Sunday, March 29, 2009
It was she who affirmed in my subconscious that I wanted to someday marry a tall, beautiful brunette. Claudine Longet burst into my world in 1968, along about the middle of my stay at Abilene Christian. She was married to Andy Williams and frequently appeared on his extremely popular weekly variety show. The more I saw her, the more obsessed I was with her. Never mind that her singing voice was a joke...if you duct-taped a moose's jaw then strangled the animal, you'd pretty much would have Claudine's voice down pat. Never mind that she was married. I was around twenty years old and at that age, thinking clearly about the opposite sex didn't come easily.
I had all her albums. The songs were fantastic, until, that is, she opened her mouth. But I was willing to forgive her for her voice. My male friends were all too aware of my borderline-stalking of this lady. One day, I finished sixth out of a 100 or so in a two-mile cross-country intramural race...during final 100 yards, I was aided by the fact that my buddies brought a portable tape recorder and played my favorite Claudine hit at high volume. I'm sure the guys I beat out that day are still wondering where that moose was near the finish line.
Another time, in the dormitory, I was awakened at midnight by the soft, mellow moose calls of Mrs. Andy Williams. Naturally I got up, and like Abilene's own pied-piper, I followed the music down the hall until I found the source...a friend was playing Claudine's greatest hits, none of which, by the way, have made it to platinum yet. I listened awhile, and directly returned to bed. Once there, I was almost asleep when I felt a cold wetness touch my thigh. It was very quick, like maybe for a second, then it was over. I dismissed it and hurriedly returned to sleep, hoping to dream about Claudine. Then it happened again. An unmistakeable cold, clammy touch on my leg. I slid my hand down to where the touching seemed to be, felt a foreign object, and grabbed it. It was a frog...a frog which had been planted surreptitiously in the bed during the time I had been lured away by Ms. Longet (pronouced "lawn-zhay'" or something close). I flipped on the light with my dry hand, saw what I was holding, and screamed. I had never even touched a reptile before, let alone a stone-cold toad. My buddies were outside the room, rolling on the floor, unable to speak they were laughing so hard. Wouldn't have happened were it not for Claudine's magnetic power over me.
Sadly, the beautiful native Parisian, Ms. Longet, left Andy for a wonderfully gifted skier named Spider Sabich. And happily, I left Claudine for a wonderfully lithe, beautiful brunette named Carole. You probably know the rest of the story. Claudine, uh, shot and killed Spider because, uh, judge, the gun went off. The jury believed it and acquitted her. She married her lawyer and they still live in Aspen. Supposedly she rarely shows her face, something of a national tragedy akin to the Johnstown flood.
So, it all worked out. I could not have asked for a better, more beautiful, more spiritual mate than Carole. Plus, I've forgiven Claudine for mishandling the gun. Accidents happen, you know. My fantasy world with her was worth all the trouble it brought, frog and all.
Posted by Tim Perkins at 3/29/2009 10:07:00 PM