I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Clint Eastwood. He has had a pretty active last couple of years with remarrying, buying a piece of the Pebble Beach Company and building his own golf course – stuff I like to get done on the weekend. I really wanted to inquire about the first movie he was ever in: a 3-D version of Creature of the Swamp. I brought the picnic basket with my lovely college concoction of salsa with mac ‘n’ cheese and an assortment of Capri-Suns (Pacific Cooler is flat out the nectar of nirvana). Clint (yes, we are on a first name basis) brought himself – the essence of cool.
Sitting down to feast on this grand spread that I provided, I recounted my extensive and insightful questions in my head so I would not turn out to be the blabbering idiot that I am so hell bent on becoming.
Me: So, Clint, Creature of the Swamp is a pretty kick-ass movie, huh? I smile at him so he won’t get nervous at the power and importance of the question.
Clint: Yeah, and quit smiling at me or else you’ll end up with one of the knuckle sandwiches that I brought, you got that punk? I can see that he is a little testy at that question so I very delicately decide to move on to the next one because I do not want the interview to go sour. I accidentally spill some Pacific Cooler on him. Damn.
Me: So, Clint, Creature of the Swamp is pretty funny? I’m cool; I’m hip.
Clint: What on earth could you have seen in the movie that was funny? That film is a piece of movie history because not only is it the first time I acted with a monkey, but it is Creature of the Swamp. The mere mention of it sends shivers up spines, and little boys want to be it for Halloween so they can scare their sisters. How on earth can you misinterpret that? You have to have your head so far up .
By now, I have tuned him out. I just watch his mouth move. One of the richest and most famous men in the world is yelling at me because I thought his work was amusing. I think he was voted something of the year. It seems to me that he is a bit defensive about the movie. I yawn and eat another spoonful of salsa and mac ‘n’ cheese. I sip my Capri-Sun. I have enjoyed myself here today speaking with one of the American icons of toughness and guile. He is still ranting and raving. Now he waves his hands in the air; Clint is pretty worked up over these two questions.
Clint: . did your mother raise you with a paper-bag over your head?
Me: Clint, do you like Meximelts?
Clint: What the hell are you talking about? That is when he threw a right cross that caught me squarely on the chin. I spit my tooth out and tackle him. He proceeds to beat the be-jesus out of me.
Clint: That is for Creature of the Swamp and that’s for the disgusting salsa and mac ‘n’ cheese and that’s for the Capri-Suns and that’s for the Meximelts .
Clint tries to call me every now and then; he feels that we got off on a bad note. The phone rings and rings. Sometimes I pick it up, and he immediately begins to apologize. I try to explain to him that I was just trying to be lighthearted. Clint still doesn’t understand though. Constructive criticism can be a hard pill to swallow.
Clint: I am sorry David.’
Me: Clint, the negative vibe, it’s not that kind of party.