A message from Robert Downey, Jr., to Robin Wasserman on the occasion of her birthday

Hello Robin.

It’s me, Robert. Hey, I can’t believe it’s your birthday, my little pre-Raphaelite-curled dissector of social ills and all-around informant on all things pop culture. You know, if I weren’t stuck on a movie set somewhere right now making just a metric sh*t-ton of money, I would be there personally to watch "DeGrassi" with you while also holding forth on the merits of ice cream as a lunch staple. Not ice cream as an afterthought to a meal but as the meal itself, which would be anarchy with anyone else but with you, it just feels right. I would probably also spin out on a monologue that would feel vaguely like Mad Libs: The Acid Trip version. Though, really, I suppose that is the purpose of Mad Libs, to subvert our notions of language as a true pathway to communication rather than realizing the very arbitrariness of its nature, the constraints of its alphabetic symbology in expressing concepts that range from "I love you" to "May I have more pizza, please?" I’m talking smart for you, Robin. I know you went to Harvard. I went to prison, Robin, which is a lot like Harvard but with a slightly different shade of crimson. 

Anyhoo, I know you dig me and, well, why shouldn’t you? I dig me, too. Especially in the flying Iron Man suit. For your birthday, I’ve put together a Greatest Hits of myself for you. Enjoy. Go wild. It’s your birthday, Robin. We’re all grateful.

This is my brooding period, Robin. It was the 80’s. There was a lot of brooding going down. I think I’m sad here because I have just been told that you are only in first grade, and this makes me feel creepy. Hurry and grow up, Robin. I will do drugs, dress up in superhero outfits and crawl into the beds of strangers to sleep it off, Goldilocks style, while I wait for you.

“A lot of my peer group think I’m an eccentric bisexual, like I may even have an ammonia-filled tentacle somewhere on my body. That’s okay.” Robin, if any woman could handle my ammonia-filled tentacle and not run screaming, it would be you. You’ve written science fiction. You understand how these things go. Also, it’s good to know that I could clean the floors while you sleep. I like to watch you sleep, Robin. You’re so pretty. I hope you noticed that there’s Italian in this photograph, which makes me extra sexy. Really. it’s true. If there’s a picture you hate of yourself–say, 7th grade school pic–just put some Italian over that shit. Instant Hotness Maker. Not that you need it. That was a public service announcement for the rest of us mortals.

You deserve a tux shot, Robin. Here you go. You’re welcome. I hope you weren’t planning on being productive today.

I know, I know. This is a shot of me with that minx, Scarlett Johansson. I didn’t want to do this, Robin–please believe me. It’s Scarlett. She’s, well, she’s mentally ill, if you want the truth. She has to be near me all the time and always with the metal accessories: "Oh, Robert, look at my new metal glove bracelet! Look it has a light!" It’s…frankly, it’s exhausting. I’m just being kind to her, Robin. You’re the one I really love. I would shower you with red metal glove bracelets if you wanted it. Well, not literally shower you because head trauma is no joke. But just say the word, my little Philly filly, and it’s over with Scarlett. No more movies. She’s dead to me. Dead.

“I could deal with this [Pokemon] if I smoked a couple of grams of blacktar heroin.” I gave that quote in an interview, Robin. And then, I found out that you used to write Pokemon books. I…I don’t know what to say. It’s like I just found out that Justin Bieiber is from a reptilian overlord species sent here to infiltrate our entertainment industry and take us over, one mall at a time. That’s true, by the way, which is why I’ve taken the liberty of having a tin foil hat made for your birthday. No worries, it will be of the cloche variety you prefer. But back to Pokemon, Robin. It frightens me, and I don’t scare easy. I feel so fragile in the back seat of my limo, my only companion a cappuccino, a cigarette, and these newspapers, reminders of the dying medium that is print journalism. I would weep for that but this is a very expensive suit, and anyway, I’m afraid my tears will summon that yellow monstrosity who can only repeat his name over and over and over again as he lays waste to whole animated planets in the name of "peace." His eyes, Robin. Dear god…his EYES! I feel so alone, Robin; so raw. Hold me. Please…just…hold me. 

I’ve saved the best for last, Robin. Yes, I lie in repose here, a sheet draped artfully over my Iron Manhood, My Sherlock Holmes, my Brat Package. But my gaze looks heavenward…at the ceiling poster I have of you, Robin. Sometimes there’s God so quickly…

Happy birthday, Robin. You’re the Pepper in my Potts. The War Machine to my Iron Man. The Watson to my Holmes. Only with much better hair.

Robert Downey, Jr.  

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