There was this thing that Ned and I used to do with plastic toys when we were kids – for instance we had a board game called “Formula One” and yes, it was all about motor racing, a board game about motor racing, you threw a dice to see how far around the track your plastic car went, sorry, I spelled “board” wrong, it should have been “bored”, this was how things were before Nintendo kids.
Anyway, the plastic cars in our Formula One bored game were really old fashioned, looking more like the Monopoly racing car than the 1970s Formula One racing cars that we could see on BBC’s Grandstand, this was the age of the John Player Special with big wings on the back and unfettered cigarette advertising in sports for cigarettes were good for you back in the 1970s, did you know that kids, well they were.
So what me and Ned did was we waited until our parents went out on a Saturday night and then we raided the kitchen cupboards for emergency candles (everyone had emergency candles in kitchen cupboards in the 1970s, we had more candle lit nights than electric lit nights in the 1970s, industrial unrest isn’t what it used to be), and we’d raid our dads writing bureau for the big can of Ronsonol lighter fuel that he kept in there, and on the kitchen sink draining board we’d re-model our plastic Formula One racing cars with the aid of fire, candle wax and highly inflammable spirit.
You see we’d discovered that when you apply a naked flame to plastic it melts and just before it catches fire is when you can re-shape it into any shape you want, and melted candle wax can also be used to form intricate shapes too and when repainted with airfix paint you wouldn’t know that the new Formula One plastic bored game racing car hadn’t always supposed to look like that, it fooled our mother anyway for she never suspected for one minute that we almost set the house on fire most Saturday nights while they were out gallivanting.
All of which leads us back to Mickey Rourke.
I’m convinced that Mickey Rourke’s cosmetic surgeon used pretty much the same techniques on his face as Ned and I used on those badly manufactured Formula One bored game cars using candle wax and melted plastic that is on the cusp of conflagration, drip this combination over any wrinkle or stretch mark to fill in the voids, smooth off with a spatula and paint over with airfix paint (flesh coloured, or in Mickey Rourkes case, chocolate orange) and present your bill with lots of zeroes on the end of the number.
Of course it fools no-one for as humans we are born with a set of pre-programmed rules burned into our DNA, one of which states that as people get older they start to look older, not younger, these rules are hard written to our human BIOS and cannot be re-written, erased or re-programmed, its part of our basic operating system, like remembering to breath or knowing not to eat your own faeces (dogs don’t have this bit hard-wired by the way), when you get older you start to look older, not younger, its pretty basic stuff.
So why, when I look at a TV ad for Victoria Principals cosmetic range do I see not a face which has aged gently since those days of discovering that she had Rip Van Winkle tendencies to sleep for two years all the while believing her husband was dead only to find him taking a shower one morning and no-one in the house commented about the fact that she’d been fast asleep for 24 months and missed nearly two whole series of Dallas in the meantime.
You look at Victoria Principal on TV in 2011 and you wonder what on earth she was thinking when she allowed someone (presumably two kids playing with candles and Ronsonol while their parents were out) to pour melted plastic and wax onto her face and paint over it – and then have the nerve to go on TV and try to persuade gullible women that actually it was this here cream in this here tin that made her look like a Gerry Anderson puppet and you too could look like this for just $60 a jar and all the while I’ll be making money to pay off the direct debit to the cosmetic clinic every month.
Barry Manilow has a face that has been re-modelled by the drummer in his band, not many people know that, some time ago when Barry’s popularity was on the wane he put it down to the fact that inevitably he was getting older, and in the way of things, looking older and while musing over this one night his drummer mentioned the fact that he needed to renew the skin on his snare drum, what better solution thought Barry, than to affix some snare drum tension adjusters around the back of a persons head, and he did so and now before every public appearance Barry Manilow’s drummer tightens the tension in Barry’s face by means of the surgically implanted snare drum tensioners – if an interviewer only had the nerve to do so they could reach across to Barry and by flicking his cheeks could play his face like taps on a snare drum.