Tubs — with Clutch Parker
Premier installment of Tubs: Clutch sinks in and towels off with football great Terry Bradshaw
Football great, sportscaster, actor, raconteur and all around man’s man Terry Bradshaw invited us into his home for a soak, some suds and a relaxing chat…a little of this, a little of that, and some of the other thing too (no, not that).
I met Terry a number of years back, when I was auditioning for a part on Hooper, the 1978 Burt Reynolds film. I actually made it into the bar room brawl scene – I was the guy in the plaid shirt in the back, breaking a plywood chair over some stunt man’s head. After the shoot we followed Terry to a local joint for refreshment. All I remember is Terry leaving with a couple of barmaids and leaving us with the check. At the time I thought, jeez, here’s a guy making money playing professional football, I’m a struggling actor and male model, and he’s leaving us to settle up – swell guy. Years later I learned he does it all the time -- he gets flustered trying to calculate the tip and would rather be considered cheap than dumb, though he’s made millions playing dumb and being dumb on national TV for years and years (no offense, Terry, though there’s almost zero chance Terry is reading this since he doesn’t know how to surf the Internets and only three weeks ago managed to turn on a computer for the first time, though it was actually a mistake – he tripped over a three syllable word and bumped into the "on" switch).
Hey, I’m not exactly a rocket scientist myself, though I do like building model airplanes, but one thing I knew going in: keep the conversation light, breezy, mostly about football, and above all else, keep it manly. That doesn’t mean TB doesn’t like wearing it on his sleeve because he does. Most of you’ve seen TB play, some have actually seen him act in movies and on TV, and almost all of you have seen him yukking it up with Joe Buck, Jimmy and Howie in the studio. But most don’t get to see his tender side; Terry Bradshaw is man enough to cry and show you were it hurts. So, as I was slipping out of my robe (with the handsome JS lettering sewn in -- thanks guys, it looks great) and sliding into the spacious spa, I had one thing on my mind…well, two actually: first, make it snappy and masculine (while allowing for an emotional time-out for Terry to reveal his manly sensitive side), and second, pretend not to notice the well-fluffed hair pieces lined up on the vanity.
Clutch Parker: Terry Bradshaw, thanks for having us.
Terry Bradshaw: Thanks Clutch. How’s the water?
CP: Feels great.
TB: Enough suds?
CP: Perfect. I took the liberty of using your soap, hope you don’t mind, I worked out before coming over.
TB: You used my soap?
CP: Yes, is there a problem, if so, I’ll…
TB: You used my soap and put it back?
CP: Uh, yeah, I…
TB: Look man, I don’t know where that soap’s been. That’s sick. Get the hell out of this tub right now and take that fucking bar of soap with you. Jesus Christ, boy, what the hell’s wrong with you?
CP: Terry, I’m sorry, I had no idea. I was hoping we’d be able to sit down and talk, and give our readers a sense of …
TB: Calm down, brother. I was just messing with ya. How’s it hanging Clutch, been a long time since.
CP: Yeah, since we were on the set of Hooper.
TB: I know this isn’t the best time to be saying this, but you were one good looking man.
CP: Thanks TB, you’re looking good too.
TB: But I’m going to have to boot your pretty ass out of my tub if you keep staring like that. If you want to know why I keep my old hairpieces lined up like that, alls you got to do is ask. But I’ll save you the trouble of asking because it’s none of your damn business, Mr. Clutch “Purty Lips” Parker. That’s a “Deliverance” reference for those of you who think Terry Bradshaw’s a dumb ass hick who doesn’t know they invented motion pictures sometime around 1946-1947. Beer?
CP: Any light beer?
TB: Sure you wouldn’t rather have wine? How bout some of that French cheese on a Ritz cracker, would you like that Clutch?
CP: Whatever you’re drinking TB is fine with me.
TB: Good answer. Here.
CP: Man, that hits the spot.
TB: Before we get into it, how bout a bucket or ribs?
CP: In the tub?
TB: Stop being a woman Claire Parker. If you’re worried about getting your hands dirty, I’ll let you use my official Super Bowl XIV towel, the same towel Jimmy Johnson used to wipe Howie’s ass the last time JB brought em over after a holiday party. We’re all wrestling in the living room, drinking and puking our guts out. Plus, the cocktail franks we had earlier was giving us all the runs. It was god dang disgusting, but hell, what you see in the studio every Sunday, that shit ain’t scripted, hoss. (Terry began sobbing; my instinct was to provide manly consolation until realizing I was naked and unarmed and thought it best to just sit tight and wait for the tender moment to pass.)
CP: You can’t manufacture that kind of chemistry, TB. I’ve tried, but it doesn’t work. You’re blessed to be working with guys you consider friends.
TB: I love them sumbitches. In fact, they should be here any minute.
CP: Joe Buck, Howie and Jimmy?
TB: Fact, that’s them now. In here boys! Last one in’s a monkey’s scrotum! Bet you didn’t think Bradshaw knew them fancy fifty dollar words, eh Clutch? Just don’t ask me to spell it.
Seconds later all five of us were waist deep in bubbles, talking trash and arguing the over under for the week’s top games. It gave me an up close and personal look at how the guys interacted in the studio…and why it all works. It was a truly magical half hour. The beer was cold, the ribs succulent (if a bit messy), and watching Terry playfully mounting Howie was worth the price of admission all by itself. I was laughing so hard I thought I’d pull a hamstring. Actually I did pull my right quadriceps, but that was caused by lunging for the bottle of hair conditioner we used in an impromptu game of “grease the pig,” something TB played growing up (we all just followed along as Terry squealed – literally – with delight).
Soon the bubbles disappeared and it was time to go. But it was a rewarding afternoon indeed. There’s a lot you can learn about another man – or in this case other men – stripped down to your essentials in warm, filmy bath water. Just a note of caution: if you plan on trying it yourself, I’d recommend you remember to bring a bar of soap. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring your own towel – the guest towel may be monogrammed, Downie fresh and a genuine keepsake, but can you really ever know where it’s been?
(Check back for our second installment of Tubs where Clutch will be taking a soak with fabled entrepreneur, sports impresario and sports fan, Donald Trump)
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