Sometimes a Conversation is totally worth sharing, but it’s also really long and I’m afraid that you won’t understand… us. I’m afraid you won’t understand that this is really how we are, that this is just a normal six or seven minutes in the car on the way back from Costco (where another thing happened, because we tried shopping together, but that’s just going to have to wait, you know?) and really this was just the last few minutes of the drive… but you don’t want to read about that time we talked politics, or money, or about the Offspring’s future. And then I wonder what it is you do want to read about, and I start questioning everything this blog is about before I remember two things:
- It’s just a blog. Jesus, has anything in the history of everything ever mattered less?
- It’s my blog, so I can post whatever I want. Right? This is not Instagram, where we’re terribly worried about impressing each other, or Facebook where we don’t want to offend anyone. *
So I do want to share this with you. Because this is what it’s like to be around us, and I like to think that you wish you could’ve been there.**
HIM: I saw this clip, it was Don Rickles, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, and Ed McMahon—you know who all of those are, right?
ME: … I’m sorry, what were those names again?
HIM: (sighs) Don Rickles, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, and Ed McMahon.
ME: Okay, yeah. Sorry, I heard Frank Sinatra and in my head he was singing to me so… you know.
ME: Long dead and still dreamy… but yeah, I know the names. Johnny Carson was on TV when our parents watched, and Ed McMahon gave out those checks.
HIM: Right, but while he was giving out those checks his actual job was to say, “Heeere’s Johnny!” and sit on the couch and say “You are correct sir!”
ME: Yeah, I only know that as a Jack Nicholson line
HIM: It was topical because that’s how Ed McMahon introduced Johnny Carson every night.
ME: Yeah, I really only remember the giant checks. Well, that and thinking—even as a kid—that they must have called those people before they went over with the balloons and everything.
HIM: Oh, they were staged.
ME: Right? Because the lawn was always mowed, someone was always home and ready to come to the door with clothes on and hair brushed, the house was clean, the kids were dressed and well behaved; even as a kid I knew that wasn’t realistic! I went over to a friend’s house and there was a 50/50 chance I’d find a baby with something stuck up their nose.
ME: (pondering) And they never went to apartments.
ME: With the giant check. They never showed them going—
HIM: Or to trailer parks, either
ME: Yeah, but I was a kid and I didn’t know from trailer parks.
HIM: But you’d lived in apartments. Right.
ME: Right. And I knew people who did. And condos. So I noticed that, that Ed never had to go through a security door, up an elevator and down a hallway.
HIM: Yeah, that’s because they were staged. If a poor person won, they’d move them into a staged house for the check presentation.
ME: So we never got the video of Ed picking his way across the dirt yard full of chickens and rusted out cars to knock on the busted trailer door—
ME: —with the foreclosure notice pasted on, to present the giant check that—
HIM: Nope, they’d never show that. Because once you win, you’re not poor anymore.
HIM: They’re selling that dream, that if you buy the magazines and fill out the thing, your problems will magically be fixed.
ME: I’d rather see the video of them actually getting fixed.
HIM: Never happen. Let’s focus on my episode of Hoarders with Smaug, where the dwarves stage an intervention. Because that could happen.
HIM: I’m telling you, there’s enough footage in the Hobbit movies to make that work!
ME: Okay, so I need to become wildly successful so we can become friends with whatshisface—
HIM: Benedict Cumberbatch? Peter Jackson?
ME: That’s the one. And then, at a party or something, I’ll casually mention to him that we want to do a Hoarders/Hobbit mashup, and we need to borrow his property for just a second… and maybe a few of the actors.
HIM: Benedict Cumberbatch.
ME: And some hobbitses.
HIM: There’s only one.
HIM: It’s right there in the name!
ME: (waves hand) Dwarves, then.
HIM: (conceding) We do need dwarves.
ME: And professional makeup, lighting, and good backgrounds for the interviews… and maybe some “on-site” interviews outside the cave, where a dwarf is like, “Okay, we’ve got some piles here and we’re really not going to make any progress unless you stop needing to touch every single thing. Can we please just agree that this pile of gold is going to be sold and the money will be deposited into a bank, and that pile of bones and clothing over there will be donated? Can we just agree to that much?
ME: And then Smaug throws a hissy and eats a dwarf.
HIM: (laughs harder)
ME: All CG, of course. I’m 98% sure we can get Peter and Benedryl enthused about this plan; we just need to meet them.
* I just realized that I am doing both of those things wrong.
** I mean, not the whole time; that would have been weird. Plus, you probably would have wanted something… I barely get out of Costco without a froyo, so if you’d looked at me with your big eyes I’d have got you whatever you wanted and then I’d have been standing in the parking lot while he yelled at me for not helping and my ice cream melted, and it would have sucked. Which is why I only get them in the winter—that, and the fact that you burn more calories eating cold things when it’s cold out. That’s just science.