I still get several e-mails a month asking for updates on my former lover, that influential pop culture extremity we simply call Thing.
You may remember this talented hand for his groundbreaking work as the silent-but-friendly dismembered guest-greeter and confidante of The Addams Family, a role that catapulted him to superstardom in the mid 1960s, and paved the way for more prominent handjobs in feature films worldwide.
Thing enjoyed an unrivaled 30-year career in over 4,000 television adverts (most notably as spokeshand for Coca-Cola, Palmolive, Country Crock margarine, Band-Aid and Isotoner) , but by the time I met him through my manicurist a few years ago, he was a washed-up hands-been.
Still, I couldn't help but fall for his disarmingly polite charm and strong, silent machismo. He was energetic, snappy, well-groomed, and pointed my life in a new direction. His magic fingers made him one of the most thrilling lovers I've ever known. He got along handily with all my friends, he was always thoughtful about lighting my cigars and fetching my mail, and as you can see from these file photos, Thing was the life of every party:
But alas, our feverish love did not last. You see, Thing lived entirely in the past, eventually boring me (and everyone around him) with stories of his glory days. He wouldn't shut up about that time he arm-wrestled Grandmama for her life savings, or that time he snuck into bed with Gomez and Morticia for a delightful round of Three-Hand Poke'r. I couldn't stand it anymore, and suggested he pursue his dream of living the good life under a tropical sun. Without me.
At first, he was really angry. He flipped me the bird several times and told me to pull his finger. Thinking all his dreams were out of reach, he fisted his way through several more dead-end handjobs, until finally earning enough to move to the Caribbean. We lost touch and I hadn't heard from Thing since.
But all that changed today -- I just received this photo by e-mail!
I'm pleased to report that Thing is enjoying a sunny and active retirement in St. Lucia, hanging out with the rich & famous like Beyoncé (pictured here accepting a lit cigar from Thing), and finally surrounded by others who, like him, never tire of telling tales of their own glorious past. Just look at that beautiful tan! I gotta hand it to him, he looks fabulous!
I only remember the good times now, and I wish him all the very best.
For as long as I live, I will never forget the real Thing.