His Name is Mud

Matthew McConaughey in “Mud”
Matthew McConaughey, who I saw in a film called Mud last weekend in which he gave a brilliant – yes, I said brilliant – performance as a shady southern drifter who recruits the help of two young boys in trying to get him out of a precarious situation he finds himself in. Mr. McConaughey has been on my radar for years as an actor who rose to prominence because he possessed a perfect body and a devil-may-care charm while delivering atrocious performances in atrocious movies like Contact, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch and Sahara. I was perfectly willing to forgive his genetic superiority to me in exchange for the understanding that he had no talent for the art of acting whatsoever. Then a few years ago, Mr. McConaughey seemed to be weaseling out of his end of the bargain, delivering ghastly work in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and The Paperboy but slipping in unexpectedly amusing and memorable supporting roles in Tropic Thunder and Bernie. Then last year, Mr. McConaughey totally fucked me over by winning honors from the New York Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics and the Independent Spirit Awards for his performance as a male stripper in Magic Mike, a part which allowed him to show his acting chops and his rock-hard abs to good advantage. Now with Mud under his belt (a film in which he didn't remove his shirt until fully 2/3 into the running time, which is a new record for him), it seems to me that Mr. McConaughey needs to be reminded of the rules. If he expects me to continue to tolerate his presence in my consciousness, he'd best stop cranking out the arty crap and get to work on How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days II. Either that or he'd better put on 150 lbs. and develop a double chin. A deal's a deal.

Mara Marini checking me out at the beach. Hey, it could happen.
Enemies List favorite Mara Marini, who makes her official return to the pages after I have devoted the last few weeks to other less visually-stimulating subjects. Summer is just around the bend which means that we can all look forward to seeing a lot more skin than in months past and if there is even a remnant of anything like a God existing in the heavens, Ms. Marini will make the most of the warm weather by tying two pink shoelaces around her perfect body and calling them a swimsuit, and them shaking whatever glories she has to shake on some sun-drenched beach or pool of a 4-star resort. As a red-blooded American male who has attained the status of "creepy" on the Megan's Law website, I certainly have no problem with that. But experience tells me that whenever as finely a sculpted piece of biological artwork as Ms. Marini shows off her perfect figure and she catches even a glimpse of a sloth-like mortal like myself trying to sneak a peep at the bikini-clad wonders she's strutting for A-List producers and Matthew McConaughey's stunt doubles seated at the bar, she will stare daggers at me until I am either shown the door by resort security or the beefy personal trainer she's brought along to hold her purse pummels me into a fine paste. So in the name of self preservation, I have vowed to forgo the traditional muumuus and jogging suits that I wear in the summer months and instead sport a pink shoelace tied around my ample midsection to serve as a bathing suit. It may not have the same effect that the Mara Marinis of the world make with such a fashion statement but it will allow me to beat a hastier retreat from their escorts they've sent to beat me up for daring to check them out. It's hard to kick sand in someone's face when you're puking your guts out at the same time.

Birthday boy Glenn Simon and I in the Las Vegas production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream” in which we met. Neither of us has changed in the slightest.
My old buddy Glenn "Piece of Shit"Simon, who celebrates a birthday tomorrow. I first encountered Mr. Simon when he supported me in one of the 78 productions of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in which I starred, this one in the pious city of Las Vegas. Mr. Simon was sharing digs with another struggling actor at the time (I did not inquire as to the sexual nature of their relationship then nor do I now, but I'm sure that my mentioning it will force my readers to wonder about Mr. Simon's precarious sexuality from this day forward) and with one role left to fill, the director called the roommates and left a message on their answering machine saying that whoever responded first could have the part. It is one of the great tragedies of my life that Mr. Simon got to the phone before his roomie that day and thereby became a presence in my life which, prior to that moment, had been blissfully Glenn Simon-free. I'm not sure what year that production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was staged but I recall it being performed in front of gaslights and the audience showed their approval of the actors' work by throwing hoopskirts onto the stage as we took our curtain calls. The earth has circled the sun many times since then and I've often pondered the countless ways my life would have been better if only the roommate had answered the call, but such "what ifs"are fruitless and only contribute to my debilitating physical dependence on alcohol and chronic masturbation. So I hope that you'll join me in wishing my old friend "Piece of Shit" a happy birthday. In fact, you should give him a call. With any luck at all, his roommate will pick up first.

My mono-ped buddy Kiki Wistone, who sent me a text message late Wednesday afternoon telling me that she was bowing out of a jazz concert that we were attending together because she was too tired. I was puzzled because while the concert was indeed taking place on Wednesday night, it was scheduled for Wednesday June 19th; giving her a full three weeks to rest up for it. At first I assumed Ms. Wistone had simply gotten her dates mixed up, but then I began to go deeper. What exactly was she so tired of that would make her want to cancel on me so far in advance of the event. Was she tired of jazz? It tends to wear me out as well, but I usually have to listen to it for a minimum of two minutes before I start to get sick of it. Was she tired of me? That seemed to be a far more likely answer except that Ms. Wistone has known me for 35 years and if she had it in mind to cancel out on me for the mere reason that my face and personality had grown stale with her, she would have stood me up at our first viewing together of Harold and Maude in the 1970s. I finally decided that Ms. Wistone is tired of hanging out with Ms. Wistone but they've been together for so long that she feels the need to come up with elaborate excuses for standing herself up, like claiming to be too tired to attend an event weeks in the future so it just might be a good idea for her to find someone else to go with besides herself. This isn't as far-fetched as it sounds, since I haven't been myself when going out on a social engagement the late 1980s. Instead, I send my alter egos "Jonny Who Can Feign Interest In Conversation About Anything Other Than Himself" or "Jonny Who Doesn't Mind Being the Designated Driver" while I stay happily at home looking at Internet porn and drinking whatever I can find at the bottom of the bottles in my liquor cabinet. So my advice to Ms. Wistone is to develop a few fake personalities that she can send in her place to unwanted social gatherings and spare herself the embarrassment of sending bogus texts that weasel out of them on the wrong date. If she can come up with some obnoxious enough personalities, her friends will be the ones sending the last-minute texts canceling out on her. That strategy's always worked for me.

My upcoming colonoscopy. I get to experience one of the perks of turning 50 on Monday morning when I go to a nearby clinic and submit my anus to this cold and invasive procedure. The idea of being drugged and having some stranger photograph my rectum doesn't faze me in the slightest; that's a fairly routine weekend activity for me. What I dread is the preparation prior to the colonoscopy, which entails fasting for 24 hours with nothing allowed inside my expansive gut but water and clear gelatin desserts. Anyone who has been around me when I've had to postpone lunch for fifteen minutes knows that I tend to get a tab crabby when food is withheld from me, so the prospect of having to go an entire day without it makes me pity the fool who has to spend any time with me while I'm in that ravenous condition. So I'm using the time wisely by getting together with my nemesis Misty LaRue, a woman who I find annoying when I have a belly full of white chocolate and vodka. Ms. LaRue and I have come to an understanding on Sunday: I have agreed not to allow my food deprived state to make me too irritable and she has agreed to meet me with a submarine sandwich stuffed in her purse that she's going to insert inside me if I go back on my promise. She didn't say which end she plans to stuff the sandwich in but that's part of the madcap thrill of Jonny's weekend.

It's Clint Eastwood's birthday today! Celebrate by blaming all of the country's problems on an empty stool!