The faux Black Guardian

Jonny Award winner Jesse Merlin, who asked me to create a delightful Photoshop illustration of him in his "Black Guardian" costume from the British TV institution Doctor Who standing in front of a typical Doctor Who backdrop. The image was intended to help gain him admittance to an oversold Doctor Who event whose target audience is pale, undatable teenage boys. The strategy happily worked but I thought little of it until a couple of days later when Mr. Merlin posted on his Facebook Wall that it was "a banner day for the postman"since an old friend of his had found a huge stack of Doctor Who paperbacks and sent them to his buddy. I was immediately concerned and thought I should stage an intervention for Mr. Merlin to stop him from following a life path that will inevitably turn him into an irredeemable geek. Then I realized that I first met the faux Black Guardian when he played the Captain Kirk surrogate in my Gilbert & Sullivan version of Star Trek. That's when it dawned on me just how brilliant his plan is. I have no idea what Mr. Merlin's actual age is but he has the smooth and supple skin of a teenager even though he talks and dresses like a Victorian prime minister. It's obvious that he and his fellow "lost boys" at sci fi conventions and comic book shows have aped Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray by immersing themselves in geekery to keep from aging. And if you pity Mr. Merlin because all the Doctor Who and Star Trek crap makes him undatable, I suggest you look at the Big Picture. No one who talks and dresses like a Victorian prime minister is going to get any action under any circumstances. At least this way he holds onto his high cheekbones and taut, muscular ass. If that means spending his weekends in a refrigerator crate that's been tricked out as a tardis, it's a small price to pay.

Bill Chaitman, who was a guest at a party I attended at the home of the evil genius Lars Fargo. We each had dates; I escorted my nemesis Misty LaRue, who spent the evening telling all the other guests anecdotes which had a punchline in which I emerged as some variation of an asspotato. Mr. Chaitman brought his bird Nico. The evening started out pleasantly enough with Nico perched quietly on his Daddy's shoulder. Then Nico took flight, fluttering around the room and taking refuge on the head or shoulder of any party guest in his flight pattern. It was fairly uneventful until Nico dug his talons in the soft spot at the top of Ms. LaRue's skull, making her already child-like speech incomprehensible. Fortunately, the bird found her to be as interesting as everyone else who encounters her and quickly flew to another target before doing too much damage to her frontal lobe. But I did notice that for the rest of the night, she stopped badgering me and sounded instead like HAL the computer at the end of 2001: a Space Odyssey. So I'm thinking about buying Ms. LaRue a bird. It may play havoc with her motor skills, but at least I'll be able to attend a social function without being called an asspotato.

Tom Ashworth, who recently bragged that he "just got a SAG callback to be a 'blind, alcoholic, dementia addled, Midwestern banjo player.' Four outta five ain't bad."Having heard the agony which Mr. Ashworth inflicts on the oval mandolin used in rural songs about pickup trucks and doomed love affairs, I naturally assumed that he was referring to his shortcomings in playing banjo. But it turns out Mr. Ashworth booked the gig, meaning his banjo playing was up to snuff. This leaves the other options as blind, alcoholic, dementia addled, and Midwestern. I looked up Mr. Ashworth in the same place I find all knowledge, Wikipedia, and discovered that he was born in Denver, Colorado. making "Midwestern"the odd man out. I was further surprised to learn that Mr. Ashworth plays offensive lineman for the New England Patriots, which (given his advanced age and physical infirmity) was a real shocker. I turned it around in my head for a few hours and considered the possibility that the Wikipedia article might be about a different Tom Ashworth, but I quickly rejected it. No one would want to share a name with a guy who plays the banjo that badly.

My beloved pug Winston, who I found lounging in what appeared to be an erotic pose so I snapped a photo and made the image on the left, adding the comment "My angel is a centerfold."I never thought that I would encounter anything as annoying as that song from The J. Geils Band until I read the comments that responded to the picture, all of which found it to be "irresistible," "delightful," "adorable" ad nauseum. Such is the adulation of Winston's following that he can do no wrong. Yet if I were to post a photo of myself in the exact same pose, I would be besieged with death threats and my Facebook account would be shut down in perpetuity. But before you ladies get too enthralled by Winston's naked form, let me remind you that he had a surgical procedure which severely diminished anything that he's demurely hiding behind a pillow. On the other hand, the yentas who read this column might consider that a turn-on. Based on the way they treat me, it only saves them from doing the job themselves.