Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Takin' out the trash

Last night my daughter and I engaged in a little family bonding: watching TV and chatting. Nothing odd about that, except maybe that she lives in California and I in Florida.

Nothing brings a family together like unlimited nights and weekends.

Due to the three-hour time difference and the way cable channels operate, some shows air simultaneously on her coast and mine, while other networks run different shows on the two coasts at the same time. Thus, she watched a yawner on VH-1 west coast version that ranked 40 hotties over 40 (Demi Moore topped the list) while I saw Dave Matthews on VH-1 east coast version. Having had enough of VH-1, my daughter went channel surfing and discovered Conan O’Brien being interviewed by Bob Costas on Larry King Live. Being a lifelong insomniac, I’ve hosted the Conester as a frequent guest in my home. So I joined my daughter over at CNN.

We did as people do when they sit together in the family room watching TV: some chat, some attention to the buzz-box. I only had half an eye on the TV when I caught an abbreviated version of the funniest darned thing I’d ever seen on O’Brien’s show: a segment featuring Detective Conan O’Brien and Detective Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. That sent me to the web to see if I could find the clip online. Here you’ll find the segment, which should be the first link. Don’t know why I can’t find it on NBC’s site. It’s worth the time simply to look at the juxtaposition of the 6’6” O’Brien and the is-he-even-4’-nothing Reich. It hurt my sides to watch the first time; six or seven viewings later it still makes me laugh.

That was last night. Today I learned that I’ll soon have the chance to hear Dr. Reich lecture in his capacity as professor of social and economic policy.

I hope I can keep a straight face.

Anyone who has seen him in his more casual moments, however, would recognize that even in the “intellectual” context, Reich would probably appreciate a smile from someone who is listening to a lecture on our socioeconomic crises but imagining a little man takin’ out the trash.

(Reich’s website links to a relatively recent appearance on The Daily Show, but oddly makes no mention of his moonlighting as a detective.)

(The foregoing is the new version of the late, lamented evaporated post discussed below. This second version was faster to write -- 20 mins., tops -- and better than the first. That revision, even revision from scratch, generally produces better work is something else that I should know by now.)

No comments: