Lex Luthor, as I’m sure everyone who reads comic books knows (come on, admit it), is the archenemy of Superman. He’s known for his bald head and his super-intelligence and really gives Superman a run for his money, but Superman always ends up winning and Lex ends up in jail. In the 1978 movie Superman with Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, Lex was played by the veteran actor Gene Hackman.
I bring this up because it’s crucial to the story…
Have you ever had a situation where you draw an absolute mental block on someone’s name? I have.
After my brother Pat’s high school graduation, we were all sitting at dinner at a very nice restaurant, and Mary and I are talking to my brother Jim and his wife Lisa. The subject was movies, and we were talking about a movie that Gene Hackman was in (since Pat graduated in 1993, I’m going to guess it was The Firm). And I said, “oh that’s the movie with…” And I drew a blank: not only could I not remember Gene Hackman’s name, I couldn’t remember anything he was in except Superman. So I went with it. “…the guy who played Lex Luthor in Superman.”
I thought Jim was going to wet his pants. “John! Gene Hackman? The French Connection, A Bridge Too Far, The Poseidon Adventure, and all you can remember is he was Lex Luthor in Superman?” I tried to protest, but he was having too much fun with it.
Incidentally, later in the same conversation, Mary is talking about going to Blockbuster (or Hollywood Video, I’m not sure) and picking out movies, and she says “Sometimes, when I’m feeling really generous, I’ll tell John to go out and pick a couple of movies for us to watch…”
Jim bursts out laughing again. “Oh, God, you let him pick out movies?” (My taste is a little on the, for lack of a better word, eclectic side, as you can probably guess.) “I can just imagine what he comes home with. There’s probably a section in the video store that’s covered in cobwebs and dust… the John section! you know, Mystery, Suspense, Drama, Comedy… JOHN!”
Mary has suggested that, if I should ever write the book everyone’s nagging me to write, I should name it The John Section. I was thinking Shanty Irish, but The John Section is growing on me…