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Who You Be Lookin Like, PingWi-Fi? A Negative Tale

July 5th, 2010 · Tags:Satire

What celebrity do people say you resemble?

That is my all-time favorite icebreaker question when I meet a stranger. I even prefer that question over “What is the best rock concert you ever saw?” I must say, I have a pretty high success rate when I meet someone and then guess to which celebrities they have been compared.

Remember that fun week when everyone on Facebook changed their profile photos to their celebrity doppelgangers? Who was yours? Or … who peeps say you be lookin like?

Ha! I have said it before, and I will say it again, “everyone looks like someone.”

The other day, I surprised one of my Facebook friends by telling her she resembles vintage videos of Jim Morrison. I mean … not that I think anyone would confuse her with a dead rock star, but they might wonder if she was related … She has not responded since.

Vintage Jim Morrison

And me? I have been tagged with some good ones over the years — David Lee Roth when I was 19, experimenting with long hair … Baryshnikov when I was 19, experimenting with long hair and lack of sleep … Interesting, I think both those guys — rock star and ballet virtuoso — made a living wearing tights back in the day … I digress.

I disqualify the David Lee Roth comparison. The young lady who said that also told me her mom owned the FM rock station where I worked at the time and that I should date her or lose my job. Rock on!

During the “Big Chill” era and also during the trippy “Altered States” some friends made William Hurt comparisons with my mug for whatever reason.

William Hurt

Liam Neeson is the celeb I hear most often … in roles ranging from the gentleman anti-Nazi in “Schindler’s List” to a thug in “Gangs of New York.” Personally, I think there is some profiling going on — some people think all us guys with big old flat foreheads looks alike.

Liam Neeson

I am not saying I agree or disagree with any of them … I just sayin …

There have been some other interesting ones lately, including Thomas Jane, the guy who plays “a male escort” in HBO’s new four-letter-word series. Ha … the character has two jobs — one of which is baseball coach. The show adds new meaning to the expression “Don’t give up your day job … I digress.) That part — coaching — I can identify with …

Oh, interesting trivia, an early episode of that show, “Hung,” (okay, there I said it) features a disaster recovery truck owned and branded by the same company that hired me for my second job — a.k.a. the Dirty Gig.
All of this is leading up to something …

Steve, another guy from Texas, and I had been riding to work together for a while on Dirty Gig duty — working to clean up flooding in Tennessee. As we commuted and got to know each other, he answered my trademark celeb question with “Keanu Reeves!”

Keanu Reeves

Dude! I am so not seeing that. I guess I spoke too soon on my doppelganger meter. This one stumped me. Was that Keanu in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?”? “Parenthood”? “The Devil’s Advocate”? Or, “Point Break”? I mean, he is kind of the same in every role … any way … I guess Keanu is in the eye of the beholder.

I told Steve that another suggested look-alike come lately for me is Viggo Mortensen, with a footnote — that is Viggo in “A History of Violence” but not so much in his role in “Lord of the Rings,” or “Appaloosa” for that matter.

(Quick sidebar: Did you know Viggo was married to punk star gone country, Exene Cervenka of the punk band X?)

And then, just after that conversation about Viggo, I assured Steve that I have a high kill ratio in doppelganger recognition skills — HKRNDGRS for short.

And at that moment, I saw an easy target. Each morning Steve and I had to drive our vehicle through a military checkpoint — you know guns, probing questions, suspicious looks … show lots of ID … you know the drill.

At the gate there were any number of heavily armed military police types, alternating at various gates. But on that morning, I spied one whom in my mind, I had already been paring with a celebrity lookalike.

As we pulled up to the checkpoint, I assured Steve that I could nail this guy’s celebrity double. For the record, the guard did not look very friendly, but I theorized that everyone likes to talk about themselves … at least a little. And who don’t like being compared to a successful movie star — I ask you?

So, “Steve, watch this.”

We pulled up to the menacing looking guard who was all stone faced behind a dark, dark set of military aviator sunglasses and wearing a SWAT-team cap. If you are picturing congenial, try again. But I knew my uncanny wit could and charm could beat down this lean, mean, killing machine.

He checked our IDs, asked us our business, searched the trunk, etc., without any hint of friendliness. Notthat there’s anything wrong with that.

Then I sprung my question on him. “Sir, who do people say you look like?”

“What?”

“You know what celebrity do people say you look like?”

I ain’t gonna lie. The armed guard gave me a look as if to say, “Son, I can rip your head off and do anything I like inside your little pencil neck, so why are you asking me silly questions? …” He didn’t say that, but he looked like he might.

He didn’t say anything.

I pressed on. “You know, everyone looks like some celebrity — and I think I know which actor people compare you to most often.”

Silence (although I expected him to come out of character, and just do chit chat for one moment).

Nothing.

I had committed by this point, and had to finish, even if I was getting no help from the expert marksman or my passenger “Keanu.”

“Oh come on now. You know what I’m talking about … Surely people say you look just like Ed Harris,” (coincidentally, that is for Harris’ role in “A History of Violence” but not so much “Appaloosa.” Hey, that would make him my co-star … I digress …)

“A History of Violence”

I just knew I had cracked this tough nut. I just knew he was going to let down his guard, so to speak, smile, put his elbow on the car window, crossing his legs, leaning in to chat … you know, offer up other good-natured anecdotes … like the time he was mistaken for Ed Harris and actually signed some autographs …

None of that happened. His answer? One word, clearly — no emphatically — delivered … in a low almost growling voice, with military cadence and definite aggression, but nothing to give any hint of feeling, ever.

“NEGATIVE!”

Hahahaha! That was all he said, and we took that as our orders to move along. And of course as soon as we had driven out of range … we laughed our little doppelgangers off.

And of course, for the next two weeks, Steve and I both relished every “yes or no” question, just waiting for the right opportunity to quote our new favorite method actor.

“NEGATIVE!”

Feel free to use this … but I must tell you it works best, the scarier you sound.

On any job — Dirty Gig or corner office, travel blogger or janitor, one has to find those little things along the way to entertain one’s self. We found “a keeper.”

Know what I sayin?