We’ve got Bieber fever.
It started innocently enough, this affliction. Truthfully, I can’t sing or even hum a single Justin Bieber song, but there exist any number of photographs of Justin helping me apply my eyeliner and probably one too many of him straightening my hair. This past summer my daughter and a few of her friends decided to roam around town with a life-sized Justin Bieber cut-out, which had formerly enjoyed a home in my daughter’s bedroom and once in a while, as noted above, my bedroom. On several occasions he even made guest appearances, as teen singing sensations are wont to do, in my kitchen, where Justin enjoyed helping with the culinary delight that my family likes to call Mexican lasagna. So, yeah. We had a slight case of Bieber Fever.
Apparently we weren’t the only ones who would succumb to his charms. The problem with fevers is that they are, all too often, contagious. On a recent, lazy summer day, many of the local businesses allowed the girls (and Justin) unprecedented access to their facilities, including my restaurant. No one, it seems, was immune to the requests of several at-large enthusiastic (and mighty cute) 16-year-olds looking for photo ops to put on their blogs.
As a result, we have pictures of Cardboard Justin (as I like to think of him) pumping gas, scooping ice cream, selling insurance, opening bank accounts, cutting hair, flipping pancakes, and pouring beer (okay, I actually poured the beer). By the end of the afternoon, a little battered and slightly worse for the wear, but still intact, the girls decided that they and Cardboard Justin could use a little rest and relaxation. Who wouldn’t after the kind of day they’d had? So, off to the municipal pool they all went.
Dragons may live forever, but not so Cardboard Justins. Swimming and sunning are not activities that Cardboard Justins should be made to participate in. Sure, he dried out, but he’s never been the same. He is, quite literally, a shadow of his former self. Seeing him so faded and tattered gives me pause. It makes me think about the usual career and personal trajectories of real-life teen idols.
He needs to be replaced. So, as a surprise for Fangette, I ordered a new one from Amazon.com. I had it sent to a friend’s house. A friend who earlier this week turned fifty-four, by the way. When I called to tell her to be on the lookout for my package, she asked me if she could open it and have her picture taken with it. How could I refuse? It’s kind of nice to know that no one is too old to catch Bieber Fever.