Thursday, February 17, 2011
Julia Robert's mustache and my friends derailed career as a Michael Jackson impersonator
I used to walk by this mom and pop video store on my way to the convenience store when I was a little kid. There would always be posters for whatever movie was about to be released on then VHS (after beta, before DVD, feel old yet?). Most of the movie posters or the stars featured in them failed to capture my attention. Not Bruce Willis in a wife beater, hiding from European terrorists while dropping corny one liners like "Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker", a phrase that experienced a long after life on the play ground of my elementary school. You'd be playing four square and the kid whose parents thought it ok to let their nine year old watch that movie would pull a move on you that would send you back into line to wait for another turn. After which, he'd say "Yippe ki-yay motherfucker". Or the poster for Ghost with Patrick Swayzee and Demi Moore. Again, nothing too eye catching there, but I did notice that when Whoopi is possessed by Patrick in the movie, who proceeds to make out heavily with Demi, in all actuality, its still Whoopi. And as funny as she may be, you just don't want to visualize Whoopi in that situation. But I digress.
So one day I was walking past the video store and saw a poster that caught my prepubescent eyes. It was for a movie I knew little about other than Roxette recording a song called "It must have been love" for it and that it was about a hooker. I didn't even know fully what a hooker was, or what they did. But I liked the poster. It featured Richard Gere standing next to a nice lady in ridiculously long boots. Her smile was blindingly white, which would tell you that even if she were a working girl, she took time out of her day of soliciting sex to brush vigorously at least twice a day. And floss. And flossing is a pain in the ass, but she must have done it cause her smile was flawless.
On the strength of the smile and boots alone, I knew I wanted/needed that poster. My bedroom walls were bare as this predated the wallpapering of my walls with vaguely homoerotic images of Motley Crue wearing shirts that said things like "Suck It", while puckering for the photographer, who was probably a man, not a woman in fishnets and high heels as the look on their faces that screamed "First I'ma rock yer asses, then I'm taking on five of you at once" would lead you to believe.
So i started regularly asking the owner of the store if I could have the poster and he'd always tell me that it wasn't time yet. The general public hadn't fully soaked up the story of a hooker with a heart of gold, who just wants to be accepted by the guy that showed his junk in American Gigolo and his high society friends, particularly Jason Alexander who really had no room to be particular as he wasn't blessed with great looks himself. But then one day I walked by the store and the poster was replaced by a poster for a movie where Sylvester Stallone strives to arm wrestle his way into being a decent father. I immediately inquired as to what happened to the poster. The owner knew I had been stalking the poster and rolled up, then handed it to me.
I put the poster up immediately. And then it was just me, and Julia. And her boots. This was a great while prior to my hormones kicking in, so nothing nasty transpired between me and Julia on paper. I just looked at the poster, sensing there was a reason why I liked it, just not knowing why. Like when you'd see footage of Michael Jackson concerts in foreign countries and wonder why people were crying. They didn't know why either, I mean, he wrote Beat It, but he wasn't a Beatle. And so it was with Julia and I, completely platonic, utterly innocent.
Then one day I came home to look at my lovely lovely two dimensional Julia, only to discover that, much to my horror, (and I'm sorry if any kids are in the room but I can only phrase this one way) some dirty fucker had drawn a substantial, impressive mustache on Julia's upper lip. I knew my brother had something to do with this, and thought to draw penises pointed at the mouths of all the players faces on his baseball cards. Particularly Ricky Henderson, who continues to talk in the third person. Eventually I found out that my brother had been aided by my friend Chris' brother Mike, who was then entertaining delusions of grandeur of being Michael Jackson. He'd moon walk, then grab his junk, then expound at great length how Michael Jackson was pretty much responsible for everything great that ever happened in modern society. The combustible engine? Michael. Vibrating beds in hotels? Michael. Diffusing gang violence by interjecting yourself in a near brawl, then dancing while wearing a heavily zippered jacket? Michael.
I told them both they were rotten bastards, then turned to my now mustachioed Julia. She was still smiling, with her uncomfortably white teeth. But I knew that beneath her pink tube top, her heart was breaking. So, I took the tape off the four corners of the poster, rolled it up, then dropped it in the trash. I loved Julie but seeing her after she had grown a Geraldo Rivera stache was too much for me. Too, I dunno, weird.
Soon after that the walls were plastered with images of men flashing the devil horns, while wearing codpieces. I missed Julia, but I was comfortable staring at the men who wrote Dr. Feelgood, well at least for a little while. Yes, even in tights and codpieces amidst women who wore nurse outfits when I sensed there was no way a licensed nurse would be allowed outside a hospital in high heels, a mile of cleavage and micro skirts. And in the event I found another poster, I kept a space next to posters of Tommy Lee with feathered hair, just in case a mustache-less Julia entered my life. Here's to you Pretty Woman.