An encounter with an 80’s icon also-ran
I decided to tell it in the style of Sophia Petrillo with a little Star Trek TNG thrown in for variety (don’t ask me why because I do not know)
Picture it, Santa Monica CA approximately 1025pm this evening –
(At this point you should be picturing Dorothy rolling her eyes in exasperation, Blanche giving just enough attention to keep an ear out should the story contain any sexual elements and Rose focusing with the undivided and rapt attention 5-year olds are able to maintain when their favorite cartoon is on)
A beautiful and confident black woman is strolling leisurely home from a local Santa Monica bar called the Hide OUT, she was staying with one of her many awesome cousins for a few weeks at their very comfortable summer condo rental while she waited for the room at her latest place to be vacated by the current roommate. She had wanted to watch the last half the Oakland Raiders trouncing by her beloved 49ers amongst other humans, so she did a quick Google to find a place that was within walking distance, but upon arrival discovered it was totally empty and only got a handful of additional customers over the next few hours, despite its prime location on PCH. An SF native, she initially suspected that the all caps in the word “out” might be of some significance but in true LA fashion it was purely an ill-advised, inexplicable, stylistic choice by the original owner, like spelling the name Jennifer with 3 ‘Ys’ or parents who name their children after drug store beauty products products like Nivea (an R&B singer and a pretty awesome moisturizer) or Neutrogena (a line of bath products and the name of a girl with whom I had gone to school). Satan’s Leviathan this town is filled with dumbasses making a whole lotta pointless decisions but I digress.
After a little over 2 hours in the near empty bar – her favorite kind being the near empty type since she likes to read in bars – and at precisely 10pm, the bar became quickly and obnoxiously filled with European, Middle Eastern and Japanese trust funded douche-bags and the anorexic douche-bagettes who pretend to love them. B&CBW’s jackass threshold was rapidly reaching critical levels and as she was alone (well, except for some trace tachyon particles), she felt it prudent to leave the bar or risk catastrophe, namely a gruesome verbal evisceration of a socially retarded, ridiculously entitled, willfully ignorant, halfwit and/or his equally half-witted and (likely) ravenously hungry, arm-piece. B&CBW made a quick stop at the nearby liquor store for some wine to drink that evening and while she began her deep clean of the living room and bathrooms the next day. Lost in her thoughts and enjoying the comfortable night air she inadvertently turned a block early and found herself on an idyllic but unfamiliar block. The lack of street lights made it difficult to get her bearings but after stopping in front of night quite huge Tudor style home that had just turned on its outside lights she spotted her cousin’s high-rise apartment. However, she was uncertain as to which direction was her best option to reach it if she continued down the street as it could abruptly end in a cul-de-sac or some equally asinine obstacle. On the other hand, if she went back the way she had it come it would add an additional 8 more minutes to her journey and her notoriously flat feet were starting to ache. As she considered her options, there emerged from the not quite huge Tudor style home, saying his goodbyes to what appeared to be dinner guests, easily forgettable but still appealing 80’s actor Judge Reinhold. B&CBW approached what she felt to be one of the least intimidating individuals she’d ever come across as he was waving final goodbyes to his guests.
“Excuse me,” she said in as pleasant a tone as she was capable (a naturally pleasing tone of voice not being one of her strong suits), he appeared to have not heard her so she repeated herself maintaining the pleasant tone with some effort. “Excuse me,” he turned and looked down at her, he’s much taller than you would think.
“Oh hello!” he said in an inappropriately jaunty manner given she was a stranger, approaching him at his home, late at night. The folksiness of his manner threatened to initiate B&CBW’s gag reflex and she was positive she could have negotiated her way into his house fairly easily (a thrilling tour of a real life celebrity home!) however she feared the interior was likely to be nauseatingly homey. She sensed it contained copious lamps with green, canvas, shades and quilted throws on all the couches and armchairs. Quickly she turned towards her cousin’s high-rise so tantalizingly close but seemingly unreachable, pointing at the building she asked what her best option for reaching that building. “Oh, well! Yes! You can just keep heading down this street. It turns or rather curves onto the block you’re trying to reach.” His response, though only lasting mere seconds, conveyed such genuine, avid, earnestness and incredibly sincere joy at his ability to assist B&CBW that she felt a small but insistent urge to commit physical violence upon his person. Fortunately, the urge was brief and she instead thanked him and continued on her way.
That beautiful and confident black woman… was me. (Here Dorothy would say “Oh, Ma!” in an either an exasperated or disbelieving tone) and that moderately forgotten 80’s actor was probably only three more hit movies away from full-blown icon status. Unfortunately, he hitched his wagon to the body switching comedy train with the flick “Vice Versa” co-starring Fred Savage. A picture that had the predictable misfortune (given the rampant unoriginality of Hollywood) to come out the same year as both “Like Father, Like Son” starring I believe Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore (Here Blanche will perk up at the name of Mr. Dudley Moore, as she will likely call him in her slutty, southern lilt) and “18 Again” with George Burns and some kid whose name I am uninterested in Googling (Rose will probably know what forgotten teen actor was the co-star of this turd as he’s probably from St. Olaf and his real name is probably Keeghan Gerhard). 1988 gave us the poop-filled hat trick of predicable, bullshit body switching flicks and it stopped the wholly unexplainable forward momentum of an actor whose name is a modern profession not like those jackasses walking around with the name ‘Cooper’, we don’t need your casks and barrels ya obsolete losers!