Thursday, February 23, 2012

Piper Laurie at the Gates of Dawn

Yesterday was the most momentous of 2012, or whatever year it is now, so far. In the morning, I received my first injection of human growth hormone. In the evening, in a movie I’d never heard of before the missus ordered it on a caprice, I saw a bully forcing a smaller, weaker classmate to eat a urinal cake. In the middle, I decided which Republican presidential candidate to support. I also had three square meals and received medical treatment from the National Health medical treatment.

I have been reading in Vanity Fair about HGH therapy now being very popular in Hollywood, on whose outskirts I used to reside. My understanding is that it restores one’s handsomeness and virility, and that no less than Sylvester Stallone, whose work I have always admired so much (Rocky XI and all the Rambo movies being especial favourites), was recently found at an Australian airport to travel with a suitcase full of the stuff. It has now been 31 years since a woman I didn’t know from Adam, or Eve, slipped me her phone number as I returned to my table in a Los Angeles restaurant from the gentlemen’s room, and I won’t deny that I miss it — not the gentlemen’s room, but the advances of strange women. Not 16 hours later after my first injection, the ghastly creases that have in the past decade come to make my forehead so unsightly look slightly shallower, my speaking voice has become more resonant and authoritative, and I feel like ambling down to the harbour, here spelled as I have just spelled it, and starting a fistfight with a longshoreman, though I think they call them something else here, and though I think they are ordinarily found not at harbours, but at docks.

The treatment is expensive, but what price peace of mind? For the time being, because I inherited a nice chunk of change when my mother died in 2007, and I am very (all right, maddeningly) circumspect about money, I can afford it. I don’t want, as an even older man, to have to throw myself on the state’s mercy, but I equally don’t want to die with a lot of money in the bank. Most people will tell you they prefer not to know when they’re going to re-join Jesus, but how can one who doesn’t make sound fiscal decisions?

In the afternoon, I decided, after months of agonised to-ing and fro-ing, that I would support Sen. Rick Santorum for the presidency. Knowing that I am an avid Palinist, attentive readers will wonder why I have chosen Sen. Santorum over Speaker Gingrich, whom Gov. Palin herself has endorsed. They are both Catholics, and both men of great rectitude, which is in no way to be construed as a reference to their rectums, of which I lack all personal knowledge, and hope to continue to do so. It’s just that the senator is more youthful and dynamic, and has a spouse who didn't fornicate with him adulterously for half a dozen years while he was married to another, as the fetching Callisa Gingrich did with Newt. Also, I am uncomfortable with Speaker Gingrich’s campaign being bankrolled in significant part by a Jewish proprietor of Las Vegas casinos. Also, I believe Sen. Santorum to have articulated a uniquely compelling vision of the American future.

I had hoped, of course, that, on learning of my decision to join it, the Santorum campaign would fly me back to America, and get me ringing doorbells in swing states, and perhaps the odd bebop one as well, but they don’t have Sheldon Adelson writing them million-dollar cheques at the drop of a hat, and advised that, at least in the short term, I would have to ring the doorbells of fellow American expatriates here in the United Kingdom. Bad news, as the last time I interacted with other American expatriates, at a Thanksgiving get-together in London in around 2006, I didn’t enjoy it, as they’d all become sufficiently anglicised while living here to drink themselves stupid before the first course was served, and thus less receptive to my zany flights of fancy, my puns and hyperboles and what-have-you.

In any event, we proceeded after dinner to watch the little-noted (as in worldwide box office earnings of $4327) Hesher, about a heavy metal psychopath who inserts himself into the lives of a grief-stricken family in what looked to be one of the less salubrious backwaters of southern California. I felt sure the title character would wind up teaching the urinal cake-eating 12-year-old Valuable Lessons about What It Means to Be a Man, but he didn’t, not really, and I liked that. I liked also that the doomed grandmother in the story turned out to have been played by Piper Laurie, whom I’m old enough — hence the need for human growth hormone therapy, you see — to remember as Paul Newman’s love interest in The Hustler.

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