This Is Us

I fell asleep on my sofa and just woke up and this was on my TV.

A young black man was knocking on the door of an older black man’s door. The older black man answered. And it was sort of rainy.

And the young black man said:

“My name is Randall Pearson. I am your biological son. 36 years ago, you left me at the front door — now hold on, let me say this — 36 years ago, you left me at the front door of a fire station. But don’t worry. I’m not here because I want anything from you. See, I was raised by two incredible parents. I have a lights-out (sic?) family of my own. And that car you see? Parked in front of your house? Cost $143,000, and I bought it for cash. I bought it for cash because I felt like it. And because I can do stuff like that. Yeah. You see, I turned out pretty all right. Which might surprise a lot of folks considering the fact that that 36 years ago, my life started with you leaving me on a fire station door step with nothing more than a ratty blanket and a crap-filled diaper.

I came here today so I could look you in the eye, say that to you and then get back in my fancy-ass car and finally prove to myself and to you and to my family who loves me that I didn’t need a thing from you, even after I knew who you were.

Old man: You wanna come in?

Young man (without hesitation): Okay.

This is my new favorite show, based solely on that scene. It is called “This Is Us” on NBC. I have not watched anything else on the show but based on this scene, the melding of the dramatic and the unexpected punchline there, I think I may have good things to feel about this fine television program. We shall see.

A Tribute to Glenn Miller Vol. II

IMG 2381

For maybe decades, this languished in my Grandmother’s basement somewhere. She had long ago lost interest in her victorla, I reckon (she used to have one, I remember this, but she’d long disposed of it I think). I am listening to it tonight and it is pretty great. It’s no Illinois Jaquet, but it’s pretty excellent. Maybe some historical interest in it too, as it is a tribute, released posthumously I assume. I had a conversation with her when we visited her on her birthday a month before she died. I asked her what it was like when Glenn Miller died. It was awful, she said. They had no idea what had happened to him for a long time (Miller died in a downed aeroplane returning from a campaign of entertaiing our troops). I was trying to imagie the scope of the death of such a valued figure in popular culture, because Prince had just died, and I was trying to explain his import to me and to relate to something equivalent she had experienced in her life. Anyway, so it’s appropriate that I have absconded with this fine Miller tribute. It plays fine. P.S. Vinyl is still worth the real estate.

Wine Whine

Me, on the phone with a local restaurant this morning, inquiring about a corkage fee.

Me: Good morning. Do you have a corkage fee?
She: A what?
Me: A corkage fee. You know. When my party brings its own bottle of wine, and we give you money for permission to do so?
She: Oh. We don’t do that. Because we sell our own wine.
Me: Perhaps I’m not being clear. We would be giving you more money, and you would not have to sell us anything at all. It would add to the check, which would increase the tip, even. This is free money from us to you, all you have to do is to assist us in removing the cork.
She: No, we don’t do that.
Me: It’s legal in Pennsylvania. I looked it up.
She: Nope.
Me: Seriously. Name your price. It’s free money.
She: Sorry.