Readers' comments are ushering in the end times.

Dear readers,

You are glorious, often lithesome, and most definitely, when a conscious effort is made, cut an imposing figure. Thank you so much for your contribution thus far. Of course it's all worthless - a sad, shrugging-of-shoulders acceptance of the inevitable. An avoidance of the real question at hand. What can be done to maintain the tenuous harmony of the earth? Will it help if I choose paper instead of plastic? Should I save the seal pups or club them to death? Must I fashionably convert to something fashionable or remain refreshingly true to my down-home roots? Regarding this dilemma, for advice apt and true, still I wait.

To address the misguided but treasured comments deposited here after my last post:

I haven’t reenacted anything from Big. I have danced in the hip-hop style to current radio hits while working a lavish in-store bar mitzvah…outfitted in my toy soldier uniform. So, sadly, there is far too much video of me “dropping it like it’s hot” when it was actually very, very hot inside the woolen costume and furry “bearskin cap.” Without a doubt this will resurface to bite me in the ass, perhaps as early as later on today.

Your commitment to my immortalization is endearing. However, it doesn’t compare to the brick by brick, floorboard by floorboard reproduction of the auditorium at Dalhart Junior High School undertaken by my mother to commemorate my stint as MC for a very special 8th grade voice recital, during which I sang Streisand’s “People” and “Memory” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved, much-maligned Cats.

Please don’t leave any comments on my blog regarding panty-shots. They may shrug at your vulgarity down in Tennessee, but here in NYC we still care a thing or two about genteelness and decency.

A very sagacious warning addressing overexposure, albeit a belated one. If only I could have received these words two years ago. That said, the swimsuit issue of Focus on the Family magazine is my favorite. Where else can you find Joyce Meyers, Anne Graham Lotz, and Rick Warren grace the glossy pages in tasteful, Christian-appropriate bathing suits that are not only comfortable and flattering but also do not lead to covetousness because the line and cut of the garment encourage the glorification of the Heavenly Father? Also, a reliable highlight in this annual issue is the unveiling of Ted Haggard’s always-enjoyable line of swimwear and intimate apparel for men.

And remember, a d.a.vid a day keeps the doctor at bay. (If that’s true, then I guess it’s up to me to provide a d.a.vid a day. Is it too early in my career to justify the services of a ghostwriter?)


The Church of Celebrity Worship is ushering in the end times.

Since I'm on the subject of celebrity, specifically my own, I think it's imperative that my substantial readership and I together must address the cataclysmic effect my impending celebrity will have on the world. And I'm talking about actual celebrity, not some half-assed, specious claim which attempts to link celebrity with the likes of a frequently photographed toy store employee reeking of anonymity. (Loser.) This will be a full-blown, Us Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style, grocery store check-out line saturated celebrity apocalypse.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am not actively pursuing fame and notoriety. However, this albatross duo has been giving me backaches for some time. In late junior high and early high school, I was so influenced by the premonition of my inevitable celebrity that I saved absolutely everything that had my signature on it, that had been in my possession for any period of time at all, that could in any conceivable manner be associated with my person, so eventually this paraphernalia could be gathered with ease for future retrospectives, archival projects, and auctions with Sotheby's. I never made extensive notations in books I was reading for fear of what later generations of Speerians (Speervians? Speerites? Speerophiles?) would uncover in their exhaustive searches of my personal memorabilia. Would they consider my remarks dashed out in the margins of One Hundred Years of Solitude shallow and ill-founded? Would they successfully conjecture that I had no idea whatsoever how to read Shakespeare in the 10th grade? Even in undergrad I still experienced the hanging-ons of such a mindset. Example: In quick notes to myself on Post-its regarding menial tasks for the day I would follow a questionably spelled word with an obligatory (sp?) - just in case someone happened to look at my grocery list. They must be aware that I was aware that this particular word had been troublesome. (unrelated: Why do I hear a rooster crowing in Brooklyn?)

Our world is oversaturated with celebrity in general. Any actor/director/celebutante/spokesmodel/dj can't pick a wedgie at three in the morning without the world reading about two hours earlier. The tabloids have gotten that good. Do we really want to know what baby food they give to their one-year-old in vitro twins, where they buy their favorite bottled water, or how they learned to love again after they thought they'd never love again (for the fourth or fifth time)? Judging by the never-ending addition of celeb-glut magazines, apparently so.

