Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

Have you heard this one?
"Maybe if we have a baby, the marriage will get better."
So lemme get this straight. You're takin' a couple of people who are arguing every day about how much money to should spend on a pair of high heels, or whether the orange juice is fresh, and you're betting that all you need to inject into that relationship is a seven-pound doo-doo machine that will soon grow into a furniture-chewing air raid siren.

This is gonna save your gol'durn marriage?
Or how about this one?
"Even if me and Darrell don't stay together, the baby will give me somebody to grow old with."

Aren't we puttin' a lot of pressure on the fetus here?
Aren't we announcin' to the little developing blob that, "Hey, guy, as soon as you pop out of there, we've got some work for you to do here?"

You might as well start the kid in therapy at age two. 'Cause at age 42, he's gonna be sittin' in some New York psychiatrist's office, saying, "I love my mother. I really do. She was just always so...I don't know...she wanted things from me."

Then what happens when little junior turns 14, gets his nose pierced, comes home from school with a switchblade and says, "Where's my father? I wanna live with him!"

Of course, I guess if the original theory is correct, you can go in the back room where he's rattlin' the newspaper and pickin' lint off his socks and say, "Hey, Darrell, he wants you now! I knew this would keep the marriage together."

But somehow I think Darrell's gonna be in Vegas living with somebody named Jennifer, and Jennifer is not gonna be happy when Junior drives up on his Harley.

Hey! Here's an idea! Let's have babies when we feel good about our marriages.

Let's have babies so that they can go live another life, away from us.
Naw, I guess that's too old-fashioned, isn't it? This is the '90s, right?
Last week, The New York Times had an article about women with AIDS having babies so they would feel better before they die.

Even though the baby's got a 20 percent chance of coming down with AIDS, too.

Listen to me, people: Go get therapy from a grown-up.
All these one-year-old psychiatrists are giving out lousy advice.
You know what I'm saying here?

If you can't figure it out, tie those tubes, honey. Join a religious cult that doesn't believe in sex. Take a mambo class. Watch some self-help infomercials. Just don't take it out on the fetus, OK?

I'm surprised I have to tell you this.
Speaking of babies that are born into a "Twilight Zone" episode, this week's flick is the Playboy Celebrity Centerfold video of...Patti Davis.

This video is, quite simply, one of the most amazing documents of American pop culture since Doris Wishman's classic transsexual documentary, Let Me Die A Woman.

It opens with Ronald Reagan's 41-year-old bundle of joy running through a tropical jungle in a cavegirl bikini as she says, "I feel like I've spent most of my life running away from who I am."

Then she leaps off a 40-foot cliff into a pool at the foot of a waterfall, coming up full-frontal nekkid as she lounges on rocks and touches herself.

Patti is making a political statement here. Patti lets us know that she's making a statement about freedom of expression, feminism, fantasy life, childhood, kickboxing, S&M, and the importance of small-breasted women over the age of 40 being accepted as the wonderful Playboy sex objects they could be more often if society would just give 'em a chance.

Go, girl, go.
I love this woman. Most of the video is Patti's fantasies, like the time she was a topless dancer in a totalitarian state who had to be rescued by an independent young woman who looks exactly like her (Patti in a dual role).

We also see Patti's fantasy of "the human body as a piece of sculpture," wherein a guy chisels a marble sculpture of her while two nekkid bodybuilders put their hands all over her while opera music plays and she does a sexy dance with chiffon veils.

Next we learn of Patti's weakness for "guys in undershirts and tattered jeans who end up being your downfall"--a preference that is somehow related to her memories of body-surfing with her father as a child.

"Water has always been a very healing thing for me," she says, right before a hunk walks out of the surf and starts kissing every inch of her hula-skirted bod.

But that's not all. There's a kickboxing sequence in which she works out on the heavy bag and dances nekkid in the ring to a blues-rock tune.

There's a truly weird sci-fi fantasy where she dresses like a hooker, dials up the perfect man and the perfect woman on her computer, then waits for them to appear in a cloud of dry ice, tie her to the bed, and basically make her into a sandwich.

But the strangest of all, for me, is when she tells a story about asking Daddy whether it's true that every time a star falls it means an angel dies.

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