Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Notes On Turning 40

THE ZONE OF UNEASE, APRIL 29 - Search online for "April 29, 1969" births and you'll get Muscles McGee here;

You'll also get actor Paul Adelstein, whose lack of granite-hard physical abs is more than compensated for by his presumable fiscal abs from appearances on TV's "Prison Break" and "Private Practice".

Then there's rapper Master P, who also may or may not have been born on this day four decades ago (his birth year changes a lot; Wikipedia recently aged him to 42). In 2005, I wrote a blurb for a P gig in the OC Weekly, using our assumed mutual birthdays as a vehicle to compare lives. Not many people, after all, have such a perfect controlled scientific experiment with which to judge their progress; me and Master, thrust screaming into this Earth on the same day, have both had to make our way using only our wits and the tools supplied us. But only one of us came away with $300 million in the bank, a dozen or so spin-off companies, and the choice of a professional career in rap, basketball, and/or motion pictures.

For some reason, my editor at the OC Weekly hired me to write a longer, full-length preview for a different Master P concert just a few months later. Yesterday I searched my hard drive for any remnants of this second, unpublished, preview, and found these half-formed notes;


Everyone needs to take a deep breath. There are still lots of things Master P hasn’t done yet. He has not piloted a space shuttle. He has served no terms in congress. He has not yet won a Pulitzer for either his insightful op-ed columns or his investigative journalism. If he has discovered a cure for AIDS or Lou Gehrig's disease or Avian Influenza, he has done a good job of keeping it under his hat.

Perhaps you were born on the very same day as P

Perhaps, like P, you even came into some money, quit college in the late 1980’s and started a record label.

Possessions he has boasted of

* A toilet made of pure gold.
* A gold plated tank.
* Custom made Bently
* 250 g's in his mouth.
* Gucci Ferrari.
* Mink Sheets.
* Custom made Bentleys with TV's and Mink Seats.
* "Got a jet and I don't even use it."
* Boats with chandeliers.
* Ceilings made of gold.
* Gucci Helicopeter. [sic]

The asterisks meant, I think, that I cut and pasted the list from somewhere online, with the intention of paraphrasing in my final draft. Or maybe this was all my own original research as well; the floppy spelling of 'helicopter' at the end suggests I got too demoralized to continue. His concert was cancelled a week before my deadline - I think one of his entourage killed a cop or something - and I saved my notes and forgot about it.

Either way, happy birthday to all four of us. I may run into one of these guys at Disneyland this afternoon, but I'm pretty sure none will arrive as unburdened by the stresses of fame, fortune, and/or cumbersome abs as I. Not to gloat, but it looks like I won this round.