Editor's Column: Mistaken for a movie star

“You remind me of the guy in that movie.”

I was standing in the office of the Wedge Mountain Motel when the clerk made this statement. It was strange, because no one had ever compared me to an actor. We were staying at the motel during our annual visit to Leavenworth. My wife shops, I walk the dog, we watch a play, then we go home. The Wedge Mountain isn’t a Leavenworth motel, which is why I like it. It’s the temporary home of truckers and pear-pickers with an ash bucket outside every room. You don’t have to worry about seeing people running around in lederhosen and listen to them yodel all hours of the night like you do in Leavenworth. Some maintain it’s not a crime to strangle a yodeler, but I’m afraid to take the chance.

As my wife filled out the booking form I prompted the clerk to tell me more. What actor? What movie? The answers were at the tip of her tongue but she was more interested in getting our license plate number.

I racked my brain. Tall guy, glasses, older, should lose a few pounds. OK, more than a few. What actor could I possibly remind her of? Did Steve Allen ever make a movie? How about a near-sighted John Wayne? Maybe James Arness, star of Gunsmoke and the original The Thing. None of them were a perfect fit, but she was older and forgetful, so maybe it was Steve Allen. It finally came to me that he starred in The Glenn Miller Story. She was old enough to remember that.

Just as I was about to announce my guess, the clerk’s eyes widened and lit up like the full moon. “I’ve got it!” she exclaimed. “Dumb and Dumber!”

I was dumfounded. I reminded her of someone in Dumb and Dumber? Certainly not Jim Carrey?

“No,” she said. “That Jeff guy. Can’t remember his last name.” I knew she meant Jeff Daniels, but I didn’t tell her. Let her suffer in her ignorance. She deserved it for casting me in Dumb and Dumber.

My wife had never seen Dumb and Dumber, but she didn’t object to the idea that I might be the perfect fit to play one of the main characters. “It’s probably not my kind of movie,” she said. Her kind of movie is The Sound of Music, the stage version of which they perform endlessly in Leavenworth, under the stars with unknown actors. No chance of seeing Jeff Daniels in The Sound of Music.

I realized it must have been my hair that placed me in Dumb and Dumber. My barber for many years raised haircut prices by $2 and I was too cheap to pay. For weeks I mulled over the possibility of changing barbers but never screwed up the courage to walk into a strange barber shop. A haircut isn’t as bad as a colonoscopy, but it’s the same idea: Some virtual stranger flitting around inside your private space, wielding sharp instruments. It’s worse than the dentist because there are people watching, waiting to get their hair cut. Are you supposed to talk to these people, or what? Barbers should be allowed to dispense narcotics and wake us up when it’s over.

It’s been a couple of weeks since we were in Leavenworth and I think my hair’s outgrown its Dumb and Dumber stage. Next I’ll be reminding people of Grizzly Adams, unless of course someone lends me $2.

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