Monday, August 25, 2014

Denial Monday.

     My daughter starts middle school today, which is freaking me the fuck out because puberty, and mean girls, and pre-ap math, and murdering mean girls.  And yes, I'm gonna write about it. But not today. Today I'm going to annoy the shit out of my dog by following her around and taking pictures of her to post here. It's either that or start drinking at 2 in the afternoon, which I am not at all opposed to, except for the part where I have to pick up my daughter after school, and they frown on you in the carpool line when you're all sloshed and want to play "Knock The Side-View Mirror Off The Bitch's Minivan."

     So, pictures:

She had no idea what an ordeal this was going to turn into.

I'm totally going to post it.

Not today. I'm too busy taking pictures and trying not to murder mean girls.

Then it was self-defense.

Razor burn is a little irritating. This is down right annoying.

Victory is mine.

     No mean girls were murdered during the production of this post. But it's only Monday. And it's gonna be a long fuckin' year...


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Memoriam.

Shazbot, motherfucker.

     I met him, once. It was 1997. There was some video industry award ceremony in Los Angeles, and Wishbone had been asked to be a presenter. So me, the dog, the dog's trainer, and our producers got on a plane and went to California. I don't remember most of that evening. I remember getting to see Kenny Loggins doing his sound check. I remember Howie Mandel was the emcee, and he was an egotistical prick. The only other thing I remember from that evening was being backstage, just hanging around until we were told what to do, and the hairiest man I'd ever seen walked right up to Jackie Kaptan (Wishbone's trainer), and asked, very politely, "Is it okay if I pet him?"

     And he knelt down to pet the dog. Three feet in front of me. The man whose comedic hurricane blew into my sails at an early age, and charted the only course I was ever going to take. 

     In 1979, everybody knew who Robin Williams was. Literally. Everybody. 60 million people a week tuned in to watch Mork & Mindy. And when the show aired on Thursday night, I memorized every good line and repeated them all day Friday at O.A. Reaves Intermediate, in my sixth grade home room class. But what most of the god-fearing, conservative citizens of Conroe, Texas did NOT know about Mr. Williams was his stand-up material: 

     My best friend, Steve Woodson, managed to get his hands on this album. Probably because his parents were way cooler than mine. We played the shit out of that record. When Williams opened his show impersonating a Russian doing a New York echo (Helloooooo.........Shut the fuck up!), that's when I knew. I already had cemented my reputation as the class clown. Robin showed me that I could take it further. He revealed to me that I could - if I chose - actually make my tiny part of the world just a little brighter; that I could make comedy stop being for me, and make it for all of them.

     Flash forward to 1997. A stupid video industry award show. Backstage. And he's on one knee, three feet in front of me, petting a dog. My long-distance mentor. My hero. And an opportunity I knew I would never, ever, have again:

     me: Mr. WIlliams? 

    RW (standing and shaking my hand): Hello.

     me: Thank you. For everything. You're the reason I decided to make my living being funny.

     RW: Wow. You're welcome. What an incredible thing to say.

    That was it. His handlers whisked him off to wherever he was supposed to be. I looked around at my friends, the people I had spent so much time with working on our own show. We were all blinking rapidly, like we'd just looked directly into the sun for a second. How many kids get to meet their hero?

     Other people, way more eloquent than I, are already writing about his legacy, and depression, and all of that shit. And it's important. When that much laughter is snuffed out of the world, the whole world needs to grieve. The only thing I can possibly hold onto at this moment was that the universe gave me the opportunity to look him in his eye, shake his hand, and say "thank you." Not "you're so awesome," or "Where do you come up with this stuff?" 

     Just Thank You.