Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Celebrity Animal Stories!

In light of the exposee that came out recently in PETA Monthy regarding Crystal and her fur consumption, we here in The Gomes Group would like to share a story that proves Crystal's love for animals as well as combats the allegations that she is "a heartless Cruella Deville, intent on killing and wearing anything that grows hair."

As anyone knows who’s seen me at the stage door, I love furs. I have twenty-eight fur coats (all Russian hamster), three mink hats, two pairs of Irish Setter booties, and sixteen salmon stoles. Many people get angry at me for my choice of wearing fur. On one horrible occasion in the early 90’s, a patchouli smelling lesbian-type threw paint on me because “she” thought I was wearing a rhino skin trench coat. I was in actuality just wearing my bathing suit at the public pool. It was, needless to say, something of an insult. But let me set the record straight: I love animals. Any fur I wear was collected from an already dead animal. If Geoffrey’s ’92 Geo Prizm happens to be the cause of that animal’s unfortunate death, well then who am I to say anything?
I’m talking about animals because I think that many of you would be curious to know about some of my celebrity pals’ various encounters and dealings with their pets and other, perhaps more exotic animals. So let’s go down a wonderful road through the Showbiz Zoo.
First is a story that many of you are probably already familiar with. I am of course talking about the time that my lover for many years, Pablo Escobar, saved my front teeth. I was down in Colombia rehearsing my show “I Can’t Fake It With You: A Tribute to the 1978 Finnish Olympic Swimming Team” and Pablo and I were enjoying a lovely little fling. Now, I had no knowledge of Pablo’s illegal dealings with druggery, I thought he was a baking soda salesman, so everything was just peachy. Well, there was one night when he and I enjoyed a nice dinner of rice and beans at a little café in Bogota. After dinner and several pitchers of sangria (all mine, by the way; Pablo never drank or smoked or rode escalators,) we decided to go for a nice evening stroll. Well wouldn’t you know it? I innocently tossed my cigarette into the wrong ass’s ass, and before I know it, he’s bucking his back legs like Gloria Steinem at a Wellesley mixer. Now Pablo, ever the gentleman, jumped in front of me, blocking the ass’s kicks from my highly valuable face. Poor Pablo took two right in the kisser, knocking out most of his teeth. Interestingly enough, his subsequent denture use led to his arrest for his various drug associations. (If I told him once, I told him a thousand times: Never leave your dentures at the Burbank Marriot!) Poor Pablo. There’s one animal I’d like to see skinned and mounted in a six by ten at Leavenworth.
Another wonderful animal story is the time that Betty Grable was brutally attacked by her helper monkey, Dr. Ernesto Livingston. Well, on second thought, that story isn’t so much wonderful as it is deeply terrifying. Betty was never able to look at a tennis racquet or a Ming vase again.
Oh let’s see…let’s see. Animal stories… Oh! Me and some of my pals, notably Peter Lorre, Montgomery Cliff, Burt Lancaster, and Glenda Jackson, used to call Johnny Weissmuller “the Animal” because of his strange and interesting sexual habits. Geoffrey? Geoffrey honey? Can I talk about that thing. Oh you know the thing, with the croquet… No? No, I can’t? Oh. Okay. Well then. Moving on
Oh here we go. June Lockhart, that walking brandy distillery, had a cat named Claudio Morales that she used to carry in a brown paper bag. She carried this thing everywhere. There’s a photo, I’m sure you can find it on that interweb thing, on that Gogol thing, of June at the ’68 Governor’s Ball with Claudio in an Yves Saint Laurent brown paper bag. I remember that night so well. I wasn’t drinking that night, because I was trying to change my life (and because, earlier that night, I had taken a small Chinese man’s weight in barbiturates in the ladies’ loo at the Shriner’s Auditorium.) So I very clearly remember Coco Chanel, back when she was in that dangerous romance with Gregory Peck and his sixth wife Donna Dewberry, throwing the brown paper bag, full of Claudio Morales, into a trash can. June Lockhart just about plotzed. She ended up spiking Coco’s drink with No. 5, nearly killing Coco. Luckily, due to a series of painful surgeries, Coco learned to live with her subsequent perfume addiction. Claudio Morales lived to be eighteen years old. He was buried in his favorite brown paper bag, while June played “Nearer My God to Thee” on the left-handed harmonica.
There are celebrities who have imaginary pets. Some examples? Well, there was Annette O’Toole’s “Shar Pei” Dominic who was just molded Gruyere cheese. Julie Newmar’s parakeet Shoe Shiner was actually a pile of dried cranberries (Geoffrey tells me they’re now called “craisins.”) Gomer Pyle thought he had a mastodon named Agatha that later turned out to be a dead hobo by the name of Gill Withers who had curled up and died in Gomer’s backyard. Vanessa Redgrave thought that her beautiful daughter, Natasha Richardson, was a Persian cat named Maliki Haki Mu for thirteen years. And Sergio Mendes’ pet pig Lulu? A drugged Peter Finch wearing a coal miner’s hat.
In the end, all of this animal talk makes me fondly remember my late pet puma, Lady Eleanor Grimlywicke, who at her lowest tried to eat my housecleaner’s four year old daughter, and at her highest held a very important seat in the House of Commons. I first met Ellie in the jungles of the Belgian Congo. I was there on an ill-fated trip to find King Solomon’s mines, but all I ran into was a pack of murderous gray gorillas and one black one that tried to speak to me in sign language, which I promptly shot.
Well on our last day, Ellie came out of the woods and, after devouring my first assistant, Clydesdale, nuzzled herself against my leg and began to purr. We fell instantly in love. Ellie died three winters ago, after I mistakenly tried to feed her a few Beefeater bottles in an effort to hide my (very, very light) drinking from a few Japanese businessmen who were looking to fund my show “One of These Things is Not Like Two Thousand Others: Crystal Live at the Apollo.” Well, I felt terrible, but I resolved to only remember the good times. Oh, and I suppose I miss Clydesdale every now and then. But really, he wasn’t much of an assistant. He was always trying to get me to go out for a walk or donate my hard earned money to some charity. Nah, give me Geoffrey any day. He keeps my gin cold, my elbows waxed, and Ellie’s taxidermied corpse full of fresh Bermuda sand.
Animals and assistants, ain’t they just grand?

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