Let Me Tell You About the Time I Didn’t have Sex with Janeane Garofalo.May 11th, 2009
by Simon Smithson
I’m not exactly sure when I first learned who Janeane Garofalo was. It may well have been when I went to see The Truth About Cats and Dogs on an ill-advised high school date. I’ve heard reports that Janeane Garofalo hates that movie. For the record, so do I. How my date at the time felt about it, I’m not sure. But it was five years until I saw that girl again, and it was by accident, so I’m guessing it’s not in her desert island DVD collection either.
But when it came to Janeane Garofalo herself, I was infatuated. Whether it was a role in Seinfeld, Mystery Men, Mr. Show, Cop Land… I had (or, more accurately, have) a celebrity crush that started in my teen years and has well and truly stood the test of time. My feelings for Kim Deal, forged in the burning alternative rock crucible of the first time I saw the clip to Cannonball, may have come and gone, but my love for Janeane Garofalo is eternal.
Years after the car-crash of a teenaged romantic interlude that was The Truth About Cats and Dogs¸ I was waiting in the IMAX lobby to see another movie, Watchmen, which contained much less romance but substantially more gigantic blue penis. I was with my brother and some friends, one of whom, Jaymz, is the editor of Beat, a street press music magazine in Melbourne (and another, Mel, who is a former editor of the same publication and who will play a pivotal role in the second half of this story). Conversation turned to the upcoming (and now finished) 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, at which Janeane Garofalo would be performing, and making her debut appearance in Australia.
‘Ha,’ I said, as I like to do. ‘I should write a letter for Beat inviting Janeane Garofalo to sleep with me.’
Jaymz finished his drink and didn’t blink an eye.
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘You should.’
And so in the next issue of Beat, such a letter appeared. You can read it in its entirety here.
It took approximately no time at all after Jaymz’s agreement for my mental clockwork to spin into gear and set me on track to visualising a bright, bright future where I was having athletic sex with Janeane Garofalo in her hotel room after she’d been seduced by my entirely public declaration of love. I experienced approximately a millisecond of doubt after I saw the letter in print for the first time, and then I thought to myself ‘Come on, man. Who are you trying to fool? There’s no way that this can possibly not work.’
My plan was basically as such, and used all the goal-setting methodologies I’ve been such a fan of since I read Getting Things Done:
Step 1. Janeane Garofalo reads Beat, laughs, wonders if it’s getting warmer in the funky (but not arrogantly hip) independent cafe I assume she would have gravitated to automatically, calls the Beat offices, and gets my contact details.
Step 2. I have a romantic date with Janeane Garofalo, where I put the lessons that I learned from The Truth About Cats and Dogs into effect.
Step 3. I have sex with Janeane Garofalo.
Step 4. I write the crassest blog of all time.
Step 5. Janeane Garofalo is not amused.
Step 6. A publishing contract somehow eventuates, and I become very wealthy.
After a few days had gone past and Janeane Garofalo hadn’t called, I began to have very slight doubts. Until I caught up with Mel for coffee and she gave me a present. A present of a comedy festival ticket stub bearing the words ‘Dear Simon. I can’t wait to read your letter. Love, Janeane Garofalo.’
After I’d calmed down, which took some time, Mel explained that she had been to see Garofalo’s stand-up the night before and she and some friends had run into the woman herself after the show. One of Mel’s friends has a friend in common with Janeane Garofalo (Henry Rollins, to be precise), and so Mel had seized the opportunity to tell Garofalo about my love, admiration, and burning desire to sleep with her. As proof of the encounter, Janeane Garofalo had written me a message on Mel’s ticket stub.
That was Sunday. And on Monday night, I got the call. Jaymz rang me to say that yes, Janeane Garofalo had called the Beat offices. She had read the letter. She was flattered. She didn’t have a computer with her, so she didn’t get my email address. She had not asked for my phone number.
The best course of action therefore, we decided, was for me to write another letter. There wasn’t time for me to reach deadline, so Jaymz threw together a quick editorial, giving me another week to write and rewrite this.
And that’s when things got a little out of hand.
A copy of the first letter was forwarded to Henry Rollins, who described Janeane Garofalo as ‘a good egg,’ (one of the high points of this whole experience was the fact that I have never before envisioned Henry Rollins using the phrase ‘good egg’ in my life). The Age, one of Melbourne’s major newspapers, picked up on the story. A couple of back page editorials were written, one of which was syndicated in another state, thus making my attempts to sleep with a visiting celebrity nothing less than national news.
Awesome, I thought. I’ll cross Janeane Garofalo off the list, and then it’s straight on to Gillian Anderson. Damn, the Secret works like a charm!
And then Janeane Garofalo never called back.
The moral of the story, to me, is not that I tried. The moral of the story is not that one of my comedy idols actually read some of my material (and so did Henry Rollins, which is actually pretty cool). No. The moral of the story is this:
Janeane Garofalo will break your heart, and leave you sobbing. She’ll disappear into the night like cobwebs in a thunderstorm, and I don’t care. If she comes back to Australia, I’m buying advertising space.