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Imponderable #137: Turn In Your Man Card

3 May

May 3, 2018

A son’s school note penned by his father has gone viral. Check it out!

 

Dear Mrs. Field.

     Sean tells me that you have confiscated his sweater. He tells me that in class he conforms to the school uniform. He was absent from school on Monday because he had a cold, so traveling on Wednesday without his sweater was not too clever. 

     He told me that the jacket he wears normally is acceptable, but it was stained, therefore he could not wear it. His mother was in Cyprus last week on a break and I, unfortunately, was not able to use the washing machine. Sean was too embarrassed at having a father who cannot use a washing machine to say this.

     Anyway my point is: Isn’t this just a little bit petty? Life’s hard enough.

 

And the internet loves it! Wow! What a nice dad, he seems so sweet!

Really? Seems like a jerk to me.

First of all, his son broke the dress code and he has the nerve to accuse the teacher of being petty?

(And what young boy cares if his jacket is stained? When I was a kid you had to pry my Spider-Man t-shirt off me. It had stains from meals I only vaguely remembered eating but I still wore it because I loved it.)

Second of all, his wife was away “on a break”? She was probably on a break from her marriage based on…

Thirdly, what kind of a man can’t figure out a washing machine? OK, maybe you aren’t sure which cycle to use, but A- turn it on B- pick a setting, any setting, C- add water and detergent, D- go watch TV and drink a beer. 

This guy can’t use a washing machine and I’m sure he can’t change a burnt out fuse in the basement, fix a flat tire, bandage a wound, or anything else you’d expect a man to be able to do. This is not a man I’d trust with my life. I wouldn’t trust him not to spill his lite beer when he’s watching the WNBA.

And he had no problem writing about it! He thinks he’s funny!

His son was embarrassed at having a father who can’t use a washing machine? I’m sure there’s a lot more he can be can be embarrassed for his father about.

I’m sure his wife is on a break in Cyrus, on the beach, with another guy.

What father is proud of the fact that he can’t use a washing machine? 

The question is Imponderable.

 

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1976: Groucho Marx Visits Welcome Back Kotter and Makes Everyone Sad

13 Mar

March 13, 2018

I wrote a frankly excellent post back in 2010 about Groucho Marx and his cultural impact in the 1970s. It is possibly my favorite post and it is constantly being reblogged and linked. 

Briefly, it is the story of a man whose famous past has outlived him, and the sorry way he was treated in the fast-declining years of his life. One of the saddest, but true, stories is about a visit Groucho made (or was forced to make) to the set of Welcome Back Kotter for a guest spot. Everyone was shocked at his fragile body and mental deterioration. He was such a shell of himself that some people in both the cast and audience shed tears. Groucho was unable to do the part, the spot was canceled, and even the publicity photos were never released.

Now flash ahead to 2018.

I was listening to the truly laugh out loud funny Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, episode 191 with guest Mark Evanier. It was hysterical, and right in my wheelhouse because Evanier knows everyone in comedy from Jack Benny to Sergio Aragones, and guys like Jack Kirby as well. During the show, he told an extended version of Groucho’s visit to the Welcome Back Kotter set. Mark was there, and saw it all, first hand. He worked on the show. Here’s his account from his blog, and it fleshes out my version, which I am happy to say is verified as accurate.

There are big points revealed in his post and his podcast appearance.

First, that the whole reason the guest appearance came about was apparently so Erin Fleming could wrangle a guest spot in a future episode. Poor Groucho should not have even left his house in the shape he was in.

Second, he was in such poor, confused shape that he was not able to talk and they first changed his guest spot to a silent cameo, then finally canceled it altogether.

Third, and even more interesting, the photos were not only never released but they were claimed to have been destroyed.

But at least two weren’t. Someone sent them to Mark and they can be found online now. They weren’t there in 2010 when I first searched.

grouchokotter01

Honestly, I was expecting far worse.

But this is not the way to remember this great man.

This is.

 

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