Little Miss Gluten

Screen legend Shirley Temple. I wasn't feeling well this weekend and rather than subject the person behind me in spin class to my projectile diarrhea, I decided to stay home and watch a marathon of Ms. Temple's films on Turner Classic Movies. I had little experience with the curly-haired sweetie's work prior to that, so I was absolutely enchanted at her formulaic way of charming the dickishness out of all the grumpy old curmudgeons she encounters. So much so that I decided that I'm going to invent a machine that will bring her back to life and make her 6 years old again so that my beloved pug Winston and I can costar in a typical Shirley Temple movie for the 2010s. We'll have to make some changes for modern sensibilities though, so in my movie Little Shirley will be an orphan (she's always an orphan in these things) who is sent to live with her rich bastard of a grandfather (Lionel Barrymore is unavailable, so the part will be played by Wilford Brimley). This doesn't sit well with Grandpa's fortune hunting niece and nephew, who want their bratty child (played by the insufferable kid from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) to inherit his fortune. Shirley doesn't like it there either because she has sensitivity to gluten and can only eat peanut-flavored gluten-free animal crackers in her soup, but the brat has a peanut allergy so the fortune hunters don't feed her and keep her doped up on Prozac.

That infuriates Grandpa because he thinks Shirley has an eating disorder that will require an expensive stay at a rehab center, so she turns to the only people she can trust: the best friend of her late father (who was killed by friendly fire in Iraq) and his adorable dog, played by me and Winston. Shirley is convinced that her father is really still alive, and Winston and I placate her by trolling army hospitals with her trying to find him as we dream of adopting her despite the fact that I am a single man in his 50s who has no other experience with children, makes no discernible income and whose only other close relationship in life is with a dog.

It all looks grim until the final reel when we find Shirley's Dad alive in the army hospital, except he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and commits suicide right in front of her. Winston and I decide then and there that we're going to adopt her but the Child Welfare Department swoops in and says they've been investigating me because it's not natural for a middle-aged man to be hanging around a 6-year old, so I'm placed on the Megan's Law website and Grandpa kicks Shirley out of his house because she's too much trouble to put up with, no matter how cute she is. Shirley has no choice but to start making Internet porn and dies at the age of 13 from a drug overdose. I grant you that setting the story in 2014 makes it a little darker than something like Bright Eyes but I'm hoping that if I can regenerate John Ford (the director of Shirley's best film Wee Willie Winkie) back to life, he can give it the sentimental touch that will make it palatable. If he does a good job, we'll get to work on remaking The Grapes of Wrath where the Joad family endures an odyssey of trial and despair when they log onto to sign up for Obama Care.

A classic scene from “Little Miss Gluten” just before Child Welfare
breaks in and puts me on the Megan's Law website

My college buddy Genelle Izumi, who has been treating her Facebook pals to snippets from the diary she wrote when she was 10. I am enjoying Ms. Izumi's reminiscences, especially on March 9, 1970 when she described how it was the boys' turn to play something called "sock ball"but the girls played it instead. The only thing I remember from childhood that could be called "sock ball"was when I was a teenager and used an inverted tube sock to collect errant spooge when I was engaging in my five times a day self abuse sessions. I didn't think there was any chance that Ms. Izumi could be referring to that until later in the same diary entry, when she disclosed that she had just written a letter to the Monkees' lead man Davy Jones. 10 seems a little young for such urges but given the smoldering sexuality that Ms. Izumi exhibits now and Mr. Jones' irresistible appeal to the weaker sex at the time, it's entirely possible that she was using a piece of hosiery even at that tender age to clean up after synthesizing her erotic fantasies of the singer. It's nearly 45 years later but I would advise you not to enter Ms. Izumi's bedroom if you see a sock hanging from the doorknob, especially if you hear Daydream Believer booming from the other side. You don't want to see what the other sock is being used for.

