Saturday, May 23, 2009

People Say I Look Like…

Earlier this week, within the walls of the Unnamed Defense Contractor, one of our rumpled managers descended from the mountaintop in search of my co-worker (and cube neighbor), Austin. Unfortunately, Austin was out of the office, so this manager turned his attention towards me. More specifically, his bifocals were fixed on a picture of me (wearing sunglasses, an A's visor and "retro" Reggie Jackson caricature t-shirt) and my son.

Manager: "Do you golf?"
Me: "I'm the only person in San Diego who's never touched a golf club."

Manager: [Looking back at picture] "Y'know, I really admire him. All that money from Nike and Cadillac…he just seems so humble and genuine."
Me: "…"

It took a few seconds for it to sink in, before I realized this guy thought the picture of me was actually…Tiger Woods. This manager rambled on about Woods for awhile longer before leaving. Naturally, I didn't bother to correct him.

That was the first time anyone had linked my looks – intentionally or not – to Woods, which kind of surprises me. How long has he been Tiger Woods? Since 1996? Maybe '97? I got TWO Barack Obama comps from separate co-workers within a week of each other last summer.

Now, in this PC era, I have to tiptoe through this next sentence or two. Let's just say it's never other African-Americans who are making these awkward, almost always inaccurate comparisons. I never hear 'em from Hispanics, Asians, Samoans, American Indians, Indian Indians or any other non-white ethnicity, either. So, umm…yeah.

But, don't get me wrong, white folk…it's great dinner conversation for us. While we were still dating, someone told Mrs. Bootleg she looked like this former child actress. Of course, she doesn't – hell, if anything, Williams' forehead is much more comparable to mine – but, we threw it on the pile and shared a laugh about it later.

Here now are actual "You know who you look like?" comparisons I've received over the years:

Warren G.: Sigh…15 years ago, I wouldn't have had to explain who the hell this is. You'll have to trust me when I say he was "kind of a big deal". Anyways, I got this one a lot while I was still living in Long Beach. Tell you the truth…in a certain light, I could kind of see this. I'm a little lighter (natch), but we've both got that "less than Afrocentric" nose thing going with almond-shaped eyes that are too goddam far apart.

Kevin Johnson: I think we can all agree that KJ is not an attractive man. So, what made this one hurt even worse was the fact that I've been hit with this comparison TWICE. I mean…he's hideous. I don't see it in the face, but I'll concede that he and I share the same "space alien" head: long and narrow down to our pointy chins, while the back of our domes grotesquely balloon out.

That Black guy on Walker, Texas Ranger: True story: I was at the airport for a business trip to Atlanta. An older gentleman walks right up to me and says I look like "That Black guy on Texas Ranger". I'd heard of the show, but never seen it. And, if you know me, my brain mistakenly defaulted to "That Black Guy on [the] Texas Rangers [baseball team]". I pretended I knew who he was talking about ("Well, I wish I was making HIS money! Hahaha!") and spent a week trying to figure which brutha on the '01 Rangers he was referring to. Darren Oliver? Pat Mahomes?


SHough610 said...

I think it's *older* white people who make this kind of mistake. Or white people who didn't have *any* black friends.

I'm always sort of uncomfortable telling a black person they look like a celebrity. I guess it's that damn liberal guilt. I don't do it to anyone unless they really do look like a celebrity.

Tiger Woods? Barack Obama? Have the people you worked with actually seen those guys?

That Bootleg Guy said...

Oh, it's all in good fun, Sam - I love my Negro-ignorant co-workers.

Besides, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the WORST ever comp came from an African-American bartender (I know!) about ten years ago.

"Anyone tell you you look like Jay-Z?"

that mexican guy said...

I call bullshit, Cam. The only known black bartender in American history is that midget in the "Never Gonna Give You Up" video.

CrazyCanuck said...

Still say the only proper comparison is Mace Windu. Could be a lot worse.

Vig said...

Hey AJC, I've still never seen you and Arsenio Hall in the same room together. I'm just sayin'... :)

I'm surprised you didn't mention the fact that, on numerous occasions, you've been compared to Rickey Henderson. I KNOW you don't mind that one...

that mexican guy said...

The Arsenio comparison wouldn't have lasted so long if Aaron had let go of the flattop haircut before 2004.

Also, Aaron uses the "I'm Rickey Henderson" line in several local bars and strip clubs. I've been there with him. I've seen it.

Tom said...

Well, you saved me from the awkward question as to why your and Mrs. Bootleg's pictures are so prevalent on the Internet.

SHough610 said...

Mex, what about Isaac on Love Boat?

I actually got "Kevin James" from a dude once. Where the hell did THAT come from?

That Bootleg Guy said...

My kid got a Mace Windu toy for Xmas a few years back. It was lighter than me (and, obviously, a LOT lighter than Sam Jackson). The toy - with its skinny, poseable arms and legs - did look a little like me.

Also, I loved how "nerd" Urkel was totally rocking decent little biceps. As if glasses and hiked-up pants could hide the fact that in real life he could kick our asses.

And, Mex...dude, how COULD you forget Issac? You're older than me!

daedalus said...

my mom did once comment that "That Black guy on Texas Ranger" reminded her of you. (not, mind, that he looks like you.)

and i thought we established that it was will smith? except for the money and looks. or does memory serves me incorrectly and it was just the lighting at edison field?

80s Nickas said...

You like Mike Tyson and Eddie Murphy.