I’m the one on the left, and that’s
Norman Mailer on the right. This picture was taken before he crossed
me, of course. Any later and he would have been in the grave. Ask
anyone at Mailer’s funeral what happens when you cross me. But we
had some good times before our relationship went to rot. And when I
say “relationship”, I mean it in the general sense. It wasn’t a
sexual thing, though I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a part of it.
And so would Rip Torn.
Speaking of, I couldn’t help but be
reminded of my time with Mailer after watching that IGN clip from The
Incredible Hulk Jeremy posted earlier today.
By now you’ve seen the Mailer/Torn
rumble more times than your mother’s cooked you a hot meal, and if
not, you’re a coward. Click here if you haven’t seen it, coward. I
could draw up some obvious similarities here. It’s easy to cast
Mailer as Tim Roth and Torn as the Hulk (You hear me, Leterrier?
Easy!) since he’s wearing a green shirt. But look a little closer,
and you’ll see that Mailer, like the Hulk, is shirtless. Coincidence? Of
course not. A few weeks before he crossed me, Mailer and I were hot
tubbing at Christopher Hitchens’ place when he told me about a heavy
breather who hung up on him the night before. “There was no
mistaking it,” he belched. “I’d recognize that Norton pant
Just so we’re clear, I have no qualms about
reporting this as fact: Norton’s influences in playing Bruce Banner
are Norman Mailer, Bill Bixby’s corpse, and his own body of work.
After all, Banner and Mailer are both a bitch when you make them
angry. And though I’ve never suffered Norton’s wrath (can’t say the
same for Marvel Films’ marketing department), I’ve been on the butt
end of Mailer’s fury more often than I care to remember.
I leaned over his typewriter. “’The
White Negro?’” I asked. “That’s completely nonsensical.” His
thighs nearly burst his purple jeans. His temples radiated Kirby
dots. “I AM PROVOCATIVE!” he screamed. I barely realized the
hot bath towel had been torn from my hands before he wrapped it
around my neck.
Mailer was a genius, you know. Until
he crossed me.
Anyway, that’s what my picture’s all
about. Talk to you again soon.