Let me go on the record here right at the outset; I don’t think I look an awful lot like Shrek. Truth be told, I don’t think I look a bit like Shrek. Without a doubt, I can be a bit of an ogre by times, but it is not my normal demeanor, and the cinema icon definitely sports a greenish cast that I approach only rarely, after eating bad clams, for instance. It would be fair, however, to accuse me of a similarly snarky sense of humor, bordering on childish crudity and dubious taste, particularly when it comes to the sorts of bodily functions that elicit peals of laughter from grade school kids, about which little more need be said.
There is one person in my life, nonetheless (my Japanese friend Saki), who insists that I remind her of Shrek, (indeed, she says “You are Shrek…”) and she has taken great pains to point this out to me on numerous occasions, whether watching the latest episode in 3-D in a pricey Tokyo movie house, or simply happening upon a convenient (from her point of view) roadside billboard in rural Prince Edward Island:
Seeing that I remained unconvinced, she launched upon a program to show me the error of my thinking. One evening not long ago, after imbibing a bit more alcohol than is my norm, I mentioned the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly to a group of friends, none of whom was familiar with him. So I took it upon myself to treat them to a small sample of his wares, conjuring up what may well be the worst faux Scottish accent in recorded history: “So there aye wuzz, rrrruinin’ dune the rrrrude, when a wee lassie luked out her window…” You get the picture. Meanwhile, Saki had been zoning out on the conversation, or at least peripheral to it, when abruptly she reanimated and interjected with “See, that’s it! That’s Shrek!”
“No, that’s Billy Connolly,” I explained, much in the fashion that one might to a recalcitrant child. “Sounded more like Shrek to me,” my friend John offered. “I don’t know Billy Connolly, but that does sound quite a bit like Shrek. It certainly doesn’t sound the least bit Scottish,” another added helpfully. Okay, okay, I get it. I politely demurred when asked to reprise Connolly/Shrek, figuring quite correctly that in the cold clear light of the following day’s sobriety, nobody would remember. Nobody, that is, except Saki, as she had had nothing to drink.
Another nail was added to the coffin when she asked me to pose for a picture, a close-up head shot. Until I saw it downloaded onto my computer, I didn’t realize just how close up it was. As I gazed upon my abbreviated northern countenance, juxtaposed with an analogous shot of my newfound twin, Saki regaled me with her version of the triumphant look that women have bestowed upon men since time immemorial, the look that says in no uncertain terms: “I was right…and (much more importantly) you were wrong!”