The 290 West exit off of South I-35.
That’s a shot of Jean Claude Van Damme playing yours truly in a biopic about what I’ve been up to lately. Namely, growing out a greasy mullet and toting handguns while practicing gnarly motorcycle tricks on highway overpasses. Also, my knees have begun to emit steam. You know, typical macho bullshit.
Let’s take a look in the ol’ reader mailbag, shall we?
Dear Fat Fingers Justice,
Did you know that if I Google “Sam Elliot Mustache,” the Fat Fingers of Justice is the ninth image result?
P.S. Call my agent asap! I just finished your script, the Old West period piece, and I’d be honored to play the mysterious, widower sheriff who dispenses folky wisdom and hides a revolver in his mustache. My current stint as the voice of Smokey Bear is a decent gig, but there’s only so much nuance with which you can deliver “Only you can prevent forest fires.” And the lack of character depth is very frustrating. I mean, did his parents die in a fire? The love of his life? Does he have survivor’s guilt? Let’s just say the U.S. Forest Service’s marketing team isn’t the creative epicenter I’d been promised.
P.P.S. How is Smoky Bear totally not a gay icon? I mean, c’mon, look at that fucking bear. Ah, but I ramble.
YES, I do, legendary actor Sam Elliot. WordPress is very informative in terms of helping me manage and finely curate my surely-at-any-moment-award-winning content. ”Sam Elliot Mustache” is among the top five search engine terms that lead to my site. The others? “Bee gees hairy,” “porcelain cats,” “truck nuts,” and last but not the least insulting, “fat man with beard.”
Fuck you, too, Google search matrix. You could put down the hoagie and run your ass around the block a few times yourself.
But I know it’s just tough love. You see, as recently as two years ago, friends and foes alike were asking, “Fat Fingers, how do you always seem to be in peak physical condition? Your mental agility and acuity is rivaled only by your rippling musculature.”
Others would add, not incorrectly, “If polished stones of various shapes and sizes were to achieve consciousness and quickly evolve cooperative abilities, they would hold a brief meeting and unanimously decide to combine to form the perfect rock-hard body – your body.” (They would also make a truly horrifying and unstoppable rock army that I only hope could be reasoned with. But none of my appreciators considered that rock army situation, as they were too full of lusty thoughts to think it through.)
Ex-girlfriends would sell semi-nude photos of me to pay off their student loan debts. Unsurprisingly, the images received nearly universal, vaginal acclaim.
But surprise, surprise – experiment with alcoholism for a few years, come down with a chronic case of taco-itis, and almost literally forget how to exercise, and the results are not good. Other than a solid beard and decent shoulders, I’m pretty much a “Before” picture waiting for a makeover. I’m the left side of the screen when visually breaking down pre- and post-ownership of a Bowflex.
The only peak condition I’ve found myself in recently is peak drinking condition. And maybe peak sandwich hunting condition. I’m often found valiantly thinning the overpopulated sandwich herds in the deli savanna.
Unfortunately, those shirtless photos have proven to be slightly less lucrative.
So, perhaps it’s time to cut back on drinking and eating with the gusto of the condemned. It’s time the Fat Fingers took hold of a healthier lifestyle. I never intended the Fat Fingers to be literal. Corpulent appendages were not the goal here. (Editor’s Note: “What was?” Me: “Shut up, Editor.”) I fear getting to a point where I find myself getting winded making a sandwich. Or breaking a sweat getting dressed, because then you’re clothes are all sweated-up, but you can’t just change shirts, because then that second shirt would be all gross, too. Man, life is tough on the lazy.
So, enough of the whiskey coke floats and waffle grilled cheese sandwiches. Enough of the buttered cigars, the chocolate-covered curly fries, and even my favorite cheesy broccoli recipe – 4 parts cheese, no parts broccoli.
However, perhaps worse than the physical toll the booze and poor diet takes, is the mental. My brain is just a bag of gin-thinned chowder and crushed, mushy saltines. And my memory, oh lord my memory.
A recent experience solidified this concern. While perusing Netflix’s suggested films, I discovered that the website’s “Best Guess” for my rating of “House Party 2: The Pajama Jam” was 3.0 stars.
How could Netflix believe I would like House Party 2 more than I wouldn’t like it? How had this happened? Netflix, you’re supposed to know me. Who am I? How have my life’s choices and beliefs led me to this misunderstanding?
Even more unsettling than that, however, was discovering that on March 8th I apparently watched 22 minutes of it. I don’t remember this, and I don’t think it’s a subconscious attempt at saving any brain space for more important things, like famous cat trivia. It was because one lonely night I’d been drunk enough to think it was a good idea to watch it. Not coincidentally, that level of drunkenness is also the level at which you kill the brain cells required to remember making such a decision.
I watched part of it today as research for this blog, and in case you didn’t know, House Party 2 isn’t very good. Should I have watched the original House Party first? Would that have helped?
Clearly, I need to get my mind right. I need to do some soul – and liver – searching.
Beyond the lapses in memory, I noticed my social skills have suffered. My brain needs to be exercised in ways other than laps in the liquor pool, because my conversation skills have withered horribly.
It’s never good when all I can think of to say on a date is, “Did you know my roommate’s cat can fart as loud as a person?” and then raise my eyebrows like, “Pretty amazing, huh?” While that may be true, it’s not a great conversation piece. (But stay tuned for a 3-part startling expose on feline digestive issues in the coming weeks. By God, Cat Fancy’s finally going to get that Pulitzer.)
Other times, I may share too much, too soon:
“I combed my beard, and a fly fell out.”
“Oh, settle down. It was still alive.”
It’s a shame, really. Because all that conversational ineptitude comes just after I’d discovered a failsafe way to ask someone out – “Would you like to eat dinner and have drinks and consider engaging in a short to long term power struggle with me?” Guaranteed to work on that cute cynic you’ve been eyeing!
I decided I better get my shit in gear, better get myself in some better health before my heart or liver or both decide to mutiny and leave in the middle of the night, replacing themselves with papier-mâché replicas.
My goal, perhaps rather ambitious, is not to have a single drink for two weeks, then filter in the weekend-only drinking. I will also cook more meals at home instead of continuing construction on a delivery tube between my bed and the taco truck behind my house.
I’ll let you know how that works out, considering this bottle of whiskey throwing itself at me.