Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Many Faces of Tom Warner

Will the Real "Almost Hip Guy" Please Stand Up?

Man of 1,000 Faces (All of 'em Bad!)

I'm always told by friends and strangers alike that I look "like that guy" - or in at least one case, "that gal". I think I'm the Play-Doh of Doppelgangers, one whose visage is molded by the imaginations of others to resemble a vast array of celebrities and nobodies (yes, even panhandlers sometimes stop me saying I resemble some imaginary friend of theirs - always as a prelude to asking for the money they swore they weren't going to ask for when reminiscing about their dear friend I allegedly resemble). Like Lon Chaney, I'm a "Man of a Thousand Faces" - most of them bad! Over the years my hairline has changed (its theme song is the same as The Jeffersons: "Movin' On Up") so that the Tom Petty resemblance of yore have now given way to the Jimmy Smits high-forehead look of today (as illustrated below)...

A guy with Max Headroom

...but my cast of lookalike characters has remained basically the same (see list below).

Just today, in fact, I got three messages on my Facebook page telling me that Damaged Hearing radio DJ Louis Fowler (right) had referenced my "amazing" resemblance to '70s Canadian pop star Nick Gilder and dedicated Gilder's 1978 #1 hit "Hot Child in the City" to me. (BTW, thanks Lou!)

Gild by association

No Dearth of Separated-at-Births

But today I also heard a new one. At a retirement party for a co-worker who loves pro wrestling, his family raved about how much I resembled a scrawny version of WWF Christian wrestler Chris Jericho, who in his spare time outside the squared circle fronts the heavy metal band Fozzy.

"The Foz", Chris Jericho: Me on steroids? I think not.

Me as Jericho? Geritol's more like it. I'm more like a Stage 5 cancerous version - I mean, I stand 5 foot 7 and weigh about 130 pounds, soaking wet, compared to the 6-foot, 230-pound Jericho! Other than our similar pert pecs and six-pack abs, I really don't see the resemblance between man-mountain Jericho and pencil-necked me.

Oh well, another one to add to the list.

Men (and Women) Who Would Be Me
(in alphabetical order)

Amelia Bullmore from various British films and TV shows (Scott & Bailey)

*New add!* Amelia, I feel ya - it's all in the high cheekbones and square jaws!

Bob (Frank Silva) from Twin Peaks

Love that "killer" smile!

Nick Gilder

The "Hot Child", looking cool

The Greaseman

Grease is the word!

William Hurt

Hurt So Good: William Hurt and I share the same wispy/receding hair, but Big Bill is way more manly than me. Even in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Big Bill was a stud.

Chris Jericho

No doubt about it: a dead ringer

Kato Kaehlin

He knew O.J.!

Carson Kressley

Don we now our gay apparel?

Bill Maher

Ouch, this resemblance hurts! A certain patron at work always tells me I look like "that guy on that show 'bout politics". Is my schnozz really THAT big?

Martina Navratilova

Well, at least we both love the ladies!

Tom Petty

Sorry, Tom, but with a face like yours, I DO have to live like a refugee - from society!

Julian Sands

Ah, that square, Slavic jawline! I don't mind this one so much, though the short-haired Sands looks more like faux-soul singer Michael Bolton than moi. Thankfully, most Yanks don't know this British actor outside of his role as the nasty Russian thug in Leaving Las Vegas, so only a handful see the supposed resemblance.

Martin Short

Well, we both ARE short. When I worked at BGE, a Jamaican contractor there greeting me each morning with "Ah, Mr. Martin Short!" Uh, yeah, keep smokin' that spliff, mon!

Jimmy Smits

Other than the high, "This Space for Rent" forehead, I don't see it.

Southside Johnny

Ugh. A very, very ugly man. Plus he's from Jersey! Unfortunately, I DO see this resemblance. Still, philosophical songs like "It's Not the Meat It's the Motion" show he's a deep thinker, like me.

David Spade

We do share the same "sunny" disposition.

Timothy Treadwell

The Grizzly Man "bears" an uncanny resemblance, I must admit.

Keith Urban

I wish! The Country & Western-loving checkout bagger lady at Eddie's Supermarket used to call me Keith. (I think maybe Eddie's, like the Goodwill, hires the mentally challenged.) Hmmm, does this mean Nicole Kidman would find me a viable sex partner?

And finally, leaving no stone unturned...

Charlie Watts

Definitely. Charlie was always the coolest Stone (so cool that he even punched Mick Jagger when the Glimmer Twit got out of hand!), so I don't mind my well-weathered mug being compared to his well-weathered mug. And I "played" drums, too! (Well, some say.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bush Given the Boot

These Boots Were Made For Hurling

God, I love this! An Iraqi journalist hurls his shoes at our Commander-in-Thief and Bush seems oblivious to its meaning (slapping someone's face with your shoe is considered the ultimate insult in the Arab world, where the soles of one’s feet are thought to be the dirtiest part of the body and, hence, showing one's soles is considered an extreme sign of disrespect) - and somehow The Great Liberator even manages to turn an event demonstrating his unpopularity with the minions he liberated into some kind of celebration of democratic freedom (which he defines not as "freedom of expression" but the freedom "to draw attention to yourself"). Good reaction time there, though, gotta admit. And what's with Bush smiling at the hurl like it's some innocent fratboy horseplay straight out out of Animal House? Is he merely clueless about cultural customs and mores or just naturally dim-witted?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Worn Down by Sportswear

Sales Pitches Off the Pitch

Blind girlfriend Amy says:
"I just LOVE this Social Networking hat!"

