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JAIME CLARKE

WE'RE SO FAMOUS

Me and Stephanie have always wanted to be famous. In the fifth grade, we lip-synched a Beatles song for our entire class and we loved the attention. Before we dropped out of high school, we were famous as party chicks, known famously as Masterful Johnson. No one in high school could appreciate the irony. We have famous names, too. I'm Paque and she's Daisy.

You've probably heard of us. The guy who discovered us saw us dancing in a bar and told us he liked our moves. We thought he was just some perv who wanted to take us back to his place in a big car and make us fuck each other and him too, but he turned out to be a really sweet, sad kind of a guy who just wanted to make us famous.

We started out doing these gigs for his friends. He knew a couple of guys with a recording studio in their house and we started partying with those guys. One night we were all sitting around fried out of our gourds and one of the guys says why don't you guys record a few songs. Me and Daisy thought that was a pretty good idea so we recorded eight songs that we just kind of made up on the spot.

Music was something we never practiced, so we found out that night that neither one of us could play an instrument and our voices caused everyone in the room to bring their hands to their ears in a weird, involuntary reflex. But we got the songs down (my favorite was one Daisy wrote called "I'd Kill You If I Thought I Could Get Away With It" and I also wrote one with this dude Jeffrey called "Do Fuck Off," a sort of mellow love song).

One of the dudes who owned the recording equipment made copies for everyone and me and Daisy played it for a few friends who told us frankly they didn't care for it. We were hurt at first, of course, but we never really wanted to be musicians anyway. Only famous.

We went on crashing local events, sometimes going to other cities to hang out and pose with people who knew the people we hung out with last. We'd practically forgotten about our record until we climbed into this limo paid for by these really cool Japanese girls in L.A. When I heard Daisy's voice, I looked at her thinking she had broken out in a little ditty; but her lips weren't moving. Suddenly the Japanese girls cranked the tune, one called "We Love Goo," a sort of rock anthem that I didn't particularly like. We all started bobbing our heads and me and Daisy didn't say anything about the fact that it was us.

Well, that was only the beginning of our recording careers, but it was pretty close to the end, too. Some people from R*O*C*K magazine came to our apartment and took pictures of us on our yellow vinyl couch. Before we knew it, we couldn't go anywhere without seeing that picture, me leaning back on Daisy, our platinum hair all mixing together. They made posters for the bus stops, billboards; I even saw it in a friend's dorm at school when we went to visit her.

And the magazines. That picture was on every cover in the supermarket, it seemed. There was only one problem. Me and Daisy noticed that the articles in the magazines didn't mention anything about us being a band. The stories were about us doing all these things we'd never done.

Like we were supposed to have slept with all the guys from Hey!, some gay-ass punk band from New York; and one said we trashed a hotel in Paris and had to pay ten thousand dollars in damages. The one we liked the best was how we both were in kiddie porn movies when we were, like, seven or eight. We cut these out and stuck them under the fruit magnets on our refrigerator.

Now everyone wanted to hang out with us wherever we went. We'd go out to see a movie and people waiting in line would come up for our autographs. The same thing happened if we were at McDonald's, or at the record store, or if we were just walking back from the grocery store with a sweating gallon of whole milk and a carton of half 'n' half (Daisy makes these killer dairy drinks called Whiteys).

One day the dude that said he wanted to make us famous invited us over to his condo for dinner to tell us that he was leaving town. Me and Daisy were sad about this and we asked where was he going. He said he had to go take care of some things and that we were going to be taken care of. That's when he told us about this corporate sponsorship he set up. He said we were never to tell who it was because the company didn't even know they were sponsoring us; he said he set it up through a friend of his who would keep it a secret as long as we would.

We asked him why he was doing all this for us and he got too drunk and admitted that it started out as a line to try to fuck us like we first thought, but then he said it was a "great joke," and then he got super drunk and started cackling in our faces in a mean way and me and Daisy left without saying anything.

At first we started getting these checks in the mail from the corporation, mailed from Dallas. Then these shiny gold plastic credit cards came, engraved with my and Daisy's real names.

Right after we got the credit cards, something really awful happened. Daisy went back to Ohio to visit her parents, who called after they saw our picture in the supermarket, and when Daisy got off the airplane, this girl screamed out her name and she whipped around and looked just as this rush of teenage girls surrounded her on all sides. She called me that night sobbing into the phone, telling me she couldn't breathe very well with all those people around her and no matter which way she tried to walk, there they were, blocking her way. Since then, Daisy has not been the same. She gets very quiet when people yell out our name and she stands close to me when people come up to us in public.

