The Fourth Wall

He’s carrying what looks like at least a gallon bottle.  I see the label.  Crown Royal.

“I brought you a nice bottle,” he says.

A nice bottle.  He always says that on the show.

“Wow,” I say, surprised to find him standing at my front door.  For some reason.  “Crown Royal.”

“XR,” he says.  “The best.”

For me, all Crown Royal, no matter the grade, leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I’m all about aloha, so I won’t demur.

“Nice place you got here,” he says, having long ago sold his house on Black Point, where women tossed their bras and underwear over his fence.

Now he lives in California.  Hidden Valley.  Raises avocados on his ranch.  An image flits through my mind of him herding them.  I know he likes to ride.

He pours us each a generous glass.  We raise them to each other.  Sip.

Yuck.

“I met you twice before,” I say, “a long time ago.  Once on Fort Street Mall when you were shooting a scene where you run up the mall, chasing someone, drawing your .45 from the back of your pants, shooting him.  You had to film that scene at least ten times.”

He smiles.  “TV, movies, there’s a lot of that.  Repetition.  Sometimes you feel like you’re stuck in Groundhog Day.”

“In between takes, you would talk to people in the crowd.  I wasn’t one of them, but you did shake my hand.  You seemed genuinely friendly.”

He nods.  “I try my best to be good to fans,” he says, sipping.  “They’re important.  They should feel that from us.”

It’s things like that that make me want to try hard to like him.

“A performer who ignores fans is ignorant.  A fool. If it weren’t for fans, where would actors be?  Nowhere.”

Yes.  Good.

But then there’s everything else.  Like the whole water stealing thing, or the fact that he’s an ultra-conservative. We probably wouldn’t see eye to eye on any issue.

“The other time I met you was up at Chuck’s Steakhouse in Mānoa.  You and your stunt double were at the bar.  You bought everyone at the bar a drink because it was your birthday.  It was funny seeing the two of you side by side. He did resemble you pretty closely.”

He sips.  “John, yes, and he doubled for Jack Lord too.  He was an English teacher at Saint Louis High School.  Almost became a priest.  He was a good man.  Parkinson’s Disease.  It was a horrible way to die.  I hope he’s resting in great peace.”

He finishes off his whiskey and stands.  “It’s been good to meet you,” he says, extending his hand.  “The rest of that bottle’s for you.”

He steps out onto the sidewalk.  “Thank you for being a fan,” he says.

Am I?

He climbs into his detail crew vehicle, and he and that famous mustache are whisked away.

I really, deep down, know I should not care for this guy.  I know it. I really do.

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