Friday, December 19, 2008
Back when I was Christopher Walken's personal chef, I never knew what random horrors each day would bring. I remember one day in particular, in which Mr. Walken sat his darkened study, lost in one of his strange, pensive moods. He summoned me just as the grandfather clock in the drafty hallway struck noon.
I stood there, awaiting his orders, for quite a long time. He sat in a large leather-bound chair, hands pressed together under his chin, as though pondering his options with grave consideration. Finally, in his familiar low, halting voice, he spoke.
"I would like...the Buggles," he said. "For lunch."
"The Buggles?" I repeated, not sure I'd understood. "You mean, the 80s 'new wave' musical duo?"
"Yes, exactly," he said, relieved that I was familiar with them. A slight smile played upon his lips as he nodded, relishing some mental image that I daren't even imagine.
I wasn't sure what to say. Where the hell had this idea come from? "The Buggles broke up a long time ago," I informed him. "They're, uh, not a duo anymore."
"Then..." he said thoughtfully, "you could get...the ingredients for the Buggles...and make some new ones."
I thought about this seemingly nonsensical request for a moment, when suddenly the horrifying truth dawned on me. By "ingredients", he meant that he wanted me to kidnap Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes, the original members of the Buggles, and cook them for lunch. His lunch.
"I can't do that," I said firmly. "I...I won't do that. They're human beings, not just 'ingredients' for some ghastly lunch for you." I cringed, waiting for him to explode in a fit of anger, or at least send me packing.
"Oh," he said softly, as though my words had actually made some kind of sense to him. "Okay. Well, then...I'm not sure what other...lunch options...are available to me. Let's go into the kitchen and...explore them. Shall we?" He rose from his chair and waited for me to lead him into the kitchen, since he had no idea where it was. So I did.
When we got there, he gazed around in silent wonder at all the utensils and appliances. Finally, he spoke. "Where do you keep...the people?" he asked, gesturing with his hands.
"The people? What people?" I inquired, baffled.
"The people that you cook," he explained. "Where...do you store them before preparing them...for my meals?" He asked this as though it were the most normal thing in the world.
Forcing back a retching wave of hot bile, I contained my revulsion long enough to respond. "I don't cook people!" I exclaimed. "I cook food! FOOD! Nobody cooks PEOPLE! That's HORRIBLE!"
He looked at me with a sort of serene puzzlement for a moment, then shrugged. He noticed something on the counter. "What is that?"
"That," I said, grateful for the change of subject, "is a sandwich that I made for my own lunch."
"Ah," he said, amazed. "A...sandwich. Could you make one of those...for me?"
"Sure," I said, relieved. "What kind of sandwich would you like?
"Are there...different kinds?"
"Oh, yes," I said. "You can put whatever you want in a sandwich. Any kind of meat, in addition to things like tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, pickles--"
"Make me," he said with growing excitement, "a Buggles sandwich."
I slapped my forehead. "No...no, you don't understand," I said, exasperated. "You can't--"
"With some of that pickles and...er, cheese things that you indicated," he added. "And I...I really am hungry today, so...make me two of these Buggles sandwiches. Each of them containing half...of each separate Buggle. With cheese." He took a deep breath and stood back with his mouth open, eagerly waiting for me to confirm my understanding of his instructions.
"Look, Mr. Walken," I said, finally tiring of this charade and spelling it out for him, slowly and plainly. "I cannot and WILL not cook people for you to eat for lunch, or for any other meal. You're asking me to commit MURDER, for heaven's sake...so that YOU can indulge in cannibalism, one of the most utterly HEINOUS acts a person can commit. Why, the very notion of this fills me with an inutterable HORROR which I can scant express with mere words!" I leaned wearily against the counter, drained by my emotional turmoil.
He thought about this for a long time, then held up his index finger and began to speak. "Are you...trying to tell me..." he said slowly, a look of concern on his face, "that we...are out of cheese?"
"NO!" I screamed. "WE'RE OUT OF BUGGLES! YOU'LL HAVE TO EAT SOMETHING ELSE!"
"Ah," he nodded, appearing to understand me at last. I waited anxiously, fearfully, for his next words. He extended his arm so that his sleeve would retract and reveal his wristwatch. He looked at it, furrowing his brow. "It's five minutes after twelve," he announced. "Is my lunch ready yet?"
"No," I said. "You told me you wanted the Buggles for lunch, and I told you I could not and would not kidnap and cook them for you. Therefore, you have yet to present me with a viable alternative meal to prepare for you."
"I understand," he affirmed. "Well, then," he said breezily, "I'll just invite some friends over for lunch, and you can cook some of them." He pulled an address book out of his pocket, went over to the phone, and began calling people while I simply stared at him in disbelief. Thirty minutes later, the livingroom was filled with guests milling around drinking cocktails.
"There's Meryl Streep," he said to me in a low voice, pointing. "I'd like some spaghetti and Streep balls as an appetizer. And over there," he added, indicating a gentleman standing next to the Picasso, "is Dennis Hopper. As an entree, I'd like some thick, juicy Dennis Hopper steaks. Ribeyes, of course."
"Of course," I said wearily.
"And to snack on...umm, who's left...oh, just do something fun with Steven Spielberg. Maybe a sort of festive meatloaf. Or some jerky. But you'd better hurry, because he never stays long."
"So...I just slaughter them now?" I asked.
"Yes, yes, just slaughter them now," he urged. "I'm famished."
Steeling myself, I clutched the meat cleaver and began to inch forward. Suddenly a wave of hysteria swept through me and I screamed at the top of my lungs: "NO! NO! I WON'T DO IT! I WON'T SLAUGHTER AND COOK HOLLYWOOD'S ELITE FOR YOUR LUNCH!"
With that, I flung the meat cleaver aside and ran shrieking from the room. On my way out, I could hear Mr. Walken explain to his guests, "Well, you just can't get good help these days."
Later, he found me hiding in the kitchen, trembling. He noticed my sandwich sitting uneaten on the counter. "Are you...going to eat that?" he asked.
"No, you can have it," I said in a quavering voice. "I couldn't bear to eat anything right now."
He picked up half of the sandwich and took a bite. "Mmm, this is very good," he appraised. "Who is it?"
It was Underwood Chicken Spread, but I lied. "It's Tom Cruise. I got a good deal on the cast of TOP GUN at the meat market."
And so, for the next several weeks, I gave Christopher Walken chicken spread sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and told him that we were working our way through the entire cast of TOP GUN. When that was over, I switched to deviled ham and told him we were starting in on PULP FICTION. This eventually presented a problem, since I'd forgotten that he was in it. So one day, two weeks into PULP FICTION, he asked, "When do I get to eat me for lunch?" Thinking fast, I opened up a can of Spam and pointed at it. "This is you," I said. "Oh...I look good," he drooled.
(originally posted at Andersonvision.com)
1. THE GENERAL
2. STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.
3. SHERLOCK, JR.
5. CITY LIGHTS
6. MODERN TIMES
7. THE KID
8. THE COCOANUTS
9. ANIMAL CRACKERS
10. MONKEY BUSINESS (1931)
12. DUCK SOUP
13. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
14. THE BANK DICK
15. IT'S A GIFT
16. MILLION DOLLAR LEGS
17. THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN
18. THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT
19. THE SHAKIEST GUN IN THE WEST
20. BLAZING SADDLES
21. YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
22. SILENT MOVIE
23. MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
24. MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN
25. AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
26. THE JERK
27. THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS
28. THE NAKED GUN
29. THE NAKED GUN 2 1/2
30. THE NAKED GUN 33 1/3
32. ANIMAL HOUSE
33. THE BLUES BROTHERS
35. TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN
37. WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY?
38. ANNIE HALL
39. RAISING ARIZONA
40. THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
42. DUMB AND DUMBER
43. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
44. ON THE TOWN
45. WHAT'S UP, DOC?
46. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN
47. IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD
48. MEET THE PARENTS
49. THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS (1970)
50. THE ODD COUPLE
51. THE FORTUNE COOKIE
52. SOME LIKE IT HOT
53. THE PINK PANTHER (1963)
54. A SHOT IN THE DARK
55. THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER
56. THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN
57. THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963)
58. THE LADIES' MAN
59. THE BELLBOY
60. THE BIG MOUTH
61. THE PATSY
62. WHO'S MINDING THE STORE?
63. ARTISTS AND MODELS
64. WAYNE'S WORLD
65. BRINGING UP BABY
66. PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE
67. PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES
68. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION
69. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION
70. WHO'S HARRY CRUMB?
71. SUMMER RENTAL
72. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
73. UNCLE BUCK
74. UP IN SMOKE
75. BEACH PARTY
76. MUSCLE BEACH PARTY
77. BEACH BLANKET BINGO
78. VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS
79. ACE VENTURA, PET DETECTIVE
80. ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS
81. DARK STAR
82. DR. STRANGELOVE
83. SONS OF THE DESERT
84. THE FLYING DEUCES
85. THE BLOCKHEADS
86. WAY OUT WEST
87. THIS IS SPINAL TAP
88. A MIGHTY WIND
89. HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
90. THE IN-LAWS (1979)
91. LOST IN AMERICA
92. DEFENDING YOUR LIFE
93. NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE
94. PAPER MOON
95. PINK FLAMINGOS
96. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960)
97. AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY
98. AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME
99. AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER
I remember the first time I ever read Jules Verne's classic adventure story, "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth." As soon as I finished the very last page I became so totally, giddily excited by the idea of actually traveling to the center of the earth that I jumped up out of my chair and ran outside right away, determined to set off for the center of the earth at that very minute! Silly? Yes, of course. But way back in those golden days of youthful innocence, well, I pretty much believed everything that I read in books. And I was generally much more idealistic and optimistic back then, because I had just graduated from college.
