Because I’m an overbooked physical wreck today, it’s All-Bloggage Thursday:
For all my well-documented dislike of Mitch Albom’s “one-man sap factory,” (clever turn of phrase: Amy Alkon) there is one part of his multimedia, the-man-the-myth empire that fails to get on my last nerve: His radio show. I’m not a religious listener, but I’ll tune in every so often, and I hereby give him his props: In a radio world populated by shrieking right-wing lunatics, Albom brings a certain regular-guy decency to the airwaves.
Which is not to say I like him, only that he sounds good in comparison. (Talk radio: Where the Likability Bar is So Low, It’s Underground.) He does, however, do one thing that will get my fingers on the dial in a trice. He name-drops. As I was saying to Tony Bennett the other day.. I was talking to Jeff Daniels, and.. My good friend Warren Zevon… Etc. So I wasn’t surprised to read this in the NYT yesterday, about the Kenny Rogers was-it-pine-tar-or-wasn’t-it question:
In his radio broadcast Monday on the Detroit station WJR, the Detroit Free Press sports columnist Mitch Albom made light of suggestions that Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers had a strange, dark substance on his hand early in Game 2 of the World Series.
Albom told his listeners that the controversy was the result of reporters with “too much time on their hands.�? He chuckled when he told of how he shook Rogers’s hand after the game and found no foreign substance on it after the left-handed Rogers pitched eight shutout innings in a 3-1 victory.
He did not mention that the standard practice is to shake with the right hand.
Many other sportswriters talked to Kenny Rogers after the game, but Mitch? Mitch shook his hand, and found it unsullied. Then he raced back to his laptop to file a column, the first act for his next play, two more chapters in a novel about an angel who helps a blind girl run a marathon and notes for the cover letter for his Pulitzer entry. Mitch’s hand never has too much time on it. Mitch’s hand offers the Shake of Truth.
OK, I’ll stop. Although I bet if you asked him, he’d stand by his story and say he knows Rogers’ hand was clean because of course the pitcher took the writer’s hard-working paw in both of his hands, and the left one wasn’t sticky, no sir.
As long as we’ve hopped right to the bloggage today, another delayed entry from yesterday, this one on the ex-White House chef and his new book He’s the ex-chef because he couldn’t get along with the Bush team’s social secretary, who sniffed at his “country-club food” and wanted the food to look “just like the pictures” she sent him, clipped from Martha Stewart Living. Most unsurprising news of the week: President and Mrs. Bush are “not adventurous eaters.” You don’t say.
And if you’re a fan of Roz Chast, and who isn’t, you’ll like this NYT feature on Halloween at Chez Roz, where her husband, Bill Franzen, turns the place into a tourist attraction:
He has a calendar inked with important dates: when to sort the extension cords, when to lay out the electricals, move the skeletons, dummies, headstones, mummies, etc. (there are a lot of props) from a storage area in town to a tent set up in the backyard, when to make repairs, tweak past ideas.
When he’s finished, there might be 15 or 20 tableaux — they have titles, like Alien Crash or Death in the Desert or Lunatic Asylum — each marked by an impish, deadpan humor. It’s the Mad Magazine version of Halloween, said Mr. Franzen, who writes fiction the rest of the year and who was spending the day in his tent behind the house, sorting through his props with quiet urgency.
All the fun people are a little crazy. Around here, the peak of Halloween decoration is a few of those giant inflatables, some orange twinkie lights and a fake pumpkin.
I’m not going to say anything about Rush Limbaugh and Michael J. Fox, except to note that judging from the physical evidence, the fat man is back — he was a thinner man for a while, but no more. Which means, I suppose, that he’s giving free rein to at least one of his impulses. Lock up your oxycontin, because it won’t be long now.
I know what I’m doing this weekend: Making Kate Lawson’s Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies with Apricot Surprise. Why? Because any dish with “surprise” in the name, I’m all for. (Fave National Lampoon cartoon: A waiter pulling the dome off a smoking dish in front of a solitary diner, saying, “It’s a fried telephone book! We gave it a fancy French name, and you ordered it!”)
That’s it. Y’all play in the comments, but I’m off to work. Er, “work.”