Your Pretty Face Goin' Straight to Hell
As is all too apparent, I’m getting old fast. An upcoming special–shot independently in 1999, illustrates (painfully) how old and how fast: I look–only 11 years ago–as someone who could pass for my own son. But the latest edition of Cigar Afficionado has just saved me from any delusional moves towards convertible coupes, lift and tuck or Just For Men.
I’m walking through an airport and passing a Hudson News and from a hundred feet away, I see something…strikingly…unreal against the back wall. It’s an image that sticks out a mile from all the other magazines. A big, doughy, lumpy, unnaturally black and tan image—-like a cartoon, gaping out at me.
“What the **** is that?” I ask myself, stopping dead in my tracks–riveted to the ground by this…this…..thing.
I move closer–drawn like a rubbernecker to the scene of a car accident. Oh my God! It’s hideous! It’s unholy! It’s Sylvester Stallone!!
How, I ask myself immediately, could anyone–Mr. Stallone, his publicist, his agent, his minions–or the editors of the magazine–have allowed this…this…image to be seen by anyone? Who–for a second–would believe that this is in any way a representation of a human face? Stallone is what? Sixty? And yet–look: the jet black hair. The equally black eyebrows, the face seemingly stretched, filled, plumped and filled. It’s like a child’s recollection of a face–as interpreted in Play-Doh. And yet…it’s strangely familiar:
Suddenly, with a frisson of recognition–a Proustian waft of something sweet and gooey emanating from the Cinabonn at the other end of the terminal, I remember. I recognize this face after all!
It’s Mister Potato Head!!! Beloved childhood toy! Friendly tuber with interchangeable features! The shiny black helmut of hair, the eyebrows and expression snapped onto molded plastic. I LOVE Mister Potato Head! I just don’t want to look like him.
Is there no one in this poor man’s life who cares enough to say: “Sly! Dude…..You sure you wanna leave the house like that?” Hell, the super of my building wouldn’t let me out the door looking like that–and we’re not even close. He’d stop me in my tracks–for sure: “Oh, man! That is ****ed up, brother! You get back upstairs and wash that **** out right now.”