By E. Mitchell
I’m here to tell you that if there’s anything wrong with your life it’s not your fault. Blame Hollywood. Let my pronouncement be a beacon of light and hope to all the slackers, losers and malcontents out there who currently misdirect their frustrations in self-loathing or road rage. The real problem is Cary Grant.
But how can Cary Grant be responsible for your failed marriage and poor hygiene you ask yourself? Surely your career path as a sideshow carnie has more to do with your failures than a dead Hollywood idol, you’re thinking, but that’s where you’re wrong. Don’t blame the victim (you) blame the real culprit (Hollywood).
Think back to that rainy night years ago when your wife was watching the movie “Charade” for the umpteenth mind-numbing time (already you’ve got a beef because you wanted to switch to the ballgame). Just a few more minutes, dear, she said clutching the remote to her bosom wishing it was Cary Grant (another beef). And then the defining moment when she glanced away from the screen, over to you and then back to the screen again. There. Your marriage officially ended and you didn’t even know it. The seeds of discontent were sown. The other man was standing right in the room but was not even on your radar.
Why did your marriage fail? Because you don’t look like Cary Grant, you don’t sound like Cary Grant, you don’t move like Cary Grant. You can’t run through a cornfield without mussing your suit, in fact you don’t own a piece of clothing that doesn’t look mussed the instant you put it on. You are incapable of good diction and snappy dialogue. Forget diction and dialogue, you communicate through a series of grunts.
Yet, your hideous inadequacies would all be perfectly fine if the bar hadn’t been set so high years ago in Hollywood. Cary Grant is the gold standard by which male perfection has been judged for decades. Grant himself was quoted as saying, “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant, even I want to be Cary Grant.”
The truth is he was really an illiterate cockney circus performer when he started out (you and he have a lot more in common than you thought!) The most significant difference is that he got the Hollywood treatment. You haven’t even had the Vitalis treatment.
Surreal as it may be, thanks to a media susceptible culture, Cary Grant, dead, has more influence over your wife than you do alive. Your only hope now is to humiliate yourself on a reality show - if you suddenly appear on the TV screen your wife might actually give you a second look.
Unattainable fantasies of the dream factory are the root of your troubles, my friend, so never, ever let the pesky concept of personal responsibility (or hygiene) nag at you again. You’re beat before you start so don’t start. Aim low and you’ll never be disappointed.
Drive that beat-up Gremlin proudly. Date a troll. Buy the Elvis-on-velvet from the back of a pick-up truck. Who needs a real tuxedo when you already own a novelty t-shirt tux? Why eat caviar when beef jerky is just as salty and will keep longer when the electricity goes out in your trailer.
Forget your problems. Instead of drowning your sorrows in another case of brewskies, remember, despite the champagne and roses, Cary Grant was divorced four times. If you keep at it you just might achieve the marital track record of a glamorous Hollywood movie star! And to think your wife once laughed at your lack of ambition -who’s laughing now, Mrs. Ex-FancyPants?
You’ve already picked out your next future ex-wife and she’s never even heard of Cary Grant. The deluxe drive-thru Las Vegas wedding package is planned for late spring as soon as your fiance graduates from high school. And your first wife thought you didn’t have class!
So get out there and enjoy life. Who cares if your appearance has been compared to a drifter’s corpse? You’re on the road to the Cary Grant lifestyle, just without the fancy clothes, expensive extras, good looks and charm. And if things don’t work out you can always blame Hollywood.
© Copyright by author, used with permission by Humor Press. No unauthorized reproduction or redistribution is allowed.
Close Encounters Of The Star Kind
I touched Liberace’s organ. Actually it was his piano. In any case I touched his instrument. How did I achieve such intimacy with a big, spangly, show-stopping star? I was a tour guide at Rockefeller Center.
“Buying towels,” I concurred, trying not to sound like a copycat and feeling like an interloper, embarrassed to admit that my Irish ancestors didn’t exactly come over on the Mayflower.