Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Farewell, Jorge Montenero, we hardly knew ye.

On the way to the Fruit Plant this morning, I walked past a Verizon truck blaring "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" while the driver screamed along at the top of his very out-of-key lungs, and a line of people on 46th Street waiting to see LeBron James sign books at the 5th Avenue Barnes & Noble, proving that not having ever spent a day in college is no obstacle to getting a book deal in the 21st-century US of A.

What more fitting expression of grief could there be, I thought, for the late Patrick Swayze, who sailed off to the Grey Havens to be with Gandalf and Frodo and Tupac and the gang yesterday?

He may never have had the musical chops of Dan Fogelberg or the hair styling chops of Bob Barker or the dancing chops of Tom DeLay, but there is virtually no way to reasonably deny that the Swayz would have been at least as good as, if not marginally better than that shitbag Peter Horton in the hit 1990 volleyball flick Side Out, a role that would have landed him back where he belonged, opposite his The Outsiders co-star C. Thomas Howell.

Now that is a reunion I would maybe have watched on HBO if there were nothing better on at the same time.

And who can forget the pottery love scene in Ghost when P to the "atrick Swayze" wrapped his oiled, muscular arms around that short-haired raspy-voiced dude and ruined a bunch of clay while "Unchained Melody" played from a boom box hidden in the open kiln behind them? Poetry on film, everybuzzy. Although it does make a person wonder what ever happened to the other guy in that scene...

Of course, P-Swayz was most famous for uttering the line "nobody puts Baby in a corner" in a pivotal scene in the movie Point Break, a line which has been relegated to meme status in the past 18 hours by every two-bit hack with a Twitter account. I have news for you twits: nobody puts "nobody puts Baby in a corner" in a corner. Whatever that means.

For me, the death of "the House Swayze and Means Committee" is eckspecially hard-hitting, since, like most American boys, I once longed to grow up to become Jerry Orbach so I could appear opposite The Swerz onscreen and admit how wrong I was for assuming he knocked up Penny, and then tacitly give him permission to go screw my daughter in his stylishly messy Catskill dance instructor bungalow. Who among us DIDN'T have that dream? Here's hoping Swayze and Orbach reprise that scene for God and Jesus and Santa Claus and the deceased cultural relevance of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and all the angels and saints and demons in heaven.

Although the low-hanging fruit here would be a Kanye West joke, I can think of no more fitting or appropriate farewell for Patrick Swayze than this Surge Wakefield remix of "Bacon is Good For Me." Feast your eyes, and your grief, on this, America.

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