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Sunday, March 14, 2004

I Saw James Brolin at Wendy's! 

Tuesday, March 9. Noon. 65 degrees and clear. At the Sears in Bonita Lakes Mall, in Meridian, Mississippi, I had an amazing experience. I saw Emilio Estevez. That's right. Emilio fucking Estevez.

The consummate "actor's actor", starring in such classic pieces of cinema such as Maximum Overdrive, Freejack, and the incomparable St. Elmo's Fire, was in Sears looking at Craftsman riding mowers. Here's the man who, with his tour de force performance in Repo Man single-handedly shaped me into the nutty, maladjusted chap I am today. Then he spoke to the woman next to him, and out came booming, deep southern voice.

......

Waitaminute. Emilio Estevez doesn't have a booming voice or a southern accent. Damn. He was a clone.

Everyone at some point has seen a celebrity clone. They're a staple of American life. Picture this, you're walking around in the park and suddenly....THERE! Patrick Duffy! Patrick Duffy of "Step by Step" fame is there, jogging with a German Shepherd and talking into his cell-phone about getting breast implants.

You leave the park and go into Toys 'R Us to buy whatever replica or toy adults are buying now as "collectibles", and lo and behold, there's Bruce Boxleitner buying a Bob Crane action figure, complete with miniature camera tripod and complementary cheap hooker.

You drive away from the store in a daze, but you can't escape the celebrity clones. There, next to you at the first red light you come to is Kevin Dillon, driving a '96 Mazda 626 and pumping DMX's Best Shit over his sound system at 180 decibels.

But it's still not over. Oh no. When you get home, you find out that your new next door neighbor is Tom Atkins. As you pull in your driveway, he smiles and gives a wave while we waters his lawn wearing plaid shorts, white shoes, and a yellow polo shirt...you know, one of those that has the little alligator on them.

You go inside and, feeling peckish, you decide to order a pizza. You laugh the celebrity look-alike thing off as foolishness, wondering why you didn't get food while you were out. You call in the pizza, and in 29 minutes (it's free if it's more than 30, which it never is - they plan that shit) you hear the doorbell. You run to the front door, and HARK! In a red T-shirt and a white baseball cap, holding a "Stay Hot" pizza pouch is none other than Christian Slater. He tells you your total and you manage to completely resist cracking any jokes about Kuffs, but the one that slips out about Gleaming the Cube seems to slip completely over his head.

You grab a slice of pizza, sit down heavily on the couch and turn on some early primetime TV. The first face you see on the television program prompts you to cock your head to one side and say quietly to yourself:

"Who the hell is that?"

Such is the curse.

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