There is a guy who is a regular at one of the two coffee shops where I spend the most time here in Austin. This guy looks exactly like Brad Garrett (yes, the guy from Everybody Loves Raymond). I'm super serious. Exactly. Only he's not so freakishly large. If you doubt my judgment in this matter, consider the fact that I brought this up during drinks with Rebecca and Rodney tonight and Rebecca started laughing and said that she immediately knew who I was talking about.
I saw this guy today and, as I was marveling at his likeness to Brad Garrett, I started thinking about the other "celebrity" look alikes I have known in my life. Qwanty can attest to both of them, and she will probably remember more details than I will---
The first is a person that we only knew as "The Nick Cave Guy" for a long time until one night at BOG when we actually had drinks with him. I'm sure that we were introduced to him, but I promptly forgot his given name, preferring instead to continue to call him "The Nick Cave Guy." (Oh, by the way, we called him that because of his shocking resemblance to Nick Cave.) We used to see this guy at BOG a lot, and I also used to run into him at the Flesh--oops, I mean Fresh Pot--on Hawthorne. Here is where my memory gets a little hazy. I want to say that we finally met him the night that we saw the Snifter Guy (some guy we used to see at the bar who we once thought, after we had both consumed many, many Black Butte Porters, looked like he should be smoking a cigar and drinking some sort of brandy or something out of a snifter. I also do not remember his non-descriptive name, but Qwanty may, since she had a little bit more of a relationship with him than I did. Also, in retrospect I think that the whole snifter/cigar thing had less to do with the way the Snifter Guy looked, and more to do with the fact that the first time we saw him he was sitting in a giant, overstuffed red velvet chair that sort of looked like a throne. But I digress.) drink 18 Olys out of the stubby bottles. One right after another.
Anyway, I think that Qwanty asked Snifter Guy about Nick Cave Guy and that he told us that Nick Cave Guy cultivated the look. The fact that he was capitalizing on the slight likeness he had naturally sort of disappointed both of us, since we wanted to believe that the look was completely organic. Then, as I recall, Snifter Guy invited Nick Cave Guy to sit with us. He told us all kinds of stuff about himself, but I don't remember any of it--except for a vague impression I have that he told us he was leaving town to do a program in documentary making at a jr. college in New Mexico. I think that the only reason I remember this is because it seemed like a giant, giant lie.
Guy number two was the "Chad Lowe Guy". (Do you notice a pattern? We favored descriptive nicknames for people that we didn't know well, but saw often. These nicknames almost always followed the pattern "The ________ Guy". We also sometimes would decide that someone reminded us of someone else we knew, but with different intensity. So, for awhile, we could talk about Toddy--Qwanty's special friend--but we also had a "Todd Light", who was Toddy-like, but with a little less Todd, and "Todd Heavy", who was extra-saturated Todd. We actually knew this guy's name, but we preferred calling him "Todd Heavy". His real name was more ridiculous, if you can imagine that. Some people had unusual enough names to just be called by those--our bartender Kip, for example, and the Flesh Pot boys, Skip and Vinnie. Our other bartender, BLT, had a hybrid nickname. It was descriptive, but also included his real name. BLT stood for "Big Louisiana Tom". I don't think that needs explanation.) ANYWAY. The Chad Lowe Guy was someone that both Qwanty and I began seeing in high school. He sometimes showed up on the public bus, and sometimes at the mall (the two places that Qwanty and I frequented, along with the volunteer room at Sunnyside Kaiser Hospital, prior to turning 16). I don't have a lot to say about that guy, other than the fact that he was a dead ringer for Chad Lowe. Unfortunately this was the early 90s and I know that wherever this guy went he was constantly being stopped by people who said, "Do you know you look like that guy on the show with the actor who has Downs Syndrome? You know, the guy who has AIDS?" I mean, that isn't very auspicious, is it? (Although it is probably better than what he gets now, which I imagine is something like, "Do you know you look like that guy who was dumped by that horsey-looking chick who keeps winning Oscars?")
Which brings me to the point of this post--and I do totally have a point--why do all the guys I ever see looking like "celebrities" look like lame celebrities? For once, I'd like to meet some regular Joe who looks like Henry Rollins, or Jeremy Irons, or Val Kilmer, circa Real Genius. You know, some celeb who I actually think is hot? (Wow. That list took me a long time to come up with. Qwanty, who else do I like?)
(Totally Unrelated Thought) Also, Jennifer is always asking me what my favorite word is. But I can't ever think of something when I'm put on the spot like that. Then she reminds me that Ken's favorite word is "aluminum". But today I thought of one that I do really like--sarcophagus. It's a cool word. It is fun to say, and cool to look at--it looks a little bit like it should be a part of the body.