Sheen vs. Estevez: I Guess We’re Really Doing This Thing

“Now you wanna get nuts?!  Come on!  LET’S GET NUTS!”

Can you imagine if Christian Bale Batman had delivered that line instead of *Michael Keaton Batman?  You know, with that gravelly new Batman voice that made me laugh out loud in the movie theater the first time I heard it?

We’re not here to talk about “What if?” scenarios regarding the Batman franchise, because I am a person who values their life.

If there’s one thing people have made clear on the interwebz, it’s that you should never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, ever start a debate about comic book characters, or about movie characters that are based on comic book characters, or about pretty much anything else in the entire universe that used to exist, currently exists, or will exist in the future, comic-related or otherwise.

I guess this is the end of this post, then.  Thanks for ruining everything!

So anyway, I figure the one topic that you may still be able to discuss semi-openly online without having your life threatened (yeah right), is whether to take “Sheen” or “Estevez” as your professional last name if you’re working in Hollywood.

I should mention that the pre-requisite for having to make this decision is that you’re one of Martin Sheen’s sons.  Also, it’s integral to the discussion for you to know that Martin Sheen’s birth name is Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez.

Please don’t ever admit to me that you didn’t know that, by the way.  You should get rid of some of the useless stuff in your memory like “math” and “chemistry” to make more room for this kind of information because, frankly, your flimsy knowledge base with regard to Sheens and Estevezeseses is embarrassing.

For today’s discussion we’ll just go ahead and pick any two Martin Sheen sons at random.

How about…Charlie Sheen?  Okay, that’s one.

And for the second one, we’ll just go with Emilio Estevez, because he seems like a convenient enough choice.  There is a third son, and also a daughter, but you probably didn’t know that either, because you decided to read Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea” before bed last night instead of Wikipedia and imdb.com, as if that does you any favors.

The Old Man and The Sea spoiler alert:  Santiago catches the fish.  There’s no meat left on the fish by the time he gets it back to shore and people are all, “Look at the size of this dead, useless fish!  I bet it really used to be something, huh?”  Hemingway claimed this was just a fishing story and didn’t contain any symbolism.  That guy is totally still trolling you from the grave, because you know damn well that story is 100% about his whiskey dick.

Now that you’ve got the two sons all picked out, let’s get into this thing.

The Case for Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen, born Carlos Irwin Estevez, is the youngest of the Sheen/Estevez clan.  I can see how when he was first starting out, going by Sheen probably made it very easy for people to go, “Sheen?  Say, that isn’t Martin Sheen’s kid by chance, is it?  Let’s give this kid an audition!”  Using your dad’s stage name also makes it equally easy for backlash to happen, where people probably accused him of trying to get a foot in the door by riding on his dad’s coattails.  It’s a gamble.

Hey, you know what?  Life isn’t easy.  Making it in Hollywood?  Even less easy.  If you have a way to give yourself a leg up, I say go for it.  I don’t discount anyone just because they’re somebody’s kid.  You still have to do the work once you get your foot in the door.

Why, I myself am the product of some of Adrian Zmed’s DNA that was left inside his pants after that particularly enthusiastic dance/bowling scene in Grease 2 and an ovum that fell out onto Pamela Adlon’s jeans while she was skateboarding in the scene just after the dance/bowling scene in Grease 2, and then someone in the costuming department at the movie studio put the two pairs of dirty pants in the same hamper together and I spawned forth from the dirty pants pile after someone knocked the hamper over into that pod they were making for the remake of The Fly, yet you don’t discount me for having an inordinate amount of knowledge about Grease 2 and weird daddy-esque issues with Jeff Goldblum, do you?

Do you?

Jeff Goldblum.  Please.  You know he wants you to call him “Weird Daddy”.  YOU KNOW IT.

I imagine at the time Charlie made the decision to go by the last name “Sheen”, Charlie, the very legitimately bad boy of the two brothers, said, “Here are the amount of fucks that I give with regard to your feelings on the matter of me using my dad’s stage name as my last name.”  Then he probably made a zero sign with his thumb and forefinger, lit something on fire, and snorted a line off of Daryl Hannah’s left boob, because Charlie Sheen?  Charlie Sheen don’t give a fuck.

Charlie Sheen then appeared in no less than 45 films, and was at one time the highest paid actor on television.

Sure, he’s had more than his fair share of run-ins with the dark underbelly of Hollywood, and maybe appearing in Major League 2 was a mistake because the first Major League was actually a really great sports movie that should have been left to stand on its own, but I root for Charlie Sheen for one reason:

You can tell he’s the guy you want to talk to at the party.

