This column begins a one-off that has nothing to do with the actual topic. I apologize. I also confess this anecdote concerns a movie that nobody remembers. I apologize. Unfortunately, this is the kind of stuff you have to get used to during my boring pandemic-life. I apologize. For the stuff, that is, not for the pandemic.

Last night, someone did something I just can’t stand. The TV got turned on, apparently just for background noise, tuned to some random show on some random channel. All attention was on iPads and iPhones; maybe 2/13ths of the room’s attention was on the TV. At first. Eventually, the random show on the random channel got more and more of my attention, until by gosh, I was paying 13/13ths of my attention to it!

Next thing I know, 105 minutes had gone by, and I’d spent it watching a 20-year-old movie called “Coyote Ugly”! I’m hoping a little mild scolding will assure this doesn’t happen again. I’m only faintly confident though, since the person who needs scolding is me.

Anyway, before we get to the column, one tidbit about “Coyote Ugly”: An online review of the film mentioned that “Coyote” was the flick that launched actress Piper Perabo to stardom. The review continued, “Prior to getting the film's lead role, Perabo's biggest role was a supporting turn in the live-action ‘The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle,’ which would have provided a bigger boost to her career had anybody bothered to see it.”

This made me laugh in a way that turned my entire head into a yellow sphere with > and < for eyes, and two droplets of water each half the size of my head shedding from the corners of my ><s!! I mean, think about it — isn’t that one of the two primary reasons that wannabe stars don’t lop the “wannabe” off?! Nobody sees their work! Or hears it, if, say, you’re a musician! Or reads it, if, say, you’re a hidden gem of a goofy-humor writer toiling in underserved obscurity until some filthy rich publisher “discovers” you and forces millions upon millions of dollars on you to produce wildly successful best-selling book collections of your columns, leading to licensing and merchandising deals that elevate your Q rating way above that of Michael Jordan!

Of course, there’s the other reason “I wannabe” doesn’t transform to “I am!” – the wannabe has no discernible talent.

Curiously, in “Coyote Ugly,” Piper Perabo’s character really wants to be a musical star, and for the sake of the storyline, she is presented as having discernible talent. What prevents her from breaking through is, well, her, her own self! You see, she refuses to perform and reveal her talents! — she has utterly debilitating stage fright! So naturally, she wanders around the city looking for gigs that require getting on stage, getting them, and then not showing up! Not exactly the path to fame and glory.

One last thing about this movie: There’s a scene toward the end, where something happens that’s really good for Piper’s burgeoning career (I can’t explain it, because I had regressed to about 6/13ths interest by then, and don’t know what happened) — she’s at the saloon where she’d worked while seeking her big break, and she climbs atop the bar and sings a song with the real-life talented and popular singer Leann Rimes. Leann’s role is a toughie — she plays a talented and popular singer named Leann Rimes. That is, she plays her own self.

But I later read on the internet that all of the songs in the entire movie purportedly demonstrating Piper Perabo’s great voice actually feature vocals dubbed by ..... Leann Rimes. So, on that bar top, Leann is singing a duet with her own self. Which is kind of dangerous, right? — this could lead one to ask one too many existential questions and turn one’s head into a yellow sphere with small x’s for eyes and a small o for a mouth!

Well, that’s about it for Coyote Ugly. Now for the main topic I want to week! Oy vay, ain’t my head a yellow sphere with bulging eyes and heavy blush on the cheeks?! Well, hope you read 13/13ths of this. And enjoyed at least 5/13ths of it!

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