The Wisdom of Shutting Your Pie Hole…

I have a foot.  And I have a mouth.  And SOMETIMES they occupy the same space at the same time.

I suffer from foot/mouth proximity . . . . also know as Foot In Mouth Disease.

It’s not terminal . . .  but it can be mortifying.

Some examples? I thought you’d never ask . . .

So, go back a few years . . . it’s the 1994 Academy Awards.  And I’M GOING!!!  My agent, Sid Craig, who also represented actor Ken Elks (who happens to be deaf) gave us his tickets!   I would interpret for my dear friend Ken, and the two of us would be allowed into the sacrosanct arena of Movie Star Proximity . . .

It was a pretty amazing evening.  I sat “side saddle” in my seat, so that I could face Ken as I interpreted. I did miss some of the action, but it didn’t matter . . . .because before we went to our seats . . . . . soon after we entered the theatre . . . .

We were in the huge crush of Humanity and Celebrity that is the Oscar pre-show lobby.  And I looked up in front of me, and there was Raul Julia looking right at me.  Right into my suddenly widened eyes.  RAUL JULIA!!!!!

There is an endless myriad of words – a plethora of phrases – that I could use to express my profound respect for him as an activist, as an actor . . . as a human being.

Did any of THEM come out of my mouth?     NO!

What did, you ask?   In a tremulous voice came THESE words, in a stutter:  “Oh, Mr. Julia . . . .you . . . you . . . you are the next best thing to ……peanut butter . . . ”

PEANUT butter???  PEANUT BUTTER???!!!!!  OH.  MY.  GOD.  What the hell was the matter with me?? My eyes widened further, in absolute horror this time.  I wanted the earth to swallow me, or remove me with spontaneous combustion . . .

And his response?

The amazing deep brown eyes, so full of life, compassion and wisdom, crinkled in laughter.

He said “Don’t worry, My Dear, I understand.”  And he took my hand and kissed it.  And then said,

“Thank you, it is an honor to meet you.”

oh.  my.  God.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my Foot In Mouth Disease and Shelley Winters . . . .




For another commercial  – PAMPERS PULL-UPS, to be exact – I had an adorable little guy named Tyler.  He was just over 2, and was very verbal – as I was to find out.  The commercial was all about the “I’m a Big Boy Now” aspect of diaper training, and showed him dressing himself, sitting on the potty himself.  You get the picture – you might even remember the spot.  What you don’t know – though you’re about to find out – is that our cameraman almost dropped the camera into the bath tub due to general hysterical laughter.  This is how that came about:

We were shooting the “on the potty” segment  – seeing him sitting there, cutting to a view of his pull-ups around his little ankles as he sat, and then cutting to a shot of him pulling them up.  If you don’t have any particular inside knowledge of shooting commercials, you may not know that the only guarantee of a commercial is that you’ll shoot the scene over and over and over again.  Which meant, in this case, that I had to come out of my hiding place IN THE BATHTUB, where our camera man and I were crammed together, about 17 times and lift little Tyler up about 17 times to set him on the potty before he would then hop off and pull up his diaper.  EVERY single time I sat him down on the potty chair, Tyler peed into the toiler.  EVERY time.  SEVENTEEN TIMES.

In amazement, I finally blurted out, “My goodness, Tyler – where is all that coming from?”

He looked at me for a long moment, and then calmly said, “My penis, Dawnie” – –  his expression clearly communicating that I had asked a very silly question.

Duh, Dawn!  The crew broke into unbridled hysteria . . . . the cameraman and I perhaps laughing hardest of all.

And thus, simultaneously, a camera was almost dropped in a bathtub.