He is a flawed human being.  I get that.  I’m sure he’s caused no end of trouble for anybody who loves him.  I’ve had plenty of people in my life who have done the same.  They can cause a lot of heartache.  But as you know, according to my favorite Nicolas Cage line in Moonstruck, “I ain’t no freakin’ monument to justice!”

Maybe I wouldn’t marry Charlie Sheen or rely on him to take care of exotic pets or care for expensive glass eggs for the weekend, but I feel like you kinda know that going into it.  The man, like all of us, has limitations.  I’ve done some really fucked up stuff, too, and I didn’t even have to grow up on camera in Hollywood to celebrity parents.

And, honestly, his performance as the druggie at the police station in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, even though it was just a cameo, is one of the best moments in 80s cinema:

“You wear too much eye makeup.  My sister wears too much.  People think she’s a whore.”

I want that on a t-shirt.

Based solely on that performance, and the fact that he and I are both the baby of our respective families and probably should have received more discipline except that we were everybody’s favorite and were therefore allowed to do whatever we wanted even at great personal expense, I am inclined to go with Charlie Sheen.

The Case for Emilio Estevez 

The obvious argument here is that since Martin Sheen is merely a stage name, wouldn’t it have been weird if Emilio changed his last name to Sheen?  To do so would feel, pardon the Millennial term, “thirsty”.  I know, I just totally excused that whole thing in the Charlie Sheen argument, and it would be valid here, too, were Emilio Estevez the same person as Charlie Sheen, but he ain’t.

Charlie Sheen gets special rules, because he just does.  I don’t dislike Emilio Estevez, not at all.  I like Emilio Estevez.  I’m sure he’s a great, reliable guy who rarely disappoints people, rarely trashes anyone’s house, and never goes on national morning news shows to tell people that he has tiger blood running through his veins.

I just feel like he’s the guy at his book club event who wants to tell you about how good the hummus is while you keep checking your watch before you can ditch his event and go back to Charlie Sheen’s party.  He seems like the guy you would fully expect to introduce himself as “Gary White”.  I suspect he kept his birth name of “Emilio Estevez” because that’s an intriguing motherfucking name for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed guy who looks like he runs the Norway ride at Epcot.

It would be like if Ed Begley, Jr. walked up to you and said, “Hello, my name is Antonio Banderas.”  Instead of blindly signing whatever petition he was trying to get you to sign and shoo-ing him away back towards the hummus platter to hang out with the Gary Whites of the world, you would probably say, “Antonio Banderas, you say?  Tell me more about yourself, you long intriguing ghost-cat.”  Next thing you know, you’re making out.

I mean, imagine if in The Breakfast Club, as the typical mid-western high school jock on the wrestling team who bullies his teammates, if instead of Emilio Estevez’s character having the name “Andy Clark”, his character had the name “Emilio Estevez”.  I would have paid attention to his character from the get-go, instead of only kind of coming around after he cried in front of everyone about how terrible he felt over taping that hairy kid’s buns together in the locker room that time.

Buns.

I guess what I’m saying is that if your name is Andy Clark and you’re on the high school wrestling team, you’re going to have to work really hard to convince me to give up my pre-conceived notions about you, because “Andy Clark:  High School Wrestler” is probably the least intriguing human concept that I’ve ever heard.

Did you really give a shit about Andy Clark in The Breakfast Club, or were you too glued to Judd Nelson’s “I give zero fucks” emotionally-damaged, dark and brooding hoodlum “John Bender” character to really pay attention to anyone else in the movie, let alone Andy freaking Clark?

News Flash To Me:  Judd Nelson’s character is the Charlie Sheen of that movie and I can’t believe it took me this long to realize it.  You’re witnessing my coming to this realization in real time, so get out your cameras and take a picture of this screen right now for posterity.

Charlie Sheen:  Going by your celebrity father’s stage surname is a foot in the door.  Meh.

Emilio Estevez:  Going by your real name when you look like the guy who runs the Norway ride at Epcot is a foot in the door, and anyone who’s anyone in Hollywood already knows you’re Martin Sheen’s kid either way, so it’s not like it’s a secret or anything.  Meh.

Winner:  Judd Nelson. 

 

*Unpopular Opinion:  I prefer Michael Keaton Batman.

/puts on bulletproof vest

Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today.

I have this really great new excuse for cutting myself some slack:  I turned 42 last month.

I had a similar excuse around this time last year.  It was called “I turned 41 last month”.

