party time, and Lisa’s busy with some chores;

Like unpacking chips and Turkish bread, and sweeping all the floors.

But the party doesn’t go so well, despite the varied fare;

It all starts when people go outside, ostensibly for air.

Johnny claims Lisa’s expecting, but she isn’t up the duff;

By now Michelle and Brand New Mystery Friend have almost had enough.

Yet there’s further dirty dancing, couch canoodling, and cake;

So Johnny throws some punches, ’cause it’s more than he can take.

Now he’s locked inside the bathroom, and he’s really quite upset;

He’ll be out in a few minutes, bitch, with tape in hand, I bet.

And he’ll play her back her treachery, a ploy that isn’t needed,

Because everybody heard it in the minutes that preceded.

Lisa packs a bag and leaves him, down the staircase, from his life,

While Johnny watches the departure of his former future wife.

Now the party’s truly over, metaphorically as well,

As he wanders the apartment, breaking stuff and raising hell.

In his tortured, frenzied fury, he soon finds the dress that’s red;

And he rubs his penis on it as if he and it are wed;

And he finds a gun and lifts it to his crying, black-tressed head;

And he mumbles ‘god forgive me’, pulls the trigger, and is dead.

There are tears and bloody fingers caused by Johnny’s expired state

As Mark breaks it to Lisa that he thinks they shouldn’t date.

While Denny sobs and sirens wail, the lesson learnt is plain:

That blood and little bits of skull leave quite a nasty stain.

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