TeeVee Mailbag V: The Wrath of LittlefieldWe like to think of our little TeeVee site as a refuge for higher thought, a refuge where members of the intelligentsia who are also well-versed in pop culture -- couch potatoes who have read a book -- can gather and wax philosophical about the medium of television.
Even now as this is being written, a group of us are gathered around the espresso machine fiercely debating Martin Lawrence and his effect on African-American scatological humor. Downstairs in the TeeVee lab, our crack team of researchers is running tests on the new ABC fall line-up to determine whether it is, in fact, more noxious than mustard gas. And, of course, we just got that government grant to transcribe all of Urkel's dialogue from Family Matters to search for hidden prophecies and psychic revelations. For instance, did you know that season one of Family Matters foretold Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and that Bill Clinton's re-election was revealed some two years before it...
We've said too much already.
But the point is, we like to think of ourselves as the TeeVee brainiacs, the kind of guys who can sit in front of the ol' boob tube, watch a couple of re-runs of Mama's Family and produce a spine-tingling essay about the importance of Vicki Lawrence vis-a-vis the post-feminist era. We're the smart kids. The straight-A students of TeeVee. The folks at the head of the class.
Thankfully, we have you readers to strip us bare of our pretensions and to trample all our hopes and dreams into dust. Because whenever we're feeling like the cock of the walk, one of you inevitably sends us e-mail demanding not gripping analysis of the state of TeeVee, but rather, blasé information you're perfectly capable of looking up your own damn selves. Because we're sure you can understand how disconcerting it is for us to realize that our readers think of us as nothing more than people to settle their drunken bar bets.
Take the case of devoted reader
"What am I, the fucking Shell Answer Man?" Michaels was heard to grumble as he poured himself another snort of whiskey from the flask he keeps hidden in a hollowed-out copy of The Sun Also Rises.
Like Michaels, we admit we were taken aback by the brusque tone of
Ah, but that's where
But still, we felt bad that
Then there was the case of
Well, that pretty much floored us. We're familiar with a lot about Warren Littlefield -- his collection of model trains, his love of the bocce ball, his wonderful singing voice -- but one thing that had always alluded us was Warren's mysterious extracurricular activities while in high school.
So we dialed up our good buddy Warren and put the question to him straight: Did he serve on the New Jersey Association of High School Councils.
"Oh yes, fellas," Warren told us. "And it was one of the most formative experiences of my youth. I served as the association's entertainment director in charge of putting on the year-end talent show. And the way I did it was to stick a good act at the beginning, follow it up with a couple of crappy acts, then another good act, then some more crappy acts, then a rerun of the first good act and... well, you get the picture.
"The New Jersey Association of High School Councils taught me discipline, leadership and the value of taking credit for others' work. Plus, I enjoyed the snacks."
We hope that answers your question,
Additional contributions to this article by: Philip Michaels, James Collier.
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