If you’re older than 42, you’re thinking, “Shut up, skank.  Talk to me when you’re 70.”  I totally, totally get that because:

1.  I am actually a skank, so kudos on your spot-on assessment.

2.  In the grand scheme of things, 42 is still young.

I realize that there are plenty of people who still scale Mt. Kilimanjaro who are also on Medicare, but let’s pretend they don’t exist for the length of this blog, if for no other reason than those people make all of us look bad by comparison.  They’re blowing the curve with their “active senior lifestyles”, which I think is pretty selfish of them.  Did you go skydiving for your 90th birthday?  I don’t want to hear about it.  At least not while I’m googling padded toilet seats, anyway.

The problem is that I cannot be trusted with any amount of slack.  I just can’t.  If you give me an inch of slack, I won’t even take a mile.  Instead, I’ll call someone up from the couch and say, “Hey, can you go pick up this mile of slack for me?  Some fool trusted me to just take an inch.  No, no I can’t go get it myself.  I’m busy.  Just leave it by my front door.  Thanks.”

Then I’ll return to watching Major League for the 150th time and wondering aloud at what age, as the spawn of Martin Sheen, one would have to decide whether to go by “Sheen” or “Estevez” professionally, and then wax philosophical as to the various pros and cons for choosing one over the other, because that is literally the kind of bullshit I spend time wondering aloud.  How Bobby keeps from smothering me with a throw pillow is completely beyond me.  The man is a saint.

And I would choose Estevez, for obvious reasons.  Perhaps I’ll write a post that details those exact reasons in somewhere around the 1,200 word mark, and then you will finally give up on me for good.  You can do better, people.

I especially like to use age as an excuse to cut myself some slack when I’m too lazy to push myself to work out.  Cutting myself some slack with regard to exercise, by the way, means I tell myself that I don’t have to exercise at all.  Usually something along the lines of, “I should probably cut myself some slack today.  I don’t want to be one of those people who works out so hard that they need knee replacements before they’re 50!”

Then I breathe a sigh of relief, sit down on the couch with a Ziploc bag of loose chocolate chips, and start watching The Golden Girls, thankful that I’ve saved myself from all the potential joint damage.  Not working out?  That’s about staying safe!

Luckily/unluckily, when I was 35, I discovered this wonderful form of exercise called “Pilates”, so it’s difficult for me to make excuses and still be able to look myself in the mirror.  Never in my life did I dream I would find an exercise regimen so perfectly tailored to me, but there it was:  An exercise regimen that requires you to LIE ON THE FLOOR to do it.

Pilates were invented by blah blah blah…you had me at “lie on the floor”.

Is it hard?  Absolutely.  I would dare any Crossfitter in those weird toe-shoes to attempt a Pilates core-workout and not start crying and shaking uncontrollably even two minutes into it.  Pilates workouts are horrific, awful, torturous things.  They feel like a sorority has been unleashed inside your torso swinging pillowcases full of soap bars.  Pilates are brutal with a capital “I fucking hate this”.

I can withstand them not because I have abs of steel, but because I am doing an exercise that allows me to lie on the floor.  My mental and physical toughness increase exponentially in any situation if I know I get to lie on the floor the whole time.  No matter how bad it gets, I just say, “You could be standing doing this exercise right now. Standing!” and that’s enough motivation for me to keep going.

Every now and then I get an annoying little bee in my huuuuge bonnet about needing to add cardio to my workouts, usually right around the time that I can’t pull my skinny suit-pants on Monday morning without using a shoehorn.  Then I remember all the hot pretzel-eating from the night before and go, “Ahh.”  That’s because the night before, while looking at the hot pretzels on the menu I said, “You turned 42 last month!  You’ve earned the right to eat hot pretzels whenever you goddamned feel like it!”

This is all fine, a hot pretzel isn’t exactly a whole birthday cake or anything, but when your excuse is “I turned 42 last month”, it can end up being one hell of a slippery slope.  Before you know it you’re doing MILF porn in a van parked outside a Denny’s in exchange for an order of Moons Over My Hammy because “I turned 42 last month.”

Also, I aged out of the possibility of MILF porn on the day I turned, like, 25.  At 42 I’d be in the Old Lady Circus Freak category.  Now I’m concerned that typing the words “MILF porn” into this blog entry this many times is going to bring a whole new readership to the blog that I will regret for the rest of my life.  C’est la MILF.

Seemingly well-intended types can get super pissed when they see you not cutting yourself slack and will go to great lengths to encourage you to stuff a pie into your face, or have that fourth drink, or lie around on the couch all day.  I assume it’s because those are the things they actually want to do and they don’t want to be the lone loser in your circle of friends.  They saw what being the lone loser did to Ross Gellar on Friends and they don’t think they can handle it.  And they can’t.  If Friends had happened in reality, Ross would have been tossed off the top of a skyscraper decades ago.  By me.

