I'd like to start this post with a quote from the movie Jerry Maguire.
"I love black people. I am MISTER black people."
Having said that, I will now proceed with the following true tale of hilarity.
My friends. Marcie and Lisa. Marce and The J. Jerry and Elaine. Fred and Daphne. Farah Fawcett and Kate Jackson.
There they are. The fools. I love them.
We all used to work together many moons ago (Lisa and Marcie still do) before I moved to Texas, and every once in awhile we would do some much needed Team Building. Of course by Team Building I mean drinking. And laughing. Lisa, Marcie and I were always much more than just co-workers. We were friends, and I still consider them among my best friends.
So, once upon a time on one such Team Building occasion, the 3 of us are sitting around, drinking a few brews and talking. We were discussing how Mr. J. (Lisa's husband) would see someone, anyone, with a beard and think that that person was Kris Kristofferson.
Seriously. People on TV, dead celebrities, former presidents, fictional characters. Kenny Rogers, Abraham Lincoln, Jerry Garcia, Santa Claus. All Kris Kristofferson. Random people. He'd be walking down the street in suburban Ann Arbor, Michigan and see a guy with a beard, and point him out and say, "Hey look, it's Kris Kristofferson". And he truly believed it, every time. Mr. J is not quite right.
So we are discussing this, and laughing heartily because, let's face it, that shit is funny. And then I bring up how I'm sympathetic to Mr. J's plight, because I too have a confusion issue regarding celebrities. I tell the girls how I often confuse James Earl Jones
with Laurence Fishburne.
To me, they are one and the same. Lisa and Marcie crack up at this. James Earl Jones and Laurence Fishburne?!! How crazy! Jones, the voice of Darth Vader; and Fishburne, the guy from the Matrix. How could I possibly get them confused? Preposterous!
As the laughter dies, Marcie chimes in with, "I don't understand how you can get them confused! Laurence Fishburne is much younger! And he was also the guy in Pulp Fiction!"
More laughter erupts. Lisa and I inform Marcie that Laurence Fishburne was NOT, in fact, in Pulp Fiction, but rather, that was Samuel L. Jackson.
Marcie doesn't believe it! "Are you sure?" she asks. Lisa and I, still chuckling, assure her that it is so.
Lisa, shaking her head, now can't believe that 2 of her friends and her husband have made such errors of identification. "When clearly," she says, "Everyone knows that Samuel L. Jackson was also the voice of Donkey from Shrek."
At this point, if you had been sitting at the table next to us, you would have thought we were delivering a litter of puppies. We were shrieking and screaming with laughter.
No, Marcie and I say between gasps, that was Eddie Murphy.
It took 10 minutes for us to stop laughing/crying/screaming and calm down. We all had tears rolling down our face at the absurdity of the conversation that had just taken place. Essentially you had 3 white girls, sitting around talking about a bunch of black actors and no one knew who was who. And it went from me, to Marcie, to Lisa. Each one of us taking a turn mis-identifying a black actor. We stopped there, although I have a feeling we could have continued the circle, since I sometimes confuse Eddie Murphy with Chris Rock.
To each of these actors, I'd like to say that I apologize for our ignorance. You have each contributed something valuable and worthwhile to the film and television industry. Except I didn't really like The Matrix, but I'm sure Fishburne has done other things that I've seen. I can't think of what, except maybe Star Wars. I'm just kidding. I no longer get them confused. Most of the time.
Speaking of beards, I think I found my next knitting project.
I'm going to wear it on my next trip up to Michigan and mess with Mr. J.