[Originally posted on September 1st, 2011.]
Kevin Bacon was so tired of being famous and he wanted to see what it was really like to be a regular guy going about his day without being constantly recognized by strangers, so he put on his disguise mask and he went to the store. Here we go, he thought to himself, now I am going to have some real privacy and know what life is like for regular people. He had the limo drop him off a block away from the store so that no one at the store would see him getting out of a limo. Very clever. He walked into the store. It was getting a little sweaty and gross under his rubber mask out in the sun and stuff, but he didn’t even take it off. He knew that if he took it off, people would recognize him, and then he wouldn’t even know what it was like to be at this store without a mob of people asking you to sign their Hollow Man t-shirts. Sweat trickled down under the mask and was absorbed by his tuxedo. Kevin Bacon reminded himself to have this tuxedo burned when he got home. He wandered through the store, picking up items that he thought a person might buy. Champagne. A shovel. Flat screen TV. A toilet. Bullets. It was getting hard to hold all of the things in his arms. A man in a brightly-colored vest came towards him pushing a strange object. “Sir,” the man said, “maybe this will help so you don’t have to carry all of those things in your arms like that.”
How odd! The man spoke to him without bowing and seemed to make no move to offer Kevin Bacon a flute of champagne or a water cracker topped with caviar and creme fraiche. Was this really what the world was like? “What is that thing?” Kevin Bacon asked, pointing at the terrifying contraption the man pushed in front of him.
“Uh, well, this is a shopping cart, sir.” Kevin Bacon circled this so-called “shopping cart” suspiciously. The last thing he wanted was to get sued by this “shopping cart” for inappropriate contact. Everything had an agenda these days. The man in the vest watched Kevin Bacon for a moment, shook his head, and disappeared into a forest of sweatpants.
Kevin Bacon threw all of the things he was holding into the shopping cart and left it in the middle of the aisle. He walked for a moment and then realized the cart was still where he had left it. Really? This couldn’t possibly be what it was like. Where was the person who pushed it around for you? Or did it push itself? Kevin Bacon hadn’t seen any buttons on the thing. It seemed rather crude, actually, like a tool that a monkey had invented. He walked back to the cart and circled around it again. No buttons that he could see. Were you supposed to actually call for the man who pushed it yourself? That seemed barbaric. “WELL?” Kevin Bacon shouted, wondering if that would at least signal to the man who was supposed to push the cart that he had been found lacking in his duties. SIlence. Nothing happened. A woman nearby gave him a puzzled look and did not even try to give him a blowjob. Kevin Bacon was getting a very bad feeling about this.
He left the cart and continued wandering the store. He was starting to get very uncomfortable and thought it might be best to just cut the whole thing off, but he didn’t want to leave without making a purchase, if only to prove something to himself. He made his way to the registers. He had overheard an assistant once talking about how they had decided at the very last minute to buy something at the store because it was right there in the checkout lane, so he figured maybe he could just do that. Surely there would be a pile of iPhones or maybe a helicopter that he could just buy, get out of this nightmare, and throw in the trash when he got home. Instead, he just found a bunch of candy. Shudders ran through Kevin Bacon’s body. He grabbed frantically at a pack of gum, knowing that his white kid gloves would now also have to be burned. $17,000 worth of gloves, down the drain, and for what, to prove some silly notion to himself that he could walk into a store wearing a four million dollar rubber mask of his own face and what? What was even the point of all this? He just wanted to go back home, put the strippers in the jaccuzzi, and mainline some liquid Dilaudid into his eyeball before Wolfgang put dinner on the table.
“Did you find everything you were looking for today, sir?” the woman at the cash register asked. Again, no bowing or champagne. No key to the city. No commemorative plaque or honorary degree. She didn’t offer to blow him or ask him to sign her tits. She just stood there and smiled as if somehow that was enough. He threw a hundred dollar bill at her, hoping it would be enough, and ran screaming out of the store. In the parking lot, he ripped the Kevin Bacon mask from his face and took in huge gulping gasps of air and then he threw up his lunch (ortolan, gold leaf blinis, fugu ice cream, 1956 Chateau Neuf du Pap). Not a single private physician approached to determine if he was OK, or if he needed emergency medical treatment. There wasn’t even anyone to just say, “You’re right, man, totally.” Tears streaming down his cheeks, Kevin Bacon looked up, his lips pulled back in a rictus of horror, looking out over this nightmare suddenly overwhelmed that perhaps the only way to make it stop was to kill himself.
And it was in that moment, drenched in sweat, face caked in vomit, with his fist clenched tight around a $100 pack of gum, that Kevin Bacon was saved by a swarm of fans crowding around him asking to have their picture taken with the star and demanding to know what it was like working with Minnie Driver on the set of Sleepers. Kevin Bacon almost burst with gratitude. Somewhere, a champagne bottle popped.
[Originally posted on September 1st, 2011.]