Thurston Howell III. My Facebook acquaintance Melinda St. James posted on her Facebook wall this photo of legendary film star Ginger Grant and commented "Almost makes me want to go back red!!!!! Smokin!" I have no issue with Ms. St. James' taste in chicks (although I am a Mary Ann man myself), but I was intrigued by how the image was awkwardly cropped. You see that there is a great expanse of foliage to Ms. Grant's left while she is jammed against the margin of the picture, cutting out a mysterious man in a blue shirt on her right. It brought to mind my experiences cruising personal ads on the World Wide Web and inevitably encountering profile pictures of women pinned against their boorish significant others, who they had since dumped and were now looking for a man with larger genitalia, a fatter wallet or less of a propensity to express frustration by hurling them against brick walls. For some inexplicable reason, these women possessed no solo images of themselves and instead simply found an old photo of her and Mr. Right-turned-Mr. Wrong, cropped his now-unnecessary mug out of the picture, and included it in an ad hunting for his replacement.
The problem is that potential suitors see her pretty cheek rested against his disembodied shoulder and they become obsessed with who the shoulder belongs to. Thus is the case with this picture of Ms. Grant and the mysterious dude in the photo. The obvious answer would be Professor Roy Hinkley, who had only one shirt with him and it was the same color as the man in the photo. But Ms. Grant was so full of her movie star snobbishness that there is no way that a humble academician would make such an impression on her that she would be bitter enough to crop him completely out of a photo to erase his memory. She could have gotten worked up over a macho sailor like Gilligan or the Skipper, but they too had only one shirt on the island and neither matches up with the one in the picture. That leaves the last man on the island; the only man with the foresight to not only bring a change of clothes with him on the three-hour tour, but a wardrobe so large that he was able to change several times during an episode. A man with such a vast fortune at his disposal that he could have easily conned Ms. Grant into performing unspeakable acts of perversion with him under the promise that he would bankroll her dream project of a film about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt when they were finally rescued. But when the show ended and Thurston Howell III made it clear that he had just been toying with her, Ms. Grant retaliated by tearing his face out of all the photos they had taken together and swearing revenge. That was her biggest mistake, because when they were finally reunited for Rescue from Gilligan's Island, Ms. Grant looked strangely different, as if Howell had used his vast wealth to have her murdered and her identity taken over by a completely different woman so as not to arouse suspicion. It was a perfect plan that almost worked if my bitter experiences with personal ads and tendency to concoct conspiracy theories when I was laying awake at 2:00 in the morning hadn't pieced it all out. Howell may be dead now, laid to rest in a tomb on his sprawling Newport estate next to his long-suffering wife Lovey, but I won't rest until authorities recognize his role in the murder and identity replacement of starlet Ginger Grant. Pictures don't lie.
Angelina Jolie, who I've been annoyed with for many years because she first came to prominence as an unpredictable wild woman who made out with her own brother at the Academy Awards and wore a vial of Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck, but who somehow managed – almost overnight – to reinvent her public image as an altruistic Earth Mother who cared only for saving babies in Africa. Add to that the fact that she has the reputation as a Hollywood megastar despite the fact that the only decent film she's appeared in was as the voice of The Tigress in Kung Fu Panda caused the mention of her name to add ten points to my already off-the-chart blood pressure. Then Ms. Jolie announced last week that she had chosen to undergo a double mastectomy (and will be having her ovaries removed) because her doctors told her that she had an 80% risk of developing breast cancer if she didn't. When the news hit the Internet, a disconcertingly large number of men expressed exasperation that she would sacrifice such grade-A melons without even being diagnosed with the disease, feeling that she should have held onto her massive rack for as long as possible even though once breast cancer has been detected, it's frequently too late to treat it. I was among those who marveled at her courage for submitting herself to the procedure under such circumstances and then going public about it, serving as a role model for women who are in the same situation and proving that if a smokin' hot piece of ass like Angelina Jolie can undergo a double mastectomy and remain a smokin' hot piece of ass, maybe there's an upside to it after all. I have no doubt that if she had any choice in the matter, Ms. Jolie would have preferred not to be a role model and carry on with her bodacious tah tahs as they were. But she was wise enough to look at the situation rationally and consider her kids and her family and friends and all those babies in Africa who would continue to need her, and did what needed to be done. And sometimes just doing what needs to be done makes you a hero whether you wanted it to or not. I may have to check out Kung Fu Panda this weekend as a tribute to a genuine Tigress.
