Aug 18, 2017

Fill Your Beefcake Quota with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul"

Fans are upset because the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, The Long Hall (2017), doesn't star Zachary Gordon or Devon Bostick.

Come on, the guy is 19 years old and buffed.  Do you really want him playing the 11-year old wimp Greg Heffley?

Jason Drucker, seen here with "Rowley" Owen Aztalos, is really 11 years old.  A better choice.

And actor/model Charlie Wright as sarcastic older brother Rodrick has some beefcake potential that Devon Bostick didn't.

Plus there are many other opportunities for physique-watching.  Hot tubs, showers, swimming pools.  Check out Tom Everett Scott, who played Johnny Galecki's boyfriend on stage, as Dad.

It's a road movie, so the usual junior high nightmares take a back seat to hotel and roadside-amusement nightmares and Greg's quest to meet Mac Digby, the creator of his favorite video game, plus an ongoing antagonist, Mr. Beardo (Chris Coppola).  He gets a shower AND a hot tub scene.

No heteronormative "boy meets girl" preteen romance, only minimal homophobic anxiety-jokes -- in that regard, it's far superior to its predecessors.

Unfortunately, it eschews plot development for scatological jokes and seeing how much abuse Greg's body can take -- it takes a lot. I suggest renting the DVD and going through on fast forward.

See also: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Penis Sighting at a Chinese Restaurant

Rock Island, May 1974

When I was growing up in Rock Island in the 1960s and 1970s, there were no Chinese restaurants  in town.  I knew only a little about Chinese food:

1. On a 1967 episode of The Andy Griffith Show where Andy and his sidekick Barney go to a Chinese restaurant.  Andy orders a steak, a baked potato, and green beans, but Barney is so stupid that he actually orders from the menu, and receives platesful of disgusting horrors.

2. My mother's cookbook, Meals with a Foreign Flair, offered a Chinese meal: chow mein, cucumber salad, asparagus, and fortune cookies.

3. Chinese food was cooked and served by Chinese men.  I had never met anyone of Chinese ancestry before, except for the mysterious boy that Bill and I played with a long time ago.

I hadn't even seen many guys of Chinese ancestry!  But doubtless they were amazingly attractive.

With tree-trunk penises!

When I was in eighth grade at Washington Junior High, a Chinese restaurant, the Mandarin Kitchen, opened in the Quad Cities.

I was anxious to go, but it was across the river in Davenport, Iowa. I wasn't allowed to cross the river by myself.  Besides, no buses went over, and it was too far to walk.

My parents wouldn't take me:

"It's too expensive," Dad said.

"And you wouldn't like it," Mom added.  "I had Chinese food once, in Long Beach.  It was awful!  What's wrong with Harris Pizza?"

 Then I thought of my birthday excursion!

My birthday is in November, when everything fun is closed, so every May I got a "birthday trip": I could invite two or three friends to go anywhere I wanted in the Quad Cities.  We went to Mother Goose Land (it's not as lame as it sounds), the Niabi Zoo, the Putnam Museum, the "Little Bit O' Heaven" at Palmer College.  Why not go out to lunch at the Mandarin Kitchen?

I invited Dan and Darry, my boyfriend and my best friend, plus my brother by default and Peter, the only Asian guy at Washington Junior High.  He was of Japanese ancestry, not Chinese, but I thought he might give us an air of authenticity, so we wouldn't look like tourists.

On a Saturday in May, shortly before the streaking incident, Dad drove us across the Centennial Bridge and into Davenport.  We turned down River Drive and drove through a rather seedy neighborhood, past shabby office buildings, taverns, tattoo parlors, and the Col Ballroom where sinners went dancing, until finally we reached the Mandarin Kitchen.

The uncensored story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 17, 2017

Oliver Hooks Up with Andy Taylor and Opie

West Hollywood, September 1985

I've been in California for only a couple of months, but I'm completely star struck!  I've met Michael J. Fox, Scott Valentine, Robin Williams, Dean Paul Martin, Chris Makepeace -- I can't even keep track  -- and heard about a lot more.

I'm asking every guy I meet about the celebrities they dated or tricked with.  Sylvester Stallone, Scott Baio, Rob Lowe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ted Danson...I could write a book!

It's the morning after my date with Artie, a chubby older guy with weird rings and gold chains around his neck, reeking of cologne -- not at all my type.  I just accepted the date because I thought he would have a lot of celebrity dating stories (he didn't).

While Artie is frying bacon and eggs, his roommate comes out of the bedroom.  Naked.

A black guy in his mid-30s, slim, short black hair, round face, bleary-eyed.  His thin Kielbasa+ semi-aroused!

I'm not used to seeing naked roommates, especially ones who are cuter than the guy I'm on a date with, and I flash him a cruisy smile.  Artie notices and frowns with obvious jealousy.

"Boomer, this is Oliver.  He was just leaving."

"Pleased to meet cha," Oliver says.  He crosses over to the kitchen and pours himself a cup of coffee, then sits at the table, his knee "accidentally" pressing against mine.  "Are you in the business?  I'm an agent -- Cloris Leachman is one of my clients.  I definitely could get you some work."

Before I can answer, Artie brings over the bacon and eggs on a plate and squeezes in between us, trying to defuse the cruise.  "Boomer's studying Renaissance Italian at USC,  He can speak five languages.  He's not into anything so low-brow as movies."

 "Actually, we were just talking about celebrity dating stories," I tell him.  "You must have some good stories."

"I'm afraid Oliver doesn't have time to..."

"I got plenty of time, bro."  He thinks for a moment.  "How about this one: the very first big stars I ever got down my throat.  Andy Griffith."

"No way!" I exclaim.  Not The countrified hick of No Time for Sergeants!  The harbinger of conservative American "just plain folks" values on The Andy Griffith Show, about a small-town Southern sheriff in the days when folk loved Law and Order just as much as Aunt Bee's prize-winning apple pie!

"Please!" Artie exclaims.  "He trained to become a Moravian minister, and released an album of Country Gospel songs.  No way he's gay!"

"Well, maybe not gay for white boys, but definitely into dark meat."

Hollywood, September 1970

Oliver wanted to be a dancer as long as he could remember.  When he was only fifteen, he was dancing on American Bandstand and on The Swinging Times Review at the Palm Theater in Detroit.  After high school, he enrolled in the Dayton Dance Academy, but after a year he dropped out and moved to Hollywood, where he crashed with a friend and made the rounds of auditions.

In the summer of 1970, his lithe physique landed him a walk-on role on The Headmaster (1970-1971), with 44-year old Andy Griffith trying to escape country-hick typecasting by playing the headmaster of an elite private school in California.  Oliver played a track star who jostled his buddy and said something like "Dig the cool cat."

Just one line in an annoying jive -- did the writers really think that Afro-Americans talked like Sambo? -- and Andy Griffith wasn't even in the scene.  But Oliver saw him watching all during the taping, and figured he must be doing something right.

Sure enough, he was immediately cast in the next episode, as Normie in "The Experiment."  This time he had a whole conversation with the Headmaster, and a hand-on-shoulder moment that, for some reason, took a dozen takes -- Andy kept flubbing his lines and laughing.

The next day Andy called Oliver's agent and asked him to come to his house to discuss "making Normie an ongoing character."

This was rather unusual, but he figured, big stars are eccentric.  And he had the chance to play an ongoing character in a show that was sure to run for years!  So on Saturday he drove out to the house in Beverly Hills.

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.