This, that and the other thing took me downtown today. It’s always exciting to dress up — to shed the gym shorts and Killian’s Irish Red T-shirt for worn blue jeans and a shirt that doesn’t advertise beer — and go mix with adults. Adults! God bless adults. They’re old, they’re flawed, they’re set in their ways, but I feel about adults the way Steve Martin feels about men. And I miss them, working at home.
(Yes, I know that adults much like these made me insane when I worked in close proximity with them. Life, she is a swinging pendulum. Anyway, I think we can agree that in controlled doses: Adults are good.)
One of the assembled adults was an editor I work with, who told me about his wife’s trip to Chicago yesterday, to see an actual “Oprah” taping. (Show topic: “Secrets of the Stars.” Air date: TBA.) Oprah factoids I learned today: The waiting list for tickets is six years, and the audience is sorted by attractiveness and grooming, with the better-looking folks seated in camera range. (There’s a shocker.) My editor’s wife was put in the second row, so she was pleased.
Last fall I wandered into my neighbor’s house during the “Oprah bestows gifts upon teachers” show. She packed the house with teachers, whom she believes are woefully underpaid, and for the next hour it was Queen for a Day, only with more stuff. Everyone in the audience was weeping, my neighbor was fascinated and we all marveled at the largesse that is Oprah.
I went back to my house and told Alan about the gifting orgy taking place on channel 7. His reaction: “Jeez, don’t those teachers know what they’re getting? They’re going to owe thousands of dollars in taxes on all that stuff.” Men don’t get Oprah. Which is why she’s on in the daytime.
After lunch, I stopped at John King Books, the world’s greatest used bookstore, a place that’s old and creaky and so crammed with words on paper that the first thing you do is identify the fire exits, and THEN the fiction section. I was looking for an Annie Proulx book of short stories, because I wanted to read “Brokeback Mountain” before the culture warriors of the right start gas-bagging about the movie, which, if we’re lucky, will cause Michael Medved’s head to explode later this fall.
The story was every bit as good as I’d been told. We’ll see about the movie, but early signs are good.
And now for another hurricane?! Where’s Pat Robertson and his magical storm-clearing powers when you need him?