Monday, October 02, 2006

The Relative Wisdom of Dating Scarlett Johansson

I've been debating the relative wisdom of dating Scarlett Johansson.

Certainly there would be benefits. First, as a man just turned fifty-three, the self-image boost would be palpable. I imagine sauntering into my local watering hole--the Pete McManus Cafe, say--with Ms. Johansson on my arm, emitting sweet nothings directly into my ear from her voluptuous lips while the mailmen, firemen, cops and bartenders looked on in amazement.

I've got to believe someone would buy us a beer. So there are financial benefits as well. Plus the opportunity to give Vermeer the cheese in a fresh way is not to be sneezed at.

But there's a downside just as surely as an up. For one thing, she might not want to date me. So I can envision having to jump through all the courtship hoops required to get her out the door and into the passenger seat of my Bentley. Fresh raspberries in February, by the way, is a sure winner (although I must admit it was more impactful prior to the advent of aggressive marketing tactics by the Chilean Fruit Association).

And would I have to move to Los Angeles? And after all this, might she still not bite? Which is a fishing metaphor, by the way. So all that effort wasted? Would I be better just finding a nice, local girl?

Likewise the Vatican.

I've mentioned in the past my inclination to paint for The Church. I have at least two images buzzing around in my head. First, a Madonna and Child interpretation featuring the Virgin Mary cradling the head of baby Jesus to her cheek; looking into the middle distance; a tear rolling down her face; her eyes inkling the premonition that this child's life will not be without suffering. I'm either calling it "Big Mary" as a counterpoint to "Big Arnie" or "The Tears of the Blessed Virgin," which is perhaps less glib.

I do like the idea that we are viewing Jesus' head from the back--a perspective rarely depicted--with his halo streaming through Mary's fingers like she was gripping the sun itself.

Second, I envision a picture of Christ, thin and tall, holding a fish measuring three or four feet in length. I like the idea that the upright figure of Christ and the horizontal form of the fish prefigure the crucifixion. I'm calling it either "Big Fish" or "Jesus Considers The Mackerel."

I mean, who do you pitch to get the go-ahead for stuff like this? My efforts with the local priest have moved too slowly for my taste.

So what if I just paint "Jesus Considers The Mackerel" on spec and The Church doesn't want it. So all that effort wasted? Would I be better off just sticking to the more obvious money makers like portraits of Tiki Barber? Or Mikhail Baryshnikov?

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