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A Charlie Bielinski Pop-Ed: The Universe Is Speaking Through Me, and It Wants to Talk About Eddie Murphy

If I have any kind of precognitive powers, that means Eddie Murphy is about to do something very big.

Allow me to explain.

On three separate occasions, I have crossed paths with Murphy in the past week. No, not physically, as that would be impossible given that I have been freezing all week in the frigid northeast and Murphy is probably in Beverly Hills (according to several celebrity sighting sites). There are no in-development projects listed for him on IMDb, so there must be a big announcement coming. Why else would I be seeing him so much this week?

The first encounter began with a trip to the other side of the man cave to look for a long-lost computer mouse because of a lack of batteries for the wireless version. While searching through boxes, I glanced up and saw a shirtless Murphy staring at me with a red flower in his hair. Thankfully he wasn't in my basement. That would have been very weird. Instead, I was looking at the cover of his debut album. Immediately, I remembered begging for that album after watching him on Saturday Night Live. I loved Mr. Robinson, Buckwheat, Gumby and Tyrone Green. I watched James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub and Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra sing Ebony and Ivory live (on SNL) and not on tape. My mother wouldn't allow the album in our home, but my father, always my accomplice in such matters, bought it for me and kept our secret. I believe he participated in this clandestine operation because he also enjoyed listening to the album. I don't remember ever catching him in the act, but all the Redd Foxx albums he owned showed me the man appreciated a good comic. Even though I had memorized every single joke, I continued to play that record as often as I could.

Beverly Hills Cop was released a little over a year after I bought that album, and that was my first experience seeing a film with an R rating. And this film is the answer to a question I was asked last week about my first R-rated movie. My mother, again being the destroyer of all things fun, forbid me from seeing the film when it was released. I, of course, was not going to allow that minor little detail to stop me. My father again became my co-conspirator, this time in Operation Movie Switch. After months of pleading with my mother to let me see Beverly Hills Cop and my father agreeing with her publicly that I couldn't go, the opportunity finally came to implement our carefully planned mission thanks to Matthew Broderick. Ladyhawke was released on April 12, 1985, which was two weeks before my birthday. It was perfect timing, because when April 28 came, my father explained to my mother that he would be taking my best friend, Joe, and I to see Ladyhawke as one of one my birthday gifts. After we left the house and my dad said "don’t ever speak of this" (sorry, Dad), we drove to the theater and bought our tickets to Beverly Hills Cop. Finally, after months of the movie being in theaters, I was able to experience Murphy on the big screen in all his constantly cursing glory. Two years later, I had to fake extreme gratitude when, while with my parents at their friend's house, we all watched the movie on VHS.

The third time this week Murphy came back into my life involves my daughter wanting to see a movie with her friend. Being that she is 11 years old, she is not allowed to go to movies alone with friends. She typically overcomes the obstacle of her father being at the theater with her by sitting as far away from me after I have provided the service of driving them to the movie theater. This allows her to be alone, and that isn’t ever an issue for her (or me for that matter). This time, however, she was going with her friend's family and leaving me at home. Sometime before this happened, though, there was a miscommunication, and it seemed like they were attempting to go by themselves, and my wife asked me when I first went to the movies without an adult presence.

The answer to that question is The Golden Child.

I was sleeping over at my friend Scott's house, and his father dropped us off at the theater for the last showing of the evening. The plan was that he would drop us off and return about two hours later to pick us up. We watched Murphy save the world and walked outside in the freezing cold to wait for Scott's dad to arrive back at the theater. I don't remember exactly how long we waited, but it was frigid in December (a quick Internet search shows that the temperature that day was between 30 and 37 degrees) and both of us are in agreement that after about an hour of freezing, his father arrived to pick us up. Somehow Mr. Storti was convinced, and convinced us as well, that this was entirely our fault. I'm certain now, being about the age he was at the time, that he fell asleep on the couch waiting to get back in his car and make the trip to retrieve us from our first solo movie experience. In a time before cellphones, this was a very plausible scenario, of course. We couldn't call him when he didn’t show up, because the theater had closed, so we had no choice but to wait and hope we hadn't been forgotten.

It's almost thirty years later, and we haven’t seen Murphy on screen in almost two years. I haven't even channel surfed past any of his movies lately. Robert Langdon doesn't trust in coincidence and neither do I. The universe is speaking through me, and it is saying Eddie Murphy is due for a big announcement. I, for one, can't wait to hear what it is going to be.
A Charlie Bielinski Pop-Ed: The Universe Is Speaking Through Me, and It Wants to Talk About Eddie Murphy Reviewed by Charlie Bielinski on 11/25/2013 Rating: 5

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