Today, 23 November 2011, it is 20 years since Klaus Kinski died; he is very much missed and the world is a sadder place without him. Unfortunately I was unable to get my act together to organise a special event or film screening as a tribute so I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with something thoughtful but silly to do on the wonderful Mister Kinski’s anniversary, in memoriam.
I remembered reading how Joe Queenan had been Mickey Rourke For the Day (you can read this in If You’re Talking To Me Your Career Must Be In Trouble, Picador, London, 1994, pp14-26) and this had involved smoking 82 cigarettes, visiting dirty-book stores, a lot of cussing, standing on a tramp’s neck, kicking over trash cans, looking for prostitutes and saying “Every once in a while you’ve gotta roll the potato”. It was hilarious but it sounded too much like hard work and too much trouble.
Being Klaus would, quite frankly, get me into a lot of trouble and I would probably get the sack as I am working today. So with this in mind I have had to come up with a Kinski-lite version if I am going to be Klaus Kinski For the Day. Here’s all I could come up with:
2. Look through windows – either in a menacing manner or as if deep in reflection – preferably windows with bars or venetian blinds on them but if there are none in the vicinity I shall just look through meeting room windows at work until I’m asked to move on and then I shall say: “Put a bird cage near the window so that the bird can see the sky? It’s much better to look than not to, even if it hurts”
3. When I turn my computer on I will type in my username as Maestro and the log-on as 666. When it won’t log me on I’ll get the IT guy to come over and say to him “If you expect to be paid, you’d better perfect your performance before you invite an audience”
4. Talk in a whisper as far as possible
5. When people ask me to speak louder, I’ll shout: “DU DUMME SAU!”
10. Wave a comb in front of my face and tell an unsuspecting colleague to shush in the most menacing way I can
11. When a colleague asks me a question, I will answer them with: “What does the rest of the CIA think of this idea of yours?” And when they ask what I mean, I’ll say: “I see…” (I might even wear white goggles on my forehead for this one)
12. Wear a white or cream outfit and black eyeliner
13. Say at random: “Elephants and tigers are most difficult to train”
14. Turn up to work speaking in a strong Mexican accent and then if anyone asks me why I’m doing it, I’ll say: “O, yes, of course, I forgot I’m supposed to be a Swiss devil figure with a lab who pushes scientists to go beyond the limits…”
15. Speak only through a vocoder
16. Chew food with my mouth open and then greedily lick any stray food off my teeth with my tongue (at length)
17. Lick my lips regularly for no reason
18. Start an argument with a man in a restaurant accusing him of touching my overcoat, telling him that, “I can’t bear people like you; your proletarian fingers all over my clothing!”
19. Ride around on a trolley, wearing an ugly cardigan and smeared make-up
20. Respond to questions with a complaint about the nature of the question and no real answer
I can’t promise to do all of these (especially not the smoking!) but I will definitely be doing some of them and remembering the greatness of Kinski. I hope you will be doing something to remember Klausy too; tell me if you do.
Finally, this won’t be to everyone’s taste, so look away now if you don’t want to see Klausy’s hot old man body – I toned this down a bit (ie I didn’t use the shot with the dangly bits on show!), and I’ve kept in the white socks because it’s such a good look!
KLAUS KINSKI 1926 – 1991