I might be willing to actually cut myself some slack if I hadn’t spent ten years between the ages of 25 and 35 where my entire life consisted of cutting myself slack, which means I ate like a wild hog with a gland problem, chain-smoked cigarettes, drank lakes of well liquor, never slept, never worked out, packed on forty pounds, and felt like crap all the time.

Trust me – I’ve had plenty of years of my life where I was a slug who stuffed bacon cheeseburgers and pie into my mouth like they were on that candy factory conveyor belt on I Love Lucy.  Plenty of years where I spent upwards of 100 hours a week watching television.  Plenty of years where I was too lazy to shower for weeks on-end.  Trust me – I am not suffering for lack of slack in my previous life, so don’t tell me that everyone needs to cut themselves some slack on occasion.  I’ve cut enough for twenty lifetimes.  Don’t encourage me.

The only way to keep myself from ending up living in the ditch outside a Hardee’s wearing a trash bag as a muu-muu and eating old garbage french fries out of an upside down road cone is if I allow myself zero slack.  I know that I can’t start the slack engine without immediately crashing the slack car.

Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today.  I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

The Diabetes Hustle

The second most humiliating drinking story of my life starts with me getting my first real job.  The first one can be found here.

My sister Bonnie had been working as an inbound-sales telephone rep at a well-known contact lens replacement company.  Their corporate headquarters were in South Florida at the time, and they had a humongous call center and shipping warehouse attached to the building.

I was 18 years old and, besides cleaning doctors’ offices at night with my friend’s mom when I was 12, I had never held a job before.  My mom had forbidden me from having a job while I was in high school, because she was afraid that if I realized that I could be making money at a job instead of sitting unpaid in school all day, that I would quit high school and run off to a mall job at Sanrio Surprises (who wouldn’t want that sweet employee discount on all things Hello Kitty?).  She was right, too.  I totally would have.  Thanks for the high school diploma, Mom!

Bonnie had landed me a job interview with the manager of the contact lens place, a guy I would find out was, appropriately, named Lucifer.  Okay, it wasn’t Lucifer, but it was something similarly evil.

Bonnie had told Lucifer this was going to be my first job interview ever, so I arrived for it prepared to be handled with semi-kid gloves and wasn’t particularly nervous.

I walked into his office to find that Lucifer looked like every terrifying Eastern European/Eurasian villain from every action movie you’ve ever seen.  He had that sort of jaw that looked like he could crush rocks with his face, his tattooed muscles were nearly bursting from the semi-see-through-ness of his white dress shirt.  He had gel-spiked hair, wild eyes, and framed pictures around his desk of his many kickboxing championship wins.  I wondered how a man who appeared to be a cross between a pterodactyl and Ron Perlman ended up with such a cushy office.  He was firmly Cobra Kai.

Lucifer shook my hand, nearly crushing it, and invited me to sit down across from him.  I didn’t even have a resume’ in my hand, because there would have been nothing on it, and my high school grades were average at best, so I didn’t bring in a curriculum vitae, either.  Besides, come on, this was essentially a telemarketing job.  I figured if I showed up with one functional ear and a speaking voice that didn’t sound like Scooby Doo, I would be a shoo-in.

I sat down and Lucifer swung his chair to the side, leaned back in it, and put his hands together, but just at the fingertips, like he was in deep contemplation.  He stared out his mini-blind shielded window into the corporate office park.  I looked around to try to figure out what he was staring at, thinking maybe there was blood dripping through the ceiling or something, because it totally should have been, given how goddamned frightening this guy was.

He eventually, after approximately an eternity, said, “Tell me about…”

More silence.

I was now openly making a confused face.  Another full ten seconds went by.

“Tell me about…”

(Count it off – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

“…sales.”

This was a baffling request, seeing as this was my first real job, and I had no college degree, nor did I ever purport to have any sales experience.  I told him as much, as politely as possible, and told him I was there to learn how to do sales, seeing as this was my first job and I knew they had a training program.

He pursed his lips together in an exaggerated smirk, rolled his head on the back of headrest to face me and condescendingly said, “What?  You, uh, never sold Girl Scout Cookies or nothing?”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.  Was this guy seriously trying to play hardball with an 18-year old girl applying for a stupid telemarketing job?

I made up some shit on the fly about being persistent to get a sale, and added as many pauses as possible to make it look like I was thinking really hard, since I had no freaking idea what I was talking about.  Lo and behold, he hired me.  I guess he just wanted to establish from the get-go that it was his job to be the scary guy and my job to be the girl who was scared of him.  Mission accomplished, guy.  My training would start the following week.

