Monday, November 30, 2009

Riddle Me This, Stritchy-style

So, on Friday my friend Brian and I attemped to go to the MoMA for their Free Friday Night Fun-fest. I was a little tardy on account of not being a good person, but it didn't matter anyway, as the line to get in literally (that's a popular mis-used adjective these days, second only to irony) wrapped around the block - it looked like Election Day 1994 in Johannesburg.

Clearly even if we did wait in the line the experience would have been a bad one - the hordes of tourists with Black Friday shopping bags would have crammed themselves between us and the Tim Burtons, with children's grubby paws fingering all of the "art."

Instead, we wandered over to the "Museum" of Television & Radio. Brian had never been, and since we're both corporate members, it seemed like a lovely and free option.

One of the programs we ordered up in the viewing carrel was an episode of The Dick Cavett Show with Elaine Stritch, which was from about 1979. It was a fascinating half hour of TV, prompting Brian to say "They don't make shows like this anymore. I wish Dick Cavett were still alive." Well, some wishes come true anyway.

One wish I had was to find this clip on the youtube, but no such luck.

The point of this tale is not that Elaine talked about her experiences with alcohol, or diabetes, or did impressions of a native Chinese speaker (almost as bad as Rosie's) and a Black maid at the Hotel Carlyle, or even her Christopher Walken-like recitation of "Anyone Can Whistle."

What I found most interesting is she was telling Cavett about some trait or other that she had, which emulated her parents, and she said "I didn't lick that off the ground."

Neither Cavett nor anyone in the audience got the line, and she explained that it was something she picked up in England. I guess the closest cliche I can think of is "the apple didn't fall far from the tree." I did a google for the term, and the only non-dirty result I had was on a blog dedicated to that gay British boy band member who died earlier this year, but it didn't shed much light for me.Anyway, if I had a point in mind I've certainly misplaced it by now.

In Conclusion, Robert Redford didn't lick Stritchy up off the ground. Or something like that.

Happy Monday!

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