The other night I went to an Irish pub. This would not seem out of the ordinary to most people, but for me, it’s a fairly rare occurence. It’s not that I flat-out hate bars, although it’s pretty close. Mostly, I can have a good time once I make it through the door. It’s that awkward moment where the bouncer checks ID’s that keeps me from enjoying my monthly $1.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon. On this night, the Michael Madsen looking bruiser (bloated Kill Bill Madsen, not cool Reservoir Dogs Madsen) stared at my driver’s liscense for a solid thirty seconds. He kept looking at the picture, looking up at me, looking at the picture, looking up at me, all while looking like someone asked him the capital of Sweden. (It’s Stockholm, not Ikea City, like previously thought). It was obvious that he thought it was a fake. He even gave a shiite eating grin when he finally let me pass through. Honestly, I don’t blame him for being suspicious. You see me walk up, and you think, “19, 20 tops,” and when the birthdate says “Guess what, asshole. This guy’s 26,” your mind is blown. Not so much because a piece of plastic is talking to you, but because it turns out I’m old enough to have seen a first-run episode of Bosom Buddies. Not that I did, though. Crossdressing has no effect on a pre-schooler. I just wondered why my ugly Aunt Lucy had her own show.
It’s a common fear that one of these former gym teachers is going to embarrass me in front of friends and strangers by not allowing me to enter his “kingdom,” or even worse, try and confiscate my liscense. It’s these worries that make me wonder what Marty McFly would do in my situation. Nobody calls him chicken, and nobody tells him he can’t legally drink a domestic beer. Or he’s just a young looking old guy, like myself, who happens to be famous. And for many years now, I have used his counterpart, Michael J. Fox, as the spokesman for all of the babyfaced people of the world. For a while there, I called it Michael J. Fox’s Disease, kind of like Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but, well, you can probably guess why I had to stop naming illnesses after him. It was comparable to complaining about having cankles and likening yourself to Christopher Reeve. You just can’t do it and not be slapped in the jaw like a Texas Tech player.
So, instead of going all negative and acting like looking young is a hindrance to living a good life, I have decided to view people like MJF as role models, as success stories in the brotherhood of the adorable. If these precocious looking bastards can use their impish grins to their benefit, then why not this guy? Here are a few that have made it into the Patchy Beard Hall of Fame:
You may remember this rambunctious scamp as either Racetrack from Newsies, or Vinny, the through the window climbing best pal of Doogie Howser M.D. And, despite the recent breaking news, he wasn’t “entering Doogie’s window” like you would think. Vinny was all man. Well, all man as much as a 25-year old playing a 16-year old can be. That’s right, Mr. Casella was around my age when this picture was taken. It had to be tough to play a newspaper delivery boy 13 years after his last testicle descended. But work is work, I suppose. Sure, his only major film credit after age 30 was a bit part in the classic that is Sgt. Bilko, but he had a good enough run to land him a plaque in my non-existent hall.
He’s flipping Spiderman!! What else do you need to do to prove that looking young can work wonders? When the first movie came out, and Peter Parker was supposed to be a high-schooler, I believed Tobey was indeed an 18-year old. Well, eff that noise, because our neighborhood superhero was born in 1975. Again, here was a 26-year old playing a teenager, but on a much cooler scale than anyone in stinking Newsies (no offense to Christian Bale aka the coolest guy on the planet). Tobey would have taken the top spot in our hallowed halls, being effing Spiderman and all, but our next guy is King Shit of Fuck Mountain (sorry, Grandma) in regards to Hollywood youngsters.
IT’S EFFING RALPH MACCHIO!
This is a picture of Daniel-san at age 26, looking no older than he did at age 23 when The Karate Kid was filmed. Would anyone have guessed that he was that old? Mr. Miyagi himself couldn’t have seen the true age of that visage, even if he rubbed his hands together and magically aged his face about 8 years. It could happen; Pat Morita was 112 when he died. Look it up. But why does he rank higher than Spidey? It’s simple: LaRusso didn’t need special powers to recover from the “sweep the leg” tactics of the Cobra Kai; he didn’t need special powers to successfully woo Elisabeth Shue (during her bigger, but hotter phase); and he didn’t need special powers to concoct the world’s first shower curtain w/ spout Halloween costume. Of course, none of this has anything to do with looking like a prepubescent, but that doesn’t make them any less awesome.
I don’t have any aspirations to star in The Next to Next Karate Kid, but I can pick and choose from these shining examples on how to handle the awkward situations that comes with looking younger. It’s all fairly hit or miss though, because there’s only so many times I can rely on “paint the fence” to work against street thugs.