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 . . . .