My underdressed girlfriend Amy is always cold, especially during the chilly holiday season, so whenever we go out I let her "don my gay apparel" - which tends to be outdoor stadium-friendly soccer gear. Thus, on a recent reluctant visit to the Towson Mall to buy Christmas presents at Hot Topic for my niece, Amy was bundled up in my FC Barcelona knit cap and Arsenal Gunners scarf. No sooner had we made our way past Macy's into the Mall Proper when we were stopped by a kiosk vendor, who was selling electric mobile thingies.

"Where you from?" She excitedly asked Amy, pointing at her scarf.

"I'm from here," Amy replied. Sensing that the saleswoman was commenting on Amy's Asian features, I piped in, "But her Mom's from Japan."

The young woman looked confused, and again pointed to Amy's scarf, saying "Ah, Arsenal!"

"Yes, Arsenal - it's my boyfriend's scarf. Why, where are you from?" Amy inquired, wondering if the young woman was perhaps from Japan (though she certainly didn't look it), or yet another stranger that mistook her ethnicity (a frequent occurance she's been mistaken for everything from Chinese and Korean to Fillipino and Mexican!)

"I from Argentina," she replied. "You know, we have many football teams, like Boca and River Plate and my team Racing. You like Arsenal?"

Everyone, Everywhere Loves Some Arse

Being a natural blond, it takes me a while to figure out most things in life, so it took me several minutes to understand that the girl thought Amy's scarf was for Arsenal de Sarandí (Argentina's Primera Division club, and 2007 Copa Sudamericana winner, from Avellaneda, whose team nickname "El Arse" loses something in translation - but gains a snicker or two from me!) and not their more famous namesakes from North London. Now it made sense, especially when I realised that "Racing" refered to Racing Club de Avellaneda - one of two other teams (along with Club Atletico Independiente) in this chick's hometown of Avellaneda - a port city in the greater metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. Whatever.

It's too cold for London's Arsenal to celebrate like this!

Amy's scarf - and our confusion - merely served as a hook for this enthusiastic young woman to make an aggressive sales pitch for her overpriced, non-essential knick-knacks. "Why us?," I mused.

"No, really, these are very nice," Amy told the woman, Shayla. "But we're just here to buy clothes for his niece - his brother's daughter."

Aye carumba! Once you stop and open the door of conversation to salespeople, you're stuck. It's like panhandlers - you either walk past them or you're stuck hearing their long-winded stories and feeling guilt-ridden when they wish you a "blessed" day.

"So, how old is your daughter," Shayla asked. "She like this?"

"No, she's not our daughter," I responded. "She's 23, but we're heading to Hot Topic to get her something."

Shayla still was either utterly confused or not listening. "So, your daughter live with you?" she asked.

"No, we don't live together," Amy said and, continuing with way Too Much Information, added, "and we don't have a daughter. You see, I'm too old for children anyway, though he's not."

Geeze, I felt like Amy was pimpin' me out as a baby-making fertility machine with that his-boys-can-still-swim-upstream comment! Anyway, 10 minutes later we finally escaped, guilt-ridden that we couldn't help Shayla with a sale, and frustrated by the language barrier that somehow left her with the impression that we didn't love our non-existant daughter enough to lavish her with non-essential and expensive doo-dads.

We had barely walked three feet before another vendor stopped us.

"Barcelona!" a young man exclaimed, approaching us with what we thought were food samples, but turned out to be body lotion samples.

"Oh, no! Here we go again!" says blind girlfriend Amy

Mes Que un Hat

Amy laughed and looked at me, saying, "You and your hat!"

Only the day before we were walking through Belvedere Market when the counter guy at Neopol Savory Smokery pointed at Amy's cap and shouted out "Viva Barcelona!" Stepping out from the counter we saw he was wearing a nifty FC Barcelona jersey.

"Mes que un club," I replied, giving him the thumbs up as I repeated the team's motto ("More than a club").

Apparently my hat was also more than a hat, as it allowed pesky mall vendors to stop us under the guise of complimenting Barca, only to further their own sales agenda.

Things Get Messi

Back at the Mall, the young man bearing lotion samples exclaimed, "I love Barcelona! Here, I give you gift, if only for Messi!" (That would be Lionel Messi, pictured at left, the pint-sized Argentine footballer who looks like a young Roman Polanski and plays winger for Barca like the reincarnation of fellow Argentine legend Diego Maradona.)

"Since you love Barcelona, I give you free demonstration!" Alas, the "gift" turned out to be another sales pitch.

With that the swarthy looking young salesman of indeterminant ethnicity (Indian? Middle Eastern?) grabbed Amy's left hand and started rubbing the lotion into her thumbnail, the whole time pitching his sale.

"This your wife? Girlfriend? You love her?"

Before I could respond, he continued, "She is beautiful, no? She deserve to stay beautiful, no, and this [Expensive Nail Polisher Product of Indeterminant Name] would make great Christmas present for her. Normally $49.95 but today, since you love Barca and you love her, I give you $24.99, what you say?"

After much apologetic banter - not to mention Amy's momentary waffling as she admitted "Hmmm, my nail does look really shiny now" - we finished explaining our economic hardship case to the determined salesman of indeterminant ethincity and creeped away, downrodden and guilt-ridden again. How quickly those smiles on the faces of salespeople turn to frowns when you don't show them the money.

Walking towards Norstrom's, Amy handed me the hat folded the scarf under her coat.

"I'm taking these off! We'll never make it to Hot Topic with your goofy hat."

Yes, it's best to look as unapproachable as possible around the Mall! No brand name clothes, no clothing expressing slogans, catchphrases, or athletic, political or musical opinions of any sort!

That said, we proceeded to enter the Mecca of Message Garb, Hot Topic.