Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mo'Nique: The Re Run

I wrote this. It all happened. Except the good parts, and most of the bad parts. The stuff about Leslie Easterbrook is all true!

There would be much fanfare with Mo'Nique's entrance. She's nominated for an Oscar, for God's sake, and with a little bit of a grudge, I admit she did a bang-up job in a part that should have been mine. It is during her entrance that I and my date, Leslie Easterbrook, make our way to our seats with minimal fanfare. Leslie stops to give an autograph to Steve Guttenberg, who strangely enough drove our limo, and there is a brief moment when I think the night will be a bust, as she and Kim Cattrall lock eyes. This part of our relationship is difficult, and I am unspeakably tired of running lines from Star Trek VI with Leslie. "It is the way of the world," I say, "and at least you beat out Bubba Smith for those Rob Zombie movies."

I would be dressed to the sixes, or maybe the sevens. This is because dressing me to the nines would be on par with sending men to Mars. It is something we can do in theory, but given the current state of the economy and our genius administration, the billions upon billions of dollars it would take wouldn't be deemed a priority. As it is, I am dressed only slightly better than a pile of dirty laundry. And when the men at the doors of the theater tell me that I am allowed to take neither the machete or the brass knucks in, I almost call off the thing right there. Still, I'll never get this opportunity again. I accidentally slice through my cumberbund and suspenders removing the machete from the sheath I'm hiding beneath the tails of the only key lime green tuxedo they had at Haystacks Calhoun's House of Horse Blankets and Clothes for the Colossally Big and Amazing Tall.

"Do you want to leave?" Leslie asks, as I'm frantically trying to engineer a method of holding my pants up. Having my pants fall down during the actual Academy Awards Ceremony would be the biggest social gaffe of my life, barring perhaps that minor incident when I confused Julia Roberts with Tim Conway in all those Dorf movies. It is why I no longer get to dine with Carol Burnett.

"No," I say, as I spy my momentary salvation.

"Distract them," I say to Leslie. "Action Code DD."

And Leslie pulls the front of her dress down and flashes them. This is not Action Code DD, but it works like a charm. I grab the velvet rope nearest to me, and remove it from its pedestal. I clip one end of the rope to the front of my pants, and loop the rope over my left shoulder, clipping the back of the rope to the back of my pants. I do a quick check, and realize that I am perhaps more comfortable now in this suit of clothing than I have been in any outfit in my entire life.

Until I lock eyes with Helen Mirren. We are wearing the exact same outfit, down to our Dharma Initiative t-shirts.

We are allowed to enter the theater, and I note that my machete has been placed next to a billy club and a beautifully crafted Katana. Since Judah Friedlander isn't here tonight, I'm sure that Mo'Nique has been adequately disarmed, as well.

The snack bar is closed for Oscar Night. If you learn nothing else from me today, it is that if you want Reese's Pieces to snack on during the actual ceremony, and you didn't bring any with you, you're shit out of luck. Leslie finds a can of vienna sausages, rifling through a coat she thinks is Peter Jackson's. We snack on those during the opening musical number, and through the jokes of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, none of which I find terribly funny because they're aimed at people who like Reese's Pieces and Vienna Sausages.

There are awards. I can't remember who wins what. Somewhere after the opening number, everything in my field of vision goes red. At first, I'm thinking that I've rubbed vienna sausage juice into my eyes, and the salt solution is irritating them. It is only after I borrow a handkerchief from Kathy Bates (is there any point in my life that the woman hasn't come through for me? Barring her complete and abject failure to kill James Caan? She's always been devoted, so I've let that one slide.)

We reach roughly the two hour mark of the night, and Steve Martin goes on some spiel about how, as a poor black child, he loved the movies of Richard Farnsworth, and I'm not sure how we segue into the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category, but we do. Sometimes, it is best not to ask questions.

It is at this point that Leslie gets up from her seat. Our eyes meet, recognizing that this may be the last time we see each other. There is nothing that words can say. She honks my nose. I do a minature version of the Truffle Shuffle. She nods, and the scroll of destiny begins to unroll, as she moves toward the back of the theater. She announces, "I am famished. I want a Baconator, and I have to leave."

"Save me a seat!" I say.

As I return to my seat, I catch one person's eye. Louis Gossett, Jr. looks at me from his seat, eight rows in front of me, imploring. Imploring what, though? It's not like I'm some kind of mind reader. I give Louis the bird, wishing I did indeed have some manner of telepathy, so that I could tell him to fuck off and mind his own ever-loving business. Louis seems to get the message, though. He flips me a return bird, and turns around just in time. He is sitting right behind Vera Farmiga, and the cameras have just panned to her, as she has likewise been nominated. I did not see Up in the Air, nor will I ever. My grudge against George Clooney and indeed all the cast members of The Facts of Life is as well documented as my issue with Mo'Nique.

Clancy Brown, in a decidedly odd choice to present the award, finishes naming off the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. He opens the envelope by tearing it open with his teeth. "The winner is....Mo'Nique!"

There is clapping. I see a monitor flash to Mo'Nique, who is crying.

And I leap into action.

