- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 30, 2009

It sounds like a case of good news/bad news for Susan Boyle, the 40something Scottish spinster who sang her way to a second-place finish in a televised British talent show this year.

The good news is that movie producers want to make a film about her life and her overnight stardom.

The bad news is they want Robin Williams to play her.

I kid you not. Robin Williams.

If Susan Boyle is having a crying fit right about now, who could blame her?

It’s not that she’s a woman and he’s man. It’s that she’s a woman and he’s Robin Williams.

There are grown men who would have a crying fit if they were told that Robin Williams was going to play them in the movie version of their lives.

Remember “Patch Adams,” the clown doctor?

Robin Williams played him in the movie, and it’s no coincidence that nobody’s heard squat from Patch Adams since.

That’s because he’s a sad clown now — and nobody wants to be examined by a sad clown.

It’s creepy. And scary.

And creepy.

And that’s Robin Williams.

Remember “Hook?” He made Peter Pan look like an escaped mental patient in green tights and a codpiece. And I’m not entirely sure he was wearing a codpiece.

Oh sure, he’s won an Oscar.

He’s even played a woman before — and a Scottish one at that. He was “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the elderly Scottish nanny.

A totally believable portrayal. (“Don’t worry, honey. I got Robin Williams to watch the kids. And he’s in a dress, so everything’s cool. … … What do you mean you want a divorce?”)

You know, Susan Boyle’s “appeal” is that she sings well but is not very attractive physically. Robin Williams can play that, except the singing well part.

Susan Boyle is kinda frail emotionally. She even had a bit of a meltdown after losing the talent contest.

I hope they broke the news to her about the Robin Williams movie thing gently.

And with a dash of Valium.

•••


Whoever said there’s nothing new under the sun hadn’t heard of acai berries. I know I hadn’t. I’ve heard of a lot of different berries — blueberry, blackberry, elderberry, gooseberry, Halle Berry, mulberry, raspberry.

But not the acai berry.

Apparently, acai berries are some sort of miracle fruit. There are all kinds of commercials on the radio and TV about them.

They’re so new that people haven’t agreed on how to pronounce “acai.”

They’re called “ah SIGH” berries in some commercials; in others they are “ah sigh EE” berries.

In one commercial, the announcer tried to pronounce “acai” and sounded like he was coughing up a hair ball.

According to the commercials, the acai berry is an antioxidant that keeps “free radicals” from moving around in your body.

Hence, the hair ball.

•••


One of the few good things about getting older is that I don’t get carded at my neighborhood liquor store anymore.

I think it’s because the cashiers there know me — or else they think that if I look this bad at 20, I must really need a beer.

The cashiers are a friendly bunch, usually laughing and talking about something they’d seen on TV. It probably keeps them from calculating the frequency of liquor store robberies during an economic downturn.

So I laughed with them as a new cashier — one I hadn’t met before — questioned me like Sgt. Joe Friday in “Dragnet.”

Cashier: Do you know what “NCIS” is?

Me: It’s a CBS show. The Navy version of “CSI.”

Cashier: How do you know that?

Me: I get around a lot.

Cashier: Why are you dressed up?

Me: I like getting dressed.

Cashier: What do you do?

Me: I work at a newspaper.

Cashier: What newspaper?

Me: The Washington Times.

Cashier: What do you do there?

Me: I write a humor column.

Cashier: Daily?

Me: Weekly.

Cashier: What do you write about?

Me: Whatever weird thing that crosses my mind.

Cashier: What are you going to write about this week?

Me: This conversation.

She gave me my change, handed me my beer and let me leave.

I almost wish I’d been carded.

•••


There’s a report out that the appendix is good for something after all.

Scientists have long thought the appendix is merely a leftover remnant from our ancestors.

But Duke University researchers have found it stores bacteria for repopulating the stomach after diarrhea or vomiting. It also helps make white blood cells, according to a report at LiveScience.com.

The appendix just doesn’t get much use these days because clean drinking water and sewer systems have cut down on intestinal troubles.

So the appendix could come in handy if you’re watching “Big Brother.” Good to know.

It sounds like the appendix is underemployed and needs a new job. Either that or it needs to be included in the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

Like wisdom teeth, the appendix is ranked low in the black market for body parts, but this news could be just the thing to move it up the list. Right now, it ranks just above “tonsils” and just below “foreskin.”

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes .com — but only if you’re not Patch Adams.

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