Written by John Peurach

Thursday, 30 September 2010


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image for Shirley Manson: Celebrity Behaving Nicely - Who Knew? TEMPTATION WAITS: Like, bloody forever. And then, well, the rest of the trick is to keep breathing.

HOLLYWOOD - Although obviously not a typical one from the "Man Bites Dog" file, the following item is, however, worth noting since it indeed showcases a rare, distinct style of celebrity-oriented behavior, seldom seen (or heard of) in these parts for some time now.

Or, at least not since that time in 1951 when producer Walter Wanger took aim and promptly sent one of Jennings Lang's somewhat over-used hang loose calling cards straight into the front corner pocket of his snappy Brooks Brothers Ivy League combo. Thereby causing others seated nearby in the next booth at Perino's, down along old L.A.'s once-proud Miracle Mile, to spring into action and, for the most part, proceed to go entirely semi-unnoticed.

Which, in itself, was rather remarkable, considering such a moment in the way it once used to be time, showcased, besides the aforementioned jealousy-fueled gunplay, Richard Widmark politely flagging down a waiter, Thelma Ritter gulping down the rest of her third Manhattan before gathering up her Chesterfield's, and director Samuel Fuller finally taking time out from his endless war stories long enough to bark out with a higher than usual degree of well-earned authority, "Check, please!"

But then, that's another story. And, sadly, in no way has a bearing on this one. Except for the fact that when push came to shove, then as now, (only without the additional below the belt headache of incoming bullets) calmer heads appeared to have prevailed, while, of course, attempting to do nothing to either dominate, promote, and/or, in any way, re-establish any immediate interrupted proceedings that otherwise might have been put on hold, due to such highly should-be noticeable activities that didn't, at the moment, involve anything more strenuous than, of course, exiting too far stage left, hopefully before things got anymore too out of control.

In the past, either before the authorities arrived to assess the up front/down there damage on one of Hollywood's fastest rising agents at the time, and/or get a crack at the dessert cart before Shelley Winters finally did.

And, as such, in the present scheme of things (for at least several hours anyway) before any subsequently well-motivated urge to melt down might otherwise be called on to add some all-important, as expected, had-it-up-to-here, pissed-off human oomph to certain more or less impromptu proceedings. That, until then, had been conducted in a most reasonable sense of human-like orderly way, during an unplanned moment of many, which, this time out, involved an international celebrity who was legally required to pass her in-between time among more than just several way beyond the fringe sideline folk, while she, surprisingly enough, found the wherewithal to both exhibit and retain a heretofore, non-traditional elevated degree of highly commendable, uncommonly dignified (considering the setting and mind-numbing activity) ultra-patient, proper-like human behavior. And, by doing so, raise the bar and readjust the standards by which heart-stopping, card-carrying Diva's might, for a second or two, be legitimately, if not casually, measured, on their way to being down the road media blitzed, and/or, as such, forever drawn and quartered.

In other words……..........

Shirley Manson, yes, the ultra-dynamic, so hot she's cooler than cool, one-of-a-kind, carrot top lead singer of high voltage/high fashion, post-punk, post-grunge, hauntingly unfamiliar, all edge, alt-rock group Garbage, that Shirley Manson, recently spent a long day amongst the great unwashed, while attempting to renew her California driver's license at the Hollywood DMV office. And, as not exactly expected, nothing happened.

At least not anything out of the ordinary, that anyone might notice. Or, be made to think they should actually be of an inquiring heart and mind to, at some point, be called on to pass observable justice on, in any way, shape, or non-unified form. Or, for that matter, in any way "omg!"-like front page worthy extraordinary.

Which, considering the potential lethal mix of a celebrity on the loose among the public element, seemingly a million miles away (although, as it was, probably just around the corner, or several, if that) from any would-be business as usual watch dog-like protection, originating, as is so often the case, within their own separate, but unequal, unnatural habitat, is, in fact, generally unheard of anymore, and thus, something entirely newsworthy.

