Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It should come as no surprise (to myself at least)—it’s the curse of the Burts again



I hate assholes.  I hate the WORD “asshole”, so to call someone an asshole… it’s not a small thing, no pun intended.  But the other night after watching the news, I said aloud (to an empty room) “geez what an asshole!” when it suddenly hit me—it’s the curse of the Burts again.

Y’see, this all began in the summer of 1979.  I’d just graduated from high school, had a big falling out with my dad and decided to find a place of my own—well, with my best friend Dan.  But I only had a part-time job as a busboy/dishwasher at the Pancake House Restaurant, so I needed something else.  I found a new job quickly enough, at Shop n’ Save—with daytime hours too.  I thought I was all set.

On my first day, the store’s assistant manager (a chubby man named Steve) said “We’re going to start you out in the dairy aisle, you’ll be working with Burt—he’s the one who runs things over there.”  I was taken back to the stockroom and introduced to this tall, skinny man in his early thirties, who looked me up and down before shaking his head and saying “alright, c’mon… we don’t have all day.”   I followed him out to the milk, where there was a metal dolly and stack of 4 red milk crates waiting.  Burt reached into the top one, lifted out two gallon jugs of milk.  He says “You reach in with both hands—pull out 2 jugs—put ‘em on the shelf.  Reach in—both hands—on the shelf.  Questions?  Get started.”  He wheeled the dolly back into the stockroom and I began filling the dairy case with milk. 

It’s around this time that Steve the manager comes around the corner, sees what I’m doing and says “Stop, stop!  That’s not the way to do it!”  I froze in place.  Steve says “Look at the dates!  You have to pull all the old dates to the front, and slide the new milk to the back.  You do it whenever you restock, especially the perishables!”  I apologized and began scooting all the new jugs to the rear.

I was about halfway through when Burt returned with his dolly and another stack of filled milk crates.  He says “Hey Dorothy, whaddya think you’re doing!”  I stammered “uh—uh—Steve said I—” and Burt mocked me: “UH—UH—I—I!”  I didn’t know what to say.  But apparently, someone else did—Helen, a long-time employee who was in the next aisle overheard and told Steve.  Several minutes later, I’m informed there’s a change of plans & I’ll be working in the produce dept instead.  As I headed over, Burt stopped me and said “I don’t want to see you in my aisle again, you hear me Dorothy?”   LOUD AND CLEAR, ASSHOLE.

The curse of the Burts struck again 15 years later, in 1995.   As a lifelong Bat-fan, I was excited to hear that Burt Ward, who played Robin the Boy Wonder on the awesomely campy tv show ‘Batman’, had written a book on his years on the ‘60s show, and what went on behind the scenes.  Holy tell-all, Batman!

My Life in TightsI ordered a copy well in advance, and when they called to tell me it was in, I ran over there like Batman to Commissioner Gordon’s office.  My excitement turned to dismay however, when I saw the cover.  Why was someone unzipping Robin’s trunks?  Batman was as wholesome as apple pie, this was a family show!

Not according to Burt; the book wasn’t so much a behind-the-scenes look at Batman as it was a neverending series of Robin’s sexcapades when the cameras weren’t rolling.  Waitaminute, wasn’t Burt married when he was hired for the show?  Well, that’s showbiz… and wasn’t he a new dad at the time too?  Again, that’s between him and his conscience, keep reading.  Then we get to the chapter about his manhood, more specifically, the size of it.  Burt, c’mon—a chapter?  Well, yes because he wanted us to know how his ‘endowment’ caused a lot of problems during filming, he was so blessed.  The poor guy had to contend with various bindings and restraints, “unlike Adam (West) who wasn’t nearly as well equipped”.  What the—!!  It’s one thing to put your privates on a pedestal but to stomp on Batman’s while doing it?  Burt you asshole!  There’s nothing more to say.

Finally, a couple nights ago on the news, I watched Burt Reynolds being honored by a bunch of Floridans.  I felt real sympathy for the man as he hobbled to the stage, he’s 80 years old now, a gaunt reminder of his former Playgirl self.  As Burt gave his thanks, he decided to give a shout-out to the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy, and claimed they were close friends, and Leonard was one of the kindest gentleman he ever knew.  Good stuff, I felt a sniffle coming on.  Then he added “and we’ll miss him a helluva lot more than the other one!”  

It raised a lot of eyebrows as everyone knew he was talking about Nimoy’s former captain and friend William Shatner.  But as I sat here, wondering why he would say such a cruddy thing for all the world to hear, it hit me—it’s the curse of the Burts again.  He’s just another asshole.

The End

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