how johnny depp ruined my summer

My office is a mess. My new office is a mess. I haven’t really moved in yet, but it should take another couple of hours, so I’m spending a little time here to cut in between the organizing and discarding…

Last night Eric and I were watching The Simpsons. It was the episode where Bart, Millhouse and Ralph all pitch in together to buy a first edition comic book, and they can’t agree on where it should be kept and end up becoming film noir enemies.

Eric asked me, “Have you ever bought anything with a friend?”

I’m sure that my sister and I pooled together cash to get something that we never really agreed on who owned it more. You know, we’d cut it in half. I remember that sometimes we’d cut the house in half and decide who had what.

“Well, I’ve got Mom on my side of the house.”

“Well, I have the cats on my side of the house.”

“Their food is on my side, so they are more on my side of the house.”

“Okay, but I have the fridge, so you will starve on your side of the house.”

“No, because I have the phone, so I can order pizza from my side of the house.”

“Not without the front door, you can’t. And that’s on my side of the house. Order all the pizza you want, I’m hungry anyway.”

“Well, Dad’s wallet is on my side of the house.”

And so on.

What did come flashing back into memory was when I was in high school… the end of the freshman year. I had made friends at my new school with some serious New Kids on the Block fans. I’m talking die hard fans. They won contests to meet them and such. Well, my friend Amber was a complete freak about it and had decorated her room in New Kids. I don’t think you can fully imagine what I’m trying to describe here. Every single space in her room was covered in Teen Beat/ Tiger Beat photos of the New Kids. Group shots, individual… the light switch was a picture of Donny Walburg and his crotch was over the switch, so when you would turn on the light, Donnie would be very happy to see you. She had an 18×18 tapestry over her bed. Her closet walls were covered. But I guess she wanted to start a photo album as well.

So she had an idea…

We were sitting around the lunch table when she brought it up. “You know, there’s these ads you can put in the back of the Tiger Beat so that you can trade pictures with anyone around the world. You tell them what you want, and you give them what they want in return. Since we have so many magazines with all these pictures that we don’t want, we could go into a photo trading business.”

“I hate the New Kids,” I said.

“Yes, but you love Johnny Depp,” her sly smile replied. “And I know that most people would trade, like, five Johnny Depps for a Chad Allen.”

Her point was good.

“I don’t have any of those Tiger Beats,” I said.

“No, but you have Rolling Stone. So you get all the Sting and Beastie Boys and Aerosmiths–”

“Eww,” my friend Amy said. “Who likes Aerosmith?”

“Joe Perry is cute,” I mumbled very quietly.

And we were in business.

Crazy for the Kids. Looking for Pictures
of New Kids on the Block and Johnny Depp.
Have extensive collection to trade. Send requests to…

Amber put the ad in… oh, I don’t know, every teen magazine in existence, and in about two weeks we started getting letters.

Maybe I should mention just how extensive our collection was. We were very meticulous. We had a file system of all the pictures, arranged alphabetically of pictures and articles of every celebrity you could think of. We tore through our magazine collections to create this database of skin. We made an inventory of how many of each person. We had over three hundred photos and articles. We were ready.

Or so we thought.

The letters were simple at first:

“I have six New Kids photos and one Johnny Depp
that I can send to you if you send me six Balthazar Getty’s.
Please reply as soon as possible, and I will send you all I have.”

Six Bathazar Getty’s? That’s a pretty tall order. I noticed that this girl had not sent a self-addressed stamped envelope. I went back through our ad… no mention of a SASE. I was livid. “Amber, how can you not ask people to send that? Do you know how many stamps we are going to need?”

“I’m sure they know to do it, most of these girls have done this before. Hand me that Mariah Carey.”

So we had a form letter that we would send out to our interested parties. We had them check off what they wanted, send the NKOTB and/or Depp with their requests, and in a week or so, their order would be filled.

Simple, right?


Amber went on vacation.

Her parents took her to Maine or something for about a month. And the business was left in my hands.

“Don’t sweat it. Just send this, then send what they want when they come back. I’ve started putting your address on everything, and just check my mail every day for the new ones.”

About a week later I was sitting in my bedroom looking at sixty-five requests for different celebrities. I was surrounded in hand-written pages of lust and greed. My fingers were covered in paper cuts. I was also looking at 200 pictures of the New Kids and six Johnny Depp photos. Three of which were the Sassy poster that they sent out on a promotional campaign to every girl that ever bought a magazine, which I had, and had a subscription to Sassy, so I already had that poster on my ceiling.

I realized that I was not only in over my head, I wasn’t getting anything in return. I needed money. More importantly, I needed stamps.

“I am not buying you another book of stamps,” my mother said. “You’ve already spent over thirty dollars in stamps.”

She didn’t even know the half of it. I had spent fifty myself, and Amber had spent another sixty what with stamps and envelopes and paper.

My mother was furious that I was left with all of this work and Amber was getting all of the rewards with none of the work. Now I admire her business skills. She knew how to train and flee. I’m sure she’s a successful Ally McBeal right now.

I spent that summer telling girls that we were out of Jason Priestly and we never had any Metallica. If only this was all done by phone.

Wait, scratch that. Long distance bills.

If only Johnny Depp was as popular as the New Kids. Amber made out like a bandit, and had enough photos at the end of the year for three scrapbooks. I had two Johnny Depp articles, one amazing picture of him sitting cross-legged smoking a cigarette, where you could see the tattoo of his mother’s name, one great poster of him in a white t-shirt staring at me with those “I love only you” eyes, and ten copies of the Sassy poster.

It was a nice poster though.

And I still have the one of him in the white t-shirt… somewhere. (I’ll never tell.)

Would you believe the requests were still coming in two months later? We had pretty much given it up then, and Amber and I weren’t even really talking anymore, because we had all made new friends. But I still think about that when I see the New Kids, and how much I worked to keep Joe, Jon, Donnie, Jordan and Monkey Boy in business.

A little lesson in what girls will do for their love. Oh, Johnny Depp, do you not see what I’ve sacrificed for you?

sidenote: there’s a website where you can plug in two names and it gives you a calculation of how much you rate on the love calculator… Johnny and I are at 98%. He doesn’t have to do hardly anything to make our relationship work. Just call every once in a while. Send me a card on my birthday. Our love knows no bounds. He doesn’t even have to call…. just knowing that he thinks of me occasionally is enough.

I realize that I just followed up yesterday’s entry about how much I love Eric with today’s entry on my sloppy drool for Johnny Depp. I am aware of how shallow and terrible that sounds. But with a 98% love rating, I’m sure Johnny understands my need to see other people who love me and treat me well and give me the support and sexual satisfaction that Johnny cannot provide since he is often on the road filming and such. Plus I don’t weigh, like, seven pounds, like most of the girls that he dates… so I’m fine with him pining away for me, knowing that I am truly happy with someone else. It must rip his heart out.

Tattoo this, boy.

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