Girls' Bike Club IX: Negative, Ghost Rider, The Pattern Is Full
Wing Chun: Hello?
Sarah: Oh, hello.
Wing Chun: Oh. Hello.
Sarah: You know…
Wing Chun: I know. Oh, how I know.
Sarah: And the thing is…
Wing Chun: Mmmmmm-hmm.
Sarah: Because I just…I…
Wing Chun: …If I may?
Wing Chun: SHUT. UP. TOM. CRUISE.
Sarah: Well sai—
Wing Chun: Shut up, shut up, shut! Up! Shut up Tom Cruise, shut up Tom Cruise's crappy publicist sister with the NASCAR porn name, shut up Katie Holmes, shut up Katie Holmes's weird skin disease, shut up Scientology, shut up engagement ring, shut up Oprah, shut up Brooke Shields, shut up creepy tooth, all of you, everywhere, forever. Just. Shut up. My God.
Sarah: I totally agr–
Wing Chun: And the shut-up-iest of all? Katie Holmes's family, who should have bagged girlfriend with a butterfly net weeks ago and put a stop to this madness, because hello, your child is engaged to a manic-depressive garden gnome, and now we all have to live in the bell jar! It's enough to make me miss non-news about Lindsay Lohan — enough! Shut! Gah!
Wing Chun: I'm done. FOR NOW.
Sarah: Hey, rave on. I'm so over it, I'm under it.
Wing Chun: It's just…it's like during Courtney Love's trial, when she was just clearly, clinically losing the plot on a daily basis — don't these people have anyone in their lives who can sit them down and just say, "Look, seriously — no"?
Sarah: Well, that's the thing. Remember when we were discussing that fame equation for the Cos?
Wing Chun: That fame equa– oh, right, right, the point where you've been too famous for too long to remember how "real" people behave.
Sarah: Right. It's the same principle, I think — that if you're that famous, and you're wearing the kookoo pants, and someone tries to point out that you're wearing the kookoo pants and they don't look all that good on you —
Wing Chun: — you can just replace that someone.
Sarah: Exactly. Because, okay, Michael Jackson.
Wing Chun: Oh, here we are again.
Sarah: Well, yeah, I know, but — think about it. Everyone's always like, "I can't believe nobody ever tried to stop him," but I'm sure various people did try to stop him, even at whatever point when it was maybe still kind of innocent — like, "MJ, the thing is, you can't have kids in bed with you, it looks bad."
Wing Chun: At which time he escorted the naysayers to the gates of Neverland on zebra-back.
Sarah: Right. But if I had youngsters in my bed, what would happen?
Wing Chun: …I would barf?
Sarah: No, seriously.
Wing Chun: …No, seriously.
Sarah: Okay, but…seriously.
Wing Chun: Okay, seriously? I would point out that that's fucked up, and I would tell you to quit it. While barfing.
Sarah: And what if I didn't quit it?
Wing Chun: Then I would tell you I couldn't be your friend anymore and then I'd barf some more, but, okay, you would never do that.
Sarah: I know I would never do that, it's just an example.
Wing Chun: Right, but — I can't take it seriously. You don't even like kids, really. Now, if you're injecting guacamole into your eyeball, it's a little more believab–
Sarah: Okay, okay, fine, let's say I'm…Elvis.
Wing Chun: Mental image of the week, ladies and germs. And it's only Monday!
Sarah: Heh. Okay, seriously. I'm Elvis.
Wing Chun: Hee. Okay.
Sarah: I'm all gorked out on narcotics, I sleep all day, I ride around Graceland's driveway on a tricycle with smears of peanut butter on my t-shirt —
Wing Chun: He did that?
Sarah: Uh huh.
Wing Chun: And you know this.
Sarah: I went through this Elvis-biography phase in high school, don't ask.
Wing Chun: Okay. So, I assume I try to tell you to cut down on the Dilaudid and stop being a vampire hog.
Wing Chun: And I assume also that it doesn't go so well.
Wing Chun: Because you're Elvis, and if your friends don't like the way you live, you can just buy new friends.
Sarah: Right. And at least one of Elvis's biographers has pointed out that if the Memphis Mafia had just had a damn intervention, like, in the sixties, told Colonel Parker to fuck off with the stupid beach movies, and guilted Big E into getting off the drugs because his mother would be flipping in her grave, he'd still be alive. But none of them did, because he bought their asses new cars every year.
