The photo that Marisa sent me features a nude David Hasselhoff reclining with wrinkly Shar-pei puppies. One puppy sits between the Hasselhoff legs and, presumably, atop the Hasselhoff balls. Its paw rests on Hasselhoff chest fluff. The other puppy, the luckier and less-molested puppy, is on the ground, cradled by the Hasselhoff hand.
I tried to upload this photo to Ronckytonk at least 15 times and it simply would not comply, which I think is a powerful statement in and of itself. I don't think the universe wants people to see the photo. Too bad all it made me want to do was BEAT THE UNIVERSE. I was able to locate the photo elsewhere, but only in three separate pieces: Hasselhoff head and torso, Hasselhoff legs, and Hasselhoff feet.
There are two distinct times in my life when I've paid attention to David Hasselhoff.
Once was when I was nine years old and befriended by a 13-year-old up the street who had a thing for Hasselhoff. I wanted to be like her since she was so old so I immediately developed a Hasselhoff crush and the same crushy symptoms she exhibited: watching Knight Rider and reading Teen Beat magazine.
My condition peaked when I sent Hoff a letter telling him that my favorite vacation spot was also Florence, Italy. This excruciating and escalating behavior ended the day the girl got mad at me, called me a baby, said the F-word, and WHACKED ME ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD. I walked home crying, told my mom, and we both agreed that she wasn't a good person to be friends with.
The other time was about six months ago when Marisa enlisted my help in a plot to anonymously decorate twenty-four bunks on two tour buses with this photo and caption: "Forever in your dreams! Love, David Hasselhoff".
Marisa got the photo from a Hasselhoff calendar and we flipped through the months when none of the bunk victims were around. Her favorite month was January, whereas I found it most difficult not to pee my pants over May. We thought Hasselhoff made a fine verb and practiced saying indignantly, "Dude! Did you Hasselhoff our bus?!" in order to deflect any blame that might rightfully head our way.
As for our assuming that "Hasselhoff" was being underutilized as mere proper noun, I discovered today how very wrong, how very, very wrong we were. We were WRONG. I found more Hasselhoff websites while searching for that goddamn shar-pei photo than I ever dreamed existed. A part of me feels dirty for even writing this entry because in some way I may be encouraging Hoff mania.
People partake in the Hoff Project interactive Hoffpedia, find Hoffalikes and Hoffalaneous information, and on sites from the ground zero of Hasselhoff's musical fan base - Germany - they "schicke David eine Mittellung" or send David a message. I'm willing to bet that Hoff's vacation spot is no longer Florence, Italy. It is Munich. In fact, I read that Hasselhoff said he doesn't mind that Americans make fun of his popularity in Germany and says he feels it is his second homeland.
"Many Americans joke about my popularity in Germany. But they have no idea how beautiful Europe is and how rich it is in culture and fun and warmth and children. In Germany children have brought me thousands of flowers."
Somehow I think that Hoff missed the point there.
I was getting more and more uncomfortable researching Hasselhoff and not just because I was doing so in public. I was learning too much. I started to feel that my beating the universe was like disrespecting an elder who had only wanted to protect me, who didn't want me to have to learn a lesson that could be painful.