Over the past 11 years I have slapped over 590 of these little bloggie posts up here on the ole’ World Widening Web. That’s almost six hundy weekly posts in a row each offering a scary view into the dimly lit recesses of my brain. That’s a lot of whining about my petty problems, large leaps of memory faith, really frightening self-introspection and a gazillion hours dedicated to a fairly useless endeavor. Of course, it’s not like I would have used those few hours a week doing something positive for society like curing cancer, creating an app that identifies everyone in your phone’s photos based on social media images or delivering Mealy Wheels to needy Humanity Habitaters.
Some posts are easy to compose with the words flowing like lava uncontrollably spewing out of my head all over my keyboard faster than my fingers can type them. Other times extracting a good idea from my skull is tougher than pulling a tooth with a tweezer. But at the risk of turning this week’s dissertation into something akin to those hated retrospective episodes that every long running TV show tosses into the mix when they are running low on fresh ideas, you know… where instead of new content they flimsily string together a bunch of cut-up rehashed tidbits from past, during this morning’s search I thought maybe I should look to the past to stimulate a new topic.
In May 2006, my first month of blogging, I recalled a hypochondriac-like fear. “As I watched my shaky fingers I thought of Michael J. Fox (which is a scary enough thing on its own) and thus started a two-year period in my life that I was sure I had Michael J Fox Parkinsons. I was afraid to tell anyone. I kept the life shattering news to myself that this young strapping indestructible man in his late thirties was suffering from the early stages of Michael J Fox Parkinsons and no doubt would soon be unable to function in society without massive doses of medicine. Eventually confined to a wheelchair. Jockeying for loose change selling pencils on a street corner shaking a tambourine next to the blind guy as my only way left to make money. I would be paraded onto one of those lesser-known Telethons hosted not by Jerry Lewis but by his son Gary Lewis who would close the 5-hour show with a rendition of This Diamond Ring.”
In case you are torn up with curiosity, I later revealed it was not Michael J Fox Parkinsons but just a bit of early stage commonplace arthritis. A week later I posted some tid-bits from my travels. “In Illinois I found a drugstore that’s overhead sign read Service To The Sick which I’m sure was what they did offer. In Douglas Georgia there was another drugstore called Jerry Lewis Drugs which immediately conjures up the image of the Nutty Professor behind the pharmacy counter. There’s a chain of gas stations in the Midwest, which an outsider could get confused for a roadside brothel because of their name Kum & Go.”
That was two off-hand Jerry Lewis references in my first month. Another time I posted “my friend Madeline and I went to see the 1981 released Jerry Lewis movie Hardly Working at a 50 cents movie theater on a rainy night in a little Key West movie theater. It was so bad we left halfway through and on our way out she stopped at the ticket booth and, on principle alone, she asked for her money back.” Just last month I said “I just think my paranoid nature and twisted world view would cause me to raise very neurotic unbalanced Jerry Lewis like ‘Cretons’. ” Not long before that, I brought up how when she was a kid, my Sister witnessed Jerry Lewis angrily curse out one of her younger friends.
What is all this? I mention Jerry Lewis a lot. In June of 2012 I admitted “Jerry has been resting on his comedic laurels since before I was born. Yeah, he made some unfunny stinkers but a lot of Jerry Lewis’ old movies and TV shows from the late 40s, 50s and early 60s are funny… My dirty little secret, I still love a lot of that stuff and it still makes me laugh like a giddy little boy. But shhhhhhhhh, don’t tell anybody. My wife already has enough ammo to use against me.”
It turns out Jerry Lewis is all over my damn blog. I kept finding more and more references. I had not really thought about it but apparently, I am very obsessed with Jerry Lewis.
“Since my success rate at fixing technical problems in the car were about the same as those of the Hindenburg’s landing crew or the Titanic’s ice berg watchers, I realized I was not going to have a working headlight anytime soon. My life was turning into a bad Jerry Lewis movie with no happy ending in sight” 3/17
“Like if Trump appointed Jerry Lewis as his press secretary…” 2/17
“every time she changes the number I will do a bad Jerry Lewis impression yelling ‘give me a Timpani’!!!” 12/15
“They are more spoiled than a two-month-old glass of milk left out in the Mojave Desert sun. Paris Hilton, Jerry Lewis and the Prince of Monaco are less overindulged than the four-legged critters at my house.” 1/15
“I was running, well more like flailing kinda’ like a cross between Jerry Lewis’s nutty professor and that naked crying kid escaping from a napalm attack in that iconic Vietnam war photo.” 9/14
“It’s like a hemophiliac working at a pin factory or a Priest into pornography or Jerry Lewis staring as a clown in a movie about Auschwitz; nothing good can come from it…” 5/14
“She continued to go off on me like a chiseled jawed drill Sargent that stumbled upon a Jerry Lewis-like slacking soldier.” 10/13
“… or in Jerry Lewis’ case four or five decades past his prime” 7/12
My friend Allyson always hated Frank Sinatra but a few years after he died she found a soft spot in her heart for the memories his music brought her. I asked her if she thought the same thing would happen with Jerry Lewis and she said ‘absolutely no way’… well she used more curse words.
I have always had that soft spot for Jerry Lewis. I grew up loving his old movies and watching the telethon just to catch glimpses of his early genius. He made it OK for me to be over-the-top goofy and silly like Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Jim Carry did decades later. I did not realize I was using him in my blog as an iconic cultural reference like Marilyn, Dean or Kennedy; my touchstone for goofiness.
With his innovative years long past, his recent passing did not affect me as some others but it still makes me sad. He was one of the last vestiges of a long gone simpler era. I wonder if that is why I liked him. He conjures up easier less stressful days of my childhood while simultaneously making it okay to be a goofball.