My excitement growing with each passing millisecond, I began to jump up and down on the front lawn several times. Nothing happened. I jumped up again and landed as hard as I could, sending jolts of pain through both feet. Still nothing happened! The ground was really hard, and I realized that I would need some kind of hole or passageway in order to get to the center of the earth. Looking around, I noticed that there weren't any volcanos or vast underground caverns in the immediate vicinity of my house. Damn!
At that moment, I spotted a passing police car. The words of an ancient storybook echoed in my mind: "The policeman is your friend. He will always stop and help you when you are in trouble." Flinging myself into the path of the speeding police car, I flew over the hood and crashed into the windshield. It shattered and fell away in jagged pieces as I clawed my way through it and grabbed the terrified policeman by the lapels even as he struggled to control the car. Yanking him forward, I screamed into his face. "HELP ME!!! HELP ME GET TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH!!!"
I've never seen such terror. Frantic, the policeman missed the brakes and rammed his foot down on the accelerator. The car bolted forward, out of control, and careened haphazardly down the street as I dragged the policeman through the windshield and out onto the hood with me, still screaming "HELP ME!!!" into his face. He was screaming too, but I couldn't make out the words. He may have been trying to tell me how to get to the center of the earth, but mostly it sounded like "URK!" and "GAA!"
This suddenly struck me as funny for some reason and I began to laugh maniacally as I flung the befuddled policeman into a passing dumpster. Standing on the hood of the car with my arms outstretched to the sky, I laughed and laughed and then bellowed mightily to the heavens, "I'M THE KING OF THE WOOOORLD!!!" just as the police car crashed through the front doors of a Super Wal-Mart. As is so often the case, the designated "greeter" failed to smile and "greet" me as I whizzed by, even though I know for a fact that he saw me because he was looking right at me.
Anyway, I was soon barreling down one of those big central aisles and smashing all sorts of elaborate displays to smithereens as I headed straight for the electronics department in the back. People shrieked in terror and hurled themselves out of the way, and it was interesting to watch the bright splashes of color and texture as the police car obliterated each abandoned shopping cart and sprayed its various contents in all directions.
Forgetting for a moment my impassioned quest to reach the center of the earth, I reflected upon how truly happy I was at that moment and thrilled to the prospect of crashing into the store's entire DVD collection, including the new shelf of Blu-Rays that nobody ever bought, and totally demolishing the whole thing within mere seconds. This was my moment of triumph! I don't know why I felt that way, but it seemed appropriate for some reason. Perhaps I simply felt a sense of entitlement since it was almost my birthday.
With a resounding Tarzan yell that echoed throughout the store, I beat my chest with both fists and waited for the crash. Later, as I proceeded downward through a dark tunnel that had been formed in the subterranean rock by molten lava forcing its way upward from the depths of the earth, I looked back upon the incident and chuckled. My Swedish guide, Fjorn, glanced back inquisitively at me from up ahead, but I waved him onward. He wouldn't have understood what it means to be an irresponsible cut-up, a happy-go-lucky clown who behaves strictly on impulse with no regard whatsoever for the consequences or the well-being of others.
I'd tried to hire a guide who did understand stuff like that so we'd have something to talk about, but Fjorn was all the guide agency had left that day. I toyed with the idea of shoving him into some lava if I got a chance--that is, after he had outlived his usefulness as a guide--but then I remembered that he had those incriminating nude photos of me cavorting around in the frozen foods section of a Piggly-Wiggly, which he'd left instructions to have published upon his mysterious death. Curses! Always one step ahead of me...in more ways than one!
Well--long story short--we finally reached the center of the earth approximately eight years after beginning the journey. It wouldn't have taken so long except for the fact that every time we ran out of food we had to go back to Piggly-Wiggly again and buy some more. Anyway, the center of the earth sucked because there wasn't really a big raging ocean down there with giant dinosaurs fighting each other to the death and big, hairy cavemen running around and stuff. I then realized that this Jules Verne guy was just some big stupid dope who had made up a lot of cool stuff and lied about it in his dumb book, and it was at that moment I vowed never to read another book again as long as I live, especially if it was written by that big stupid dope, Jules Verne.
I was so disappointed that I no longer cared whether or not those naked pictures of me got sent to the newspaper, so I kicked Fjorn into a bunch of molten lava and trudged my way back to the surface of the earth. Without a guide, I got lost along the way and ended up emerging from a solid waste processing plant outside of Billings, Montana six months later. Hailed by distraught witnesses as a horrifying, solid-waste-covered monster from the depths of the earth, I became a legend that still haunts the bedtime stories of terrified little children in and around the Billings, Montana area, where I am known simply as "Big Ass." But that was nothing compared to the nationwide horror and widespread panic and consternation that occurred when those naked pictures hit the front page of the New York Times.
The journey was over. Four years later, policeman Fred Burton disappeared, along with partners Mertz and Finklestein, when rabid muskrats swept through their duck blind on Lake Blorch. But on that glorious day in May 1963, I--porfle--went deeper, farther, and slower than any other American--eight years and six months below the surface of the earth; I was the last American ever to go into the frozen food section of Piggly-Wiggly naked. And for a brief moment, Porfo Cooper became the stupidest person anyone had ever seen.
(originally posted at Andersonvision.com)