Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rendezvous with royalty

Steve Martin once dolled himself up with lipstick and rouge for the cover of an album titled "Comedy is not Pretty."

Cancer ain't cute, either, and not all of the makeup in Estée Lauder's warehouses would be able to make me remotely as pretty as Steve Martin was on that album cover.

I'm several days removed from my final radiation treatments and I'm still hoping for my pre-cancer face to come back. Not that I was ever such a handsome dog to begin with, but this mug has definitely seen better days.

I've got at least three skin tones goin' on my neck and face. There's my natural Italian hue from roughly the nose up, and then below my schnozz there's a brownish splotchy tone where my face has absorbed nearly seven weeks of radiation. Finally, there are patches of garish red where my nails have clawed at the flaky skin.

My beard is a look that might be endearing on someone going through puberty but on a 51-year-old man, well, let's just say I'm excluded from the ranks of the metrosexuals until I figure out what to do with my irregular whisker growth.

And then there's a haggard, weary expression on my face that just screams for pity, enhanced by my protruding, swollen tongue and the drool factor that I just can't seem to shake.

I bet I could rake in a mint shaking a tin cup at Cahuenga and Barham and drive out the current panhandlers I see there every day.

Instead, a buddy is picking me up in a few minutes and we're headed to a Prince concert.

My ticket to the Purple One's performance tonight at the Nokia Theatre is in Row E of the orchestra: a guitar pic's toss from Prince himself. There will be about 6,300 other fans in attendance at the show but something tells me that I'm going to be the homeliest guy in my section, if not the entire house.

I've been to the Nokia Theatre enough times to know that there are large video screens above the stage to make the artist easier to see for the folks in the upper rows. But it's not only the performance that gets caught on video and thrown up on the screen in shockingly high-definition detail. The audience, too, gets its share of glory on the screen.

With my luck, I'll be seated between two gorgeous babes who will capture the attention of Prince's video crew, and my mug will get splashed on the screens, too.

Probably in mid-drool.

Don't tell me that no one pays attention to these screens during a high-energy show like the one that Prince delivers. In 1994, the Rolling Stones played the Rose Bowl and the most frequent comment I hear about that show these days is how O.J. Simpson's attorney Robert Shapiro was shown in the audience shots on the Stones' video screen.

I don't even know why I am blogging about this now. My friend is already en route to pick me up. I gotta get to the bathroom mirror and try to sexy myself up the best that I can.

My cancer face ain't fit for being in the presence of royalty, but it's the only face I got, and I have no intention of eating the 98 bucks I paid to Prince and Ticketmaster for my ticket for the show. So what am I gonna do?

Mr. Prince, I apologize in advance for any distractions my face will cause during tonight's performance.

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