Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Superman F**khead

Many years ago, there was a great, but flawed man who was in charge of the lighting at the Lake Worth Playhouse named Bob Foster. Bob taught me the fundamentals of what it is to be a theatre technician: how to focus lights; how to use a crescent wrench; how to climb a ladder well past the 'do not stand on or above this rung' level; and how to swear like a sailor. I was an impressionable 16 year old who had never said anything stronger than hell in front of an adult, and one day while hanging by my ankles twenty feet over the house of the Playhouse trying to focus a recalcitrant leko I uttered the dreaded word 'shit'. Mortified, I immediately apologized to Foster. His response, the exact wording is lost to the fog of memory, was something along the line of 'stop worrying about language and get that fucking light focussed.' Thus began my indoctrination into the world of swearing. Foster taught me well, and I have honed the practice to an art.

So why am I telling you this? Excellent question. A couple of years later we, my friends and I, were at a cast party at Foster's house. He had one of the earliest personal computers, one of the kind that probably used either cassete tapes or 10" floppies, and on it was a very basic(by today's standards) space battle game. The game asked for a player's name, and there were no profanity filters on these games, so I chose the name Superman Fuckhead. I giggled stupidly every time the game said something like, "You have entered hyperspace, Superman Fuckhead."

So why am I telling you this? Excellent question. My wife and I are about to play a video game where we can both play together...something we have not been able to do as of yet. And I was pondering what to name my character. It is nearly impossible for me to give a game character a 'straight' name. There is almost always some inside joke, or vulgar reference, and I was pondering where that started, and the name Superman Fuckhead leaped into my brain. There is, actually, one other person who will read this and remember that night, and Foster, fondly. Foster was far more troubled than any of us 'kids' knew, and he took his own life a few years later, but I'll never forget the things he taught me, or Superman Fuckhead.

Any comments, D?



Anonymous said...

You left out the part of who was holding your ankles when you almost fell through the coffin box on the ceiling of the LWP while focusing that gel lamp. I have not recalled that cast party for a long time.
The computer games, in black and white btw, I remember but had totally forgotten about Superman
Fuckhead. Thanks for the trot down memory lane. Occasionally i get the urge to get involved with community theater. But I know it wouldn't be the same, and the urge passes.

Btw, when are yall coming down for a visit again?


Monkey said...

So, are you someone's Bob now?

Marius said...

I hadn't really thought of it that way, but yeah, I guess I am. Although I doubt I will ever reach the pinnacles of depravity and vulgarity of Foster...and if I want to stay in education I suppose that's a good thing.

Marius said...

Yeah, D, I know what you mean(and thanks for the ankle spotting). I actually worked at the Playhouse as their TD for one show after I graduated the first time. It was the most miserable time of my life. At the end of that show the Artistic Director and I agreed that I would be happier somewhere else. As for when we'll be coming to see you, I'm working on it. Soon, hopefully. :-)