Did you ever see “Comedy Central Presents Dane Cook” at the turn of the century? The one where he wishes he could be a snake, so he could unhinge his jaw and eat a whole turkey?
“Every time I see snakes on TV, I’m like, ‘Ahhhhh, why not me?'” He pounds his chest for emphasis. “They have the venom….. That’s what I want; I want the venom. I see them on TV, I’m like, ‘I want venom.'”
Boys and girls are different. I never saw a snake I didn’t want dead, and I never wanted the venom. Of all the things to aspire to on the television, snakes were never on the list. Ever since I watched that snake hypnotize Mowgli in “Jungle Book,” I knew they were bad news. Didn’t Dane read Genesis? Snakes led to the downfall of civilization. Snakes are evil incarnate!
But evil is all around. Many a young girl in the late 1970s struggled with sin and temptation. Who can count how many pre-adolescent Catholic girls streamed out of confessionals after admitting to breaking the tenth commandment? No, they weren’t coveting their neighbor’s donkeys. They were coveting the position of cruise director. They wanted to be Julie McCoy.
Peppy clipboard-carrying Lauren Tewes stood out as the lone female among “The Love Boat’s” male ensemble. She had that flatchested ballerina body that we all desired, before silicone boobs were en vogue (although, in retrospect, that may have been due more to cocaine than diet and exercise). She was my snake; I saw her and pointed, “Ahhhhh, why not me?”
Why not me sailing the high seas, chatting it up with Isaac and Gopher? Why not me welcoming Charo and Barbie Benton aboard the Pacific Princess? Why not me with Dorothy Hamill hair, being cut in half by Arnold Horshack in a magic show? Why not me on my high horse, condescendingly asking Meredith Baxter Birney why in heaven she would pose nude as a centerfold? Me wearing a pirate patch with Buddy, my former flame, gazing deeply into my good eye with wanton abandonment?
Snakes don’t go globetrotting to Acapulco. Snakes don’t sunbathe on the Lido Deck. Snakes don’t dance in sequined tops under a disco ball. But Julie McCoy does. Venom schmenom.