My nemesis Misty LaRue, who posted a photo on her Facebook wall of this graffiti found in a lavatory of her daughter Misty, Jr.'s high school. The 21st century cave painting depicts the following exchange of theology: "Bitch suck a toe, you ass needs Jesus”>”There's no such thing”>”God is life."Misty, Jr.'s pithy response to the wall art was "my high school is now offering religion classes,"but I know from experience that if there's one place that God doesn't exist, it's a high school restroom. And not just because of the unspeakable violence a skinny geek like me could endure if he had the misfortune to be dragged into its Lord of the Flies-like confines which served as a kind of sanctuary for the Neanderthals who played linebacker for the football team. Even using the facility for the purposes that it was built for was a nightmare. I remember one time I rushed into the boy's room with explosive diarrhea, momentarily setting aside my solemn oath to have a bowel movement in the bushes by the science class before I would set foot within those walls. I immediately discovered that to discourage shenanigans, the toilet stalls had no doors. Being a modest young man, I selected the stall farthest from the door to conduct my business. What I didn't take into account was that the stall I was using was directly adjacent to the only mirror on the campus, which meant that as my large intestine was going through uncontrollable spasms, a seemingly endless parade of boys would enter, stand at the mirror a scant few inches from my embarrassing predicament, glance at me distastefully and then return to the business of arranging their feathered locks. This seemed to happen at least 50 times in the agonizing time I was clamped to the toilet, causing me to vow that I wouldn't use a public school bathroom again if my colon exploded. I remember that nightmarish morning like it was yesterday, and one thing I didn't detect in the time I was within those walls was the presence of a loving and protective deity. I'm sure He was concentrating His energies on looking over the bushes by the science class.

Enemies List favorite Mara Marini, who has slipped off my radar for the past few weeks. Ms. Marini is participating in an online phenomenon called the "March Photo a Day Challenge" in which you are supposed to post photographs on the social network every day of the month. When I heard Ms. Marini was taking part, I thought it was cause for rejoicing until I saw the images she was confronting me with: a landscape of the Runyan Canyon Summit, a sun-bleached beach in Malibu, a study of her little dog Monroe. Nice pictures to be sure, but not the kind of images that has caused me to make Ms. Marini's Instagram feed my Internet Explorer home page. I was ready to take my own life until Day 4, when she posted this shot of her taken by photographer Melissa Schwartz in which she is wearing a see-though negligee. I thought Ms. Marini was finally getting serious about this so-called "challenge,"until Day 5 when she posted a picture of her and some of her female buddies sitting at a bar; all hot chicks, but none of them wearing clothing transparent enough that I couldn't get a glimpse of anything I might see when using my high-powered binoculars to stare through their living room windows (like I would use high-powered binoculars to stare into somebody's living room). So I'm issuing Ms. Marini a challenge of my own. If she doesn't start posting some March photos that show some skin, I'm burying my face in a Victoria's Secret catalogue and not coming out until April.

Misty LaRue with her poster of mathmetician Alan Turing
I was uniquely uninspired this week so I reached out to the irritants who inhabit the darkest corners of the social network to help me with the fifth listing, opening the door for them to annoy me enough to be immortalized on these pages. The first wise ass who responded was, predictably, my nemesis Misty LaRue, who taunted "Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis in cell-like structures is pure comedy gold. I say go with that." Then Rob Vestal got into the act, informing me that he had made $2,000 before getting out of bed that morning. The move to get me jealous backfired on him though, when I jumped to the conclusion that he made the windfall by selling oral sex to the nervous middle-aged men who hang out in the alley behind his house. Immediately after that, Emmy nominee Wade Sheeler jumped into the fray by posting a succession of generic but hurtful insults at me, which I attributed to the fact that he was bitter that Mr. Vestal had overcharged him for the blowjobs. I finally threw my hands up in the air and decided that the fifth listing (in a rare second entry for the week) would go to Misty LaRue. Because Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis in cell-like structures really does get my goat sometimes.