Somehow the story got out that me and Daisy made a movie called Sprung. We gave an interview to this movie magazine and the interviewer was a real dipshit chick who kept calling us Masters and Johnson. I don't know where the idea got into her head that we were actresses.

So agents and then studios started calling about making a sequel to "the wildly popular cult movie." Exactly three weeks after that article appeared, a script for Sprung II arrived at our apartment. Me and Daisy had a good time acting out the parts for our friends Anthony and Kurt, a couple of skater guys we met hanging out one night.

Those dicks Anthony and Kurt wanted to act out the love scenes with us, but we told them no way. We noticed that there were a lot of love scenes, or scenes where me and Daisy were naked, and we laughed pretty hard at this. Anthony and Kurt kept trying to talk us into just one scene and finally me and Daisy told them we had boyfriends so they'd leave.

Sometimes we wished we had boyfriends. It's been difficult for me and Daisy to keep them, though. Most guys get jealous about our fame, always wanting to know where we're going and who we're going with. I dated this guy, Jim, who wouldn't take me to his house because he was afraid his parents would find out he was dating "that disgusting girl." He told me that.

Daisy dated this real sweetheart, Daryll, who used to bring her a present every time he came over. He'd bring her little things he made out of scraps he'd find, and always he'd spell her name on it somewhere. He was heartbroken when he found out Daisy wasn't her real name. He called her a filthy liar and never came back. Daisy cried for a few days, until she cleared all his gifts off her dresser. They're in the bottom drawer now and sometimes I walk in and Daisy has the drawer open, just staring down at all the little things.

Daisy thought it might be Daryll when the door buzzed. We were surprised when the mailman had us sign for an invitation to the L.A. premiere of Sprung II. The studio sent a movie poster for each of us, and these two chicks that looked like me and Daisy were standing there, about eight feet tall, with knives in their hands (my knife had blood dripping from it).

The movie studio flew us in from Phoenix and sent a limo to our hotel. When we got out at the theater, we got mobbed by reporters and people just standing on the street. Daisy ducked back into the limo and just sat in there until everyone went away. Which everyone eventually did.

The movie was pretty dumb, but the girls who played the main chicks were dead ringers for me and Daisy. We noticed that those chicks weren't at the premiere and that's why everyone thought we were them. We didn't meet any of the studio people. On the way out of the theater, this guy rolled up his shirtsleeve and showed me his tattoo of me and Daisy.

For a long time after that, things were pretty quiet. Me and Daisy bought records and listened to them, bought clothes and wore them, bought food and ate it.

Then one day Daisy told me she didn't want to be famous anymore. She said she liked not doing anything, but it was a drag to have everyone staring at you all the time. I told her I agreed, but that there wasn't anything we could really do about it. We were famous and that was that. We couldn't become unfamous.

A doll company sent us a contract along with a check for fifty thousand dollars. They wanted to make Paque and Daisy action figures and wanted to get them out for Christmas. I asked Daisy what we should do and she said we should cash the check and not sign the contract. I tried to read the contract out loud to her, but we had trouble understanding it.

Finally we decided not to do it. Daisy thought it would only add to the problem of people recognizing us on the streets. We didn't cash the check, and it expired.

That Christmas the stores were filled with Paque and Daisy action figures, but they didn't really look like us, so we weren't too worried about it. We even bought a few for our relatives and sent them back home. We tried to buy some other things for Christmas, but the cashier told us our credit cards had been canceled. Me and Daisy wondered what to do, but we knew we couldn't call anyone.

The checks quit coming in the mail, too. We didn't really notice until the first of the month, when the rent was due. We waited for the little yellow envelopes to arrive, but all that came was junk mail and late Christmas cards. The situation got worse when we started to run out of food.

So me and Daisy decided to get jobs. I applied for this job as a secretary, and Daisy found an ad for cashier in a record store. At my interview, the guy, Harry, couldn't get over the fact that I was "that girl from Masterful Johnson." He asked me for my autograph.

Daisy came home in tears and told me that the manager brought out old copies of our album and asked her to autograph them while he played Combat on an old Atari in his office.

Our landlord gave us a thirty-day notice thirty-one days ago. Daisy has packed all her things in milk crates she stole from behind the grocery store. We've been living off stolen produce and water. We called home for money for plane tickets, but no one seems to believe we really do need money. My parents laughed and Daisy's parents thought it was a joke, too. I wonder what our options are as me and Daisy sit at the kitchen table, Daisy drawing SOS in spilt salt with her fingers.


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