You’re Too Soft for That Hard Reality, Taylor: Part One

I saw a grown adult drinking a grape soda the other day so I ran outside, put both of my arms out to the side Michael Jackson-style and yelled, “Ahhhhhhh!” and waited for the onslaught of zombies to sweep through the city.  The world, clearly, was ending.

Hang on.  World’s not ending?  You mean you’re gonna drink grape soda with plans to live? That shit is a zombie apocalypse beverage!

Grape soda is the thing you drink either right as the apocalypse is happening because “screw it” or save for after the apocalypse when every other form of liquid on Earth has already been consumed.  You only drink grape soda if it’s your last resort before drinking Florida pond water which, by the way, is currently 90% zombie particles as of the date of this post.

I wouldn’t be around very long for either scenario, so I guess I shouldn’t really care.  That’s because any time I watch a post-apocalyptic zombie movie or TV show, the following fact is made abundantly clear to me: I have no will to live.

It’s not from an underlying case of depression, although my built-in, super deluxe, ultra luxurious, wall-to-wall nihilism is a fun quirk that makes me a real hit at baby showers.  Everybody loves it when they open a pack of bibs and some asshole says, “You should keep those around for when you’re old and frail and unable to feed yourself after this kid has zapped 10 years off your life when they decide to skip college in favor of selling hacky-sacks at Dave Matthews Band shows.”

The main problem can really be traced back to straight-up laziness.  Back when I used to watch The Walking Dead, before it got SO GROSS that I had to stop watching it, I was always amazed at how much work people were willing to do to stay alive.  And not “work” to stay alive in an awesome world that’s like a permanent disco with free waffles.  “Work” to stay alive in a world that thoroughly sucks.

A sucky world that’s like, “Oh, I hope I survive through this day of bashing in zombie heads and barely escaping with my life and eating rats and fighting factions of cannibal survivors with bad teeth and foraging for expired antibiotics…so that I can do the same shit tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And the day after that. And don’t even get me started on Carl’s hat.”

Did they kill Carl’s hat yet?  Please tell me they killed Carl’s hat.

Honestly, if you’re still alive on that show it’s only because you’re some kind of shitty, overly-optimistic Pollyanna.  You took that “Which Sex and The City character are you?” quiz in Cosmo and it said, “You’re a Charlotte!”  You refuse to accept reality.  You’re living in a dream world.  Everyone is tired of your shit.  Just die already.

And I tell you what else – I don’t do well with jump-out scenarios at all – and I imagine zombie world is chock full of jump-out scenarios.

Ask Bobby.  Even if I know he’s home, and he walks into a room and quietly says, “Oh, hey…” I scream and nearly jump out of my skin.  Then I have to sit down from the head rush.  The possibility of post-apocalyptic jump-out scenarios alone would be enough to make me go leap off the top of a tall building at the first zombie I saw, even if the zombie was just on the evening news and I was otherwise safe inside the building at the moment.  I’d be too jacked-up to deal with any of it.  I know this about myself.

I’m too soft and I’m too lazy and I startle way too easily.  I’m not going to burden you with rescuing me.  I will take myself out to save you the trouble.  It’s a gift to you.

I’d see the zombie on the TV screen, all wrangle-jangled up tearing the entrails out of someone, and I would be like, “Huh.  Well would you look at that.”  Then I would chug a bottle of copier toner, or whatever was nearby, and pitch myself off the top of the building, because no.  Not dealing with that.

Even if they said there were zombies in Guam that were nowhere near mainland U.S., I would still go sit on the roof of the building and pop open the cap on the copier toner just in case.  The moment the evening news said “At least one zombie has gotten out of Guam,” I’d yell, “It’s Go Time!” and begin my last meal of copier toner and eventual dessert of high-speed sidewalk.  Because I know my limitations.

Plus, on top of everything else, my sensitive skin would never survive the zombie apocalypse.  If I didn’t have access to clean water to wash my face twice a day, I’d be all splotchy and fugged just like *that*.  So besides dealing with zombies, now I’d be hideously ugly, too?  I’d have to start using my “personality” to make friends and influence people?  Fuuuuuuuck.  GREAT.  JUST GREAT.  This post-apocalyptic world just keeps getting better and better! Why don’t you just have a couple zombies chomp off both my ass cheeks while you’re at it and make me learn how to do math to survive?!

Stay tuned for Part Two…

I’ll Make You Famous

I think the most unselfish way for anyone to exit this earthly plane is to be eaten by a wild animal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s no picnic while it’s happening. It’s probably one of the more unpleasant ways to go.  That bear attack that happened to Leonardo DiCaprio in the The Revenant?

