Insert Foot: What celebrity would you isolate yourself with during COVID-19?

Insert Foot, Tony Hicks, Queen Elizabeth, Candy Loving

From Candy Loving to the Queen, these are all the people Tony Hicks has wanted to be isolated with over the years.

I once swiped one of my stepdad’s Playboy magazines.

It probably happened (a lot) more than once … when I was a kid … not lately. I’m not sure they even still have those in 2020, though, if they did, I would read them for the articles.

Seriously … fantastic articles.

While temporarily making me the most popular boy in my neighborhood, I remember a series of pictures of a poor young lady quarantined inside the Playboy mansion for a weekend. At least that’s what the captions said. I never figured out who took all the educational photos of her, but one thing really stuck out, even all these years later:

The Playboy mansion has its own bowling alley!

That magazine somehow came to mind when I realized there’s probably only one real-life person for whom I would break the current COVID-19 isolation. And it’s not January 1979 Playmate of the Month Candy Loving, which could also be her real name.

I’m sure she’s holed up somewhere with her grandchildren, wearing much more appropriate bowling attire.

Nor would it be any of my daughters, all of whom I love very much. But I also have no idea where they’ve been. Or, more accurately, where I’ve been. They’ve already suffered enough being my children. I’m not willing to add a scary virus to the list.

It struck me while I was watching Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton hanging around Dalton’s house the other night in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood;” it would be terribly fun to be there during a viral outbreak. At least until my liver failed and I couldn’t find a hospital bed.

Who, or what, else would be awesome to hang around with—pop culture-wise—while we’re all in isolation?

Bill Murray’s house in “Zombieland” comes to mind. As does Murray (and Scarlett Johansson’s character) in “Lost in Translation,” a perfect film for these times, showing two people finding unexpected warmth in the midst of loneliness and cultural isolation–something that’s suddenly more relatable.

Murray, of course, qualifies pretty much in every movie in which he’s appeared, not to mention real life (though Richard Dreyfuss and Lucy Liu would likely disagree). That’s an easy one, as is wishing to be stuck with the Beatles in a roomful of instruments, Brian Wilson and a live mixing board, Roger Ebert and access to every movie channel on Earth, Steph Curry in an empty gym, and Queen Elizabeth in a fully stocked, but otherwise empty bar.

The liquor would be for her, as I would have questions.

They can be real, they can be characters, they can be alive, they can be dead. They can be Salma Hayek. Whomever and wherever you want–person, people and place. If I can’t have my BFF–and that’s apparently not my decision, as my begging is consistently met with outright rejection–I’d take a consolation prize.

Tom Hanks, of course, would top many lists. And his volleyball. Hunter. S. Thompson would top my list. Or he would’ve if I wanted to live through this, which, unfortunately, goes for most of my favorite writers/dangerous role models. Plus, he’s dead, which is kind of inconvenient. Though being stuck in front of a “Cosmos” marathon with Arthur. C. Clarke would be pretty amazing, if I could understand what he’s talking about. I think he’s dead, too.

Enough talk about dead people.

This all reminds me of a speculative game we used to play in high school: “What if David Lee Roth was president?”  Which, now that I’m an adult, doesn’t sound very practical at all.

A friend suggested Christopher Walken. Maybe if he was reciting children’s books or something. I also just watched the aptly named “At Close Range,” in which he wasn’t exactly the most pleasant fellow.

This would all be so fun; but in real life, we’re going to have to figure it out. I had a conversation with a real-life personality a couple weeks ago, for a story for another publication. Right–it’s mind-blowing how desperate editors get when all the real writers are busy dodging a virus.

Anyway, I spoke with Bob Forrest, the singer of Thelonious Monster and formerly Dr. Drew’s sidekick on his reality show about celebrity addicts. Forrest said the isolation can be an opportunity for people to sit quietly and take a good look at their own lives and what matters to them. He said we should find our tribe, even if it’s only at a distance. For now, anyway.

I know who I want in my tribe, and they’re not on my screen or my earbuds. I’ll  try remembering that when this is over.

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