Director Kevin Smith had his mouth enshrined in cement during a star-studded ceremony in front of the TIL Chinese Theater. The director, best known for his Silent Bob character and directing the hit Clerks, as well as his inability to answer a question in less than 45 minutes, will be enshrined alongside other legends of the silver screen like Raoul Walsh, William Lundigan, and Dennis Quaid.
The Avocado ran into Mr. Smith shortly after the ceremony and asked the director if he knew where we could find a bathroom. As Mr. Smith wiped the fast-drying concrete off of his face, he answered:
“Yeah, yeah, I do know where the bathroom is, and, if I may, I’ll tell you how I know.”
“Uh, okay, but I really need to poo–” I said, but he had already begun his story.
“Alright, hip this: When I was growing up in New Jersey, I never dreamed of being a fucking Hollywood director. Long before all of this, before Silent Bob, before my face being enshrined in fucking cement, before Affleck or any of this Hollywood shit, I was just little Kev Smith, a comic book nerd that liked telling stories.
Now, when I was nine years old, my father, who was by no means a rich man, but who loved his family and wanted to make us happy, he took us out to Los Angeles on vacation and brought us right here to the Chinese Theater. And little Kev Smith got to stand right here, at this very spot, and got to see the cement imprints of his idols like R2D2, C3P0, and Raoul Walsh. Well, check this out, as I was standing here I, not unlike you, had to take a poo. But it wasn’t just any poo. I needed to take a fucking sinking of the Titanic type of poo–“
“So, you know where the bathroom is?” I interrupted, feeling my own movement start to fester.
“Don’t interrupt,” said the director. “So I go up to my dad, who had worked real hard to bring us all to Los Angeles, and I watch as he proudly watched me and my siblings put our hands in the handprints of our favorite actors and I can see that this cat, my old man, he had a tear in his eye and was having himself a nice little emotional reaction to seeing his family so happy. And as he is having this moment to himself, I go up to him, fucking obliviously, and I tug on his shirt, and I say: “Dad, I need to poop!”
“So, where did he take you?” I asked again, getting more desperate.
“Don’t interrupt,” Kevin said. “So cut to fucking 30 years later, and I am a pretty big deal in Hollywood. Mallrats didn’t do so well, but it had its fans and allowed me to meet Stan Lee. Cop Out hadn’t come out yet, so I was on a pretty nice upward trajectory and feeling pretty cocky. So I take my daughter, Harley Quinn, and my wife–who is way out of my league but, you know what they say kids, it pays to be in the movies–and I take them right to this very spot and I start to tell them the story about my dad that I just told you. Now you have to remember that at the time my father was getting pretty up there in age, so as I told them about how he took my siblings and me to see the handprints when we were kids and how it inspired me and shit, I had my own little tear forming because I’m thinking about how life is fucking impermanent and shit and how we have children to replace ourselves in the Universe, which is a pretty trippy thing to realize and I wasn’t even a stoner at that point, that wouldn’t happen until years later thanks to Seth Rogan, but that’s a different story.
So, I’m having this emotional moment to myself, and just as the tears are about to start fucking waterfalling down my face, my daughter Harley comes up to me and tugs on my–at the time I was wearing hockey jerseys every day–she tugs on my hockey jersey, and looks up at me and says: “Dad, I need to go poopy.'”
“So, you took her to the bathroom? Where was it?” I asked, not knowing how much longer I would be able to hold it in without at least some seepage.
“Don’t interrupt,” he said. “So cut to fucking 10 years after that and my dad, God rest his soul, is no longer with us and my daughter is all grown up and I, little Kev from fucking New Jersey, am told that the fucking Hollywood Illuminati or whatever for whatever reason have decided that I would get to place my face headfirst into cement and become permanently enshrined in front of what I still call it Grauman’s Chinese Theater in fucking Hollywood, Cali-for-ni-a.
Now look, I’ve had a pretty unbelievable life. It hasn’t been all roses, but certainly above average. And this might be the most unbelievable thing to happen to me: I’m enshrined next to my idols, the same cats that inspired me when I was nine and, by extension, inspired my own daughter to join her dad in the movies. Who knows, maybe 100 years from now Harley’s great-grandchildren will still be in the family business, and it will all be traced back to my dad taking me here to see the handprints of the stars when I was a kid. And look, I know I can be an emotional guy, but I can’t help but think back to how my dad must have felt as he was looking out at his children playing among these handprints and how it must have just pulled him out of that moment when I tugged on his shirt and asked him to take me to the bathroom because I had to poo.
Then I remember how I felt standing right here, thinking about that memory of my dad and forming new memories as I watched my own daughter playing along the dried cement handprints and how it felt being pulled out of that moment when my tugged on my jersey because she had to poo.
And finally, now I’ll remember that at this grand, intergenerational fucking cosmic culmination of my improbable life as a real-deal Hollywood director, as I stood here thinking back at my own late father who never got to see his son receive this omprobable honor, and see my daughter who I’m telling you grew up fast, and think about, as corny as it sounds, how future Smiths will be able to come here and say “that’s my great, great, great, however many great grandpa’s mouth imprint, he directed Jersey Girl,” and, who knows, maybe my daughter will get one of these too someday, as I think about all of that I’ll remember how it felt to be pulled out of that moment to be asked by a stranger who needed to poo if I knew where to find a bathroom.”
“Oh, so you don’t want to bothered?” I asked.
“You’re missing the point, man. Look, do you have kids?”
I told him I didn’t.
“Well, maybe you’ll understand this one day. It’s okay for you to be taken out of these special moments when it’s your kid needing something because they are your fucking kids. Every moment, even just taking them to go potty, is a special moment because, as I said before, it goes by fast, a lot faster than you think it will. The important thing to remember is–uch, why does it smell like shit?”
I told Kevin Smith that I couldn’t hold it anymore but wanted to hear the end of the story because it seems like he was building up to something important.
“No, it’s, it’s alright. There is a bathroom at the Hardrock Cafe next door. Go clean yourself up.”
“I waited this long. What is the lesson?” I asked.
“It’s fuckin’ Ferris Bueller, man. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Now, please, go clean yourself up before Affleck thinks its me.”
As I started to waddle down Hollywood Blvd toward the bathroom at the Hardrock I thought about the lessons I could glean from the overlong story I just heard, and about how a young Kevin Smith placed his hands in the impressions of Hollywood’s biggest stars and realized that they were just hands, and thought to himself that with some hardwork and luck he too could improbably be enshrined at the Chinese Theater. And maybe that’s why Kevin Smith now has his own mouth imprinted in front of the Chinese Theater, not because he is the best director, but because he is a director. He inspires us to work toward our dreams, no matter how improbable.
As the poo continued to drip down my leg, I realized that maybe Kevin’s story contained the lesson that I needed to give myself permission to focus on achieving all of the things I wanted to do with my own life but felt too afraid to try. If Kevin Smith can do it, maybe anyone can. It was a valuable realization, I thought, but probably not one worth shitting my pants in front of Ben Affleck.