It's just three days until our big annual AARP Movies for Grownups® awards banquet in Beverly Hills, and the women are all having their hair done, and the guys are picking out shiny new cummerbunds for their tuxedos...and I've been at the oral surgeon, having my number three molar yanked out by a guy who is either a) a highly-trained medical professional or b) a rather out-of-shape longshoreman. In either case, if you happen to see me wandering around the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Monday night in a nitrous oxide haze, do usher me up to the ballroom so I can give my opening remarks (remind me to take the gauze out of my mouth first).
I've been really excited about the big dinner-and I guess I must have been thinking of it while I was under the anesthesia. I don't think that gas mask was in place more than a couple of seconds when our Best Actor winner, Colin Firth, came bursting through the door reciting his big oratory from The King's Speech, waving his arms and clattering around all the equipment. Then Geoffrey Rush, who plays his speech therapist, got all in my face and kept yelling "Enunciate, man! EE-NUN-SEE-ATE!!" I tried to explain that I couldn't because there was this huge hairy hand in my mouth, but all I could say was, "Look out, it's Helen Mirren with a machine gun! And she's seeing RED!" Everyone turned, but the only person there was Denzel Washington in an engineer outfit, looking at his watch and saying, "Buddy, if you don't step on it this train is leaving without you, and then it'll be Unstoppable!" Colin sneered at him and gestured to the corner, where Annette Bening and Julianne Moore were sitting in bed reading my review of The Kids are All Right. They just looked up and said in unison, "We're all right -but you sure aren't!" At last the dentist pulled back and I could see he was Robert Redford. I was kind of surprised, and asked, "Hey, you won't be doing this on Monday, will you? You're supposed to be in Beverly Hills to accept our Lifetime Achievement Award." He looked a little puzzled and answered, "I don't know. Let me ask my Secretariat." And as he shrank to the size of a hummingbird and fluttered toward the ventilation duct, he added, "I'll be there all right...all right...all right...all right..."
"...you all right..you all right?" asked the dentist as he removed the mask from my face. I looked around the office, slurped up the saliva dripping from the side of my mouth, and muttered, "Uh, yeah." And I ducked out, fully expecting to find Lightning McQueen waiting in the lobby to give me a lift home.