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Bonding Rituals

Ian Fleming spins in his grave, and the Arizona Science Center has a hit on its hands.
Matthew Henry Hall

"I just got done burning all my clothes," explains The Barin, whose real name is Brian, but likes to go under the name Barin Darnew, probably just to piss off his parents, "so I could buy some new ones."

I look at my pal as we make our way toward the "Bond, James Bond" expo at the Arizona Science Center. We are both huge James Bond freaks, the only difference being I was born before the first film, and when The Barin rocked his way into the world, it was already the shitty Roger Moore era of lukewarm jokes and blow-dried hair. Anyway, he's wearing all black, as usual. And I'm in my punk rock utility vest with the U.S. pins.

"Looks like you are wearing the same stuff to me," I comment to The Barin, who's in the passenger seat, wearing his dark sunglasses and rock-star smile.

"It's different," says The Barin. His voice and outfit could resemble almost any James Bond supervillain except Osama bin Laden. He's the real thing. "I went to some stores and purchased all the same clothes."

"Huh?" I ask my world-dominating friend, who tells me that if he were to run the world, everything would be "roses and rabbits."

Fucking artists.

"I went out and purchased the same socks, same underwear, same tee shirts, same black button-up shirts and same black pants. Many pairs of them. This way, I never have to worry about what to wear," says The Dark Barin.

"You know," I point out, "most Bond supervillains always wear the same thing, too."

"Oh, yeah," he says, rubbing his supervillain chin, "they do."

"All you need is a white pussy with you all the time," I tell him.

"Tell me about it," he fires back.


Once we arrive at the Arizona Science Center and head inside, it's The Barin who first makes the comment about how the place would be the perfect location for any Bond supervillain. "It even looks like a villain's fortress," he says, staring at the industrial brown and gray walls. "This place could be the Death Star."

I remind my friend that today we are playing James Bond, not Star Wars. And that George Lucas sucked after his first three films. The Barin starts in about Stormtroopers and I tell him again that today it's all about James Bond.

Actually, the woman who takes our tickets is the first to point out that fact. After we fork over the dough for what I can only say is orgasmic bliss for a Bond freak like me, the chick behind the counter says, "Welcome to 'Bond, James Bond.'" I ask her if she is forced to say that, or if she's just being cool like The Barin and me. She explains it's her job. So I ask her what her favorite Bond film is, hoping like hell she doesn't say A View to a Kill, The Barin's favorite, because it's got Christopher Walken in it, and he's only in it because David Bowie turned down the role because the script stunk so badly.

"I haven't seen a Bond film in years," the woman replies.

I dispense with my "shaken, not stirred" line, and the one about getting something off her chest.

Amateurs.


Inside, we find the Jaguar XKR Roadster that Pierce Brosnan drove in Die Another Day. The flick that also featured Halle Berry. Both of those actors suck. Halle, more so. I mean, okay, Brosnan had the James Bond role locked up before Timothy Dalton, at least according to Alvin Ross, the guy who tours with the Bond expo. He explains to The Barin and me later in the day that Brosnan was rumored to fill Roger Moore's role as 007, but his Remington Steele contract got in the way.

But even with Brosnan's blow-dried hair and Bondish good looks, I still think he's second in bad Bonds next to Roger Moore, who only did three great Bond films: Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, and The Spy Who Loved Me. And I only mention the last film because I have such a hard-on for Barbara Bach, you'll never know. Those pouty Russian lips, those breathtaking breasts, that accent. Wow.

But then there's Halle Berry. She shows her boobies in Swordfish and I'm supposed to be impressed. As The Barin later points out, she ran over someone and didn't even stop. Celebrity jerk.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, so after seeing the Jaguar, which, The Barin says, "has a nice color and would be good in traffic" because of the mounted machine gun on the back, we walk around and find the alligator submarine for Octopussy and the jet with the folding wings from the same film. While it all looks very impressive, I have a problem with Octopussy and Maud Adams, and no matter how cool the props are, I think the movie sucks, so I don't care.

 

What I care about are the MI6 items. And pictures of the actors who played M in the Bond flicks. Of course, I like Bernard Lee, the original during the golden years of Sean Connery, but The Barin sort of digs Judi Dench.

Of course, I get all over his case about that. How could James Bond answer to a woman? What the fuck?

The Barin explains it adds a sort of underlying "sexual tension." I think about that. James Bond fucking some old English broad who would rather be doing Shakespeare anyway? No way. And look what happened in that Bond movie with Elektra King -- he gets between two women and becomes pussy-whipped. That's not James Bond to me. No, sir. James Bond controls the situations and plays everyone. They don't play him. That's why the only real actors I have liked as James Bond are Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton.

While we all know how great Connery is and was, no one seems to value Dalton. Having only been in two films, one being License to Kill, Dalton showed some real balls and some real he-man James Bondness. In License to Kill, he goes to South America and fights Robert Davi (a fine villain in many films), who is busy shipping cocaine around the world. James Bond, fighting the war on drugs -- now there you go!

Also, Dalton played Bond mean. Like Connery. He delivered his lines through clenched teeth, and seemed to honestly like killing people. That can't be said for Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan, blow-dried girly men that they are. Fuck 'em.

Even George Lazenby, in his one film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, did better. Then Connery wanted back in, and he got it.

Truth is, even Alvin Ross, the guy running the expo, agrees with me. (After I rant and rave in his face for about 10 minutes.) But yeah, it was Connery, then Dalton.


A while later, we find, among other things, M's office, which is quite a kick, especially with the black-and-red old-school phones on the desk. The Barin keeps picking them up and yelling, "Buy, buy, sell, sell," while poor onlookers react like he just escaped from the local loony bin. I think they call it Chandler?

Anyway, we also find the prop Walther PBK (which looks like a water pistol), the actual golden gun Scaramanga and his three tits used, and Jaws' teeth. And although his teeth are made completely of steel, they look a hell of a lot better than what most people in the West Valley wear around in their mouths.

During our whole visit to the Science Center, we also play the James Bond trivia game on computers that are set out and about the place. I play on a super-high level and still get all the answers correct, so it makes me walk around a bit cocky. The Barin does almost as well, and we both agree we are 007 experts.

As the doors begin to close because we've been there too long, we get brief glimpses of Halle Berry's bikini from Die Another Day, and a model of the Zorn blimp from The Barin's favorite, A View to a Kill. I dig the blimp, but just looking at Halle Berry's bikini makes me ill. She never should have been a Bond girl. She's got no class.

Finally, we reach the gift shop, where I blow all of 12 dollars on 007 stuff. I would spend more, but my credit card maxes out.

As we head back toward the car, The Barin and I go on and on about how great the expo is, and how we are gonna come back, when we have more time. We didn't get to see even half the artwork, the storyboards, or the video screens. And we didn't make our own James Bond titles on a computer, with naked ladies dancing around.

We also didn't really get to get a good look at Oddjob's hat, or all the Q gadgets. In short, we missed a hell of a lot.


As I drop The Barin off at his house, I apologize for not getting out more and getting drunk. I tell him I've been sick.

"I haven't been out in two weeks," replies The Barin.

When I ask him why, he tells me he's too busy figuring out a way to take over the world.

 

And eventually, I bet he does.


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