No cigar

No cigar – random connections between cigars, men, movies and relationships

Kate Clinton

I am no movie critic and I do not play one on TV, but if I could change my name to Chantal for just a minute, I’d have to say that something weird is going on. Back in the springtime of smaller films, I thought I spotted a trend.

Now I can link that trend to Dick Morris, the rise in the popularity of cigars, and the Defense of Marriage Act. It’s no October Surprise theory, but if someone finds me in a bathtub in some southern motel, dead from an overdose of antihistamines, please don’t say it was suicide. Just say I was on to something.

The trend might have gone undetected because the three movies–The Fan, Celtic Pride, and The Cable Guy–were so unwatched. I guess people were saving up to see the White House get blown up by a giant hockey puck or Tom Cruise dangled from a harness. For those of you who missed them, here they are in three nutshells:

The Fan–Robert DeNiro stretches and plays a crazy guy, this time Gil, a knife salesman whose marriage falls apart. Distraught, Gil becomes obsessed with a highly paid baseball player. When the player goes into a batting slump, Gil becomes, well, fanatic about him, will do and does anything if it will help get him back in the groove.

Celtic Pride–When the Boston Celtics get into a seventh playoff game with the Utah Jazz, Dan Akroyd and a friend (also of a crumbled marriage) get the star player of the Jazz drunk and then kidnap him, all to help their beloved team win.

The Cable Guy–Jim Carrey plays Chip, the title role. His excuse for bad behavior is a bar-hopping mother who left him every day in front of a TV. When he is asked by a customer, played by Matthew Broderick, to install free cable service, Chip tries to extort friendship as payment with the warning, “I can be your best friend or your worst enemy.”

Each plot line, and I use the term very loosely, suggests that the motive for mayhem is wife or mother, but I think the motive has less to do with women and more to do with the unrequited love many straight men have for other straight men. Can I get my own think tank for this?

I say this theory explains why the Promise Keepers are so hot, why football helmets have face masks (so they can’t kiss), why there’s no rust on Robert Bly’s Iron John. When you try to make straight men who love other straight men get married the old-fashioned way, it doesn’t work and often results in obsession, fanaticism, danger, and pathology.

Enter Dick Morris, longtime fan of the Celtic president, ready to do anything to stop him from slumping, even kidnap issues from the other team if it will help his man win. He’s well connected and cableready to be Clinton’s best friend and then worst enemy. Even when he was with Sherry Rowlands, he was on the phone with his Bill. That’s what I call triangulation.

Sure, sure, we could blame it on Dick’s wife (otherwise known as his mistress of eight years), but I think it best if we leave her out of it, especially after her remarks in the Newsweek feature on adultery, the one after the one on testosterone patches for men. The article actually stated that the increase in adultery is caused not by testosterone speedballing but by more women in the workplace. You’ve come the wrong way, baby. In that same article, Eileen McGann, Morris’s one family value, said that when it comes to Dick, she has been thinking about dismemberment.

Which brings me to cigars. How else to explain their recent popularity? Guys get together and chomp ’em, smoke ’em, compare sizes, watch women with them in their mouths, even have their own magazines about them with Excalibur centerfolds. But they still ain’t satisfied.

Amid all this, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, and Clinton signed on. Good cover, fellas.

But gay marriage is not the way to go, anyway. After all, when two guys are from a failed marriage, it can be twice as bad.

Kate “Did someone say Bobbitt?” Clinton is a humorist.

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