This has me troubled. I can't bear the thought of carelessly heaping my celebrity onto the already stinking pile of decaying oversized sunglasses, Botox appointments, product endorsements, jilted lovers, adopted babies, Vanity Fair confessions, and nipple slips. It would be irresponsible of me to show such utter disregard for the well-being of Mother Earth and her children of all shapes, sizes, and gender reassignments. Think about this: DC-based American Forests has a Climate Change Calculator which allows you to determine how many trees you must plant to offset the fossil fuel-generated CO2 you produce through daily activity - heating, electricity, emissions. In a similar manner, what can we do to counterbalance the consequence of my unavoidable celebrity? This, like saving America’s forests, is a serious issue to be given due consideration. Perhaps a panel of international experts, including of course an actual Goodwill Celebrity or two, could convene at the UN to address this pandemic. I am not one to spit in the wind, bite the hand that feeds me, or shit in the bled I sleep. I desire to be a responsible human/actor/celebrity/demigod, and I am starting with you, dear readers. I am searching your highly educated minds to uncover what can be done. Please leave comments with your suggestions. The children of Africa demand your diligence. Your post could save the world, so let's get busy planting figurative trees! Or literal! At this point I’m open to anything.

P.S. - If by chance my readership isn't as vast as I'm certain it is and the response turns out to be less than stellar, I will have to start posting suggestions of my own. I'm a busy man. Please do not force me to waste my time when you could be wasting your own.


My newfound celebrity is ushering in the end times.

In my position as a uniformed toy soldier. . . . . .

I really don't even need to finish that sentence. The impact has already been sufficiently felt by the reader. Like a sharp gust of wind against the face or the quick belch which hits the unsuspecting ear with the force of a percussive rimshot. Hell, I give an involuntary reaction to that introductory phrase, and I received warning about it a month ago.

The other day I was standing guard at the 58th Street entrance – waiving to passing cars, saluting contractors in their work vans and chauffeurs in black Lincoln Town Cars, dispensing goodwill in general – when a man and his family drove by in their SUV. The light turned red, so traffic stopped. He rolled down his window. I saluted, smiled, waived. He yelled, "You need to finish college!" I yelled back, "I have a master's degree!" "Then you're a goddamn fool!" And with that, our uplifting dialogue came to an end.

There are some things one doesn't set out to accomplish: memorizing every lyric to
The Bodyguard soundtrack, watching VH1's marathon showing of an entire season of America's Next Top Model, buying a John Tesh album. I'm sure being employed as a "character" at any number of theme parks/tourist attractions must be included in this list. Does anyone aspire to don the cumbersome trappings of Donald Duck and wander around the sprawl of Disneyworld, suffering the whims, fetishes, and tantrums of young and old? Although I'd prefer not to stand outside of FAO Schwarz five or six days a week dressed like an English bobby - being told for the 500th time, "Hey! You're not supposed to move!" and responding for the 500th time, "Bitch, you don't know me! Where d'ya get off judging me!" - it's a necessary irritant. I mean, a job is a job, right? Whether you're a CEO or a plain ol' ho. And while I did not move to New York to be a subservient, though widely celebrated, doorman, the pay isn't awful, the hours are flexible, and the customers are for the most part great.

It's all a matter of choosing the tomorrow over today. I mean, I'm always willing to endure the temporary hassle of post-surgery bandages if I'm promised a stunning new nose or set of cheekbones. Good things come to those who wait. Or sometimes they don't, and you just have sadness.

But an amusing aspect of this job and the supposed subject of this post is my status as one of the most photographed people in New York City. Honest. I am something of a minor celebrity, albeit a nameless figure isolated from any individual identity apart from my association with said employer. But nevertheless, a type of celebrity - an unlikely species in the celebrity genus. I appear in memory cards and photo albums across Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and Latin America, and the contiguous United States. Do people actually compile photo albums in the Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Six? On average I will have my picture taken 50 to 100 times a day. If it's busy, closer to 200. And we haven't even entered into the holiday season. I hold babies, hug wives (and probably mistresses), pose with countless Flat Stanleys. I salute (right- and left-handed), smile, stiffen, look very stern. I stand next to the genuinely excited, the mocking, the ironic, the unwilling, the crying. Soon I will start popping up in strangers' Christmas cards. A co-worker informed me that I could also make unwished-for showings on the internet with other people's naughty bits superimposed. But this individual is a something of a self-hating drama queen and cannot be relied upon too heavily.

Regardless, here I am being paid to give the appearance of history, to hijack another country’s tradition for profit. But the tourists love it. They, who have actual soldiers guarding actual monarchy in actual castles, will wait their turn to have they’re picture taken with me – a fake soldier in America’s castle, the department store, guarding nothing. In it’s extreme, Europe has Paris; America has Paris Las Vegas with a half scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. But to be fair, we bastardize our own history and landmarks just as frequently (New York-New York Hotel and Casino; the instant nostalgia of any “neighborhood” Applebee’s). It’s this exciting combination of self-consciousness over our own relatively short history and collective greed that has created my current job. So, if being greedy is the American way, at least my enlistment in, what a friend has coined, the Sugar Queen's standing army allows me to be cheerful about the whole mess.

Plus, I get to hear all day long how good I look in uniform.