Wing Chun: And it's not like he can't just make some new quote-unquote friends, because he's…Elvis.
Sarah: Exactly. He managed to have a girlfriend all the time, after Priscilla left, and the guy only left the house to go to 31 Flavors at the end there. How does a guy like that get a girlfriend? He's Elvis, is how.
Wing Chun: But here's what I don't get, because I think it's two different points. Like, there's the point where you're so well-known and connected that you can just replace the people in your life. But there's also the point where you start thinking that's actually a solution. If that makes any sense.
Sarah: Well, right. Instead of thinking, gee, Priscilla must have been really unhappy, maybe I should take stock —
Wing Chun: — exactly, he's just like, let's get a warm body in here instead of looking at root causes.
Sarah: No, I know exactly what you're talking about. That you're just totally…
Wing Chun: Adrift.
Sarah: Yeah. And you know, you'd like to think that eventually someone's going to put their foot down with these people and make them get some therapy, but…Michael Jackson. There's apparently no celebrity so creepy and fucked-up that someone isn't going to try to be the moon to their sun. Ew, "moon." Sorry.
Wing Chun: Man. This is depressing.
Sarah: It is.
Wing Chun: Let's talk about Russell Crowe instead.
Sarah: Yes, let's. …Wait, we have to backtrack to Tom and Katie for a second.
Wing Chun: Oh, no, we don't really have to. Please no?
Sarah: No, we do, because he's obviously jumping around on the roof of the fort like a little orangutan.
Wing Chun: Hee. Or one of the chimps in 2001, and the fort is that black obelisk thing.
Wing Chun: BAH BUM!
Sarah: Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom!
Wing Chun: "Also Sprach Zaracruisetra." Hee.
Sarah: Hee. And then of course there's a big old flap about Katie getting to come to meetings, and Tom being all creepy Access Hollywood Manson lamps and pointing to the wooden sign over the door.
Wing Chun: "It says 'GIRLS.' Kate is A GIRL. Who takes her VITAMINS."
Sarah: "You will let her join. XEMU COMMANDS YOU."
Wing Chun: Meanwhile, Katie is standing off to the side, eating her hair, and Christian Slater is creeping up behind her with his hands out zombie-style.
Sarah: And can Tom do anything about it? No. Because: teeny.
Wing Chun: I have to say, I wouldn't mind hearing that Tom Cruise got pimp-slapped. Not even beaten up, just that some other wee lad like Stephen Dorff gave him a bloody nose, something pathetic like that.
Sarah: And that he cried like a little bitch.
Wing Chun: Not that it would ever happen.
Sarah: Well, I wouldn't mind hearing nothing else about TomKat ever again, but speaking of "would never happen."
Wing Chun: God, I know. It's just never going to end — the wedding, the baby, the naming of the baby "Ellronna," the divorce, the red-carpet awkwardness, the blah blah blah blah blah, it's the news cycle that ate Pittsburgh. And as much as I kind of love those dudes who squirted water in his face? Don't encourage him, water-squirting dudes.
Sarah: Oh, for real. And it's becoming…it's like when I'm at a dinner party and someone asks some innocent question about American Idol and I give this detailed and authoritative answer, and then I'm sitting there wondering what used to live in that brain cell. Flannery O'Connor. Watergate. Something. It's just taking over.
Wing Chun: At least it's for work. At least we have to know this stuff for our jobs.
Sarah: Good point. The number of embarrassing DVD sets I've explained away with "research"?
Wing Chun: See? And to tell you the truth, I think we should learn more worthless pop-cult-iana, just? To piss off Stephen King.
Sarah: Oh, totally. What was that? Thanks for the lecture about what we should care about, Uncle Steve, and stop calling yourself "Uncle Steve," and by "thanks" I mean "shut the fuck up."
Wing Chun: And…hi, it's an entertainment magazine. It says so right in the name. It's not Cranky Grandpa Needs His Metamucil Weekly. Try not condescending to people about how they care too much about entertainment news in an entertainment news publication. God, HATE!
Sarah: And I love how, if we cared about the Jacko story, we by definition did not also care about Iraq, like we can't hold more than one thought in our heads at a time. What a horse's ass. I hope the letters page strings him up in the next issue, because that is just ridiculous.