If only as a simply odder than odd occurrence to consider, before, of course, the next big rich & famous celebrity perp walk draws the nose for the news attentions of all available headline hounds both near and far. Primarily, on the grounds that any out-of-nowhere occurrence of just such a human dynamic equation is, so few, and uncommonly far between.

What with celebrities being who they are, real-life folks trying to remain who they think THEY are, and, of course, any go-for-the-throat (as long as it's below the belt) media in the vicinity, and/or just around the edge, reminding all those concerned just how necessary THEY are, in order for the walls of confusion to remain as the place to hang, if not quite a pretty face, then at least one mad as hell enough to repeatedly get in whoever's momentarily unlucky face is, for better or worse, where it otherwise shouldn't be, even if the activity which attracted it, is one of an unavoidable, universal-like nature. And thus, common to all, and, generally speaking, avoided like the plague by even more, it seems.

Hence, the dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles real-life at its worst location; the never no way/no how DMV, which, at times, possesses a highly unsafe home away from home field of impending disadvantage. Not only for mere mortals, banded together for an altogether un-fun activity, but one which, as it turns out, top-shelf artists and celebrities alike must apparently also endure, as well, on a fairy regular basis (one would think), especially considering this ones in these here parts, for pity sake.

Although, as it not so soon turned out, it never did appear that anyone doing time around there at the Hollywood DMV during Ms. Manson's multi-hour, up close in personal, crawl along, look-see showdown throw down, in fact, actually noticed much of anything.

Meaning, of course (and how rare is this?) no tidal wave of free-falling paparazzi weasels, and/or whatever sort of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing TMZ honks tend to usually be lurking about whenever its time to improperly conduct and/or gather their particular brand of in-you-face scoop-this journalism.

Oh well, sometimes miracles do happen if you stand around waiting long enough. Which means that this must be the only place.

And/or, if the scent fits, just step around it.

Meanwhile, if they weren't there (the press, in constant pull, that is) then, who was?

Well, much to the unrealized non-pleasure of a somewhat typically wicked cross-section assortment of real life types, essentially doing more or less much the same as the Grammy-nominated chanteuse, otherwise all the way famous for her rosy looks, heavy vocals, and extended string of breathless friendly, time-tested, audience approved, balls out, classic-like originals, with an endless, over-abundance of oh so quirky as all get out hooks, as such - they were.

That is, the nearby multitude of real life here and there folks. Each of which seemed, as the hours slid by, to be a sort of visual, head-to-toe, reincarnation representative-like reminder of many of Shirley's more obvious signature efforts from the Garbage songbook.

Or, so it did seem to appear that's what may indeed have been among the more float-like stuff occupying portions of the then looking on minds of both Shirley and her accompanying Mr. Bush pal, as they together swam the gauntlet, so to speak, through an uncharted sea of DMV denizens, while periodically keeping themselves otherwise grounded and systematically amused with either an iced coffee from Starbucks, or an occasional quick check of the Blackberry, in order to establish make sure verification that they were still in the correct corner of the right planet, at this precise point in the inch along timeline.

In still other words, music, maestro, if you please.

"Supervixen" - This goes out to the all set and ready to go (who knows where) six-foot gal in a polka-dot party dress fluffed up extra-big in back, who got some off-the-charts extra points due to a pink hair dye job and a nose ring that it seems, Sasquatch would most certainly have no trouble at all slipping on any one of his/her/it's fur infested digits, if so unfashionably inclined.

"Queer" - Considering the H-Wood setting, and any misguided ongoing fears that location-location-location concerns might somehow not be properly addressed, forget about it. This one is as natural as the line is long. Factor in the somewhat steady supply of in-progress gender transitioners, and well, it's no wonder that most of the resident state employees never look up from their work, and have long replaced, "Yes, Sir", "No, Ma'am" with the altogether way more than appropriately comforting, "Next." Or, at that point in the program when your particular light at the end of the long tunnel nightmare is about to be reached, "You'll receive something in about two weeks."

