The Critical Mass

Pursued by your own death

I dream. But when morning comes, I’m one of those people who rarely remember what was creeping around in my head at night. Last night was an exception.

I was in some kind of dark Gothic tattoo shop, flipping through a loose-leaf notebook of tattoo designs. I’d pretty much settled on some kind of weird, rodent-like thing for my shoulder when my friend Frank walked into the shop. “Look, man, I’m finally getting my first tattoo,” I told him. Frank nodded in approval: He doesn’t have much room left on his own heavily-inked carcass.

“What do you think of this one?” I asked the guy running the tattoo shop. It was the actor, Randy Quaid. “I don’t know,” Quaid said, throwing his hands in the air and walking away. “I’d never get one myself.”

Naturally, I awoke wondering: Whatever happened to Randy Quaid? Last year, Quaid pioneered the concept of Hollywood star gone absolutely bat-shit crazy – a career move more recently adopted by Charlie Sheen – when he claimed he and his wife, Evi, were being pursued by “Star Whackers,” a mysterious group whose purpose was to kill movie stars. They had already gotten Heath Ledger and David Carradine, the Quaids said, and they were next. The couple  subsequently fled to Canada. The Santa Barbara Distract Attorney suggests the Quaids were actually fleeing charges that they hadn’t paid a $10,000 hotel bill, and trespassing charges for living as squatters in an uninhabited California home.

Thankfully, the Quaids have cleared up the whole matter when, last month, they premiered their new independent film, coincidentally named Star Whackers. A review of the film appeared in a Vancouver newspaper:

The film opened on Mr. Quaid standing nude in a windy field with a long fur coat draped loosely around his shoulders. For 10 minutes, he repeats four lines of Shakespeares’s “Julius Caesar” while wandering around the field with a clump of purple hair – at one point bending over to clench the hair between his buttocks.

Mr. Quaid also appeared as a man with a deer skull adorning his head and as a black-suited assassin armed with a submachine gun. Judging from one scene in which Mr. Quaid uses the weapon to riddle a glossy photograph of himself with holes, it appears that the Quaids used a live submachine gun for the film.

In between random Shakespeare quotes, Mr. Quaid’s three characters graze on grass, play violin alongside a cattle drive and attempt to negotiate with donkeys. At the film’s end, Mr. Quaid repeats excerpts from Hamlet’s soliloquy for about ten minutes before dying.

“Star Whackers” is “a hyper-surreal aspect of what it is to be pursued to your own death,” explained Ms. Quaid later.

This is why I don’t remember my dreams. Real life is too bizarre to bother with them.

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