Saturday, January 17, 2004

January 17, 2004
Just got the news this morning that Spalding Gray (Swimming to Cambodia) is missing and possibly may have committed suicide. I just hate it when people who have given me inspiration and happiness, can’t find it for themselves. I saw my first Spalding monologue at the Scottsdale Center for The Arts a decade or so ago and I must admit, he inspired a major part of my radio persona and my approach to humor.

He simply sat at a table and basically read a monologue about buying a cabin in the woods. It sounds boring, but it had an incredible ring of truth to it and his honesty at his failings and foibles was fresh and breathtaking. In the course of the story he was having trouble with his city landlord who he described as having mafioso tendencies and this rough New Yorker type would leave threatening messages on his answering machine. Having totally hooked us in on this intriguing character he stopped reading and said, “Would you like to hear those messages?” As he said this, he reached under the desk and pulled up a tape player. The audience started to howl and clap. In a total deadpan, he proceeded to play the tape. It was so incredible to be actually listening to this total jerk, yelling and swearing on the phone (I guess it’s possible the guy was an actor, but I doubt it, and frankly I don’t care). I immediately applied (stole) this renegade introspection to the Jones & Boze radio show (KSLX, 1986-1994), where I would play actual, angry phone messages from Kathy, much to my wife’s chagrin, but she became one of the characters on the show and people loved her raw honesty).

Obviously I have applied the same dynamics to the magazine (read my editorials) and especially to this blog. Speaking of which, Abby P. yesterday said she loves it when I give the amount I spend at lunch and she asked me yesterday what I spent with Carole (we went to lunch). I told Abby this was none of her business, that it was a private lunch and that only a flaming jackass would violate the personal space of the general manager of the company.

Carole and I had lunch at Tuscan Cafe (had the veggie sando and an iced tea, $17, Carole bought, I put in $5).

"The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice."
—Some guy named Larson

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