[SPOILER] Even though Leonardo DiCaprio survived the attack, that shit legitimately freaked me out for days after I saw it. [END SPOILER]

It disturbed me on a level I didn’t even think possible, and I say that as a person who lived through times when denim jeans had no stretch.  I used to lie on my bed on 1989 at age 13, all 105 pounds of me, and suck in my non-existent gut and hold my breath saying, “Do it do it do it” while a middle school friend used actual pliers to pull up the zipper on my jeans because they were so tight.  That’s how inflexible the jeans of yore were.

Also, “Yore Were” is “Wolf Blitzer” in Japanese.  Keep saying it.  Yore Were.  Yore Were.  Yore Were.

You’re doing it right now aren’t you?

Don’t ever do anything just because I told you to do it.  It takes me like one successful try at that before I’m drunk with power.

Despite the horror of The Revenant bear attack incident, I don’t know, there’s something about a bear attack that just doesn’t have the same kind of style as, say, being eaten by a tiger.  I feel like if you go into the woods and a bear eats you, that makes for an okay enough story for your loved ones to tell at your funeral, but it really lacks the pizzazz of being eaten by more interesting mammals.

I mean, you’re dead.  Besides any life insurance you might have had kicking around, what more do you have left to offer?  The least you can do is leave behind a good story for your loved ones to tell at bars.

That’s why when it’s my time, I want to be eaten by a tiger and/or lion.  Maybe a liger, but that’s almost a little too precious, isn’t it?  Something in the way of a larger cat, because I imagine there’s nothing “quick” about being eaten by a pack of house cats.  Big cats at least know how to take shit down.  Plus, if you get eaten by house cats, people might assume you were a sad hoarder crazy person.  Not that you’re not.

The big cat scenario is preferable because it would lend itself to situations where people would ask my loved ones, “Oh my god!  How did she die?!” and then the loved ones could answer (wailing), “Maggie got eaten by a cat!  A GIANT CAT!”

Isn’t that intriguing?  How much mileage would you get out of that one?

“I saw Maggie just last week and she was fine!  What happened?!”

(Fighting back tears) “Well, I got up and went to work on Tuesday, did my usual thing.  It was like any other day, really.  Right up until I got the call from the hospital saying that she had been eaten by a, eaten by a…”

(Turns into sobbing), “…ca-a-a….ca-a-a…ca-a-a…caaaaaat!!”

Everywhere you went after that, people would whisper behind your back, “Isn’t that the guy whose wife got eaten by a cat?”  or “Isn’t that the lady whose daughter got eaten by a big kitty?”  Your entire identity would revolve around the way I died, which since I’m not particularly religious, is the best possible way to haunt people from the grave have people remember me after I’m dead.

(I also have a general rule that if actual “haunting” is possible, I will only do it when you’re either (a) on the toilet, or (b) wanking it.  Hopefully those two things won’t ever cross into each other in the Venn diagram of your life, but if you’re grief-stricken over my having been eaten by a cat, I’ll give you a pass on that for at least the first few months.  Beyond that, my ghost would just be enabling you and your disgusting habits.  My ghost is gonna be all about tough love, so you better get your shit straight, buckos.)

It would do me a solid to know that I kicked it leaving behind a good story, and it would make you sort of a local legend.  The guy whose wife got eaten by a cat.  The lady whose daughter got eaten by a big kitty.  I made you famous!  You’re welcome?

You know who else said they would “make you famous”?  Billy the Kid, as played by the effervescent Emilio Estevez in Young Guns and Young Guns 2.

That’s right.  It alllllll really comes back to that, doesn’t it?  You spend decades of your life trying to figure shit out and find your way.  You write some stuff online about your makeup regimen, close calls with the law, and the slutty years of your youth, and then WHAMMO.  Someone from the Sheen/Estevez family barges into your brain NIGHT AND DAY and finds a way to change your entire life’s narrative, one blog post at a time.

Plus, being eaten by a tiger/lion/liger is basically just feeding a really, supremely lazy animal, and I totally identify with their particular plight.  I’m so lazy that when I see I’m out of clean spoons at home I just eat mashed sweet potatoes cold with my bare hands like they’re an orange sandwich-wad and then wipe my dirty hands on my jeans and argue how that’s no different than using a cloth napkin when you really think about it.

Feel free to write “Jeans are just leg-napkins” on my tombstone right under, “Eaten By Cat”.  I’m that committed to the cause.

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