By Andy Rooney, of CBS’s "60 Minutes"
My primary care physician has recommended that I find a way to put more exercise into my daily routine. Normally I avoid all forms of physical exertion, but seeing as I’m no spring chicken anymore I decided it might be in my best interest to take him up on his suggestion. I wouldn’t want to die and miss out on this newfangled digital television. (Sometimes it’s hard to convey sarcasm through writing. So let me just tell you last night I almost electrocuted myself walking into the HDTV my son bought me for Christmas. It thought it was a doorway to the beach and I had my metal detector in hand. Turns out I forgot to turn off the Travel Channel.)
Anyway, it may not surprise you that I hate the gymnasium. Nowadays gymnasiums cater to a whole crowd, instead of a handful of neighborhood prizefighters. The rampant nudity in the men’s locker room is more than a little off-putting. I refuse to sit on the benches in there without layering up a five towel cushion between myself and the unsanitary wood. Not to mention that the lockers smell like a long distance runner’s shorts. Then when you’re in the workout room itself there’s something called “house” music playing, which is fine, I guess, if you have a vendetta against your ear drums.
With all of that being said, I’ve opted to take up walking. You remember walking, don’t you? It used to be a popular mode of transport back before Lil’ Henry Ford unleashed his “vanity on four wheels” on the world.
Above: Even getting into one is a process.
Well anyway, I was out for a walk the other day when I noticed a Puerto Rican woman, and well, fearing for my life, I ducked into a nearby movie theater. It was that or be stabbed.
I’m not sure I made the right choice.
In my state of distress I stumbled into a theater so that I could hide in the dark until the threat had passed. Turns out I stumbled into a press screening someone had the foresight not to invite me to: a foreign documentary called Brüno. You may have seen the posters around town. I know I have. All the colors make my eyes watery.
The film follows an Austrian reporter who just goes by “Brüno.” (Why someone would choose to go without a surname, I’ll never know. That’s got to be a paperwork nightmare when tax time rolls around). He brings his interview program to America and always seems to be prancing around in short pants that make Mae West’s brassieres look like Amish winter wear. Whatever happened to newsmen wearing a suit and tie? When you’re conducting an interview on camera, you want to look your very best. Mesh material and animal print do not scream serious journalism. Unless you’re working undercover.
Above: Ed Bradley and me playing the role of "embedded journalists."
The movie that unfolds doesn’t really say much that we didn’t already know. The Muslims hate the Jews…
Hassidic Jews hate flamboyantly gay Jews…
And everyone south of the Mason Dixon line despises anyone who’s one iota less masculine than Rock Hudson. Rock Hudson is about the most masculine man I can think of, by the way. Every other actor who came after him is a real ninny.
There are a few memorable scenes. Brüno interviews songstress Paul Abdul while they use Latino gardeners as human chairs. I say Latino because God forbid I call them what they are. (Mexicans.)
Above: a perfectly good piece of furniture (left); this Brüno nut’s idea of a chair (right).
I also enjoyed the musical interlude in which a banana squash bounces and twirls around the screen to lively music, like in the old cartoons. Someone next to me kept saying it was just a close-up shot on an erect penis, but they should get their minds out of the gutter, or go see that movie with that Sandra Bullock and the Ryan Reynolds fellow where they no doubt have filthy sex. I don’t need to see any more pornography disguised as a romantic comedy. The second to last movie I saw at the picture house, When Harry Met Sally, had an orgasm scene that was enough to make a man celibate until the second coming of Jesus. Though, that’s not too far off, the way the world is going these days.
I heard a rumor that the makers of Brüno cut out a scene where the reporter tries to get LaToya Jackson to hand over Michael Jackson’s phone number. Universal Pictures, the amusement park robber barons of the day, claimed to do it out of sensitivity after Michael Jackson’s passing, but I don’t know why. I’ve had to look up plenty of people after they were dead. They still owed me money. Maybe Michael owed this Brüno character money. Who’s responsible for the debt? Whoever picks up Michael Jackson’s cell phone. That’s who.
Even though the movie had a run time of at least 80 minutes, I was able to hold my bladder for the duration. I don’t know if it was that I was subconsciously genuinely interested in what the Austrian fruitcake had to say, or if I still thought there was a chance the Puerto Rican woman was still trolling around outside the theater and possibly with a bicycle chain.
In any case, that Brüno fellow rubbed me the wrong way, like I’ve met him somewhere before. I don’t know why. He doesn’t know me from Adam and I certainly wouldn’t associate with his kind.
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