October 7, 2010 by David Gillaspie
“Museum: from Greek Mouseion, an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest.” (Websters)
Who goes to Madame Tussaud’s? If it’s London, it’s either there or Piccadilly Circus where the clowns aren’t funny.
No Disneyland, no Knott’s Berry Farm, no Six Flags, but there is a wax museum.
It’s an easy choice. Besides, I had a plan. I wanted to meet Shakespeare. It was his land and I was there.
We met at his place.
I didn’t expect to find William in the same room with King Richard, Sadam, and Alexander Putin, but that’s the crowd he hangs with.
Did he have some advice for an obsessed writer?
I took notes.
Me: Where do you get your ideas?
William: Do you know how many centuries I’ve answered that question?
Me: Sorry, Mr. Shakespeare. Uh, what inspires you?
William: I’ve heard that one for centuries also.
Me: C’mon Bill, why the hardline? I’ve come a long way to see you. I’ve been to Stratford on the Avon. You know, they’ve got a Starbucks in your home town. I want you to autograph my cup, but first I want to know what drives you; what makes you deliver the sort of writing that lasts.
William: All the world’s a stage, brother, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances.
Me: Right. But your people have endured.
William: One man in his time plays many parts; his acts being seven stages.
Me: Seven stages, huh? So you’re a developmental writer? You follow your characters through all seven stages?
Me: That sounds more like three stages, Will. How about some solid writing advice?
William: Cut, cut, cut.
William: Then cut some more.
Me: Like the French?
William: They knew how to cut.
They hadn’t seen her either. I was a little concerned, but what could happen in a wax museum?
Then I turned the corner and saw this: 007
My wife was a Bond Girl? She was in there with Honey Ryder, Plenty O’Tool, Holly Goodhead, and Xenia Onotopp. James ditched Halle Berry, Britt Ekland, and Barbara Bach for my girl.
That didn’t make it right.
I went in looking for inspiration and legacy and found it in Shakespeare, even though he shared a room with tyrants.
Sean Connery had a look in his glass eye; it was the look he had at the end of his Bond movies when he was adrift in a life raft or disabled boat after saving the world. Instead of accepting a rescue, he sinks below camera view with the hottest babes on screen.
Was he planning on sinking down now?
Me: Listen Ali, I got a problem that’s getting worse.
Ali: Call me Muhammad or I’ll whup you like I did Patterson for calling me Cassius Clay.
Me: I didn’t call you Cassius. Listen, your waxy buddies are slipping up on my wife. What am I supposed to do, light ’em up like you do?
Ali: I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.
Me: That sounds like a 60’s peace, love, and understanding riff.
Ali: And you sound like a man who can’t keep track of his woman. Let me know if she comes into my gallery. I’ll show her a good time.
Me: That’s it man, put ’em up. You see Gerry Cooney, the great white hope, fight your boy Larry Holmes? He was king of the low blow. You better watch out.
Ali: My toughest fight was with my first wife. You don’t worry me much.
Me: I’ve only got one wife. I’m trying to be a good husband.
Ali: If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you…maybe.
Ali called after me, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
“Thanks, Champ,” I said. “No one’s getting a room. Hey, Johnny, you’ve got your hands full with Elle Macpherson. Give me a break here.”
“I don’t think you understand where you are, my friend,” John said.
“I’m in a wax museum, man. Where are you?”
“I was just thinking of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and how young they were when they died. I would like to be a pop icon who survives. I would like to be a living icon,” Travolta said.
“Look around, Vinnie, most of the people are dead. Once you get waxed, your days are numbered. I’m surprised anyone gets in your airplane with you.”
“You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna do something really outrageous, I’m gonna tell the truth,” he said. “I think you’ve got problems at home. This isn’t about me, pal. As much as you’d want it to be, it isn’t.”
“A very misunderstood person,” John said.
“Aren’t we all. But I’m starting to understand more now.”
“She had bad luck with men.”
“I was thinking JFK and Bobby.”
“Throw another log on the fire. I’m going in.”
“Don’t do it.”
Me: Hey, Marilyn. Good to see you in England. I’m homesick.
Marilyn: Are you married?
Me: Yes, I am. Why do you ask?
Marilyn: Because husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
Me: And you know this how?
Marilyn: Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.
Me: So do James Bond and Tony Manero.
Me: I’ve seen enough today.
Marilyn: Do you see your son?
While keeping these wax lechers at bay, Jennifer Lopez slipped by. Her magnetic personality fastened my kid’s hand to her dress.
No one seemed to notice but me and Marilyn.
“He’s a very good looking young man,” Marilyn said.
“Yes he is, and he’s in trouble. How do I get his hand off JLo?”
So I did.
Me: JLo, what’s up.
Jennifer Lopez: I could serve coffee using my rear as a ledge.
Me: Sounds good. Is my kid bringing me a cup?
Jennifer: People equate sexy with promiscuous. They think that because I’m shaped this way, I must be scandalous – like running around and bringing men into my hotel room. But it’s just the opposite.
Me: Okay. What about the coffee?
Jennifer: The bear is what we all wrestle with. Everybody has their bear in life. It’s about conquering that bear and letting him go.
Me: The kid looks pretty conquered, so let him go. I’ll find a bear suit if that’s what it takes.
“Have you heard of these guys?” he said. “They are the funniest ever. Call themselves The Beatles, with an A.”
“I’ve heard of them.”
“They’re a band.”
“Beatles with an A?”
“Just the Beatles. They like my hair.”
“Maybe you’ll join them?”
“They seem pretty set for now. The new drummer is working out and the bass player covers the lead guitar when it doesn’t sound right,” he said.
“Listen, I’m ready to go. First your mom, then your brother. Now you’re hanging out with a gang.”
“They’re not a gang, Dad. You’re not a gang, are you?” he asked The Beatles.
The bass player shook his head. “I can’t deal with the press; I hate all those Beatles questions. We’re not a gang.”
I waved my kid away. “And we’re not the press,” I said on the way out.
One of The Beatles, the one with the long nose, shouted as we left, “Everywhere people stare, each and every day. I can see them laugh at me, and I hear them say: Hey you’ve got to hide your love away.”
People were staring and laughing at me. I heard Sean Connery’s Scottish chuckle.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked.
“Not too sure, but check with Connery and Travolta. They might know. They like to hide their love away with visitors wives.”
That’s not what I wanted to hear.
“Real funny, John. Does the name Yoko mean anything?”
“I don’t know a Yoko.”
“You will after you dump the bellhop uniforms.”