Monday, June 20, 2005

Ralph Macchio and His Muscle Shirt

Did you see Ralph Macchio last night on "Entourage"? Holy crap, he's still really cute, isn't he? In fact, I'm finding it kind of odd that he starred in a movie about a man who ages at an accelerated rate, yet he does not age at all.

He also has the same tics, too. That kind of twitchy head thing and the shoulder shrug. Back around the time Karate Kid came out, I was completely obsessed with him so much that I'd memorized everything about him and would walk around spouting random facts to anyone who would listen. "Hey, mom. Did you know Ralph Macchio really loves Haagen Dazs ice cream?" "Hey Aunt Janine, did you know Ralph Macchio is from New York?" And because my family is nice, they would listen politely, say, "Hmm, I don't think I did", then promptly turn back around to do whatever it was they were doing before I arrived to fill them in on Ralph Macchio minutiae.

The biggest Ralph Macchio obsession of all was that of his muscle shirt. You know the muscle shirt. In the scene of the movie where he and his mom pull up to the apartments where they're going to live and where Daniel meets Mr. Miyagi? Daniel gets out of the car, and there it is. Siiiigh. A blue muscle shirt, showing off his spindly little arms, which at the time, I thought were giant and muscular and on a par with Superman's.

My best friend Andrea and I became hell bent on not only seeing Karate Kid as many times as the theater would allow us in, but also, it was mandatory that we get to the theater right on time, so as not to miss one second of Ralph Macchio in his muscle shirt. I believe we had some chant we even made up about the muscle shirt, but it escapes me now. You probably think I'm just claiming Alzheimer's because I don't want to embarrass myself, right? But that couldn't possibly be true, because look what I'm admitting here. I'm making a damn fool of myself.

One day, we decided we just had to see Karate Kid for the 800th time. I lived in Clovis, CA, at the time, and if you know anything about Clovis, you will understand. It's a little cow town right next to Fresno, and the only thing there really is to do out there is see movies 800 times and up. Or you can pet the horses that live next door. Whatever.

Arrangements were made for my mom to drop us off at the theater. When we got there, we walked up to the window to buy our tickets and were informed that the movie had already started. "But. But...how long has it been running?" I asked. "Probably about 10 minutes," said ticket guy.

I looked at Andrea. Her eyes were wide in horror. Mine started to tear up. "The muscle shirt," I said. She nodded: "I know." And she began to cry, too. It was the end of the world. Without anything better to do, as we certainly weren't going to go in late, because we had already missed the high point of the movie, we just huddled together and wailed.

Just then, mom pulled up. "I had a feeling something was wrong," she said. An understatement, but yes, nothing was right. Grateful for her sixth sense of knowing when there was a muscle shirt crisis somewhere, we piled into her car, and she took us back for the next showing and that time, we made sure we were early.