Wing Chun: And then there's that whole part where he's taking the media to task? Hello, news is a business. They have to sell papers. You know who else we might accuse of pandering to the lowest common denominator by, oh, I don't know, writing a bunch of over-long horror stories instead of concentrating on serious reporting?
Sarah: Well, for God's sake. Go embed yourself in Iraq if you're so much better than other people, Talkingdowntome McUglyglasses. Which you aren't, because your stupid Uncle Steve's iPod Mix Tape column, and every song on it, sucked my right buttock clean off my body and now I have to sit all tilted to one side. Asshole.
Wing Chun: Along with all your other assy columns telling us it's our fault that so many movies are bad these days.
Sarah: Don't forget, it's also our fault that his pinko friend can't get a book deal.
Wing Chun: I'd really like to whack him over the head with a hardback copy of It.
Sarah: I hear a van works better.
Wing Chun: That? Was cold.
Sarah: You were thinking it.
Wing Chun: I was.
Sarah: So, he's in the GBC?
Wing Chun: Ordinarily, I wouldn't say that "refusing to shut your folksy piehole" is a GBC-worthy offense, but in this case, I will gladly make an exception, because: shut your folksy piehole.
Sarah: God, he would just bug the shit out of everyone else in the GBC.
Wing Chun: Oh, clearly. Constantly with the "son, sit down with your Uncle Steve a minute and let's talk, folksily, about the mistakes you've made, on the topic of which I will now bloviate because I, having written Cujo, know everything."
Sarah: "There comes a time, Corey, when a man must put aside childish things. …No, not your teeth."
Wing Chun: Lord. He's like that drunk guy who's all, "You know what your problem is well I'm gonna tell you what your problem is." Except he's not even drunk. He's just your friend's annoying dad.
Sarah: Or your friend's annoying boyfriend who's a music Nazi and always brings up the same pretentious factoid about Bob Dylan every fucking time you hang out.
Wing Chun: Oh, that too. "You know, what you might not know about this album –"
Sarah: "– is that he recorded it in his own ass while high on whip-its, yeah, you told us ten times already."
Wing Chun: God, Stephen King. I defended him for years and this is how I'm repaid? With a stating-the-obvious column in EW about how the Jacko trial was a circus?
Sarah: Yep, so did I. Zealously defended him. Said he was underrated.
Wing Chun: Same here. Underrated because of his subject matter.
Wing Chun: And then…On Writing.
Sarah: Ohhhhhh, On Writing. You little scamp.
Wing Chun: "The key to writing is to write a lot, every day. Now I will talk about myself and how awesome I am for two hundred pages…blah blah…rhubarb, rhubarb…and in conclusion, good luck to you, suckers."
Sarah: "Did I mention I got hit by a van? A van…load OF WISDOM?"
Wing Chun: Hhhhhhate!
Sarah: On the bright side, perhaps one fine sunny day Russell Crowe is unable to get a signal on his cell phone at the fort.
Wing Chun: I see where this is going. And I like it.
Sarah: And Stephen King approaches, leaning folksily on the cane he does not really need, but carries about in order to remind some of the youngsters that life is fragile, as he learned when he was…maybe you didn't know, but Stephen King was hit by a van.
Wing Chun: I have heard that.
Sarah: You may also have heard that Stephen King is knowledgeable about many subjects.
Wing Chun: I believe I have heard that. From…Stephen King himself, in fact.
Sarah: Indeed. So, Stephen King crutches up to Russell and says, "Russ, my boy, we have an expression in Maine, where I still folksily live in order to, as the kids say, keep it rill. Maine is full of good folksy people such as myself, but that horse is out of the barn, a stitch in time saves nine, listen to this mediocre bluegrass album I ripped, as the kids say, onto my iPod, and also, let me tell you a few things I've learned about only having one bar on the old cellular telephone."
Wing Chun: And Russell Crowe tells him to fuck off.
Wing Chun: Wait, no. Russell Crowe says, "Fuck off, mate."
Sarah: Yes. But Stephen King is not through, oh no. Stephen King must urge Russell Crowe to remember what's important in life — good music, news stories of import, family, and whatever else Stephen King may have vomited onto a page in ten minutes for Entertainment Weekly.
Wing Chun: And so it was that Russell Crowe threw his cell phone, a downed tree branch, and Ted Kennedy at Stephen King, killing him. …Killing him?
Sarah: I'd settle for muffling the drone of pompous platitudes, but sure, kill him off.
