Saturday, January 1, 2011
PORFLE IN: "LIVE FREELY OR DIE HARDLY"
Here's a couple of things a lot of people don't know about the classic Bruce Willis action flick DIE HARD. One, it really happened. Two, John McClane, the NYPD cop portrayed by Willis in the film, wasn't by himself during this amazing adventure because I, too, was there. That's right--I have totally been cheated out of my rightful place in cool action-movie history by being left out of that stupid movie. So now, at long last, I have decided to set the record straight and recount the thrilling details of my incredible exploits during the great Nakatomi Tower hostage crisis so that the world will have yet another reason to admire me for how awesome I am.
What happened was, I had gotten out of the elevator on the wrong floor during my search for the secret office of a fly-by-night back-alley bikini waxing technician named Wilbur Cranflanflan. I wasn't really interested in getting a bikini wax, but I'd just lost a bet with a friend of mine who insisted that there were only nine Bradys in "The Brady Bunch" (including Alice), while I was certain that there were at least five or six hundred.
I mean, who knew that they reused the same ones for every episode? You don't reuse the same hypodermic needle when you're giving out flu shots, and it seems only logical to me that the safety requirements for proper sterilization should extend to the individual Bradys as well. But apparently Sherwood Schwartz didn't share my concern, so, long story short, I was obliged to get a bikini wax from this Wilbur Cranflanflan, who, despite his silly name, had been highly recommended to me by my personal trainer, Biff.
As it turned out, I was in the wrong building anyway, but I noticed that there was a party under way when the elevator doors opened and, party animal that I was in my reckless youth, I quickly jumped in and started to mingle. People began staring at me right away, which I attributed to both my stunning good looks and the fact that I wasn't wearing any pants due to my impending bikini wax. "Please try to control yourselves, girls," I said modestly. "There's only one of me to go around." Wary of the growing sexual tension roiling within the female inhabitants of my vicinity, I slipped into an office and came face-to-face with Detective John McClane, who was walking around on the carpet barefoot, making fists with his feet. "Fists with your feet," he muttered with amusement.
I held up my right hand in the traditional Apache greeting. "How, Fists With Your Feet," I said. "My name is porfle, but my Native American name is 'Dances Like Jeff Goldblum.' Are you waiting to get a bikini wax, too?"
Suddenly, the sound of gunfire erupted from the main ballroom, followed by piercing screams! When I finally stopped screaming, McClane (as he preferred to be called, I discovered later) grabbed me by the collar and we ducked into a nearby stairwell. "Terrorists!" he cried. "I have to stop them!"
"And I have to find Wilbur Cranflanflan!" I added breathlessly as we ran upstairs to a floor that was still under construction. McClane paced around nervously, trying to decide what to do next, while I gaped in awe at all the cool power tools that were just laying around waiting for me to play with them. There was even an official orange hardhat for me to wear! I barely noticed when McClane picked up a nearby phone and started trying to contact the police, because I was in the process of hefting a massive circular saw that I'd just flicked on and was sawing my way through several stacks of expensive imported lumber along with various items of brand new office furniture.
"CONSTRUCTION WORKER PORFLE ON THE JOB!" I screamed in giddy delight over the ear-splitting din as the air was filled with billowing clouds of sawdust. Momentarily distracted by McClane's frantic attempts to make himself heard over the racket, I sawed my way right through one of those fancy boardroom tables and neatly bisected the telephone. McClane stood there dumfounded as the severed cord dangled from the receiver he was holding to his ear. But before he could thank me or whatever he was going to say, there came the sound of footsteps quickly approaching the room. It was the terrorists!
McClane dived under a table. "DUCK!" he shouted.
"WHERE?" I cried, glancing around. That's just what we needed in a fix like this, I thought--some stupid duck flying around!
At that moment, a huge, blonde German guy with a machine gun leapt into the doorway, his face twisted with rage. I wheeled around in surprise and let go of the circular saw, which flew across the room and landed right on the guy's foot. He barked in pain and started hopping around on his other foot, unleashing a stream of German cuss words that sounded even dirtier than the American ones, while McClane seized the opportunity to run up behind him and hit him over the head with a large potted plant. The German guy fell back against the wall and slid to the floor, the plant still perched decoratively on his head.
