4:13 PM EST, December 9, 2011
Editor's note: While Patrick Caneday takes some time off, we’re running some of his choices for re-publication. This column was first published May 15, 2010.
Each Saturday morning I open the local newspaper and am shocked to see my scraggly, smirking face looking back at me from this page. I'd expect it in a police report about a stay-at-home writer-father arrested for screaming at motorists driving too fast on his quiet residential street.
It's a picture I'm told makes me look both older and younger than I really am. Some say it doesn't do me justice, yet most often people seem a little disappointed when they meet me in person. Go figure.
I'm no celebrity. But, as evidenced by my picture in the paper each week and the fact that I've just hit 300 friends on Facebook, I guess that qualifies as some kind of notoriety.
With such world renown comes great responsibility, though. I'm apparently required to do a few things. Such as:
Get a gerbil-sized dog with a nervous disorder, clothe it in designer outfits and carry it around in a D&G handbag.
Come out with my own clothing line. I'm thinking something like “Sean John meets Big Boy.” Available only at outlet malls in northern Minnesota.
I'll need an exercise video. I was at the mall the other day and saw life-sized posters of Kim Kardashian plugging her workout DVD. And I thought, “Right. That's what she's famous for. Exercise.” But mine will be a low-impact routine targeting middle-aged fathers who hurt their backs getting out of bed. It's called “Just Sit There with Patrick Caneday.”
Of course I'll need a cologne — a companion scent to “Glow” by Jennifer Lopez. Mine is called “Pork.” J. Lo and I will be at the fragrance counter of Macy's this afternoon squirting shoppers in the eye.
And while you're at the mall, look for a poster of me posing with Tiger Woods in a Timex watch ad. Sponsorships have been tough for Tiger lately. I'm doing him a favor.
I will soon be appearing in several Top 10 Lists: Top 10 Farmer Tan Lines, Top 10 Facial Tics and Top 10 Curious Bodily Growths, to name just a few.
I must speak out against some tragic issue facing society. I choose The Senseless Overabundance of Starbucks Coffee Shops in our cities.
And I have to speak out in favor of a worthy cause. I hereby support R.A.T.Dog.S, Rescuing Abandoned Toy Dogs of Starlets. When wannabe actresses fall from glory, the streets and alleys of Hollywood are filled with more than just broken dreams.
Tonight I plan on getting thrown out of a swanky night spot for being belligerent and under-tipping my waitress. I'm thinking Chevy's Fresh Mex. Come by with your video camera. TMZ needs more footage.
I'll then wander into the home of a city council person and pass out on their couch.
At my booking, the police will forgo taking the obligatory crazy-looking mug shot and simply use the one above.
Shortly thereafter I will appear on “Celebrity Rehab,” “Celebrity Fit Club” and “The Surreal Life.” I'll be the one that says, “I'm not here to make friends,” in every episode.
After that I'll lay low for a while, then resurface in a paparazzi photo exiting Target with Jennifer Aniston, causing headlines wondering if we're an item.
The following week photos of me will be all over check-stand magazines, an arrow pointing at my protruding tummy: “Baby Back Rib Bump?”
And not long after I'll be quoted saying something scandalous about Jennifer Aniston. My record sales will soar.
I'm presently in talks with representatives from Malaysia's Inokom Motor Corp. to be the narration voice in their television commercials. I'm huge in Southeast Asia. Like Jerry Lewis in France. Toyota called, but I respectfully declined.
I'll sue the National Enquirer for a story claiming that Justin Bieber is my illegitimate love child with Betty White.
I will angrily storm off the set and quit halfway through the season on “Celebrity Rehab,” “Celebrity Fit Club” and “The Surreal Life.”
Then I will return humbled the following week.
An alleged sex tape will be “accidentally” leaked on the Internet. This will be followed shortly thereafter by a massive shutdown of the worldwide Web as servers all over the globe explode.
My career will be resuscitated by writing Lifetime and SyFy made-for-TV movies with lame dialogue, ridiculous plot lines and has-been actors.
I'll go to Haiti to do “relief” work and adopt a few babies while I'm there.
Then there will be the memoir about my 18-month rocket ride to superstardom as a local newspaper columnist, subsequent crash, and renewal. Next: Hit the talk-show circuit.
Go on Bill O'Reilly's show and say something derogatory about liberals.
Go on Jon Stewart's show and say something derogatory about Bill O'Reilly.
Go on Larry King's show and say something derogatory about Larry King.
As I ease back into a quiet family life, I'll build a fence around my house without a city permit.
And lastly, I will allow Barbara Walters to bring me to tears as we talk about my normal childhood, despite my promise that I wouldn't let her make me cry.
With fame comes great responsibility. But hey, I'm not here to make friends.
PATRICK CANEDAY is a Glendale native who lives and works in Burbank. Stay in touch with him on at www.patrickcaneday.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.