Bonnie decided to take me out to celebrate with my new coworkers.  She drove me to the nearby bar where everyone hung out after work.  It was your typical working-class watering hole for South Florida, lots of fishing paraphernalia on the walls, friendly people and good prices.  I was so jacked up and nervous after that freakshow of an interview, I hadn’t eaten at all, but Bonnie told me that since it was happy hour, they would have a decent amount of bar snacks out.

Nobody at the bar seemed to notice that I was underage.  I was dressed semi-fancy for a job interview and in the company of a group of regulars, so the door guy didn’t ask me for ID when I entered the bar, and Bonnie and her friends were buying, so no bartenders asked me for ID, either.  I sat down with a group of about ten of my soon-to-be coworkers, and Bonnie brought me a beer.  I snacked on some carrot sticks and pretzels from the happy hour mini-buffet.

Everyone was super friendly to me, and shared funny stories of the kind of customers I would run into on the job, and it sounded legitimately awful.  I was so shy, I knew the last thing I would ever be good at was sales, but I had no work experience and this was the only way for me to get any.  They told stories, I drank.  They told more stories, I drank more.

After about two hours, I had around three and a half beers in me, which for me on a mostly empty stomach was roughly the equivalent of 150,000 beers.  My vision blurred, and I could tell that hurling was imminent.

I didn’t want my new coworkers to see how sloppy drunk I’d gotten on so few beers, so I got up from my bar stool and whispered for Bonnie to point me to the ladies room.  She pointed across the room, and I staggered my way towards the ladies room, trying to keep myself in a straight line as best I could.  I probably looked like that guy in the Jamiroquai video for Virtual Insanity.  I was walking at a full sideways slant.

I was halfway to the ladies room when something whacked me on the back of the head so hard that I thought someone had pulled one of the wooden oars off the wall and attacked me from behind with it.  Everything went completely black.

I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the ceiling.  I hadn’t been hit in the head by an oar wielded by an angry fisherman.  As it turned out, I had passed out drunk while actively walking to the ladies room, and the crack I felt on the back of my head was my skull hitting the wood floor.  Good and hard, too.  I went down in one sharp motion, like someone had pulled a rug out from under me.

Bonnie and my new coworkers (great band name possibility there!) jumped up from the table and ran to my aid.  Bonnie got to me first, thank god, because what happened next was the best hustle I have ever come up with on the fly in my entire life and, thankfully, Bonnie loves a good hustle as much as I do.

Still lying on the floor, I motioned for her to come close to my face.  As she leaned down, I grabbed her by her shirt and whispered desperately, “Tell everyone I’m diabetic!”

Bonnie did as I had begged her to do and yelled, “She’s okay!  She’s just diabetic!”

I figured nobody would make fun of me for being a lightweight teenager who couldn’t hold her liquor if they thought I was having a “legitimate medical problem”.  I was right, too, but had forgotten two crucial problems with this diabetic play.

First, if you’ve ever been around a diabetic who’s suffering from low blood sugar, then you know what’s coming next.  Mia, one of the coworkers, yelled to the bartender, “We need a glass of orange juice here right now!”

Knowing that I had been teetering on the brink of hurling to begin with, I said, “No!  I’m fine!  I just need to get into the ladies room!”

The bartender ran around from behind the bar with a glass of orange juice and gave it to Mia.  She said, “You have to drink this, honey!  You have to drink this NOW!”

She put the glass to my mouth and tipped my head back.  Bless this woman, she thought she was trying to help a poor diabetic girl instead of a drunken teenager who was too afraid to admit she was drunk.

She poured the orange juice into my mouth.  I responded by immediately projectile vomiting.  All over her and my new coworkers.

Bonnie and my new coworkers (band name – seriously!) dragged me out the back door of the bar, where I continued to ralph up orange juice, carrots, and Budweiser in the bushes for the next thirty minutes or so.  When Bonnie decided that my stomach was empty enough that I wasn’t going to throw up in the footwell of her sweet-ass mid-1990s Ford Probe, they loaded me into the front passenger seat and belted me in for her to take me home.

I slur-apologized and went on and on to everyone about how embarrassed I was over the whole incident.  One of my new coworkers, Rachel, knelt down next to the open passenger door and said, “Oh sweetie, you have nothing to be embarrassed about.  It’s not like you’re some kid who got shitfaced.  I mean, you have an actual medical problem.  You’re diabetic!”

Second, I started work with all of these people the following week, which meant that I then had to spend every single day of my employment there pretending I had diabetes.