(Keanu Reeves will promise to watch your sandwich while you go snorkeling. Don’t trust him.)
Before I got paid to write poop and wiener jokes for a living, I too had to write soul-crushingly dry ad and journalism copy (stay in school, kids). So it’s easy for me to recognize how excited journalists can get when they get to enjoy even the faintest glimmer of creativity and word play. They usually overdo it, but what do you expect? They’re the writing equivalent of a submarine crew let loose in Thailand with three days shore leave, when the vanilla sex normal people enjoy goes out the window in favor of queef-powered vagina darts (seriously, look it up). Anyway that’s my introduction to Susan Bryan of the AP’s story on Val Kilmer’s dispute with his neighbors in New Mexico.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – No words were minced [*cough* passive voice! *cough, cough*] when the character Ed Bailey jumped out of his seat in one of the early scenes of “Tombstone” and told the slick gambler and gunslinger Doc Holliday — played by actor Val Kilmer — to scram after their poker game went sour.
“Take your money and get out ’cause I’m tired of listening to your mouth,” Bailey yelled.
Well, some of Kilmer’s real-life northern New Mexico neighbors share Bailey’s sentiments. They’re upset with him, saying he made disparaging comments about San Miguel County and for chasing away people fishing on the Pecos River at his ranch.
The bitter feelings that have been brewing over the last several years have reached a boiling point. But unlike Holliday, Kilmer won’t be able to settle this with a knife or a pair of six-shooters.
(*beep be-beep beep be-beep*) (*static noise*) THIS JUST IN: Susan Bryan has seen one Val Kilmer movie and that movie is Tombstone. She loves Tombstone references. They’re like meth to her, much like Val Kilmer’s character in Salton Sea. What’s that, you say? You want to know the actual story? (*sigh*) Fine.
The flap started when Kilmer’s Pecos River Ranch sought to open three guest houses to paying customers. The county zoning and planning commission approved the proposal 3-2 in March, but Rowe resident Abran Tapia appealed to the commission.
“He’s not a good neighbor. That’s all there is to it,” Tapia said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Tapia has never met Kilmer, but he proceeded to tick off a list of reasons why the actor is on the bottom of his list. Included were the disparaging comments Kilmer allegedly made in two magazine articles years ago and the “no trespassing” signs posted around Kilmer’s sprawling ranch, which includes a few choice miles of the Pecos River.
In October 2003, Rolling Stone published an article that quoted Kilmer as saying he lived in the “homicide capital of the Southwest” and 80 percent “of the people in my county are drunk.”
To make matters worse, Kilmer tried to explain for an Esquire writer two years later the emotional toll acting takes on an artist by talking about the soldiers who were shipped off to fight in Vietnam and how they were mentally unprepared for the horror of war. He ended up saying most of them were sent to the war because they were “borderline criminal or poor.”
Tapia was offended. He said his cousin and friend from school had fought and died in Vietnam.
Mira, ju offended my cousin, eh. Man, if I had a nickel for every time a Mexican dude said that to me, I’d probably have enough to pay his cousin not to beat me up again.
PS: You offended Tapia’s cousin? Tread lightly. If you bring Tapia’s tio into this, things could get mighty spicy. …Ow, shut up, I was already leaving.