Like Elvis

06/28/2008 By Shawn Burns

In the eighth grade I was voted "Person Most Likely to Succeed Elvis". In part this great honour was given because I had all the girls’ (moms) swooning with "Can’t Help Falling In Love" at the year-end concert in the gym at my small farming community elementary school.

In part it was the sideburns. They weren’t really sideburns, I just had really shaggy seventies-kid hair and the kids in my class hated me (because their moms loved me). To retaliate and establish my coolness for all time I tormented the foreign kid about his unholy relationship with his sister until he was driven insane and attacked me. It was completely unfair of me, and I deserved the shots he got in on me before the teachers broke it up. I just needed someone else to be weirder than I was for the little redneck kids’ amusement; I wanted to be a big fish, even if it was in the world’s smallest pond.

Anyway, in my own head for a while I was all about the King, his music, his movies, biopics, fictionalizations of his life. I’ve seen "Heartbreak Hotel". Twice. And right now what stands out for me is the scene in "Great Balls of Fire" in which a newly-enlisted Elvis stops by Sun Records where Jerry Lee Lewis is recording hits and he says: "Take it all."

While I’m on vacation this week please don’t let Jerry Lee take it all. He is the foreign kid.

I’ll be back, with a leather jacket and a tousled look.