As my loyal friends and occasional fans may have noticed, I've been absent from the net for a bit. Apologies my dears, this hasn't been a ploy to see who's been paying attention nor was I hoping to imitate our beloved Dame Agatha with a mysterious (and convenient) "fugue state" amnesia where taking on a new identity and the assumed name of Teresa Neele at a sea side spa hotel while my rat fink husband philandered with his secretary. Admittedly, my dropping off the grid is almost that dramatic, OK, it's actually better. I've been on the lam. This time though, I hadn't actually broken any laws, not even aiding and abetting, I was just along for the ride and mine was a misguided mission of mercy. It's a looooooooong story, one I wish to chronicle better over a series of posts, if you'll indulge...
About a month ago,over cold breakfast of muesli and mimosas a news story stopped me in my tracks, Evi and Randy Quaid were finally giving their side of the fugitive from justice- hotel trashing- house squatting- fraud and resisting-arrest- wacky- pants-story. I found the whole saga weirdly endearing, like the great aunt who is a closet arsonist, she only sets little fires, no one is actually ever hurt, and heck she's your aunt, you gotta love her. I feel the same way about the Quaids, the Thelma and Louise of our time, yeah they're crazy, but they are my kind of crazy.
I've been captivated by Randy's acting ever since his seminal work in Caddyshack II, playing the role of Peter Blunt, the unstable lawyer with anger management issues a performance which alone should have garnered him a lifetime achievement award. It was his performance of Ishmael, the wayward Amish bowling prodigy in King Pin which truly confirmed my love for him as an actor.
As a big believer in art therapy I thought maybe, just maybe there might be something I could do to help the wayward duo. Tracking them down wasn't as tough as I thought it would be, like a springtime tornado they've left destruction in their wake. A trail of empty fast food wrappers, unpaid motel room bills and the mini-vans of B-team reporters led me straight to the outlaws.
I found the Quaids lurking at a snack bar of a bowling alley on the outskirts of Vancouver. It took a bit of talking to convince them that I wasn't a hired gun from the Hollywood "star wackers" cabal. I'd brought along a bottle of Jack Daniels as a piece offering along with a copy of last month's French Vogue and that seemed to put them at ease immediately.
The next few hours were a blur of whiskey shots, paranoid speculation and hot dip nachos. I tried to steer the conversation toward the making of decorative ornaments and the healing salve it has on the human soul. Randy got pretty excited about this, but I think he misunderstood what I was referring to. I gave them a quick assignment- empty your pockets and craft up something quick from what you find inside. With most folks this is a fun, spontaneous exercise. Evi's latex dress didn't have pockets, so we were SOL there, and some of the things Randy fished out, well, they were quite horrifying. Settling on motel soap and bar matches, and used gum we found stuck under the table we were able to make charming holiday ornaments. Evi found another bar from La Quinta in the bottom of her purse and we fashioned one up for her as well.
Our friendship was cemented that afternoon as we set out into the foggy Canadian mists on the prowl for a good all you can eat buffet and quiet place to get our heads down for the night. Randy had a brilliant idea for another project using cigar stubs and torn up lotto tickets, but that is another story for another day.