Ricky Martin Death Watch: Day 61

I AM SO lite Latin-jazzed about Ricky Martin's teeth! They rule! In my less cogent micro-moments I sometimes wish I had boy-band hair and molars. But then I realize I've already lived through those awkward years, during which upscale shop clerks of both genders would attempt to steer me into wine-cooler-fueled prostate massage sessions with Gino Vannelli or, Jesus forbid, John Hiatt dribbling in the b'ground. And anyway, in '76 I had a fierce orange cropped Gestapo cut, wrote fan letters to Throbbing Gristle (Cosey and Peter penned separate return missives, thank you), cut a pretty fey figure around Atlanta's club circuit, had tectonically sound (though slightly off-color) ivories, and (sniff) was much cooler than Ricky, Ricky's trainer's travel-agent live-in, and Ricky's stylist's oddly drooping left breast implant. "Pop dental hygiene is so 15 centuries ago," I sneer, but at the glam core of my now middle-aged being I kinda feel lousy about these green incisors o' mine.

But being young, dumb, and full of (one's label's VP of North American Marketing's cabana boy's) cum is what pop's always been about, and although Rick is pushing 2,391 aesthetically (during his stultifying MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech, he thanked God, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson--Kee-rist!!), he's got the plodding hip swiv and generic mild-salsa crossover palaver that Viacom execs love to write large bank drafts for. I'd be remiss not to add that Mr. Martin's "La Vida Loca" was a COLOSSAL FUCKING GLOBAL SMASH (even going to number five on the Bin Laden/Taliban cave and campfire charts), and those inoffensive dactyl couplets will easily be retrofitted for product endorsements--"lovin' my beef Cha-lu-pa!" Fave MTV VMA moment: Sixtysomething Kurt Loder in the post-show, foisting an absurd (and way predictable, considering) hip-cult reference whilst poor Ricardo listed his Latin heroes--Carlos Santana, José Feliciano, and then Loder pipes in with "Os Mutantes?" Heeee-larious! My tooth-boy looked as if he'd seen God smeared into the heels of his ex-manager's ratty Pumas.

It goes without saying (but I must, I must!) that if you're a 52-year-old thrice-divorced mom from Stearns County who works as an inventory clerk at one of Minneapolis's Lake Street saunas (and still likes "the rock"), Ricky's your goddamn boy!

I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't want to use his teeth to make oral love to Gina Gershon. I see those gleaming choppers (and my deliriously fine mug) reflected in her deep azure (or whatever) eyes. And as my tongue passes over Rick's perfect canines en route to her even more perfect sex (can I get screenwriting credit for Showgirls II?), her pelvis arches with a violence sorely absent from the former Menudo moppet's Muzak. As she comes, she screams my name, but in Spanish, and with a Tejano lilt. I peer into the sleeve of my "Shake Your Bon-Bon" promo CD, and am aghast to find a silky streamer from Gina's landing strip flaring from Mr. Martin's Le Corbusier-designed fangs.He's made his bundle and had his moment (prospects for a long ride seem Tiffanyesque), but he's here now, Kmart shoppers! Suck his vitals while ye may.

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