Here be my “All Over the Map” from the 05.22.2013 issue of ArkansasWeekly:
It’s a fair question, I suppose. Lots of folks might think that it’s a wonderful thing to look like a handsome and debonair movie star. Sure, I get double takes -- particularly from the ladies and effeminate men. I mean, I get it. People love eye candy like George and me. We’re treated differently.
But, being blessed with the extraordinary good looks of a popular celebrity does carry its burdens. For instance, I’m constantly interrupted at meals by strangers wanting an autograph or asking to have their picture taken with me. It’s extremely irritating, so I’ve started to do things a little different whenever I go out to eat. This past Thursday, I went to lunch with my son, and before the maître d’ seated us, I announced to the entire restaurant that though I was a dead ringer for George Clooney, I was, in fact, not George Clooney. There was sort of a disappointed silence as my fellow diners then realized an international superstar was not in their midst, but no one bothered my son and me for our meal, and we were able to enjoy our Hooters burgers in peace.
I also get very uncomfortable by people staring at me all of the time. I can be at a stoplight next to another vehicle thinking about how good looking I am, and suddenly, I can feel the people in the other car looking at me. I want to turn to them and say, “I know you think I’m George Clooney, but really, I’m not George Clooney.” But then I don’t want to disappoint them, so I go ahead and let them gawk and let them think I really am George Clooney. Sometimes, I’ll turn and give ‘em a knowing wink, like, “Yep. It’s me – George Clooney, and you just caught me in a private moment at the traffic light.” Then, they can go and tell all of their friends and family they saw George Clooney reflecting on life while stopped at the traffic light today. What’s the harm, right? And if it gives these folks a good feeling on their insides, well then, I guess the only thing I can ask is that they pass it along and “pay it forward,” as they say, and spread some cheer to other strangers.
I have thought of using the fact that I look just like George Clooney for other positive purposes. I’m tinkering with the idea of approaching businesses and offering to be seen buying their products. This will cause people who see me to think George Clooney is actually using these items. A good example would be something like going to Kroger and purchasing a tube of Preparation H. Other customers would say, “Why -- there’s George Clooney! Oh, and look! He must prefer Preparation H over other hemorrhoid remedies!” I would then look to them, hold up the box, and with a grin and one arched eyebrow, say: “There’s nothing more soothing than Preparation H. Preparation H. Use as directed.” And suddenly, throughout social media, word would spread like blazing wildfire that George Clooney was seen purchasing Preparation H! Then, sales of the ointment would skyrocket, and Preparation H would reward me for my services with a $20 Golden Corral gift card!
And I don’t even suffer from hemorrhoids!
So, there is good and bad with looking exactly like George Clooney, but let’s not kid ourselves: the former definitely outweighs the latter. I enjoy the subtle perks of my uncanny resemblance to George Clooney, and I’m happy to shine some light into the eyes of really gullible people, even if it’s only for a few moments.
Oh, excuse me, someone is handing me a note. Let’s see what it says: “Dear Rob: You look nothing like George Clooney. However, if there is ever a market for Edgar Winter impersonators, then you be the man! Thank you and good day.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The legal department at Arkansas Weekly has informed us this disclaimer must be printed at the end of Rob’s column this week: George Clooney does not endorse Preparation H, and as far as we know, does not suffer from the condition for which the ointment is intended.)