DAILY BRIEFINGNot Just a Screenname
Jun. 9 - It was a very Danish weekend for me, and I'm going to get into all of that over the course of this week. In today's lead image, for example, the discoloration on my cheek is actually an imprint of the Danish flag left on me by an ardent Danish soccer fan celebrating the national team's victory over Norway Saturday night. The DMB and I had watched the game on the big screen at Tivoli, along with a few hundred thousand deranged Scandinavian soccer fans.
Earlier Saturday we'd been downtown to watch the annual Carnaval celebration, which was especially interesting because, coming as it did on the day of the big game, it meant that hordes of scantily-clad, bead-bespeckled Carnavalers were parading through throngs of beer-swilling soccer partisans.
And Sunday we traveled back in time about a hundred years for a family picnic in Frederiksberg Garden.
All of these things warrant my usual distortions, exaggerations, and hyperbole, and I still plan to get back to the anti-Americanism I encountered the prior weekend, but something happened at the end of last week that I have to get out of my system first.
So that's the subject of today's briefing.
* * *
I've got these really light eyelashes. Practically invisible. Partly it's because I'm fair by nature (in the blond sense). Partly it's because I wear contacts and when they irritate me I rub my eyes and probably lose a lash or two. Now, I've got big old bushy eyebrows—more like misplaced mustaches, really—so I'm not the Richard Gephardt type, but still. Light eyelashes.
The DMB had been drawing my attention to these light lashes for some time. I don't think she'd actually organized a campaign, but it certainly seemed to be coming up in conversation more often. Enough that I starting looking at my eyelashes and noticing: I've got these really light eyelashes.
Thursday night we had one bottle of wine with dinner, a second for dessert, and a third from sheer momentum. (The bottles were so good we even drank the wine.) We were feeling pretty swell. We called a friend in the states and took turns talking.
During the DMB's turn on the phone I got kind of restless. I started wandering around the apartment looking for something to entertain me or irritate the cats—preferably both. That's when I went by a mirror and noticed those light eyelashes again.
The wine started talking to me. "Okay," it said, "you got light eyelashes. So what? You quit acting ten years ago."
"Eight," I said.
"Eight, ten, whatever," the wine replied. "You're a writer. You spend most of your goddam time at home, alone, in front of the computer. No one cares what you look like."
"I care," I said.
"Well for God's sake, either do something about it or get over it."
"There's nothing I can do about it," I sighed.
"That's not true," the wine said. "You could put on some mascara."
So I did. I found the DMB's makeup, applied a little mascara to the lashes of both eyes—"a little" in the sense that my eyes weren't sealed entirely shut—and admired my Virile and Heroic Lashes in the mirror.
I went back to the living room to show the DMB my bold new look.
She only looked up at me for a second. "You've got caterpillars in your eyes," she said, then went right back to chatting away with our friend.
I returned to the bathroom and undid some of the experiment. I didn't undo it completely because I enjoyed having those swarthy lashes and figured it'd be easier to get it all off in the shower the next morning.
(This is all going somewhere, bear with me.)
One of the things we had done before getting into all that wine was to run off a load of laundry that included all of my gym shorts. Naturally, we forgot all about it until we woke up the next morning. Now, we have a washer in the apartment but have to either hang-dry our clothes or bring them around to the møntvask ("textile shredding") place around the corner. Neither hang-drying nor institutional shredding can undo the musty, mildewy smell of laundry left sitting damp in the washer overnight, though, so we had to run off the whole batch again.
This left me without any gym shorts, which was annoying in that the only other workout-suitable shorts I have are bathing suits, which I don't mind wearing in the gym itself, but have always struck me as kind of short and tight for walking around in public.
Anyway, I went down to the gym at the Frederiksberg Svømmehal and started my workout. Having had all that wine the night before, it felt great to sweat it all out—so great I didn't even bother towelling the sweat off as I exercised. I just let it all stream off me, and it felt cleansing and purifying. And it was nice to be wearing the bathing suit instead of the longer gym shorts: my legs felt more aired out, more energized. I felt so great that it must have radiated out from me and made me look great. I noticed a lot of girls checking me out, which made me feel even better, and that probably made me look even better, because the more I worked out the more attention I was getting—surreptitiously, of course: people weren't staring at me. They were checking me out. You know: you feel them looking at you, then you glance at them and they look away.
It's got to be the shorts, I thought. I should wear them more often!
After the workout I walked home, and I got some definite interest from a real cute girl on a bike. She actually craned her neck around to give me the once over as she rode by me! And she was hot! It was all very flattering.
My vanity hadn't been stroked like that since. . . well, it was probably a first.
Until I got home and noticed what everyone had been checking out. . . My mascara was running.
* * *
Sixty-nine years ago today, an American legend made his first appearance on the silver screen. Since then, he has appeared in over 450 films in more than 200 languages, held lead roles in dozens of television serials and hundreds of specials, and has been featured in books and magazines in every language. He has done all of this without wearing pants. He is, of course, the world's favorite lazy, hot-headed, bare-assed mallard: Donald Duck.
Michael J. Fox turns 42 today. He shares his birthday with Jackie Mason (1934) and Cole Porter (1892), who was so pathetic at words poetic that he always thought it best, instead of getting them off his chest, to let 'em rest unexpressed.
It's Arab Revolt and Army Day in Jordan. It's Luis de Camoes Day in Portugal.
© 2003, The Moron's Almanac