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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The legend of the immortal Joel Higgins

Hello faithful readers, and welcome to today's instalment of 'The Meandering Mind of Matt'.  I thought about what to talk about today and several topics came to mind. 
Was this about communism or fascism?
I can never make up my mind.
I thought briefly about dwelving into the fact political correctness is just away to eliminate words from the English language.  A tactic used in the novel 1984 known as double speak.  By eliminating words, you then give people less ability to express themselves, and eventually less ability to think for themselves.  However, I'm not in the mood to rant tonight, so sorry rant lovers!

I thought about going on about the concept of infinity, and what it truly means to have something go on forever.  How in an infinite subset there must in turn be an infinite amount of possibilities of combinations, which in turn means that we should have been killed by now by space aliens.

But no my friends, tonight I do not rant, or wax poetic about infinite probabilities and other mathematical geeky things.  Tonight I tell you a story...  A story of this man:

Joel Higgins
Suffice to say, many of you have no idea who on earth this is.  Some of my older peers may recognise this man as Edward Stratton III from the sitcom Silver Spoons.  The character he played was a lovable man child who owned a toy company and suffered from Peter Pan syndrome.  He never really wanted to grow up.  One day he found out he had a child, who in Military school had grown up considerably faster than he.  The sitcom focused on their adventures together.

Also, he drove a kick ass train around his living room.
What you don't know however, is that this man whose real name was Joel Higgins, may very well be immortal.  At the very least, he is one of four potential immortal people that walk the face of the earth to this day.

Plus, Demi Moore's boobies...
So there's that!
Please allow me to explain.  You see, when I was younger I watched this movie called The Seventh Sign.  In this movie, the main bad guy was a legendary person by the name of Cartaphilus.  Cartaphilus according to Christian legend struck Christ at the crucifixion and was cursed to wander the earth forever until revelation happened.  (The second coming of Christ).  So as the movie followed the book of Revelation pretty accurately, then if the Bible is to be believed, then Cartaphilus must still be wandering around somewhere on the earth.  As it happens it occurred to my good friend Rob and I that there was a pretty good chance that it might very well be Joel Higgins.  We realised this because it had become our ritual to watch Silver Spoons at lunch during high school, and whenever we saw Joel on the credits we both acknowledged him as the immortal Joel Higgins.  It all made sense.

Behold the immortal 4
Now, having said that, there were also 3 others that we had acknowledged may be immortal.  The first was Elvis.  I mean, the guy kept getting seen at K-Marts, and on park benches.  No way that guy was dying.  Mel Ott, the famous shortstop for the New York Giants.  He had obvious faked his death in 1958 after a hall of fame career.  Rob and I knew the truth, he lived at the end of Rob's street, and constantly had heart attacks that could never kill him.  We were sure of it.  Rounding out the 4 was Lester Elsary.  He was our grade 10 history teacher, one of the most hilariously abusive and sarcastic teacher I ever had.  Also he was rather brilliant in the field of history, and possibly my favourite teacher of all time.  A perfect cover for a man who was well over 2000 years old!  I'm pretty sure that our legend was built around the biblical Cartaphilus, and the plot of the highlander as I'm sure we talked of their legendary combat against one another, and each was sworn to kill the others on sight!  In the end, the fellow we thought was Mel Ott actually did die.  Elvis lives on.  Mr. Eslary went on to teach at other schools, and now, unless the Internet lies, makes historical models.  But Joel...  Joel is a completely different enigma.

That's right, I'm immortal bitches!
Rob and I went on a rampage trying to one up each other to find Joel Higgins memorabilia in the days before the Internet was mainstream.  I bought CD's with the Silver Spoons theme song on it.  Rob researched and found that Joel had co-written a play called 'The Fields of Ambrosia' which ran for 23 nights in London before it closed.  He had ordered a copy of the CD, and played it proudly.  (Joel actually did a lot of Broadway, and had quite the set up pipes!)  I named my pet turtle Joel Higgins, and then ordered the VHS movie "First Affair" which Joel Higgins played the starring role.   (This was before people ever really bought movies, so it was quite expensive, but well worth the look on Rob's face.)  Rob and my other friend Chris, who was begrudgingly in on the joke sang the Silver Spoons theme song as part of the best man speech at my wedding making me laugh uncontrollably, and the rest of the audience look at each other uncomfortably.  It was glorious!

A must have for anyones library.
That's when the Internet stepped things up a notch...  We both agreed that the winner would be the one who could actually get Joel Higgins to visit us.  (Spoiler alert, nobody has won so far but we are talking immortality here, so we have some time to settle the score!)  What I did do is manage to find a Silver Spoons forum where people openly talked about their love for the 80's sitcom.  I having researched the episodes was able to speak with some level of authority on it.   I spouted my opinions, glorified Joel, and slammed down others who sought to say that Rick Schroeder was the true star of the show.  Oh sure, Ricky was a cute little kid and all, but Joel was f***'n immortal!  I met on the forum a lady by the name of Judith Moose.  Judith was uncommonly knowledgeable about Joel personally.  She was writing a book on Silver Spoons, and spoke as if she spoke for him.  I often wonder how she knew him.  (I've recently found the she founded the JM Media Group and Signing Stars Publishing.)  In December 2003, she published her first book, "Together: A Sitcom Lover's Guide To Silver Spoons".  She introduced me to Joel's Official fan page to which I was the first one to post on his guest book.  I gushed about how awesome he was, and how immortal he was, and how I spent my life looking for him on there, in a way that only a deranged lunatic could.  Then in December of 2001 the ultimate thing happened...  I'm pretty sure I have Judith A. Moose to thank for it.  I received an email from Joel Higgins himself wishing me a Merry Christmas and thanking me for the kind words on his fan site.  Now it is quite possible that it was Rob playing a prank on me, but I choose to think the immortal one actually acknowledged my existence.
I will never die!

I never wrote him back which was kind of an idiot move on my part.  Life moves too fast, and I had other things to worry about, and Joel got moved to the back burner of my life.  (Who am I kidding, I got a girlfriend, and sex became way more important than chasing down the immortals.)  I never got a chance to thank Joel for the letter, or the awesome times and laughs in my life that he unknowingly created.  I never got a chance to thank Judith for actually creating that thrill for me.  I found her on facebook recently, and have attempted to add her as a friend, but I doubt she'll remember me.  So i decided to write this blog to hopefully spread the word, and who knows.  Maybe one of them will see it and know that they are appreciated.

Cheers Joel and Judith!