Let’s take a break from film for a moment and ask ourselves one of life’s most important questions. Excluding your graduation ceremonies, have you ever taken off your hat and tossed it in the air in front of a bunch of strangers?

The motives for vacationing in Seattle are many, and although I try to spend as little time as possible in front of the television, a week with cable is one of the trip’s minor perks. During this last visit, I happened upon a channel called Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television), and this matchmaker of a network reintroduced me to the lovely Rhoda Morgenstern. We had met a few times throughout my life, but this was the first time we really got to know each other, and frankly I’m quite smitten. Decked out in my finest B&B bathrobe, I spent a few enchanted hours with Mary Richards and Rhoda, often falling asleep to the shenanigans of Rob and Laura Petrie. Throughout the week, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and The Dick Van Dyke Show each became a perfect recliner for me to relax in after those busy hours of hunting for Seattle oysters or clam chowder in a bread bowl. Like a San Francisco happy hour, Me-TV provided a carefree atmosphere of beautiful fashion, witty one-liners, feisty broads, at times their feisty mothers, all at two-for-one prices.

It was also on this trip that I made an important discovery about my cell phone. A burden we all bear in the work world when we deal with clients . . . or coworkers . . . or bosses . . . or, you know, people . . . is that everyone believes he or she should be the exception to the rules. When I create a schedule and send it out into the digital world, immediately I get at least three responses demanding to know, “So, when’s the real, drop-dead deadline?” While many get away with it due to office politics or the delusion that they happen to be the most important client on the client totem pole, there’s one work environment where no exceptions are made. If you miss breakfast at a B&B, you go hungry, buster. You don’t have to go home, but you ain’t gettin’ breakfast here! It pains me to do so while on vacation, but drastic times, people . . . when vegetarian Eggs Benedict are at stake, one has no choice but to set an alarm.

Does everyone know that if you have music on your phone, you can wake up to the song of your choosing? And if everyone already knows this, weren’t you amazed on the day (five years ago, right?) that you figured this out? The clock radio on my nightstand may be as outdated as my taste in film, but overall it’s treated me well, in spite of the hateful words it’s received from me over the years. When I needed an appropriate “I’m on vacation” alarm clock song, predictably I went to all my favorites who need not be mentioned. Tougher than it sounds, I’ll have you know. What soothing voice could guide me out of bed with its gentle lyrics, gradually building up energy without blowing the roof off the joint before I had my first sip of coffee? And then . . . Ton. Of. Bricks! Like the millions of young men before me, and probably a handful of you ladies, I found my wake-up call in “Love Is All Around” by Sonny Curtis, the theme song of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

So . . . ever taken off your hat and tossed it in the air in front of a bunch of strangers? Yeah, well, me neither, but Jesus, Mary, and Rhoda, it looks like it feels pretty darn fantastic!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Before laugh tracks to tell us when to laugh, even if a show is not the least bit funny, shows had to actually BE funny and well written. You picked some of the best, well done!


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