Thursday, September 01, 2005

Life According to Bill

Day 5 of the stand-off between me and Channel 4 News. It’s much like a silent game of Taboo. Can you get me to say “Hurricane Katrina” without using the words “flooding,” “looters,” “ailing,” “loss,” “plight,” “overwhelmed”...? So far, there’s no tally, because the news hasn’t been willing to play. Fine. Be like that. I’ll just watch “The Cosby Show,” instead.

And, you know, “The Cosby Show” is a pretty good alternative. I like to think that if Cliff and Clair were forced out of their brownstone by a New York City hurricane, they’d put the sass in disasster. (Yeah, that’s the ticket...) Dr. Huxtable would tease Vanessa about waterproof eyeliner, and the younger kids would coordinate a jazz number with wind-and-rain sound effects. At the end of the show, Cliff would give a little speech about the Lesson of Hurricanes: people are more important than possessions. He’d toss in a corny joke at the end, and Clair would smile indulgently. Oh, that Cliff!

I haven’t yet reached a “Cosby Show” acceptance of Katrina, but I’m not cursing with the frequency of “The Sopranos” or crying like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Right now, the closest fit is Groundhog Day.

You’ve probably seen it. Bill Murray is a blowhard news anchor who gets trapped in February 2. The alarm clock hits 6 a.m., Sonny and Cher croon on the radio, and Bill blinks twice: deja vous? Yup, it’s Groundhog Day again. He’s stuck.

What’s so bad about limbo? If I remember the movie correctly, Bill adopts several attitudes toward his plight. (Ah, I said the word “plight.” I lose.) After a brief period of panic, he celebrates. If today’s actions have no bearing on tomorrow, then why not get started on that DUI record? Because Bill is not a typical male, the idea of consequence-free sex doesn’t really tempt him. He only wants one girl: Andie MacDowell.

Hey, I didn’t write the script.

But after awhile, hedonism gets old. Bill wants out. He picks a fight with the hapless insurance salesman. He clogs his arteries with extra whipped cream and butter. He even drives his car off a cliff. No luck. Morning comes, and Sonny and Cher re-warble.

This is not a Quentin Tarantino movie. Andie doesn’t maim and slaughter Bill at the end (though that would be interesting). Nor does Bill maim and slaughter himself, much as he tries. No, like besweatered Bill C., Bill M. decides to “make the best of it.” He learns several languages, takes piano lessons, and becomes a friend to young and elderly alike. Wouldn’t you know it....he becomes just the type of man that Andie MacDowell goes for. Oh, that Bill!

In the spirit of Murrayism, I’ve progressed from giddy shock to sorrow to anger, and by yesterday night, I was ready to rescue a few kittens. So, I took a CPR class at the local hospital with my parents. Tomorrow I’ll still be in limbo, but I’ll know how to save an infant from choking “on a foreign object” (as opposed to choking on a familiar object which, apparently, never happens).

Now, wait, though....don’t bring your choking infant to me. Nurse Ashleigh had to gently correct my technique several times. “Okay, hon...good, good. Next time, try to administer the rescue breaths without grasping the infant by the neck.”

Honestly, if you don’t grasp them by the neck, how can you keep the little buggers still?

It seems I’m much better at hedonism than altruism.

That said, I’m going to Chicago tomorrow. Jessica has a futon, and I have a bunch of Southwest Rapids Rewards miles (courtesy of Mom). Even the worldlier, wiser Bill wouldn’t turn down this combo.

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for the support. I would say thank you several more times, but that might get repetitive....cue Sonny and Cher.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have fun in the Windy City!

4:04 PM  
Blogger Jesseanna said...

Oh no....please no mention of wind (anonymous or otherwise).


6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, "windy" originally referred to Chicago politicians. As in, those corrupt windbags!
Next stop, Boston? Paulie is asking for you . . .

8:28 AM  
Blogger Jesseanna said...


I could use his wisdom, too. Or just his hugs.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His hugs?!?!?! Now there's something to blog about! The appeal of the stiff, skinny WASP--why so great?

9:29 AM  
Blogger Jesseanna said...

'Cause I like to make him squirm.

(who is back from the Windy City, older but not terribly wiser. More to come.)

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rise and shine, campers, and don't forget your booties, cause it's gonna be COLD outside today!

4:38 PM  
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