Thursday, June 26, 2008

A hero gone

Sorry, it's been a while since the last writing, but I would be remiss if I were to not post something about this week's celebrity loss, George Carlin.

Growing up, I had two role models in my life: Kermit the Frog and George Carlin. Sure, you might ask, "what about your dad?", but I would point out that in my twisted memory of childhood Kermit and my dad were the same, um, person. Ask my sister and she'd say the same.

I grew up with Carlin. I said my first dirty words with Carlin. Some day I will find out what a few of them actually mean.

I was introduced to George in the 80's with Carlin At Carnegie. I distinctly remember standing next to the TV sometime around the fifteenth viewing of the special, my finger poised on the "record" button of my cassette tape recorder (the one I also used to plug into my Timex Sinclair 1000) so I could record the audio and listen to it over and over again. And I did. Over and over again. Back then I could recite the first 90 or so words from George's complete dirty words list from memory. And I did. Over and over again. Somewhere in the basement is the complete list, but no matter. This week I confirmed that Carlin At Carnegie is forever available on YouTube. Enjoy.

If it wasn't for George, I wouldn't know what to say when I opened the refridgerator and came across an empty plate (Did something east something else?).

If it wasn't for George, I wouldn't have known that the Mexican Hat Dance was written by two people.

George made me snicker every time the flight attendant said, "please check the overhead compartments for any belongings you might have brought on board with you (well, I MIGHT have brought my arrowhead collection).

George taught me that the object of baseball was to GO HOME.

George taught me that woodpecker was the tragic next stage of pussyfoot.

George taught me that a fart's a fart, and that's that.

Ironically, this week I've been introducing my daughters to Season 1 of The Muppet Show on DVD. Timeless classics. As an adult, I have a new found respect for Kermit, and see how he did in fact shape my life. Kermit was the leader, the anal retentive organizer, trying to make sense and order of the weirdness around him. That's me. But I also noticed one thing I had never realized watching the Muppets as a kid.

Kermit was quite the horndog.

Forget about Miss Piggy for a moment. In two of the first three episodes of Season one, Kermit and his cohorts hosted Juliet Prowse and Connie Stevens. Both babes. And Kermit could have had either one of them. Had it not been for the G-rating of the Sunday night show, he would have. he's just that charming.

Somehow, I didn't pick up that trait growing up.

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