Hot Schlub Time Machine

As you know, I inject myself regularly with pure doses of the 80s. My appetite for meaningless nostalgia knows no limits!

One of the major figures of 80s nostalgia is actor John Cusack. I will buy any movie soundtrack that has a picture of him on it. I’m not sure if Must Love Dogs has a soundtrack, but if so, I guess I have to buy it.

In fact, if I could get away with it, I would pattern my life around Cusack’s deep-eyed, lovable schlub routine. But I can’t get away with it. I’ve known for a long time that if I tried to emulate Cusack, I would instead come across as a total jerk.

We think it’s cute when John Cusack snaps at a waitress about his egg-white omelette—he just wants the protein! I don’t have that puppy-dog face, so if I had the same outburst, I’d be a major douchebag!

So I have to give up Cusack-ization as a personal goal. Instead, I think I’ll apply it to one of my characters. In one of the many projects I am (not) actively writing, one of the characters will be a Douchey Cusack. He will mouth off about his liberal passions but be absolutely tone-deaf about it. He will take the posture of the mopey, luckless Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer Cusack, but instead of being endearing, he will use it to be passive-aggressive and monstrous in his relationships.

I’ll give the real John Cusack the benefit of the doubt that he’s nothing like this, but I think it would be funny to see someone I genuinely respect turned into a monster.

BONUS 80S DEFICIENCIES: I’ve still never seen Say Anything. But I love that Fishbone song off the soundtrack.

BONUS “AM I ACTUALLY WRITING ANYTHING?” NEWS: Not really! I’m drafting two short stories, more notes for James and Kathryn, and notes for the occult play mentioned earlier. I hope to actually write stuff that’s meant to be read soon.

5/13/11: BONUS CUSACK FAN-FICTION: A search for “I just want the protein!” reveals author Nikki Baird’s recreation of that scene as a short story:

Chippette turned to me, pen poised over her perky little notepad.

I told her, “Whole-grain pancakes and egg-white omelet, please.” If she had any sense at all, she’d take the food order and leave. Couldn’t she see we were in the middle of something?

She just couldn’t let it go. “What would you like in the omelet?”

I rolled my eyes. “Nothing in the omelet, nothing at all.”

Her lip curled. “Well,” she tchuh’d, “that’s not technically an omelet.”

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