"Only Happy When It Rains" - #1 w/a bullet for an almost, but not quite, circling the drain, senior citizen gal, who besides sporting an un-seasonal heavy outer coating, came fully equipped with no teeth and an over-sized umbrella that, based on the gruesome logo spread all around the crown, was once upon time a vintage bit of protection from a long since forgotten golf tournament in Michigan that, there's a good chance, even Lee Trevino couldn't at this point ever remember if he once played in. Or, just hung around long enough to take a leak in a bunker, before being asked to take Tony Lema's clubs back to his car. In other words, no more calls, ladies and gentleman, we most likely have this year's winner in "The Annual Left Blinker On For The Last 10 Miles Sweepstakes." And, if you're real lucky, she'll even whistle "Summer Wind" for you, in a rather inventive variety of manners, that will certainly both shock and otherwise amuse you, and perhaps even stay with you longer, as soon you once again regain consciousness.

"I Think I'm Paranoid" - Without a doubt, the living, breathing (?) personification of this catchy tune was a certain recently imported middle-age gent from an undetermined Eastern European locale, who seemed to go out of his way (and into the perpetual come and go path of all those around him) to only speak through a totally clinched set of teeth (one would assume) that after a while made many he came in contact with just assume that he was indeed the business half of a ventriloquist carnival act that had somehow fallen between plenty of cracks during many a subsequent hard times, or had been, more or less up for grabs ever since his Lower Banana partner up and ran off with both of the Siamese Twin sister pinheads from the last sideshow on the left. Either way, this dude was the one budge in the bunch you'd die to see in your jury box during any upcoming trial. And, probably will, if by chance, this shut my mouth prince is the one ruling the every which away as jury foreman.

"Sex Is Not The Enemy" - But it's certainly on the list. Especially if it's being conducted by the honey who rolled in here with the tattooed eye-liner that gave her a sort of fire breathing, oooh, look, I got tear drops, raccoon-like mask, stretched all about her beady-eyed, dark as coal, peek-a-boo peepers. All of which kind of almost makes you forget the 4-sizes too small tank top she (and the girls) were shoehorned into, the dueling flaming "Hello Kitty" ink jobs on both of her ferociously flab-friendly guns, the at one time most likely cute short shorts that, once hoisted and permanently installed on (as well as up and in) her decidedly undisciplined massive lower trunk, resembled nothing more (and a whole lot less) than an entirely overworked (yet, in the worst way, under-matched) thong, of sorts, that, once sat down in, quickly did the work of several yards of don't (ever) go there, girlfriend, floss. But then, almost doesn't count, unless you're naming names, forgetting faces, and/or counting the ballots in a presidential election in Florida.

Meanwhile, all throughout this entire hit parade, Ms. Manson behaved beautifully, both as an observer, and, of course, whenever called on to be a willing participant in the continuing dredge-like pace of the human parade. In any case, she appeared to be repeatedly generous with her space, and, as such, anything but Diva-like whenever an opportunity to perhaps be so presented itself, during the full, excruciating course of her Point A to Point Z walkabout journey there.

She even had the creative comeback ability to deflect any noticeable irritation when an apparently over-reaching uninformed member of her closest proximity, attempted to get temporarily feel-good friendly by telling her how much he rather enjoyed her Oscar-winning Supporting Actress work in "Michael Clayton."

To which, instead of informing the author of this statement that he was, in fact, under the mistaken impression that she was the sometime similar featured Tilda Swinton, Ms. Manson smiled, and with an appropriate amount of caught-off-guard surprise, quickly replied, "Oh, that was you behind me? I thought you smelled familiar."

At which point the fellow lost half of his somewhat noticeable toothy grin, just as his picture was then taken for his new license. Which, as previously advertised, was immediately promised to soon enough catch up with him, in about two weeks.

Proving once again, that, yes, Kings and Queens everywhere, hearts and minds out here are still there for the taking. And just about anywhere else, it seems, in this across the pond coast to coast.

Especially when properly toyed with (while otherwise running on empty) by any one with a presentable set of patient manners that is (for a not exactly short, yet altogether sweet period of time) prepared enough to look the other way when the tell-tale signs of mediocrity starts to rise up accordingly, and, in the end, be there as a welcome surprise, to supply the necessary cushion for any inevitable soon to take place, at long last, final big trip and all the way fall.


The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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