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Thu, Dec 18, 2014

WOODY: Some people just don’t see the humor in humor

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I was taken to task recently by a peeved reader for daring to suggest that Cher -- like many self-absorbed, snobby, snooty, smug, clueless, out-of-touch, air-headed Hollywood celebrities -- probably couldn’t order a Big Mac at a drive-thru.

The reader claimed to know Cher personally, and insisted that she is perfectly capable of ordering not only a Big Mac, but also a side order of fries and a Dr. Pepper.

She can also change the oil in her pickup, operate a chainsaw, run a bush-hog, unclog a septic tank, skin and fry a possum, neuter a bull and shoot rats at the city dump with her .22 rifle.

(To be honest, I’m not sure all if ALL of these are among Cher’s talents, but figured I’d toss them in just to be on the safe side.)

I’ve always thought that the best way to deal with life’s follies, foibles, fakes, flakes and frauds was through humor. But I suppose humor -- like an over-turned truckload of bat guano on the interstate during rush hour -- is in the eye of the beholder.

Someone -- Groucho, or maybe Queen Elizabeth -- said life’s a punch-line, and there’s always someone who doesn’t get it.

The point I was trying to make is that Cher and her fellow Hollywood glitterati shouldn’t gripe about being pestered by celebrity photographers -- paparazzi -- because it comes with the turf. If you drive a garbage truck, flies are going to buzz around you. Get used to it.

Celebrities can’t expect to be fawned over when it’s convenient, then be treated like, well, you and me, the rest of the time.

I’ve never known any Hollywood celebrities personally, but I’ve been around a few. I once covered a heavyweight fight between Mohammad Ali and Leon Spinks in New Orleans, and got shoved aside by Lorene Greene’s entourage as he made his way to ringside. I yelled, “Hey, watch it Pa Cartwright,” but he ignored me.

I bumped into Pamela Anderson (or maybe it was Faye Dunaway) at a Super Bowl party and she mistook me for a waiter until she realized I wasn’t dressed well enough.

But the reader is right: I don’t know any of these Rich & Beautiful People personally, so I shouldn’t judge them by their face-lifts and nose-jobs.

I wasn’t picking on Cher; she was simply a convenient example because of her super-celebrity status. When someone is known by just their first name -- like Cher, Elvis and Lassie -- you know they’re on the A list.

I’ve always admired Cher’s talent, and never understood why Sonny got top billing. Why weren’t they known as “Cher & Sonny” instead of the other way around?

Their “I’ve got you, Babe” was a big hit in 1965 and I’m sure she has sung some other great songs since then. I’ve been a tad out of touch with rock & roll ever since the juke box at the bowling alley went on the fritz.

I Googled Cher and found that she is “recognized for having brought a sense of female autonomy and self-actualization to the entertainment industry, and is known for her distinctive contralto.”

Anyone with a distinctive contralto is OK in my book.

So I trust we’ve cleared up any misunderstanding, and next time I see Cher at Burger King, her Whopper’s on me.

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