ARA FLYNN BOYLE paced nervously in her office, occasionally stopping in front of a chair and then thinking better of the notion to sit down. "Would you like some coffee, Ms. Flynn Boyle?" It was too late for her new secretary to retract the knee-jerk question; obviously the beautiful star and ex-ladylove to Jack Nicholson didn't need anything like coffee. "Some camomile, perhaps?" the secretary tried again. "Oh, no!" Lara breathlessly told her. "I just need to think." Lara was pondering my question, and I hoped only that she would answer before she lost any more weight, as her pants were barely hanging on. At length she replied in a weak voice "Well, I don't know how I do itI just discovered one day that I couldn't lean on a wall without falling right through it!"
Lara appeared fairly shaken at reliving the first moment she defied one of the more popular laws of physics. I drew concerned, until I remembered that, just like her canine complement, the timorous Chihuahua, she is prone to trembling at the slightest stimulation.
I reminded the starlet that she was not alone. Apparently her companion in twigginess, the fetching Calista Flockhart, had also lately revealed her tendency to slip through dry wall. "I surprised myself more than anyone!" Ms. Flockhart exclaimed over lunch one recent afternoon. Raising a Tab to her lips, she added, "It wasn't my intention to break any laws!" referring to her clever spin on Newtonian physics.
We posed this remarkable puzzle to renowned physicist-to-the-stars, Dr. Frank Ballinger, who offered his explanation of the starlets' mysterious abilities. "You may be familiar with the principle of this law, which states that, since all matter has volume, two objects cannot occupy the same space simultaneously." Dr. Ballinger continued, "However, it appears that after attempting to produce measurements of these two women with the instruments currently available to science, neither woman qualifies as having volume, and therefore cannot strictly be defined as objects."
What did our barely-there actresses have to say about the good doctor's findings? Calista told us she was "greatly relieved" to have risen above the "object" status that so many of her lovely predecessors had endured in earlier days. Lara, who was sitting out an on-location lunch break in her trailer, promptly walked through the trailer door to announce to the cast and crew that she was officially "a phenomenon of physics!" Salary negotiations shortly followed to accommodate what Lara's legal team is calling "the extraordinary burden to our client of being scientifically confirmed a 'phenomenon,' herewith superseding her previous 'bag of bones' designation."
A few weeks later, finding a rare break in both their busy schedules, I had the pleasure of meeting Lara and Calista at a breezy seaside restaurant in La Jolla. After exchanging a few pleasantries about bottled water, I posed the question on everyone's mind. "So, ladies, what is your secret to walking through walls?" The two actresses glanced at each other, their perfect hairdos shivering.
Calista replied first. "I think that not eating solid foods since 1991 has probably contributed."
"That, and smoking may have helped," Lara broke in. "Not that it's good for you, but it certainly speeds up your metabolism."
"Oh, yes," Calista agreed, "it certainly does."
"But how do you survive?" I asked, realizing that each starlet had gone a little pale at the mere question.
"Now that sounds like another science mystery for Dr. Frank," Calista replied, giggling. "I'd get him on that one asap!"
We all laughed, and I made a mental note to call Dr. Ballinger. As I returned to my salmon, Lara and Calista fainted dead away. It was the first quiet time I'd had in weeks.
© 2004 Kate Heidel