I never thought that I, a shy and moderately winsome high school boy, would be writing you, but I guess that just show you how wacky life can get. Little did I know when I set out with my three buddies on that fateful weekend trip to Tijuana that we would find ourselves knee-deep in prostitutes, border police, fireworks, angry Marines, and Spanish flies, and all before the first 24 hours had passed. It was all in this movie, Losin’ It, and man, did we ever – I don’t think I have to explain what I mean to you hep cats.
Anyway, Tom Cruise – that guy in Risky Business – he played me, and my best friend, a really weird looking kid, was played by Jackie Earle Haley, who was that short one in Breaking Away. So we took his ’57 Chevy down to TJ to get a tuck ‘n roll (whatever that is). But before we even got there, we stopped at this grocery store to rip off some Fritos and stuff and picked up this woman (Shelley Long) who was really cute and funny and wanted to get a divorce and so she went to Tijuana with us.
TJ is this really boss place. It looks like this movie I saw once called Touch of Evil, except that there are more people now. Also color. So anyway, we weren’t in town more than five minutes when this mean Mexican policeman (Henry Darrow) started hassling us. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. That night we went to a bar where some women took us upstairs. We gave them ten dollars (I think the peso has been devalued or something) in the hopes that we would soon be “losin’ it.” But I got spooked or I don’t know what, but I couldn’t go through with it. (The lady I got was like 30, at least.) So I cut out of there and felt really blue. But then I ran into Shelley Long, who had just filed her divorce papers. So then I felt better, ’cause I really liked her. She must have thought I was moderately winsome, because we wound up going to a motel, and she showed me the ropes, if you catch my drift. So you see, this story has a happy ending, because I really did wind up “losin’ it” after all.
But poor Jackie Earle Haley and his little brother Wimp got into trouble when they bought some Spanish flies (they really exist! I’m not kidding!), and tried to slip one to a comely Mexican lass. Man, when her brother found out, he was unhappy. But the worst thing was, our other buddy got himself arrested when he got into a fight while he was hanging around the Blue Fox, waiting to see the donkey – and the arresting officer was that mean cop, who said he’d throw our buddy in the clink if we didn’t hand over the ’57 Chevy with the new tuck ‘n roll. Whoa! We got away okay, though – we threw some illegal fireworks into his police car, and junk like that – and even though Shelley Long went back to her husband (and, eventually, to an Emmy nomination for Cheers), I chalked it up as an eventful, successful weekend; like my Psych teacher would say, it was a learning experience.
But what I really want to know, and what we never found out from Losin’ It, is this: What is this donkey thing at the Blue Fox? I know it must be something really crazy, but what? I know there’s a movie called The Blue Fox, ’cause I read the ad in the P-I, and they even mentioned the donkey, but they didn’t say what it was! So is it real, or is it like the way you never find out what’s behind the Green Door? Please, if any of your readers know, let them tell me. If I don’t find out soon, I’m really gonna be losin’ it!
First published in The Informer, September 1983
Concept review. What can I say? In those days the “Letter to Penthouse” parody was reliable comedy gold. Funny thing is, the movie has some impressive credits; it was directed by L.A. Confidential maker Curtis Hanson, written by B.W.L. Norton, shot by Gil Taylor. I haven’t re-visited the film (some day, surely), but I remember it as not a bad movie, but just smutty. This must have been shot before Risky Business and thus is Cruise’s first lead role. For those of you outside the Pacific Northwest, the P-I was the second daily newspaper in Seattle, and if I’m remembering correctly, the joke here was that they printed the ads for X-rated movies, which the Seattle Times most assuredly did not do.