Acknowledging the Less Martin Endowed: Listening Steve?

What Steve Martin would look like if a photo were taken of him.

What Steve Martin looks like in a photograph. He’s actually much bigger.

Selfie taken at 4:30 a.m. I'm the one in the glasses wondering, "Does Steve even know I exist?" He will now.

Selfie taken at 4:30 a.m. I’m the one in the glasses. “Does Steve even know I exist?”

Dear Mr. Martin,

First of all please recognize this communication as the least creepiest form of stalking ever devised. Nonetheless do recognize it as at least some form of stalking. Second of all, I don’t have a “second of all.” May this most attenuated of warnings be a motivator for you to either Like, Nudge or Poke me (depending on the form of social media you employ). I request this not to feed my outsized sense of entitlement, but to feed something very similar to it. Again, some might call this stalking, but you and I know better due to our connection which you’ll shortly establish with me.

I was going to signal my willingness to receive your acknowledgement by writing a screenplay entitled Being Steve Martin, but Charlie Kaufman beat me to that entrée. Besides being alive on the planet simultaneously, you and I have much in common; and I’m not just referring to our love of chutneys. No, Mr. Martin (May I call you Steve?). Thank you. No Steve, besides the fact that we have both “hung out” with Edie Brickell’s husband Paul Simon (You at his house, and me at a concert he performed recently with Sting for which I had the privilege to pay $250 to “hang out” with him. I presume you paid nothing for the same privilege), our worlds have occasionally intersected. For example, my sister and I hung out with you at the Syracuse War Memorial in 1977 back when you were getting paid to be funny on purpose. Lots of other people showed up too so I doubt you noticed me. There is even a picture of the event in your book “Born Standing Up.” That’s me unseen in the background. Just like it is right now. If you stop reading this and look out into space, that’s me right there; only you can’t quite see me. Not yet anyway. Certainly this is nothing for you to worry about. Especially since we’re only in the early stages of our friendship.

As Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has so eloquently written, there will be 5 stages to our relationship. Right now you’re in the first stage – Denial. This will change as our relationship blossoms. Relationship is perhaps too strong a word. Ours is more a satisfying bonhomie based on mutual admiration. The admiration I feel for you based on your career and the admiration you’ll develop for me based on my taxidermy. Don’t you think it could happen? Oh, don’t think Steve. I would never want to tax you. I might charge you a user fee, but I would never call it a tax. Some might even call it hush money to make your little problem go away. But that’s the funny part Steve. I’m not little. I stand 6’4” and I sit even taller. Who doesn’t “transform” these days? Heck, who doesn’t put things in “quotation marks” these days?

Steve (and thank you for letting me call you Steve), I must be going now. I need to check in with my probation officer (Officer? Hardly! He doesn’t even have a uniform, but he does have the keys to my ankle bracelet and is overseeing my transition from “quotation marks” to parenthetic statements.). I do fervently hope someone in your purview can get this SOS to you so you may act on it accordingly – at least according to me. Please remember, my veiled threats will be of no use unless you actually receive them. By the way, fervently hoping is the only kind of hope I do. Others may passionately wish or hope with prodigious avidity, but not me. Nope. I fervently wish and when I’m being watched by grammarians I wish fervently. As Paul’s chum Sting so aptly said the other night when we were hanging out: “I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle.” And that someone is you Steve – a Martin so eminently endowed with Steveness it could only be called Steve Martin.

Truth be told, the person I would most like to be trapped on a deserted island with is you. I would of course provide you with food and adequate sunblock protection. But should UV protection run in short supply expect me to hover over you like a human shield against the sun’s damaging rays. I would do that for you as long as I could find a nice shady spot. I hope (fervently) this can be all arranged.

Meanwhile I’m not asking for much, just an acknowledgement. And I know how long it took for you to get back to Judd Apatow so I’m not encouraged by your punctuality. In any event, 37 years between visits is just too long, don’t you think? No, don’t think Steve – too taxing. I would never ask you to do anything I wouldn’t ask of myself. Under separate cover I will enclose a comprehensive list of things I ask myself that you’ll be expected to do. See you in my dreams. Or vice versa. I’ll be the one photo-bombing at the Louvre. Bye for now Steve.


Still Prefering Claude Van Damme to Steven Segal Even Though it’s of Very Little Consequence,

David Hardiman


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