So when Sir Mix-A-Lot decided to do a twenty-year anniversary remix of the 1992 hip hop classic “Baby Got Back,” he decided to accompany it with a remake of the video. The legendary rapper insisted that only the actors, dancers, and extras of the original video be hired to appear in the new one. Sure, if any of the original players were dead or physically or mentally incapacitated they would be replaced, but Mack Daddy wanted to keep things as original as possible.
Rick Peterson (casting director for the new video) and his assistants got on the horns, mailed letters, sent out emails. In about a month, they succeeded in getting ahold of nearly everyone from the old video, all of whom were enthusiastic to sign back on for the remake. Although it was more of a formality than anything else, Rick held auditions with each original performer at his Hollywood office, essentially just to make sure everyone was healthy enough to do the work. Because if it turned out, for example, that one of the original Big Butt girls’ rumps had grown so big that it now had to be wheeled around in a bariatric wheelchair, that could pose certain practical problems and justify use of a stand-in.
Luckily, every lady who was required to bend, gyrate, and jiggle her ass for the camera could still do so, even if their bending, gyrating, and jiggling was a little slower these days, a little harder on their lower backs. But any loss of youthful, sinuous movement on the part of these dancers was more than offset by the value of the extra poundage that twenty years had added to their rumps.
The only notable problem the casting team encountered during the whole roundup was in trying to locate “the white guy”: that nerdy white dude who briefly appeared in the original video precisely at the moment when Sir Mix-A-Lot uttered (to paraphrase and reword the lyric a bit), “Even white boys have to holla: baby got butt!” (thereby implying that every “white boy” is a socially awkward, yellow-haired, bespectacled, suited geek who, in a room full of big juicy female butts, wouldn’t know what to do with himself other than nervously fidget with his necktie).
Turns out this actor legally changed his name to “White Boy” back in 1993 and had been gigging on the national comedy club circuit ever since, dubbing his act “The White Boy from the ‘Baby Got Back’ video.” His act consisted of himself standing onstage—his geek glasses, monkey suit, and side-combed yellow hair all in place—while he fidgeted with his tie in front of a screen displaying a life-sized image of the Big Butt girls while the song played in the background. The guy didn’t tell any jokes. Never talked to the crowd. He just fidgeted with his tie and pulled a few jittery facial expressions. That was it. White Boy was frequently booed off the stage, yet somehow he still managed to eke out a meager living doing this—and had been doing so for nearly twenty years now!
Due to his itinerant life style, the man was difficult to track down. Last anyone heard, White Boy had performed for two nights at a club in Arkham, Massachusetts. When he’d checked out of his motel, White Boy had asked the front desk clerk for directions to the blasted heath, some sort of strange tourist attraction in the rural outskirts of Arkham. The clerk gave him the directions, but warned White Boy not to drive out to the place, that it was cursed. That had been over six months ago.
But just when Rick was about to give up on his search, just when he was about to hold auditions for the part, White Boy showed up in the doorway of his office. Apparently, the travelling performer had heard tell of the remake and wanted in.
“Um, Mr. Boy?” Rick nervously inquired as he sat at his desk, an assistant at each elbow. White Boy sat on the other side.
“Please, just call me White Boy.”
“We’re glad you came to us,” Rick said. “I thank you for that. But . . . oh, this is always so damn hard. I’m sorry, but we can’t give you the part.”
After a moment of silence, White Boy spoke, the indignation thick in his voice. “Now let me get this straight. You’re remaking ‘Baby Got Back.’ Sir Mix-A-Lot wants all the original players. I am the original nerdy white guy from the first video. So why in God’s name would you refuse me the part?”
“Well, White Boy, I don’t know if you’ve looked in a mirror recently, but you’re not white anymore. You’re . . . you’re the Colour Out of Space—a color of allegedly alien origin that defies any sort of description because it’s outside the visible spectrum of the human eye.”
“Call it what you want, Rick. I call it a skin condition that I contracted while motor touring the countryside outside of Arkham. And you know what else I’m gonna call? The Screen Actors Guild and have your ass nailed to the wall, buddy.”
“Sorry, White Boy. But both the script and the song lyric call for a “white boy,” and you just don’t fit the bill anymore. And frankly, you’re sort of freaking us out right now. You’ve left a trail of the Colour Out of Space on my carpet and ruined a very expensive leather chair. I’d like for you to leave now, sir. Please, or I’ll be forced to call security.”
White Boy rose abruptly, knocking that expensive chair on its side before whipping around and stomping off to the door. Before exiting the office and slamming the door behind him, he halted, turned his outlandish, indescribable, colorless-colorful head back toward the casting people.
“This certainly isn’t the last you’ll hear from me. Yo, y’all racist!”
Boys Got to Shout: Baby Got Back!"
Copyright: © 2011 Douglas Hackle
Clyde Baker recently remarked, “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Douglas Hackle.” Clyde Baker is the blind, homeless, illiterate crackhead who lives underneath Douglas’s dilapidated front porch--but hey, Clyde’s opinion counts too, damn it! Douglas reads and writes out of Northeast Ohio, where he lives with his wife and little boy. His short fiction has been published or accepted for publication in several online and print venues. Visit him at: http://douglashackle.wordpress.com