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Fifteen Minutes With Warhol




Reflections while on a plane over some God-forsaken Mid-western cow town. Seated in front of me is Andy Warhol, dead. I suppose the reports that he died some time ago give him the right to keep his seat in a reclined position during take-off. We are flying coach, and the plastic tray on the back of Mr. Warhol's seat is crushing my larynx.

The beverage tray goes by, supplying us with plastic cups full of round ice cubes. How do they make the holes in the center? The stewardess' make-up frightens me, so I do not eat the Chicken Florentine, which is bad, but not as bad as the filet of dead cow from that same Mid-western town.

Everyone is wearing Walkmen (Walkmans?), and it sounds like thousands of tiny insects are dancing on sheets of tin. I hope the engine catches fire so I can find out what the flight engineer can do about it.

We are over Detroit now, and I know each light is someone's home, and that in every one of those homes, there are people who don't even know that microscopic animals live on their eyelashes. The sleeping fat man next to Andy's corpse is trying to make tone poetry, no doubt to impress Mr. Warhol, who is, as we have definitely established, dead.

The captain assures us that the film is a comedy well worth the two dollars for the plastic stethoscopes, and that in case of an accident, oxygen masks will drop out of somewhere. I have already forgotten the captain's name, and I know that in case of an emergency, everyone will panic, and I will be trampled to death for sitting by the exit.

The airplane radio station is playing a continuous loop of Duran Duran. I would give my left leg - which is asleep and may have been taken already - for the tape to get beyond "A View to a Kill."

The smoky haze filling the non-smoking section is due to the recirculated air which take all the unhealthy parts of the cigarette smoke from the front of the plane and gives it to the 50-year-old man across the aisle, shortening his life by some fifteen minutes, during which he probably would have been famous.

And so this must end. For the movie has started. It is "A View to a Kill," and everyone is rushing for the oxygen masks, which did indeed fall from somewhere.

Everyone except Mr. Warhol, that is.


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If we let big business shut the door on the little guy, we're sabotaging everything this country stands for. -- Tucker, in `Tucker a Man and His Dream'

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