What the hell is a “high mercury count“? Whatever it is, it reportedly caused Jeremy Piven to abruptly end his run in Broadway’s Speed-the-Plow after missing Tuesday evening’s performance and a Wednesday matinee. I thought this was a put-on after reading David Mamet‘s comment that he had spoken to Piven and was told “that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury…so my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.” This is the lamest cop-out excuse I’ve ever heard from any shirker in any profession in my entire life. It’s on the level of “my dog ate my homework.”