It was a harmless little joke between two guys who were getting along. A joke that went horribly, horribly wrong.
Last year, I briefly interviewed (scroll down) heart throb Enrique Iglesias when he came to town to promote his new cologne, True Star. When I showed up at Foley's in the Galleria, the PR rep said that the interviews weren't exactly going so well. Seems that some of the reporters from Spanish-language media were getting all verklempt upon meeting Julio's son. Enrique was a good sport, but he was getting a little bored.
"This will be great," the rep told me. "You can do the whole guy talk thing and get him going. He'll love it."
And did he. Enrique was very down-to-earth, and not nearly the snob that a Latin musical prince could be allowed to be. We talked about prom, girls, dance moves and how certain women's perfume drove us crazy. Then came the innocuous question:
"What's the next product you'd want to put your name on?" I asked. Said Enrique (and I wish he hadn't):
"The next product I'm gonna put my name on is extra-small condoms. I can never find extra-small condoms, and I know it's really embarrassing for people -- you know, from experience. Hopefully people won't be ashamed when I step forward."
We all had a big laugh. Obviously, dude was joking. "Are you sure I can print that?" I asked him. "Sure man," he said. " I don't care."
Ah, royalty, so blissfully unaware of the great unwashed.
That's when it happened. "Enrique Admits to Small Manhood" started popping up in publications. Cleveland. London. Melbourne. Hyderabad. Most publications didn't even have the decency to attribute the story to the Press. It became international gossip fodder, and it was so bad, Enrique & Co. had to put out a press release denying the rumor.
Google "Enrique Iglesias condoms" and see what you get.
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Richard Connelly mentioned the global stupidity in Hair Balls. I called Enrique's rep. But nothing. He and I hit it off, and now, he hated me.
He's in town today, playing the Verizon Wireless Theater. I have tickets, but I can't bear to go. Not when I know he hates me — for something I didn't do.
Enrique, if you're reading this, lo siento mucho. I'm sure you've got nothing to be embarrassed about in the manhood department. You're a cool dude. I can admit that I still wear your cologne.
And when I buy condoms (extra small, natch) I always think of you. — Steven Devadanam