Monday, October 25, 2004

Mistaken Identity

So I'm sitting in my car at 2:15 AM at the Whataburger drive-in window. Whataburger is the only place to get food in my neighborhood after 11 PM, and they have surprisingly good pancakes. It's literally a minute's walk from my house, but they won't let you walk through the drive-in so I have to spew greenhouse gases to get food. It doesn't keep me up at night like Gabriel, but I do feel a little guilty about my contribution to global warming.

So I'm sitting in my car at 2:15 AM at the Whataburger drive-in window. One of the cooks glances over at me and does a double-take. While I'm paying and getting napkins, he keeps looking over between flipping. I think, "Do I have something on my face?"

Then, driven by who knows what, he comes over, leans out the window and says, "Do you know who you look like?"

My mind races through this internal monologue in, I swear, in three seconds:
Do I know who I look like? Yes, Dennis Miller because people say that all the time and I have friends who nicknamed me thusly and I guess that's okay because he's decent looking and we do both have similar head shapes, dark hair that's wavy when it gets kinda long, blue eyes, and facial hair even though his present politics put him at the opposite end of the spectrum from me. But wait, my haircut and beard don't look like his anymore - Dennis Miller can't be what the cook is thinking.

Cook: "You look like Lou Ferrigno."

Me: "Thanks."

What?! I mean that's awfully nice of him because Lou's a studly guy, especially when he has a beard and isn't wearing a green Tina Turner wig, but I don't look like him.

Cook: "You know? The Hulk?"

Me: "Yeah." Mind still reeling.

Cook: "Anyone ever tell you that?"

Me: "No."

Because Mr. Ferrigno outweighs me by many pounds of muscle (of which I could only achieve maybe 25% if I really tried) and is rather more lantern-jawed than I.

Cook: "Well you do. Lou Ferrigno man."

Me: "Thanks. Have a good night."

On the 15 second ride back to my house, it strikes me, "Was he hitting on me?"

I'm really bad at telling when I'm getting hit on by guys because I always assume they're just being friendly only to realize later, in one case five years later, that they were indeed flirting. Was this one of those times? You tell me. How likely is it that a skinny black guy is hitting on a white, out-of-shape guy through the Whataburger drive-in window at 2:15 AM by using that old chesnut, "You look like Lou Ferrigno?"

Less likely than getting struck by lightning? Than winning the lottery? Than winning the lottery without buying a ticket? Than Ralph Reed befriending Tony Kushner?

Oh, for reference, here's what Lou Ferrigno and Dennis Miller look like:

Mr. Ferrigno, sans beard

With beard (1983), and no that's not my personal signed picture

Dennis Miller

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