Unfortunately, and fortunately, a collection of piranha bites have developed under each armpit. The holes are unfortunate for obvious reasons, and fortunate because I always end up ruining the clothing I love best by wearing them as often as my laundry cycle will allow. The high rotation in tandem w/ my work and eating while reading in bed habits leave no chance that a favored shirt will not soon be splattered with coffee and milk and liquid nails and titebond numbers one and two. That’s not dirty talk. Titebond one is interior woodglue that’s easier to sand and not ruin a natural finish and titebond 2 is the shizzle for any woodworking exposed to moisture which is why they put a duck on the glue bottle. So the fact that this shirt, which was picked out of a clothing swap by a sweet sweet friend and delivered to me, has mysteriously begun to unravel in the pits is a relief to me even though I love it so. Maybe it was a toxic batch of deoderant. Maybe a design flaw. Either way it wasn’t my own wardrobe negligence that began the decline.
The second reason I’m glad the shirt has a bunch of tiny holes that are hidden as long as I keep my arms down is that I can raise my arms and reference the finest comedy to be released in 1982, The Toy. Apparently The Toy, which stars Richard Pryor and features Jackie Gleason and the rotten little kid Pryor has to keep entertained, is not being watched by todays college graduates and requires all the educational arm raising I can deliver. I mean, I can handle that in the not too distant future I’ll pass into oblivion along with this blog and every piece of wood I ever tightly bound together… but what kind of a world would this be if nobody knew what the hell a man was talking about when he shouted, “Don’t die Wonderwheel!” Fighten and I are just doing are part to keep that sad sad day at bay, using all the adhesives and mysteries at our disposal.
Maybe there’s no hope for The Toy, even in this golden age of 80’s remakes for a nostalgic audience of 30-somethings coming to grips with early middle age. Perhaps there’s no good way to pitch a movie about a spoiled white kid getting a very entertaining black man of his own as a gift. I say bring on the uncomfortably funny and all its complicated implications, because we really haven’t gotten any better about talking about race so we may as well laugh about it.
The Toy wasn’t much of a cultural exchange. The audience doesn’t learn anything about the Pryor character’s life outside of his time spent as a nanny comedian working for Gleason’s character. It was, however, the only movie I saw as a kid in the segregated south of the 80’s in which racial and economic barriers were busted up by humor and then paved over by respect.
How did we get from t-shirts to race relations? I just wanted to work the Wonderwheel into the blog…