A sudden thought struck me. "Omigosh! What if THAT'S Wilbur Cranflanflan?"
McClane glared at me, trying to catch his breath. "Who the hell's Wilbur Cranflanflan?"
"He's the guy that this whole thing is all about!" I shot back, rolling my eyes. Then, while a puzzled McClane processed this information, I began to formulate a plan. We would crawl around in the air ducts and climb up and down the elevator shafts until we found a way to blow up the whole building, and then everything would be okay. I quickly relayed this plan to McClane, who gaped at me in sheer disbelief. I think my cool plan had totally astounded him!
Suddenly, a cruel but snidely sophisticated voice came from behind us. We spun around in unison to find a tall, dapper gent with a Van Dyke beard backed by a gang of vicious-looking henchmen with machine guns. "So," he said to McClane in an oily European accent, "you must be the 'cowboy' who has been running around trying to...how do you say it...'throw a monkey wrench' into my nefarious scheme."
McClane stood up straight and coolly met the man's gaze with an insouciant smirk. "And you," he said slowly, relishing the moment, "must be Wilbur Cranflanflan."
The man's smug look wilted. "No, I'm Hans Gruber," he said uneasily. "Who the hell is Wilbur Cranflanflan?"
"There," I volunteered, pointing to the unconscious guy with the potted plant sticking out of his head. "That's Wilbur Cranflanflan."
"No, he isn't," Gruber frowned. "That's my henchman, Karl."
"Well," I shrugged, "if it isn't you, and it isn't that guy, then it must be one of these other guys." I indicated the henchmen standing behind him. "Okay, which one of you guys is Wilbur Cranflanflan?"
The henchmen glanced around guiltily at one another for a few moments, then turned to Gruber and shrugged. "We're not sure, boss," one of them admitted.
"What do you mean, 'you're not sure'?"
"Well," he said sheepishly, "we don't know what this Cranflanflan guy looks like, and--"
"Okay, wait," Gruber said, waving them off with an impatient look. "I am becoming tired of this game." He pointed at me and McClane. "Kill them both. Now."
They all raised their machine guns. This was it. I had to think fast.
"FOOD FIGHT!!!" I screamed.
In the momentary confusion that settled over the group, I grabbed what appeared to be a picnic lunch bag out of Gruber's hands and began to throw its contents at them. "Yippie-ki-yay, melon farmers!" I cried. Hans Gruber recoiled, eyes wide with terror, as the bag's contents came flying straight toward him.
"MY DETONATORS!" he shrieked.
The explosion took out the entire floor and blasted every window on all four sides of the building to smithereens. Black smoke churned from the gaping blast holes while shattered glass rained down on the street below. The shock wave could be felt for several blocks.
By some insanely unlikely freak of scientific happenstance, I was totally unharmed by the blast. Some physics professors refer to this rare phenomenon as the "Sub-Atomic Shield of Stupidity", while others blame it on an ancient Mayan curse passed down through the ages by living mummies. As for McClane, the explosion blew him into an air duct, which he had to crawl around in for several hours until he finally fell down an elevator shaft.
Hans Gruber and his henchmen, of course, were declared missing and presumed dead--that is, until they turned up a few years later in the small town of Miller's Crotch, South Dakota, delivering singing telegrams in gorilla suits. They all had amnesia and remembered nothing of their former lives save for the mysterious name "Wilbur Cranflanflan", the mere mention of which sent them screaming hysterically up trees and down manholes.
Anyway, you can see how markedly different Hollywood's version of the events is from what really happened. They added a lot of stuff to make it more exciting, but more importantly, they totally ignored my daring and heroic actions during the crisis. The only explanation that I've been able to come up with is that they simply couldn't find anyone great enough to play me in the movie. One good thing did come out of it, though--after miraculously surviving the explosion, I no longer needed that bikini wax.
(originally posted at Andersonvision.com)