In terms of the Real World portion of Pedro’s life, who can forget the huge rivalry with Puck, the snot-loving bike messenger? The bickering and drama made for good TV. So when I read an article that said there would be cameos on tonight’s Pedro movie, as well as reinactments from the television show, I wondered: will we be seeing Steve-O as Puck?
I was 19 when The Real World San Francisco aired in 1994 and I have to admit: I liked Puck.
I loved Pedro, for reasons I expounded upon in the last blog. But Puck made me laugh with the ridiculous things he did and said. Like the time he scooped a finger-full of peanut butter from Pedro’s jar, just as he was making himself a sandwich.
In a way, I appreciated the gesture. Puck wasn’t worried about getting AIDS from peanut butter. It was probably my favorite light-hearted moment on the show, which happened before the feud got serious and Puck was kicked out of the house. After Pedro’s passing, during the Real World Reunion special, Judd grilled Puck about some horrible things he said about Pedro in the aftermath of his death.
I wasn’t so sure if I liked Puck anymore.
In 2003, I came face-to-face with the king of the snot rockets. I wasn’t looking for a confrontation, just an answer. “Hey, Puck- can I ask you a question?” Sure man, he said. “Has your opinion about Pedro changed in recent years?”
“He’s dead.” Puck said.
I stayed calm after the jarring response.
I knew Pedro had passed, I said. I explained why I was at the conference- as a positoid- and introduced him to Gwenn. That we use humor in educating about HIV. I told him their season of The Real World meant a lot to me, that Pedro was very inspiring to me as someone who never thought they’d talk about their HIV status.
He let his guard down. And told me that MTV had just done a Cribs episode on his pad. “I have a memorial in my home for Pedro,” he said. "They didn’t show that on TV."
Later that night, in the hotel bar, he stumbled up to Gwenn and I. We were talking to someone, and Puck interrupted. With eyes closed and lips puckered, perhaps he was expecting a kiss from Gwenn? I leaned over, and planted one on him. His eyes opened, and they were as wide as saucers.
“You have supple lips!” He said, or something to that effect.
When Gwenn and I sat down, Puck joined us. He had a Trojan sponsorship for his talks, and was starting his own speakers bureau. He asked us if we’d join. Then he accidentally spilled his beer everywhere before abruptly leaving.
It was the last time I’d see Puck.
Did I get an answer? I’m not sure. Would I have rather had the opportunity to meet and plant a big ol’ peck of gratitude on the kisser of Pedro? For giving me someone to relate to and making the term “reality television” mean something that actually related to my own reality?
For a video of Puck from 2008 on TMZ, go here.