Wing Chun: Nah, let's let him live. Sean Penn likes a workout now and then.
Sarah: Well, let him tune up on Russell Crowe, because…shut up, Russell Crowe.
Wing Chun: Oh, I don't think Crowe and Penn should ever be in the fort at the same time.
Sarah: Not even to beat each other nearly to death? Because I would buy a ticket to that.
Wing Chun: Oh, so would I, but the danger is that having two guys who take themselves that seriously, and who are such unironic rage-wads, in the same place would somehow tear the fabric of time and space, and the whole GBC would get sucked through a wormhole and wind up in medieval Japan. On the moon. With flowers for heads.
Sarah: …Are you sure you never drink coffee? Because —
Wing Chun: Oh, come on. I'm not wrong. That much humorlessness in one place would turn the third dimension inside out.
Sarah: No, you're right. I'm just way back on "rage-wad." Well done, lady.
Wing Chun: I thought about going with "rage-hole," but it's kind of too hard to say.
Sarah: The "-wad" suffix is seldom the wrong call.
Wing Chun: That was my thinking.
Wing Chun: But you see what I'm saying.
Sarah: Yeah, I hadn't thought of it that way but you're probably right. And you know what gets me about those two? And I guess I can let it go in Sean Penn's case a little more, because he's done some Woody Allen movies and whatever, but —
Wing Chun: This had better not segue into a defense of I Am Sam or we are not friends.
Sarah: Um, have we met?
Wing Chun: Just…making sure.
Sarah: That's my whole point — that Sean Penn will be all "my craft" this and "meaningful projects" that, and then —
Wing Chun: — We're No Angels.
Sarah: That I can forgive. It was the Madonna era, the man had other things on his mind.
Wing Chun: You're…forgiving Sean Penn something.
Sarah: It's Sean Penn, we have to grade on a curve. It makes me want to kill him slightly less than Shitstick River did, okay?
Wing Chun: Fair enough. So, wait — what are you saying, exactly?
Sarah: I'm saying that both of these guys are total anger-balls all the time, and they get super-impatient if anyone asks about anything except the current project, or impugns the current project, or refers to their personal lives.
Wing Chun: Oh, and not just super-impatient — they're offended. And they act like the interviewer is shallow and an idiot, like, dude, she's just doing her job, if you didn't want to answer questions about your marriage you should have told the freakin' publicist that.
Sarah: And then they act like even having a publicist is such a chore, because It's About The Art and the trappings of fame just weigh them down, blah, which…okay, that's fine, but then don't star in cynical pap like Proof of Life and try to pass it off like the project was misunderstood.
Wing Chun: Oh, that's always my favorite flavor of celebrity defensiveness. "You just didn't get it." I think he actually said that about Mystery, Alaska.
Sarah: Are you shitting me? It's a HOCKEY movie, homes!
Wing Chun: Hey, don't yell at me, I didn't even watch it!
Sarah: …I did.
Wing Chun: And I'm sure your reason for doing so is totally sympathetic and believable.
Sarah: Ron Eldard is in it.
Wing Chun: …And I apologize for the sarcasm. Totally believable, I can get behind that.
Sarah: But…it's still a hockey movie.
Wing Chun: So you can confirm that it isn't Hamlet On Ice.
Sarah: It is not. Although now that we've said that out loud, Mark Burnett is going to make a reality show out of that concept.
Wing Chun: Which Stephen King will berate us for watching.
Wing Chun: Anyway. Yeah, I like Crowe as an actor, but it's getting harder and harder to put aside all his Olivier-in-the-rough horseshit and just enjoy his movies.
Sarah: And some of the movies…I mean, Gladiator, come on.
Wing Chun: Oh, I liked Gladiator okay.
Sarah: Oh, I liked it fine too, but it's not The Godfather, is my point. And if you're so concerned with honing your craft, what's with all the Ron Howard movies.
Wing Chun: I was just going to say. Unless said craft is interpretive mawkishness, in which case, we salute you, sir.
Sarah: I mean, he's a good actor and he's handsome, but give me a —
Wing Chun: You think he's handsome?
Sarah: …Yeah. What?
Wing Chun: Rage-wad?
Sarah: I'm not going to marry the guy, I'm just saying, he's attractive.
Wing Chun: The dude throws phones at people, is what I am just saying.
