Did You Ever Know That I'm My Hero?
Matthew McConaughey, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor Sunday night. While most Oscar winners charmed the audience by thanking their family or acknowledging the crew who toiled in obscurity to pave the way for their glamorous rise to wealth and fame, Mr. McConaughey paid tribute to the "Heroes" theme of the broadcast by pontificating to the audience about who he considered his real hero to be: himself. Oh, not the Matthew McConaughey who gave such an admittedly brilliant performance in Dallas Buyers Club, but always the Matthew McConaughey who lives exactly ten years in the future from current model of Matthew McConaughey. That means that the hero of 23 year old Matthew McConaughey wasn't anyone as mundane as Abraham Lincoln or Anne Frank; it was Matthew McConaughey the star of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. 26 year old Matthew McConaughey's idol was the heartthrob in Failure to Launch. And 29 year old Matthew McConaughey's highest role model was the dude who played the male lead in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. It was ironic that the Oscars ended their once-moving "In Memoriam" montage (before so many other award shows ripped it off that it lost its impact) by having Bette Midler sing a solo of her old radio hit Did You Ever Know That You're My Hero? (giving the whole sequence, since it remembered a group that consisted entirely of people who had never worked with or presumably even met Bette Midler, a dissatisfying feeling of being a tribute to Bette Midler). But after Mr. McConaughey's speech, the song would have had more of a sense of sincerity if Mr. McConaughey could have sung it to himself. That wouldn't be practical though, because we'd need a version of Matthew McConaughey ten years in the future for him to sing it to. Perhaps instead of sending out for pizza, Ellen Degeneras should have gone to CVS Pharmacy for a giant douchebag to listen to the ballad. From what I've seen, it could pass for Mr. McConaughey in any era.
My nemesis Misty LaRue, who attended my annual Academy Award party and even brought brownies. I was delighted at the sight of the treat, especially since I hoped that they were laced with some type of hallucinogenic that made me unable to see or hear Ms. LaRue for the duration of the evening, so I lunged at the plate to retrieve one. I was immediately given a condescending lecture by Ms. LaRue in front of my guests about how my first duty was to serve everyone in attendance before stuffing my own face, despite the fact that only two other dudes had bothered to show up and both of them were busy emptying the contents of my liquor cabinet into their livers when I made the brownie grab. I was forced to shame-facedly return the brownie to its platter and ask the two freeloaders who were now playing beer pong with my bottle of 1937 Glenfiddich if they wanted one. Both declined so I was able to retrieve my brownie and timidly nibble at it as Ms. LaRue glared at me disapprovingly. Alas, the brownie contained only brownie, which means I spent the evening listening to Ms. LaRue jabber on with my senses unimpaired, without even any Glenfiddich to dull the sound. The next time I throw a party, I'm going to be sure I'm the only one who's invited. I'll just have to remember to bring brownies.
Eddie Frierson, who was also in attendance at my party. Mr. Frierson is a professional "actor" who appeared in some of the films nominated for awards. I use the quotation marks because he falls into the category of "voiceover actor," meaning that he doesn't "act" in the sense that he portrays a loveable character that endears him to the audience such as when Matthew McConaughey played the world's greatest religious leader in Contact and has sex with Jodie Foster half an hour after meeting her. Mr. Frierson's art is displayed when you are watching a film with a huge crowd scene in which you hear the cast of thousands murmuring "rutabaga rutabaga" at the hero, and it is probably Mr. Frierson's voice that you are blocking out so that you can hear what Matthew McConaughey is saying. My buddy was greatly excited when one of the films he appeared in, Disney's Frozen, won some awards, although I believe his contribution to the project was providing the sound of a snowflake melting on the computer-generated reindeer's testicles. He couldn't hide his disappointment when another film he took part in, Lone Survivor, lost both of the Sound awards to Gravity, due in no small part I'm sure to the Academy not being able to live with the idea of giving an award for recording the sound of Eddie Frierson.
Bro Joe, with whom I dined on Tuesday night in the company of a group of gentlemen of, shall we say, equal worth to Joe (interpret that as you will but I think we all know what I mean). I picked up Joe at his home and drove us to the eatery we chowed down at, and as we were finishing Joe discovered that he had left his keys locked inside his house. Fortunately, he had a spare set of keys in his garage but the garage was padlocked and the key to the padlock was inside the garage, showing a rare splotch of illogic in Joe's usually flawless brain. I was dispatched to get a hammer from my house to destroy the padlock and retrieve the spare keys, which I dutifully did. The gentlemen who served as our dining companions (both professional circus geeks) each took turns cracking away at the lock, doing far more damage to Joe's garage door than their target but finally managing to break it from the latch. Literally as the lock came crashing to the ground, Joe came to us cheerfully and announced that no action was needed because he had forgotten to close the back window so that anyone from a hungry transient to a passing Grizzly Bear had easy access to the place and could be waiting for us when we entered the front door. Joe then grabbed the spare key from off the garage shelf and took us around to the front, where we discovered his "lost" keys inserted unmolested in the doorknob where he had left them. If only the transient had noticed the keys hanging from the knob, it would have saved him the trouble of climbing in through the back window. Then again, he might have lacked the element of surprise when we walked inside and he had us strip to our underwear and squeal like pigs, leaving us for dead a few hours later. It's always a good time hanging out at Joe's.
Nineteenth century novelist Charles Dickens. A former high school classmate posted this portrait of young Mr. Dickens on my Facebook wall to point out how closely I resemble the writer at a young age. I have had many nudniks post images of my alleged doppelgangers on my newsfeed, usually confronting me with a picture of some random dude who (other than sporting a goatee and a pair of glasses) looks nothing like me. But in this instance, I was surprised to see a strong likeness between the legendary writer and myself at the same age. And as I thought about it, the closeness wasn't merely physical. Mr. Dickens went on to write A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations to become the most beloved wordsmith of his generation. I went on to write U.S.S. Pinafore, Jonny's Enemies List and the self-published The Spanking Dungeon series of short stories. While I have not yet reached my look-alike's class of wealth or celebrity, it is plainly obvious that I am destined for the same level of literary esteem. So I'm dusting off my sex comedy The Lipstick Lesbian for a quick rewrite for when the literati finally discover me. I'd guessing that in the early drafts of A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens' descriptions of a woman having sex with a horse lacked sufficient detail until he polished them. I owe it to his memory to keep the same high literary standard.