Alex Fernandez, an actor acquaintance of mine who announced that a television pilot he appeared in called Killer Women has been picked up as a series on ABC and he will be featured as a regular character. Like most people in Hollywood, nothing depresses me more than when someone I know achieves success but I looked up Killer Women on IMDb to get some information about the show so I can brag to the cashier at the convenience store where I buy vodka and pornography at about how close Mr. Fernandez and I are. The show was described as the story of "Molly Parker, the only woman in the notoriously male Texas Rangers; a ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers on her way there." There's nothing I love more than stories about ballsy, beautiful badasses who know how to get to the truth, and if they have to ruffle a few feathers on the way there, so be it. Mr. Fernandez plays Lieutenant Luis Zea, who I assume is Ranger Parker's superior and therefore the possessor of the feathers that she ruffles the most frequently with her ballsy ways. But I was really impressed when I saw that the show was created by none other than Shakespeare. Full disclosure demands that it be told that the producer's name is actually Hannah Shakespeare, but talent carries on through the DNA and her famous forbear created female characters like Lady Macbeth, Ophelia and Desdemona; ballsy, beautiful badasses who know how to get to the truth. Of course, all of the characters tended to be dead at the end of the story so I hope that Lieutenant Luis Zea has fully paid-up life insurance coverage. Once those Shakespearean badasses start ruffling feathers, the body count can get pretty gruesome.
My longtime nemsis Ja'Son Fogelson, who returns to these pages after a blissfully lengthy absence. Mr. Fogelson posted this photograph of himself looking quite manly while seated atop a 1977 XLCR Sportster Cafe Racer at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. What struck me most about the photo was that Mr. Fogelson (an elderly man by anyone's standards) sported the flowing locks of a young Fabio or Tiny Tim. Yet I remember him from our halcyon college days when he once shaved his head completely bald to appear in a stage adaptation of The Three Musketeers (a production that became legend in the annals of the university because while it ran for three successive weeks, it had only one performance which just went on and on and on and on). So while most men boast a full head of hair in their misbegotten youth and then spend the latter part of their lives seeing it fall out in clumps, Mr. Fogelson seems to be doing a Benjamin Button thing by getting the baldness out of the way in his 20's so that he could enjoy his twilight years with hair down to his ankles. I'll be delighted if the Fogelson Equation is proven because I had full-on dementia in college so if the that's the way it works, I'm in no danger of suffering from humiliating senility in my dotage. The only bad part about that is that if I did become demented in my old age, I'll have forgotten about ever knowing Ja'Son Fogelson and seeing that god-awful production of The Three Musketeers.
Dogs. This listing may come as a surprise from a canine-lover such as myself, but the dog world is similar to the human one in that while it is mostly populated by kind and benign characters, there are just enough violent assholes out there to fill a heart with worry. My beloved Pug Winston is not immune from this, as when I am taking him for our twice-daily walks through the neighborhood, I find myself in the uncustomary position of being the Pied Piper of Hamelin as all the neighbor kids follow us around in a desperate bid to win Winston's attention. Winston enjoys that, but what he really loves is when he encounters a fellow pooch whose cornhole he can stick his snout up and take a long, pleasurable snort. As with any concerned parent, I worry about Winston running with the wrong crowd because while most of the pooches in the neighborhood are docile, sweet creatures who I'd be proud if they asked my Winston to the prom, there are a handful of massive, snarling hellhounds who could easily bite Winston in half after they made the easy hop over the tattered fence that surrounds them. So in an act of preemptive readiness, I have started carrying pepper spray with me so that if one of these angry beasts attacks my Winston, he'll scurry away with a fiery hot kisser. I hope that I never have to use this tactic but let it be a warning to all the angry Pit Bulls and Rottweilers we pass who have it in mind to take a bite out of Winston's pudgy ass that I'm packing heat. And that goes double for that little tramp of a Poodle who shakes her tail at him and then scurries through a hole in the fence before he can do anything about it. Nobody messes with my baby.