Today, I'm testing a theory.
You see, I've seen -- as many of us have, over the years -- the 'Thirty Facts' lists written about some of our toughest action stars. They're one of the very few common email forwards that are actually worth reading, if you ask me.
(Well, those and the 'Microsoft will pay a dollar per email', because remember when we all got rich off of that, right? Remember? Back then? Money for emails? Yeah? Huh?
Fricking Bill Gates. He always was a damned welcher.)
Anyway, you've probably seen these lists. Still, a 'regular' blogger might just blat them out, cut-'n'-pasted, and call it a post. I don't know how those people sleep at night, frankly.
Because what I'm going to do is this: first, I'm going to provide links to a few of these lists, in case you need a taste of what they offer. The 'rules of engagement', if you will. Those links are right here:
Then, I'm going to test my theory, which is this: I posit that the rough, tough, rugged action heroes mentioned above do not have these lists made because they're rough, tough, and rugged. Rather, I assert that the actors in question become rough, tough and rugged because someone starts a list suggesting that they already are. I say it's all about positive reinforcement -- or karma, or coincidence, or having nothing else to write about today. Probably that last one.
So, to check my hypothesis, I'm going to make a list. Thirty facts long, just like the others. But I'm not making my list about Chuck Norris, or Mr. T. Instead, I'm making my list about someone who doesn't have that badass reputation, or those rippling muscles or explosive ninja skills. Yet.
But he will, just as soon as this list hits the 'net. That's my theory, anyway. And just to make sure it's all the list's doing, I've chosen a target as far away from 'badass' as I could think of. I picked Doogie Howser, M.D. That's right -- Neil Patrick Harris, the next ass-kicking, babe-swooning, invincible, unstoppable, fully posable superstar action hero around.
Don't believe me? Well, of course you don't now. But just wait until you get through this list. Yeah.
#1. You cannot look at Neil Patrick Harris directly, or you'll go blind. Neil Patrick Harris is only safely viewed using a series of dull mirrors and a 3x5 index card with a pinhole poked in the middle.
#2. Neil Patrick Harris can knock down a solid brick wall using only one finger. You would be wise to disable your doorbell, should Neil Patrick Harris ever come to visit.
#3. Neil Patrick Harris doesn't put his pants on one leg at a time like everyone else. Neil Patrick Harris' pants put themselves on, if they know what's good for them.
#4. Neil Patrick Harris walks on water -- just to make sure water knows its place. Neil Patrick Harris isn't about to take any shit from the likes of water.
#5. Hollywood starlets don't go to tanning salons any more. They rub on industrial-grade sunscreen and stand naked in front of Neil Patrick Harris. But not for more than three minutes per side, or they spontaneously combust.
#6. Neil Patrick Harris sweats Snapple.
#7. When a tree falls in the forest and no one's around, you know who hears it? Neil Patrick Harris, that's who.
#8. Dogs were domesticated and taught to serve man over ten thousand years ago. By Neil Patrick Harris.
#9. Everything Jeeves knows, Jeeves learned from Neil Patrick Harris.
#10. If you mix sodium with water, the sodium explosively combusts. If you mix sodium with Neil Patrick Harris, the sodium cries like a little girl.
#11. Neil Patrick Harris can fold a single sheet of paper in half exactly fourteen times.
#12. Eeyore used to be manic and happy like Tigger. Then one day, Neil Patrick Harris told Eeyore to 'calm the fuck down or I'll hurt you'. Now Eeyore sleeps with one eye open.
#13. Neil Patrick Harris sees you when you're sleeping. Neil Patrick Harris sees when you're awake. And Neil Patrick Harris knows if you've been bad or good, but no one is as good as Neil Patrick Harris.
#14. Many years ago, two 'u's got on Neil Patrick Harris' nerves. Neil Patrick Harris bashed their heads together, and they stuck that way. That's why we have the 'w' today.
#15. Neil Patrick Harris once hit a man so hard that he travelled backwards through time and impaled his own father.
#16. Neil Patrick Harris can turn a lump of coal into a diamond just by staring it down. Once, Neil Patrick Harris did the same thing to a guy who accidentally bumped him on the street. So watch where you're going.
#17. When Neil Patrick Harris talks, people listen. Or Neil Patrick Harris kills them and eats their tender, delicious organs.
#18. Neil Patrick Harris skydives without a parachute. Not even the Earth has enough balls to smack Neil Patrick Harris.
#19. The 'c' in Einstein's 'E = mc2' equation originally stood for Neil Patrick Harris. But Einstein realized no human mind could fully grasp Neil Patrick Harris to the power of two, so he dumbed it down to something easier to understand, like the speed of light.
#20. If Neil Patrick Harris were a fish, he'd be a dolphin, and when people would say to him, 'Dolphins aren't really fish.' dolphin Neil Patrick Harris would kill them with his bare flippers. Because that's how dolphin Neil Patrick Harris rolls.
#21. To prepare for his role in 'Starship Troopers', Neil Patrick Harris became the admiral of a fleet of spaceships and conquered an entire race of alien insects. Then he slept with Denise Richards. Twice.
#22. Neil Patrick Harris lifted himself to fame by his own petard. Neil Patrick Harris does lots of cool things with his petard. You probably don't even have one.
#23. If you help Neil Patrick Harris in some way, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So you'll have that going for you.
#24. Neil Patrick Harris built Stonehenge. By himself. And the pyramids of Egypt. Don't fuck with him, or Neil Patrick Harris will knock them down, too.
#25. Pi is exactly whatever the fuck Neil Patrick Harris wants pi to be.
#26. A rabbi, a priest, and a Muslim walked into a bar, and Neil Patrick Harris killed them all with a single punch. Neil Patrick Harris is a culturally tolerant man, but hack joke setups really piss him off.
#27. On the first day, God made Neil Patrick Harris. Then Neil Patrick Harris did all the hard work, while God lay around on his ass all week. Neil Patrick Harris never gets the credit Neil Patrick Harris deserves.
#28. Neil Patrick Harris has never bothered to set the clock on his VCR. Neil Patrick Harris simply walks up to the VCR and demands, 'What's the time, bitch?!' when he wants to know.
#29. The 'bright light' that people see when they have a near-death experience is really Neil Patrick Harris. Holding a flashlight.
#30. Atlantis didn't just disappear. Neil Patrick Harris visited an 'all you can eat' buffet in Atlantis, and ate the entire city. No one yet has dared to send Neil Patrick Harris the check.
(Though I may have missed the mark slightly with the Denise Richards thing. Still -- acting! Anything's possible.)
And if you think it worked out for Neil Patrick Harris, you should see what it's done for Alton Brown.
(Aside to NPH: You're welcome! You owe me a soda. Just please -- don't ring the doorbell, eh?)