I started out on eBay, window-shopping for vintage starburst clocks. Something distracted me, and somehow I wound up at some movie site or other. Among the many actors' names on the monitor, my eyes caught the name "Dennis Fimple."
Dennis Fimple? Geez, what a name! And an actor? Really? Uh, maybe he played a hotel desk clerk in some shitty soft porn movie. Or maybe in the third grade he played the lead in "George Washingon's Gold Button." Whatever this guy did, though, I was pretty sure he could have done a lot better if he'd had the good sense to change his name. Maybe at least I would have heard of him.
Yes, I mused. There ought to be some good blog fodder here. Something touching and sweet, about how everyone is uniquely important and special, even this poor nobody. Maybe I could even make people cry. Yeah, Dennis Fimple was mine. I alone was kind and wise enough to see his value.
So I googled him, and then I felt like an idiot.
This is Dennis Fimple: a talented character actor whom I recognized immediately. Thoroughly successful, thank you very much. He was in a shitload of TV shows and movies.
What is it the Big Book says about contempt prior to investigation?
I'm considered to be a "nice person." It's a trait I value highly in others, and one I'm willing to work for in myself. Most people smile when they see me coming, and I really like that. Besides, doing nice things for people feels, well, nice.
But this time, when I thought I was being nice, it was really just bloated patronization.
Dennis Fimple is three-dimensional. He worked in a Cheetos factory. He taught school, and he delivered newspapers. He had lots of stories about his experiences, he liked to read, and he was very much into antiques and collectibles. Oh -- and best of all, he was in Truck Stop Women, and I have the movie poster!
Dennis Fimple. A regular guy who seemed to fly under the radar.
I do believe I would have smiled when I saw him coming.