Dear Tom

I suppose you’re wondering why I’m writing to you today, samurai. I’ve given you a hard time in the past, I know, and if you’ve perused any of the things I’ve been suggesting about you in my snarky, underfed, Vanity Fair-reading, no-life-of-my-own- leading, bitter-journalist-with-a-gay-agenda sort of way, you probably don’t care to hear from me. You’ve recently vowed to all but shoot and kill gossip spreaders on sight. Fair enough. I hate to cause you any distress, really. But it’s Christmas blockbuster season and, hell, things are coming to a head again, as they always seem to where you and I are concerned.

So, it’s like this, buddy: You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. Well, I have seen you in your underwear lip-synching to Bob Seger, which, if you ask me, is pretty intimate. And, now that I think about it, I’ve even seen your penis, because in the days before DVD, I mastered the use of the VCR’s pause button and watched the sex scene from All the Right Moves about 12,000 times before my mom came home from work and the video had to go back to the minimart. (Bravo to you, my friend, if the johnson popping out to greet Lea Thompson was, in fact, yours.)

But I digress. As I said, I realize that I don’t know you. This is difficult for me to acceptask Kevin Spacey, with whom I also have a troubled relationship (although far less complicated, as I have never seen his sex pistol in freeze-frame and, frankly, never want to). I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I can never really know whether or not the rumors about you are true. You’re your own person, free to live your life as you choose, and I’ve no right to make light of your life for easy column fodder, even if I do think it’s hysterically ironic that you’re now playing a cocky captain who discovers the swordsman within.

Which brings me, finally, to the reason for this letter. So you’re The Last Samurai. So great. Live it up, Tom. You’re the last one. But do you have to go so aggressively het when you hit that publicity trail? Every damn time you’re out there promoting some new megamovie, I’ve gotta live through yet another magazine interview where you vociferously deny the pansy-boy rumors, and then, to make matters worse, you hit the television circuit and start acting like you’re auditioning for The Outsiders all over again.

What I’m trying to say is . . . I know you’re tough, Tom. I know you’reforgive me if this sounds suggestivea real man’s man. I don’t need to see you arm wrestling Jay LenoI bet you can take him, man. And if you don’t think Jay is all that funny, it’s OKyou don’t have to laugh that hard. Lots of straight guys don’t find other straight guys funny. And when that blond bimbo from Access Hollywood asks what you and Penelope like to do togetherrelax. It’s not necessary to get all clenched and start talking about buying her single red roses and having great conversation and just really enjoying each other’s company. When she asked Will Smith the same question about Jada, all he said was, “Have sex and ski.” Just keep it real, Tom. That’s all I ask. Just keep it real.