Sarah: Oy, then I'll sleep with him in a, a, a kitchen or something where there's not a —
Wing Chun: You don't have a phone in the kitchen?
Sarah: Wing. I am not actually going to deny Russell Crowe phone service and then attempt to have sexual intercourse with him. We're in the subjunctive, here.
Wing Chun: But knowing that he did huck a phone —
Sarah: I also know that he was in a craptastic bar band, boinked Meg Ryan, and has no sense of humor about himself or anything else. So what?
Wing Chun: He's also kind of chunky.
Wing Chun: Sorry. But he is.
Sarah: I AM NOT REALLY GOING TO FUCK THE GUY.
Wing Chun: Okay, okay!
Wing Chun: Okay, sorry, anyway. The GBC.
Sarah: Well, he's obviously a member.
Wing Chun: I think there should be a sign in the fort, like the factory-safety signs that say "41 days without an accident" or whatever.
Wing Chun: But it's "X days since Russell Crowe chucked his bike at someone."
Sarah: Hee. And it's always at "0."
Wing Chun: Hee hee. Exactly. And every time Simon Le Bon walks up to the sign and is about to pull the "0" sheet off so it says "1," there's a clattering noise from outside.
Sarah: And Le Bon's hand is just frozen over the sign.
Wing Chun: And Stephen Baldwin comes in, and Le Bon is like, "…Now what?" and Baldwin just sighs, "Jim Morrison."
Sarah: You know, I'm not in favor of Schwinn-launching, necessarily, but if it's going to happen —
Wing Chun: It should be in the direction of Jim Morrison. I heartily concur.
Sarah: Or Kevin Costner.
Wing Chun: Where did that come from?
Sarah: Where did The Postman come from?
Wing Chun: True. But did Costner get arrested or something?
Sarah: Not that I know of. But: The Postman. It does seem like some punishment should be meted out for that.
Wing Chun: Well, and talk about taking oneself too seriously, Dances With Bikes.
Sarah: Heh. And a "quick" trip to the DQ for a Blizzard with Costner will take three hours and cost four hundred dollars.
Wing Chun: Costner goes to the DQ? Costner doesn't send someone to the DQ for him?
Sarah: Costner's wife is, like, twelve years old. It's not a snack; it's a date.
Wing Chun: Ew, true. Although, if that's our rationale for putting people in the GBC…Nicolas Cage.
Sarah: He is a strange biscuit, that one. He lived in a castle?
Wing Chun: In the what now?
Sarah: Check out his IMDb entry. Oh, man, brilliant: "Proposed to Patricia Arquette on the day he met her in the early '80s. Arquette thought –"
Wing Chun: Oh, God. That is such an attention-whore thing to do, too.
Sarah: I'm not even at the good part. "Arquette thought he was a bit strange but played along with his antics by creating a list of things Cage would have to fulfill to win her."
Wing Chun: Oh, Patsy. Don't encourage him.
Sarah: Well, get this: "When he started to work his way through the list, Arquette got scared and avoided him."
Wing Chun: Well, I should hope so. God, what a weirdo.
Sarah: But: "They met again many years later and later went on to marry."
Wing Chun: Well, yeah. And then they got divorced, because he is an Elvis-obsessed freak with hair plugs.
Sarah: And she's a medium. She should have known how that shit was going to go. Man, and have you seen pictures of him lately? All manorexic? He's starting to look like Lew Wasserman.
Wing Chun: Oh, yuck. God, what is wrong with these people? Someone couldn't have talked him out of those plugs?
Sarah: Yeah, he's not that famous. He should still be able to hear reason.
Wing Chun: On the other hand, with the Elvis thing, maybe not.
Sarah: Man, would I love to see Cage come face-to-face with the real thing on the mean sidewalks of suburbia.
Wing Chun: Oh, Lord. He'd come totally unglued and start babbling about the tribute he did in Wild At Heart and Elvis just would tell him to eat a sandwich.
Sarah: And Cage would just be destroyed.
Wing Chun: Especially after Elvis gave Russell Crowe ten bucks to throw his bike at Cage for divorcing his baby girl.
Sarah: Hee. And Le Bon's like, "…Dammit, it was almost midnight, too."
Wing Chun: "This wouldn't have happened if he'd taken his vitamins!"
Sarah and Wing Chun: "Shut up, Tom Cruise."
June 20, 2005