April 21, 2004

On Being a Failed Evil Genius

I had a lot of time to think last evening, between driving the dog back into Raleigh for a vet visit, getting her shot full of fluids and antibiotics and anti-nausea drugs and sanitizing (in no particular order) the house, The Boy, the dog, the bathroom, the kennel, the carpet, and myself, and I came to a realization:

I will never be an evil genius.

I'm kinda bummed out by that. Evil geniuses tend to be provocative (in that "person you love to hate" way), and nowadays they also tend to be rich. It's that second part that really bums me out, particularly since I'm suddenly in the mood to recarpet my home.

You may be wondering two things at this point: One, what is the definition of an evil genius, and two, why, BAW, oh why are you a failure at it? Let me answer those questions in order.

An evil genius isn't just some guy who has a tank full of sharks with lasers on their heads. Oh, no. Those folks might be evil, and they might be geniuses on some level, but in the end they always get taken out by some bumbling dude in a leisure suit. Nope, the true evil geniuses of the world are a tad more mundane in their methods and appearance, but have two things in common: a lot of vitriol, and the ability to turn it into cash. Let me give you a couple of examples--Michael Moore and Ann Coulter. No one political affiliation has the lock on evil genius, and neither does any one career. If you're a successful evil genius, you will be despised by approximately one half of the population but you won't care, because the other half will buy all your stuff and love you for "sticking it to the (pick one: man, liberal media, hegemony of the day)." I would gladly be hated by half the population if the other half gave me cash, because I'd then have enough money to make sure that the half that hated me stayed on the appropriate side of the shark-filled (head lasers optional) moat.

So why am I a failed evil genius? I don't lack in vitriol, that's for sure. I do, however, lack the cash flow that can come from channeling one's rage, and that lack can be summed up in one word: dimples.

I have dimples when I smile. They're symmetrical dimples, too, evenly spaced and just below the apple of each cheek. I have cute, rounded, dimpled cheeks, and even now people tend to pinch them. I'm 35 freaking years old, and people still pinch my cheeks. As you may imagine, being pinchable severely hampers one's ability to be taken seriously as an evil genius. Let's recap: Ann Coulter? No dimples, and she has an action figure, for crying out loud! Michael Moore? No dimples. Even my hero, Florence King, lacks the stupid little marks of Venus.

First impressions are everything, you know. I can see it now: I break into big media with an opportunity to yell at O'Reilly and attempt a sardonic evil grin and: DIMPLES! Dammit! So all the folks at home are like, "How evil can she be? She looks like Shirley Temple with those things!" and my evil genius street cred (and subsequent cash flow) is ruined. The flip side of that is that while I may be too dimply to be taken seriously as evil, the fact that I'm always griping prevents me from being America's Sweetheart--another cash cow, or so I've heard.

So here I am, stuck in the middle, dimpled and enraged. My dreams of new carpeting and a shark-filled moat are just that: dreams. Broken dreams, smashed against the unyielding reality of dimples.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at April 21, 2004 09:20 AM

Flo King may not have dimples but could definitely sympathize. She wrote a heartbreaking piece in one of her books (With Charity Toward None?) about only wanting to be left alone in her youth, when she bore an old-lady-melting resemblance to the loathsome, treacly child starlet Margaret Sullavan. Created a stir among old biddies ("oohhhh arent you just the SWEETEST thaing!!!") everywhere she went. pfeh.


Posted by: perletwo at April 21, 2004 09:35 AM

oh, I bet Michael Moore has dimples, it's just they're not on his face.

then again, the kind of dimples he has wouldn't inspire cheek-pinching Shirley Temple like adoration.

Posted by: ricki at April 21, 2004 03:04 PM

That was your best so far.
Now, if you're going to pick evil about Bill Gates?...Both sides of the aisle hate him, and both sides pay him for the privilege of using his software (mostly) to denounce him.

Posted by: ks at April 21, 2004 07:18 PM

Personally, I was always taken with your dimples. But don't despair. Perhaps you can excel as a Howard Hughes evil genius, casting your wicked pall over the earth from a darkened office suite. Or you could go for the Wizard of Oz evil genius, and work your magic from behind a big velvet curtain. And there's always the Tokyo Rose approach.

Buck up, little evil camper. There's still hope!

Posted by: Tony at April 21, 2004 11:14 PM

I'm not going to lie - I never noticed you had dimples. But I know your cash flow is not near enough to create an Evil Genius Empire.

Posted by: Belle at April 22, 2004 07:26 PM

I can relate, BAW. My downfall is routinely being called cherubic, even at 40.

Posted by: Brad at April 23, 2004 11:20 AM