I am writing today as a service to all of you my acting brethren and sistren.
There I am at the McDonald's this morning enjoying my Sausage McMuffin and in comes this guy who looked like Abraham Lincoln. He was a tall and lanky man with dark hair and he had "the beard". Suddenly some part of my brain kicked in with an inexplicable urge to grab a small caliber gun and shoot him. Latin phrases started flying through my head and I had the sudden urge to dash out of the McDonald's, meet up with some guy with a horse and ride into the Maryland country side.
Let us be clear here, while not a strict pacifist, I do think you don't go around shooting people, regardless of their resemblance to any current or former Chief Executive of the United States. And I have always been a big Lincoln fan. I mean how could you not be a Lincoln fan in this day and age, but seeing that man and his beard just sparked something in my in sub-conscious mind. That here was an actor's natural enemy, Abe Lincoln.
As you will all recall it was John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who shot the President in 1865 at the Ford's Theatre in our Nations Capital. During a production of Our American Cousin, Booth snuck up behind the Great Emancipator and put a bullet in his head. Jumped out of the President's box onto the stage, broke his leg and was later cornered and killed in a barn in rural Maryland. Now tourist come to the Ford's to watch musicals, screw-ball comedies and anything staring James Whitmore.
I am, for all intents and purposes, a fairly well balanced, if a little prone to bouts of melancholy, actor. Why would the idea of shooting a guy just jump into my head? Just because I see a beard with no mustache why is my first thought President-cide?
I think there must be something about Abraham Lincoln that just sparks a violent response in an actor. Much the same as dogs howl when they hear wolves, somewhere in the deep dark recesses of the actor mind is an aversion to tall men with weird facial hair choices. I had similar feeling towards C. Everett Koop back in the day. Could that explain my taking up the habit of smoking? As some sort of passive aggressive nose thumbing at our then Surgeon General.
I want to reiterate that I have no plans or desires to act on this urge. It was just so sudden and real this need to attack this man who as far as I could tell has not hurt anyone. This undeniable and inexplicable lust for vengeance against the man and his beard, that I do not believe any scientist or historian has ever explored, with regards to the assassination of President Lincoln.
I write this as a warning to other actors avoid Lincoln look-a-likes at all cost. Do not journey to Springfield, IL. Do not attend President's Day Sales at car dealerships or mattress warehouses. Avoid Civil War re-enactments at Gettysburg. Please for your own sanity and the safety of beard sporting lanky tall men everywhere, do not have contact with presidential look-a-likes of any kind.
We have just begun to crawl out from the long shadow cast by John Wilkes Booth, we don't need to fall under its weight again.
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My family is in possession of a pair of opera glasses said to have been in the hand of great great aunt so-and-so the night she attended that very same fateful performance....
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