There is no formal name for the fighting style I use. I've had very little formal training. I have watched Professional Wrestling my entire life, and I watched the movie Best of the Best late last night, in hopes that the ghost of Chris Penn is with me, as I exact Vengeful Justice on Hollywood.

Roberto Benigni was very much my inspiration for the first step in my attack. I leap up, as Mo'Nique is stepping toward the stage, and I begin running across the backs of the seats, toward the stage.

I am sitting in row 23, which given my fandom of Ryne Sandberg, I'd taken as a good omen. However, by the time I reach row 11, I start to realize that most of Hollywood is made up of bastards who won't get the hell out of the way when you're trying to attack a Best Supporting Actress. I think Reese Witherspoon grabbed my foot somewhere around Row 10, and I think I tripped on Kevin Costner's ego somewhere around row 8. It is there that I fall, and find myself in the lap of Javier Bardem.

Now, I'm a badass, but I'm no fool. Javier Bardem is just not a motherfucker to be trifled with, and falling into his lap will do nothing to endear him to me. I should mention here that it was not my fall that upset him. However, in my flailings about to correct myself, I think I spilled the grape Slush Puppy he was drinking. Luckily, none ruined any designer dresses. Unfortunately, Javier really likes his slush puppies. He punches me in the neck.

I roll into the aisle, just toward the left of the stage.

Javier screaming "Pendejo" in the middle of Mo'Nique's acceptance speech is enough to silence the room. Heads turn. I stand up.

"Oh Hell No!" Mo'Nique says from the stage.

"You know why I'm here, lady!"

"Let's do this..."

Mo'Nique turns the Oscar statuette upside down, and leaps from the stage.

Surprise was my biggest ally, and that fucking Slush Puppy was my undoing. Looking to counteract the Oscary bludgeon, I take off my right shoe. I'm glad I decided to go with the slip-on dress shoes instead of the velcro strap sandals I'd wanted to wear.

Mo'Nique lands, and takes two wild swings with her trophy.

I'm quick, for my size, and I dodge those two swings, and clock the "comedienne" across the bridge of her nose.

"You son of a bitch," she says blinking a tear from her eye. "You ruined my makeup..."

She then bashes the Oscar across the back of the seat of Morgan Freeman. The base of the statuette breaks off, leaving in her hand a sharpened tool of my demise.

I take the velvet rope I'd taken from the front of the theater off my pants, and start swinging it over my head.

"What the fuck?" she says, ridiculing my makeshift weapon."

And the brass buckle of the rope catches her in the temple as I swing at her head.

Surprise washes across her face. I've gotten two licks in, but done no real damage. In fact, even as I know this is my worst enemy, I know the damage she's capable of, and that I've succeeded only in pissing her off three times over, if you count my interrupting her speech.

She regains her senses, and turns the point of her Oscar shiv to the base of her hand. I've begun swinging the rope again. I launch it at her, hoping the heavy brass end on the rope will catch her between the eyes. She catches it deftly, and in what is frankly an amazing feat of strength, uses herself as a fulcrum. The strength and sudden nature of the attack catch my by surprise. I find myself flying through the air, over the head of the Mo'Nique and the audience.

I land on the stage steps, on my back. The wind rushes from my lungs, and I find myself staring into the smiling face of Jack Nicholson. "I loved Witches of Eastwick" I mutter, as a large form comes into focus, upside-down in my field of vision. Mo'Nique has launched herself through the air, Oscar Statuette dagger-point down, at my chest.

I don't know how I roll out of the way, accept that the fires of vengeance run strong in my family. But rolling out of the way is all the energy I have in that moment. I know that I'm mostly likely living the last moments of my life, sliding down into the aisle, gasping for breath that will not fill my lungs for all my trying.

I have silently said a prayer to Dusty Rhodes, thanking him for the opportunity, when something launches itself out of the crowd. I think it is Leslie, perhaps abandoning her plans for a Frosty, to save me. But now, it is Sean Penn!

Goaded only by the spirit of his dead brother, he jumps out of the crowd, and slams Mo'Nique's head into the steps. "Drop her like a toilet seat," he says, and wanders off, looking for a peace that he will never find until he realizes that his strongest and most true performance was Jeff Spicoli.

After a few tense moments, I finally draw a deep breath. Mo'Nique regains her senses at right about the same time. We stand up, and trade several haymaker punches. I gain the upper hand, briefly, when I block one of her punches, and poke her in the eye.

My dominance is short, as I choose to headbutt the Best Supporting Actress.

In a word, it was a mistake.

Mo'Nique always carries a frying pan.

If you learn nothing else, short of the fact that they don't sell snacks at the Academy Awards, is that Mo'Nique always carries a cast iron frying pan.

And that's how this particular encounter ends. I headbutt the frying pan, instead of of Mo'Nique. I stagger in surprise, and come enough to my senses to see Mo'Nique wind up, and clock me upside my head. I am semi-conscious as I am dragged out of the Academy Awards. Mo'Nique didn't kill me, but my efforts were for naught.

I spend the night in Los Angeles County jail. Leslie bails me out the next morning. She and Bubba Smith met up, and after his shift at Wendy's, they tore Pasadena to shreds, she tells me.

At least she had a good night....


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