Friday, July 14, 2006

It's like being followed, only a little creepier

I don't know about you, but in my world, The Hoff (yes, one Avid-Day Assel-Hay Off-Hay) has come up at least once a day for the last week. How... odd. There's the chandelier/shaving/surgery incident. The (rumoured) Wimbledon incident. There's yet another horrific reality show which will never, ever see screen time on my television. There's the music videos and commercials, a few of which some kind soul has gathered together in one place. A few of those have made the rounds recently on some bulletin boards that I frequent.

Why have I noticed this, in particular, you might ask? What would possibly motivate me to post all of those links about, well, that guy? Memories, my friends. Memories.

My best friend in middle school was a Hoff fanatic. It was just... scary. Really terrifying. But I loved my friend. I was supportive. I bought her a Hoff button for her jacket once. It was a little freaky staying over at her house, with The Hoff staring down at me from the walls as I slept. Admittedly, I was one of the masses who watched Knight Rider with my family because, you know, the car was pretty cool. But Hoff fandom was, even then, beyond me.

One day, something in my friend snapped. She called me up, I went over to her house, and we slowly and methodically tore up all her Hoff pictures and poked each item into the open furnace. It was an exquisite moment. When we were done, I hugged her, and told her how proud I was of her. Later, her Mom made us pizza while we camped out in the basement and watched MTV all night.

It's the little things you remember.

When I spent some time in Germany in the 90s, I was horrified to see The Hoff in a number of shop windows. He had, God Help Me, albums. Plural. Apparently, The Hoff had quite the following. But I vowed never to find out why, at least, not voluntarily. A friend told me that Baywatch was quite popular, too. It mystified me, but I was already fighting enough culture shock, being away from home for the first time. I chalked it up to "One of those wierd German things," which is what all good exchange students do when they find a cultural phenomenon that they simply cannot grasp. People buy Hoff albums here. So be it. I collect albums recorded by current and former Star Trek cast members. Not because they are good music or that I listen to them regularly, mind you, but because they are occasionally hilarious. To each his own.

I put it out of my mind for a couple years after returning to North America. One night, during a bout of insomnia, I turned on the television. Baywatch was on. I grimaced, and hit the mute button while I dug around for the TV listings. Nothing was on. I got something to drink and sat back down to my stitching, forgetting to turn off the TV or change the channel. A little while later, I realized that I had been passively watching Baywatch for about 30 minutes with no sound. And here's the scary part, folks - I understood it completely. That's right, no sound was necessary in order to understand the show.

And then it occurred to me. Baywatch was the international language.

No wonder the world is so screwed up sometimes.

Someone pointed me to the reviews (all 1008!) of one of his (many) albums on Amazon. This is some funny, funny shit. Take, for example, this five-out-of-five review, or this one.

Did I say the world was screwed up? I take it back. Magic Eight Ball, what do you think?


MEB says, "The song 'Hot Shot City' is particularly good."

Well, who am I to argue with Magic Eight Ball?

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