Deep breath. Hold it. Exhale.
Backtrack to last Friday: I’d been having a good week, as you might remember. Everything was all paper hats and party dresses wherever I went. There was a lot of back slapping and invitations to dinner. Of course, I was still reeling from the realization that I’m a hefalump. Seeing myself on TV took a serious bite out of my self-esteem. So that was there, in the back of my head, even though I generally felt pretty unstoppable.
I was on my way to the Q network studios to do another one of their shows – this was a live talk show called Q News Live. I was very excited because I had decided to debut my Victorian bed collar. As you can see in the picture above, I looked pretty hot. Like an evil grave-digger. The collar is almost 135 years old, and just as stylish today as it was when Vicky ruled Britannia, don’t you think? It has a Yohji sort of feel to it, once you add the smoky, editorial eyes. And black on black on black has a rather slimming effect, don’t you think? Or so I told myself.
So: As I’m waiting in the wings to be escorted onstage by a staggeringly well-endowed go-go boy (it’s a gay show, remember – why, they even drink on the air!) I threw my shoulders back, adjusted my collar, and smiled brightly. And ON!
But wait! What’s that? What’s the band playing? Isn’t that…? No. IT COULDN’T BE!
IT WAS! THEY WERE PLAYING THE THEME FROM THE ADDAMS FAMILY!
And I GOT IT, immediately. Look at the picture again. UNCLE FUCKING FESTER! They were making fun of my fat face, bald head, and pretty, black eyes!
“HOLD IT! STOP EVERYTHING!” I shrieked as the cast and crew howled at what they thought was the funniest joke ever.
“OMG! OMG! OMG!” I sobbed to the camera. “You work SO HARD to give up the crystal meth, and in the process you GAIN A FEW POUNDS.”
Still, they laughed on.
Of course, all you can do is soldier on at that point. The interviews are conducted from a bar onstage – thank god – so I grabbed my drink, gave a quick toast (“Chin! Chin!” – get it? Double chin?), and tossed back my mango martini. But, to add disappointment to insult, it turns out that while the interviewers were all getting bombed on real alchohol, the guests were all drinking virgin cocktails.
HUH? How rude is THAT?
So I had to do the interview stone cold sober. Dammit. All I kept thinking was: “I’m so fat. I’m so fat. I’m so fat.” AND “Maybe it’s time to rethink the smoky eyes.” AND “I never should have buttoned that top button on America’s Next Top Model.”
But, mind you, as I was thinking those things, I was also busy yap-yap-yapping away about something else entirely. So I quickly switched over to hear what was coming out of my mouth. Well, it was worse than I thought. I was in the middle of a LONG AND PAINFULLY DETAILED story involving Walter Winchell and Brenda Duff Frazier, of all people. Apparently, the lesbian guest host had asked what a “celebutante” was and, because I wasn’t really paying attention, I had launched into an etymology lecture on live television, and was boring everyone to tears. Trust me, any answer that begins with “Well, back in 1933…” DOES NOT make for sexy television.
Quick! Quick! Bring it home! Make a connection to today, give it a punchline and move on!
That’s when I heard myself dropping PARIS HILTON’S NAME!!! OMG! Does ANYONE drop her name anymore? And why on earth would I want to do that?
“It’s a funny thing” I said by way of bringing it home, “The first time I met Paris Hilton I ran up to her and said….”
THE FIRST TIME I MET HER? COULD I BE MORE DISGUSTING?
Back in the ’80s, you know, they called me “Names St. Names” – because I dropped so many names. I thought I had moved beyond that. Apparently, it takes constant vigilance, or you slip back into old habits. And here I was again.
The rest of the interview continued in a blur. Something about my 14-inch penis and how spiritual I am and how I don’t condone murder (“Oh really?” the hostess said snidely, ” You aren’t FOR muder? That’s surprising”).
Basically, in two six-minute segments, I was able to negate any feelings of self-worth that I had scored from my America’s Next Top Model experience, by going back on TV and being a complete, babbling idiot.
BUT UNCLE FESTER! COME ON! THAT WAS SO EVIL! That moment will stay with me forever! It will definitely end up in my autobiography. “It was in 2005,” I’ll say, “right before I came out with my diet book and jazzercize video.”
In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be under the bed with an Entenman’s marshmallow fudge cake.
– James St. James