Sunday, January 13, 2008

Do It For The Mickster

I am usually the type of person that you can share information with and expect that it will be well kept and protected from the ears that do not need to hear it. 99% of the time if you mention something in confidence I will keep it solely to myself. Even if not specifically asked to maintain a veil of secrecy, I will tend to err on the side of caution and respect and generally keep information to myself. However, every once in awhile you happen upon a goldmine of information about someone and you cannot help but share it with at least one or two of your closest friends.

Such was the case for myself just a couple of weeks ago. Over the Christmas holidays the Heittenflauggen clan got together and did the typical family type stuff. (A Christmas day replete with Satanic animals, a movie about a throat slasher who grinds his victims into pies, a visit to a Hindu temple and a hot dog outside a gas station.) It was during this visit from my parental unit that I was blessed with the knowledge about a certain sibling of mine that I did my best to hold in, but now find myself no longer capable of doing so.

Instead of just jumping right out and stating what it was that I learned, I'd like to take the time to savor this moment and build to it appropriately. So, let's jump into the wayback machine and head back to 1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark was leading the box office and the masses of young girls were swooning over a young Harrison Ford and a libidinous Rick Springfield.

At least, that's what MOST of the girls were swooning over. But apparently at least one young girl found her object of attraction in another man. One more mature of character and equative in stature. While others were swept away by the adventures of Indiana Jones in the Peruvian jungles, she was endeared to the struggles of a gentleman in the urban jungle.

Who was this hot object of desire? Who was it that fanned the flames of passion for my sister at that time? As I have mentioned that this gentleman was her elder, we can assume it was not a young Tom Cruise. Perhaps Paul Newman? Robert Redford? No, this icon of masculinity was none other than Mickey Rooney.

Now, I can hear you already. "Mickey Rooney? That's not SO bad." He was quite the rising star in the late 30's/early 40's when he was doing his Andy Hardy series. A young Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney set the stage on fire in the 1940's. And honestly, Mick was a bit of a looker...in 1941. But in 1981 Mickey Rooney was 61 years old. Now, I'm not inferring that this makes Mickey an old man at that time, certainly not, but I would think that it would be out of the range of a pre-teen. But even the age isn't what gets to me. The best part of the revelation is the following: Her crush on the diminuitive man was due to his perfomance in the film "Bill".

For those not in the know, "Bill" tells the story of a retarded dwarf (international sex symbol Mickey Rooney) and his struggles to survive on his own in the big city. Interestingly enough, this film also stars a young Dennis Quaid. Given my druthers, I would peg Mr. Quaid as the more attractive of the two, but after watching a few heart touching moments from the film, I can certainly see why Mickey would be the man of choice for a young girl in the 80's.



He's hard to resist in that oversized suit, ill colored and obvious hairpiece listing lazily over one eye, perhaps waiting to be thrown back in a come-hither motion. From the clip I am presenting here, we can assume that perhaps Bill was the inspiration for the modern day emo hairstyle. Perhaps sis was on to something. Perhaps "The Mickster" was a trendsetter long before the rest of the world ever realized it. Personally, I find it difficult to believe that Mickey wasn't on the cover of Tiger Beat or Bop at the time of this movie. He didn't even make the second rate mags, like Hot Dog or Pizzazz.

In retrospect, I find it hard to believe that I was unaware of this obssession in my younger years. The lifesize cardboard cutout of Mickey Rooney. Posters plastered all over the walls and ceiling. Stacks of VHS tapes containing all of his hottest roles; Bill, Bill: On His Own, The Black Stallion, Pete's Dragon and The Magic of Lassie. The flower and heart covered envelopes she would send out to his fan club. There was even a heated and emotional fight between her and my mother over a large phone bill my sister had racked up calling some kind of hotline that ultimately degraded into angry epithets being hurled back and forth regarding the relative mantacularity of Rooney and Brian Dennehy. All of these things should have been indicative of the unbreakable bond she felt with Mr. Rooney. Truthfully, I had always just assumed that she was expressing an early interest in gerontology and that she intended to go into elderly care once we had grown.

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say, and with this newfound knowledge I'm beginning to understand some of the more quizzical aspects of my sister's personality. Point in example, the wall of Mickey photos in her study that she lights candles and incense for every night before saying some whispered prayer that I've never been able to divine and the collection of Mickey Rooney shaped potato chips.

I'm glad I turned out normal, at least.

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5 comments:

Lara said...

You DICK! How you could deceive me like that?! I told that to you in the strictest of confidence! I didn't realize I'd have to ask you to take a vow of silence on that. You're my BROTHER! I would never do something like that to you! It was Christmas! I was feeling sentimental. We spent hours reminiscing about great childhood memories (like demented board games and awesome "surprise" Christmas gifts of logs), so what was the big deal? I've always liked the underdog (i.e. Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, etc.) and there's no bigger underdog than an older, darling, mentally challenged gentleman like Mickey Rooney. You do realize that I went off to college to become a social worker. Once my man crush wore off I realized this wasn't the best choice for me. All my "crushes" would soon be dying and I couldn't have that. So, where do I get these strange obsessions? Well, our mother has had a disturbing crush on "fat old man" Charles Durning, I mean Brian Dennehy, as long as I've been alive. Anyway, thanks for raping my great memories! How do you leave blogs on here anyway? I'm sure one or two of your demented fans would like to read some dirt on YOU and your wacky teenage years. :P

Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

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E said...

Don't attempt to deflect your anger onto me with petty threats regarding my younger years. I was an absolute angel and try as you might, you won't find any dirt to dish on me. Squeaky clean, I am.

Glad to see you took it with good natured humor, though. I was a tad worried that you might take offense, as I was pretty much accusing you of having a crush on an old retarded midget. But hey, to each their own, I guess.

For the record, anybody is free to leave a comment, and it can be done anonymously. Also, as part of our AWESOME new feature that allows you to peruse articles by author, you will find a direct email address listed for me as well.

Lara said...

First of all, the correct term is LITTLE PERSON. How can you be so insensitive and politically incorrect?! I thought I knew you better than that. Just because he was vertically challenged does NOT mean that he still wasn't devilishly handsome. We all have our quirks. I never teased you for playing with all your gay He-Man dolls! (Was there a single female character?) Weren't you strangely aroused by the pungent smell of Stinkor? Now THAT'S weird!

As for being squeaky clean...HA! Remember how you'd go in the bathroom to shower only to wet the towels and floor (with water, I hope) and emerge mere seconds later? The Pigpen-like cloud of dirt following you told us all otherwise.

E said...

AHA! Scurrilous lies!

I never showered as a child and barely do as an adult.

Check and mate.

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