Dear Matthew Lillard, actor,

This weekend, shortly after I got drunk and livetweeted the movie Hackers, you offered to pay one hundred dollars to punch me in the face.

Though I already accepted the offer over Twitter, I'd like to do so again, in front of God and the Internet and everybody: punch my face, Matthew Lillard. Punch me in my face and pay me.

Mr. Lillard, I don't dislike you, or at least not beyond that grinding, low-level rage that everyone feels toward 90s celebrities. In fact, entirely by coincidence, I recently wrote a stupid but not specifically unflattering story about you on this site; you shared a link to that story on Twitter, so I hope that means you enjoyed it. I don't know anything about you as a person, and your acting is fine with me. I haven't specifically disliked any of your performances. Scream was fun to watch, and your SVU episode was one of my recent favorites. I haven't seen Scooby Doo, so I can only object to your portrayal of Shaggy on general principle, if at all (who the fuck else was going to play Shaggy?).

Still, I realize that I said some fucked-up things during my Hackers livetweet session. I know it's no excuse, but I was drunk, and I was in some amount of distress due to watching Hackers. For example, this tweet:

Yeah, that was a shitty thing to say. If it's any consolation, I was mostly referring to your character in Hackers, with the baby tees and pigtail braids and whatnot, not to Matthew Lillard the person. Now, sober, not watching Hackers, I don't feel anywhere near that level of repulsion. I also said some things about your costars, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Lee Miller, that may have rubbed you the wrong way:

Those were probably unfair as well. I can't do a good English accent, so why should I pick on JLM for his American accent? And I probably wouldn't look too great in a ringer tee tucked into black stretch pants either, and anyway I was pretty drunk and I don't even know what that joke means anymore. I can't apologize for these jokes, because I stand by the drunken truth of my statements, but I certainly don't begrudge you the right to be annoyed by them. But you gotta admit this one is pretty true, right?

Anyway, yes: let's do this. Punch me in the face, and then hand me one hundred dollars. I've been making hurtful online jests for far too long, and now it's time to reap my comeuppance. You name the place, and I will make an effort to travel there. I will even film it, that my girlish sobs of pain and terror, both before and after the punch, might be a warning to all others who would fuck with Matthew Lillard.

I fully intend to be a man about this and take the punch as simply as possible, but I'd like to make a few reasonable requests. I'm not trying to lay down and mandates here, but I'm hoping you'll accept these in the name of good sportsmanship:

  • Please give me a minute to prepare for the punch; don't just sucker-punch me as soon as you see me. If I'm caught by surprise, I might flinch or try to dodge the punch, which would go against the whole spirit of the thing.
  • Please let me wear one of those boxing mouth guards, as much for your comfort as for mine. I know you're probably a good guy who doesn't want to break my teeth, and I don't want you to feel any hesitation about punching me in the face pretty hard.
  • Can we do the hundred dollars under the table? If I reported it on my taxes as freelance income, I'd probably have to give away like a third of it. I don't want to get punched in the face for $66; I have my dignity. Punching someone in the face for money is a gentleman's game, so I don't need to see the cash in advance or anything, as long as I have your sworn word that you're good for it.
  • Please don't specifically try to break my nose, Matthew Lillard, because that would just be an asshole thing to do. I understand that I'm getting punched in the face and something might get broken, but I'm hoping you won't do a straight-on nose shot.

Mr. Lillard, I know that you'll consider the above requests with the same spirit of goodwill in which the original hundred-dollar face punch offer was made. Whether or not you decide that they're appropriate, I'd like to offer the following perks to make the experience more enjoyable for you:

  • If you line it up wrong and just wing me, or if you miss entirely for some reason, I'll definitely let you swing again. In fact, if your stage training or your natural aversion to punching another person in the face causes you to hesitate and pull the punch, I'd be happy to let you take another crack at my melon.
  • It would be my pleasure to buy us both a beer before the punch, just so we can both loosen up and enjoy it. It can be pretty good beer, whatever you want. I can even bring some Pliny the Elder from the Bay Area. I will spare no expense in purchasing these beers for us, especially since I'll be getting a hundred bucks in a little while.
  • If you'd like, you can wear a boxing glove so you don't injure your hand against my face. I have the rock-like skull of an Irishman, and I'd hate to see it damage you.
  • I know that times are tough, what with the economy and all, so it's OK if you can't get all the money together at once. If you'd like, you can pay the hundred dollars in installments.

This thing is bigger than the two of us now. Punching me in the face will truly make the world a better place: people on Twitter are already pledging money to charity if you successfully punch me. It seems a little unfair to pledge money to starving kids or whatever when I'm the one getting punched in the face, but I'll take the high road and hold my objections.

Thank you, Matthew Lillard. I look forward to getting punched in the face by you at your earliest convenience.

David Thorpe
The Internet

P.S. - It's OK if you decide not to punch me in the face. After all, "Lillard" does sound like a Shakespearian synonym for "coward."

For the latest developments in Matthew Lillard punching me in my face, please follow @Arr on Twitter. To encourage Matthew Lillard to punch me in the face, send him a Twitter message @Lillardmatthew.

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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