Mint Julip, please!
Occasionally, I get the urge to pick up a specific newspaper or magazine.
Generally, that is a sign (my inner voice speaking) that there is an article or news item in the publication that warrants my scrutiny.
Or, just maybe, right for a post that day!
Sure enough, when I responded to the calling earlier this week by plucking up a disgarded copy of Beverly Hills (213) off a diner's table in a trendy watering hole on Canon Drive, I was not disappointed.
Rex Reed graced the cover in a publicity still that underscored what a smart-looking man-about-town he truly is (regardless of the occasional bad rap - and subsequent baggage- that he hauls along in his shadow).
In fact, as I gazed upon the image, I couldn't help but notice his stylish attire was impeccable in every sense of the word (correctly-knotted tie, right amount of shirt sleeve peering out from the jacket sleeve, a collar that framed his cravat just so) from the get-go.
Suddenly, it struck me like a bolt of lightning, that Reed was a likely candidate for next year's prestigious Best-Dressed Men's list.
And the eyes - well - they are devastating also.
Rex is (quite simply) the country gentleman personified (in this photograph anyway) provided the acid tongue is kept firmly in check (cheek?).
The career profile was entertaining to peruse as well.
The editors noted that Reed is the most-known, well-respected, and most-feared film critics of all time.
Darn, I thought that was my slot in life!
In respect to that dubious title, he notes for the record - after being queried about his well-earned status - that it doesn't worry him a bit about the possibility of running into a subject he has dragged through coals by virtue of a nasty film review.
"I just say what I believe (!) and that is why I have a career."
"Do you know how many people were movie critics when I first started out? Nobody even remembers their names and they're not even around anymore and they've completely vanished - even the ones who did not die - vanished!"
"I'm still here doing this," he no doubt smiled with a cheshire grin during the interview.
"Because I never compromise and the one thing I will say is because I have good taste (Myra Breckenridge an example of it?) And am I a snob? YES! I'm a snob about mediocrity. I'm up to my eyeballs in second-rated-ness."
Is "second-rated-ness" actually a legit term in the dictionary?
If Rex has coined the son-of-a-gun, it's downright kosher, alright.
One of the perks of being a legend in one's own mind, I expect, eh?
When asked about the state of the film industry, he turned bug-eyed (I imagine) and wailed that the biz depended entirely on the people who won't settle for second best (Reed and moi, of course).
The film critic was livid about the fact that few filmgoers were lining up to see a handful of recent faves making the rounds of movie Theatres - "Up in the Air", "Public Enemies", "The Last Station" - for instance.
On the other hand, he quipped viciously that Sherlock Holmes was an absolute noisy, filthy, horrible, stupid, disgrace of a movie that was making a lot of money nonetheless.
I laughed when he also snarled that "Hurt Locker" was the best movie you'd never want to see twice.
Not primed or ready to become a classic, huh, Rex?
Rex would prefer that movies illuminate the human condition - enlighten and inspire - too.
"James Cameron really doesn't know about life. His movies are about teenage comic book fantasies."
I suppose old age is creeping in and that Rex is subsequently losing his memory; after all, if my own grey cells serve me right, I recall that Cameron directed one of the biggest block-buster romances of all time ever to grace the screen (Titanic).
But, nobody's perfect.
Rex has already written his epitaph to explain away his side of things on this mortal coil.
"He (Rex Reed) tried to make things better."
Rex with Raquel Welch on set!