Betty White has a rather unhealthy obsession with collecting comic books -- in case you weren't aware.
More specifically, she likes an obscure genre of comic books about gay bears that fight crime using bedazzled broomsticks and have an endearing affection for kittens. I know. It doesn't make sense to me either. So she dragged me out to San Diego to the Comic-Con convention - the world's largest comic book/sci-fi/action adventure/koo-koo-for-cocoa-puffs convention of its kind.
It's basically a giant costume ball orgy for geeks and dorks. And I mean that in a loving, nurturing kind of way. After a couple of days there, I concluded that Comic-Con is a lot like the Renaissance Fair. An excuse for nerds with bad hygiene to get dress up in ridiculous outfits and act out strange fetishes in public without risk of being arrested or getting a wedgy from the high school quarterback.
As it happens, these crime fighting gay bear comic books aren't exactly easy to find, so we spent the better part of the first day on a gay bear scavenger hunt ... going through bins of dusty comic books and pushing aside the occasional midget in a Wonder Woman costume.
"Now pay attention," Betty said emphatically. "Take this whistle, and blow it hard if you find anything that looks like a gay bear. I need you to take this very seriously. FIND THE GAY BEARS! Do you copy?"
I nodded my head and feigned my very best impression of a soldier salute.
We probably would have been more productive with our time if I hadn't kept blowing my whistle and screaming "Where are all the gay bears? Gay bears, where are you?" All that did was draw the attention of a few dozen bearded men of large proportion who kept pinching my ass, asking if I'd ever seen Cher in concert, and comparing me to various types of gourmet sausage.
While Betty was furiously rummaging through crates of creepy comics, I decided to take a break and visit a panel discussion. The one I happened into was featuring the new movie "Salt" - so Angelina Jolie was there looking stunning in black leather. Once I saw her, I sort of hunched down in my chair hoping she wouldn't see me.
I should clarify that I have nothing ill to say about Angelina. I think she's a lovely person, perfectly adequate actress, and can take an acceptable photograph. But for reasons I'm still not completely clear on, she cannot stand the sight of me -- and has on more than one occasion called the authorities to have me forcibly removed from the premises.
I may have attended one of her movie premieres wearing a sandwich board sign with a photo of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston on one side, and the word "Home-wrecker" on the other. But that doesn't seem like reasonable cause to dislike someone, does it? I know. I don't get it either. But the bitch doesn't like me, and there's not much I can do about it.
She spoke thoughtfully of her character in the movie “Salt” -- and how she could identify with the fact that the character is "a little off."
"There's a real duplicity to her personality," she said. "There's a part of her that's not necessarily a good guy, and because of certain things that happened to her, she's a bit damaged. She's not just heroic. She's not even. She's not just brave. There's something a little off about her, and maybe there's something off about me."
She then went on to explain that she did all the stunts for the movie and even sustained an injury that left a scar on her face.
Whatever. That, dear friends, was a lie. She most certainly did not get that scar from doing a stunt. Not that I'm surprised. She's always inventing little stories that paint her conveniently in a brighter, more heroic light. It seems to make riding the train in that koo-koo-ka-choo head of hers a more pleasant journey. Like the time she claimed I released live rats into the overhead compartment of her private jet. I would never do such a thing -- and I find it offensive that she would think it appropriate to make up such heinous lies about me. They were not rats. They were mice. Very cute mice, might I add.
Because I'm a gentleman, I'm not going divulge the truth about how she really got that scar. Let’s just say an innocent round of Rock-Paper-Scissors may have gotten a little out of hand. How was I supposed to know you're not supposed to use real scissors?
I spent the rest of the afternoon roaming around the convention center looking for Betty.
Eventually I found Betty standing in line to get an autograph from the woman who played the Admiral on “Star Trek Next Generation” -- Natalija Nogulich, who is really quite stunning in person. Betty wanted Natalija to autograph her left breast - and when Natalija refused, Betty put her in a headlock until she agreed. It was an embarrassing spectacle ... but it seemed to take Betty's mind off of the fact that she still hadn't found the gay bear comic books.
We never did find them -- and Betty has been despondent ever since. So if you happen to know where I can find one in good condition, please e-mail me. I'll pay up to $4 for it. $5 if it isn't stained with unidentified bodily fluids.
Love ya like filling Angie Jolie's gas tank with salt,
For years now, Aunt Johnny has been doling out advice to celebrity friends and family - bringing a little dose of wisdom wrapped in wit, sprinkled with satire and sautéed in drama to those who can't seem to get their act together. He's helped to prevent fashion catastrophes, stupid career choices and petty romantic theatrics to some of the most famous names in show business and politics ... all from the comfort of his martini glass. Now, he's bringing his celebrity and pop culture buzz to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. With tongue in cheek, he's taking pop culture shaken and stirred. Then he's shaking it some more.
To read about Angelina Jolie at Comic-Con, click HERE.