He’s been dead longer than I’ve been alive, but I grew up with Elvis. Not through his music, but through bathrooms.
As a way of honoring the King, my parents hung a picture of Elvis above every toilet in our home: an ironic gesture that I like to think he would have appreciated. My brother and I never questioned it growing up, we thought of Elvis as the patron saint of bathrooms, until we learned where the music legend died. We still find it funny.
No bathroom has the same totem. One has a Russell Stover’s Chocolate box graced with his iconic visage while another has a black and white Andy Warhol print of Elvis singing. But the master bathroom is a special shrine to the King. Above that toilet is a picture from December 21, 1970: Elvis shaking hands with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office.
Apparently, Elvis set up the meeting with the President in hopes of getting a badge from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Although he didn’t get the “free drugs” badge, as he saw it, he did get to schedule a meeting with the head of the free world on his own terms, in the famous office, and gift him a Colt .45 from his personal collection while saying “I’m on your side”.
The photo that doesn’t look like it should exist has evolved into a somehow factual myth. There is now even a movie due out this year based on this coming together of 1970s super powers. Elvis and Nixon will star Michael Shannon playing Elvis and Kevin Spacy adding onto his presidential acting resume as President Nixon.
Looking at this picture, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want to be Elvis. Starting as a poor kid from Tupelo, Mississippi and growing into such an influential person that he could arrange meetings with the most important people in the world and have them actually play along, even while wearing a purple velvet suit, cape, and obnoxiously large belt.
Long Live The King.
Pookie is a poet and proud Ole Miss Alum who is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree.