Justplainwill will now take your questions.
This morning, while breakfasting at the Waffle Hut, I couldn’t help but overhear the couple in the next booth. They were having a tête-à-tête about whether or not Michael Jackson was still alive. The conversation soon turned ugly. Loud bickering and fisticuffs ensued.
Though fighting is not an unusual occurrence at a Waffle Hut, my waitress, Wanda bravely stepped between the warring couple. Exasperated with them both, she threw up her hands and said “Stop it! This is a respectable place… and if you just have to know, Michael Jackson is alive. He and that chimp, Bubbles come in here all the time. Bubbles likes his hash browns ‘scattered, smothered and covered’. Michael is a miserable tipper though. Elvis leaves behind a lot better gratuity…leaves us money like there’s no tomorrow when he comes in. It’s how I sent my oldest to Harvard.”
Justplainwill, I was aghast! It’s hard to imagine that Michael is still alive and I’d have a hard time believing any of it except that Michael really was a lousy tipper. Being a skinflint when it came to leaving the tip was as much a part of his ‘act’ as grabbing his crotch or doing the moonwalk.(I once found the other glove that would given him the matched pair. Do you know that cheapskate didn’t give me not even a dollar for all of my effort.)
On the other hand, if what the waitress said is true, this could be big news, Justplainwill — real big news, especially for a guy in my position, if you get my drift. Wanda, seemed sober as a judge (most of ‘em anyway) but I still have my doubts. Was Wanda telling the truth about Michael’s whereabouts or was she just less drunk than the couple fighting in the next booth?
Los Angeles, CA.
Truth be told, it happens all of the time.
As you might appreciate, most celebrities — in fact, most people — are worth a lot more dead than they ever were alive. As such, statistically, there is a 58.7% chance that any celebrity death has, in fact, been “…one big goof,” staged to dodge the IRS, an ex-wife, the police and/or the never-ending requests from those pests at the PBS to perform –free — during Pledge Week!
As a matter of full disclosure, while I am by no means a celebrity, I faked my own death twenty years ago in order to throw my first, second, fifth and sixth wives off the trail.
Lastly Conrad, you may be interested to know that I have it on good authority that Michael Jackson, along with Tupac, James Brown, Princess Di, Elvis, Amy Winehouse, Regis, Shaquille O’Neal and Betty White will be the cast members of Donald Trump’s new fall TV spinoff show, Dead (or Nearly Dead) Celebrity Apprentice. Check your local TV listings for exact show times.
I hope this helps.
To our utter and complete dismay, we have learned that no one in the viewing audience – i.e. television land — takes us seriously anymore. Expensive market research plus the derisive and hurtful comments made by the mere drizzle of Americans, who actually bothered to call in during Pledge Week, lead us to believe we, the People of PBS, are seen as a bunch of liberal oafs, no more than a bunch of shills for the Obama Administration. Furthermore, most Americans think that the Chief Executive Officer of PBS’ is that little muppet so and so on Sesame Street, Elmo.
Forlorn and heartbroken by these research findings, we composed ourselves and resolved to soldier on. We also embarked upon an ambitious project of revival to alter our image and thus curry favor with the masses of American TV viewers. No longer would we be viewed as the liberal mouthpiece for Barack Obama or worse, even for Bill Moyers, the most liberal white guy in the whole country.
We began by summarily throwing Moyers out on his ass. We also fired that pretender, Juan Williams. In keeping with our new image, we also dispatched a couple of high level PBS executives (i.e. those other than Big Bird and Elmo) after they made some awful comments things about a few conservative politicians even though the comments made were spot on accurate.
In our attempts to improve our programming, we also hired that know it all, Suze Orman. We even gave the woman — bad haircut and all — her own TV show on which she tells anybody who’ll listen how to spend their money and live their lives.
Lastly, Justplainwill, in order to impress our core group of viewers, a bunch of old coots known as Baby Boomers, we put on the Doo Wop Concert Series. You have no doubt seen our Doo Wop Reunion shows in which it appears that we have exhumed from the grave, the embalmed bodies of various 1950’s era rock n roll one hit wonders, propped their bodily remains up on stage and made them (forcibly and against their will) to reprise, “for one last time,” their one and only AM radio hit tune of long ago.
Unfortunately, none of this stuff has worked. Our ratings have plummeted, Congress is threatening to de-fund us and that little bastard, Elmo, is running around the office saying “I told you idiots that this stuff wouldn’t work.” (Jerk!).
Anyway, Justplainwill, can you advise us what to do to clean up this mess? We’re desperate… and hoping.
The People of PBS
First, I must tell you I regularly watch PBS and I enjoy some of your programming. Frontline and your various historical series by Ken “Nothing happened in this country unless I say it did on PBS” Burns are my favorites. I also enjoy watching Nature as thousands upon thousands of wildebeest cross the Serengeti Plains. I marvel at this sight and even fantasize about the prospect of embedding one of my ex-wives, my ex-boss, or one of my crazy relatives in with that herd of animals as they cross Africa’s crocodile infested rivers and trundle on to greener pastures. But I digress…
On the matter of your question, one of the problems over at PBS is that you guys just insist upon getting rid of all the wrong people. As a prime example, one of the folks that you inexplicably insist upon letting loiter around the place is that woman, who seemingly can’t even get the hang of how to spell “Susie” or “Suzie” or “Suzan” or “Suez” or whatever. As I understand it, she is supposed to advise people on whether or not they can afford to buy various consumer goods, take off few vacation days from work (assuming they still have a job to go to in the first place), or to utilize their very 401-K to pay for life saving surgery. (“You’d be better off dead”, I heard her tell one caller from Hahira, Georgia, who needed a heart transplant.) As it turns out, ‘ol Suze has never met one single individual that she felt could afford to buy or do anything that involved spending money. You get the impression, from looking at her show that neither Bill Gates nor Warren Buffett or even Oprah can afford to purchase a stick of gum! I’m pretty sure that it is Suze’s philosophy on consumer spending that triggered the recession in the first place and prolongs it still to this day!
In addition, here are a couple other things you should strongly consider:
- Get rid of all the motivational speakers. Deep inside, anyone with a lick of sense knows that a motivational speaker is just some formerly unemployed guy, who is now running one of the great get overs of our time and all he’s really saying is “Hey you, get off your ass and do something.” Anyone can do this and you don’t have to pay a ton of money for the programming. (Hell, I’ll do it for half the money that you’re paying any of them.)
- Stop torturing us with those lame Doo Wop concerts. None of the original group members look or sound anything like they did when their original hit song was first played fifty or sixty years ago. The groups are usually named after some 1950’s era car (The Edsels) or some household product (Ajax and the Comets) and the two still living members are clinging to life like grim death. Some of them barely remember the words to the songs or that they were ever in the group at all.
Eliminating the Doo Wop concerts will not be a painful as you might think. For one thing, most of us Baby Boomers are living in abject fear, terrorized by the mere notion that you might bring back artists such as Question Mark and the Mysterians
or Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
Worse, you could actually bring back the Bristol Stomp.*
Since most of us often watch PBS during the family hour, none of us boomers want to be embarrassed by allowing younger family members to get a gander at the stuff that Dick Clark forced us to watch, listen and dance to during the early days of rock n roll. Except for Louie, Louie many of us Baby Boomers don’t really remember the words of ANY of the songs of the Sixties since many of us were in a drug induced stupor for much of the entire era.
- Eliminate Pledge Week. Everybody hates it and all of us will be truly grateful. In order to raise funds, I would suggest that you put Suze Orman in a 9 x 12 boxing ring type cage with one of those Bengal Tigers that might still running around the studio, left over from your program India: Land of the Tiger. Let the two of them decide–inside the cage– whether or not the Tiger can afford to buy food. Let them ‘discuss’ the matter, live and on camera at $10.00 a pop Pay-Per-View. In order to even out the odds, make sure Suze is unarmed. It will truly test Suze’s commitment to quality programming and I suspect that you’ll raise scads of money. You’ll also be able to tell the folks in Congress where they stick their PBS DE-Funding Bill.
I hope this helps.
*The Bristol Stomp –a dance—may have been the single worst outcome of the Rock n Roll era. Nobody but neck-tied, sport-jacketed, Catholic high school attending white kids would ever be caught dead doing the Bristol Stomp when it came out in 1961. The dance is the source of the notion that white kids had no natural dance rhythm.
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