Know Know Better Better

Taking it from the top, let’s start by admitting that if my childhood were a TV show, it would be set in the 50s and I would be played by Ron Howard.

But as we all know, Richie Cunningham got too big for those small-town britches and peaced out after Season 7, leaving the Fonz to jump sharks all on his own. Likewise I packed my bags and headed to New York City, where I might’ve experienced all of this:

But also, by staying too true to my Opie Taylor roots,

experienced a dynamic more like this:


Having blown his chance with Maryann, Gilligan had nothing left to do but figure out a way off the island, and it only made perfect sense that this meant working with the Professor:

So I turned down a job offer in New York, packed my bags again and ventured to New Hampshire to toil endless hours for no pay in support of Barack Obama. Staying with my mother and her boyfriend in a lakehouse, I pictured summer 2007 as half lake-side Zen retreat, half boot camp for my Protestant work ethic. Everything was in its right place.

One car accident later (my fault) and the tenuous financial situation that made my no-income lifestyle possible was ruined. I found myself back home in Mayberry, living in the room where I grew up, with no money, no car, no job, and no possessions. The universe had just hit the Reset button on the video game of my life. How did I recover? I’ll let the video do the talking:

Yup, starting from World 1-1, Mario had that game on lock in five minutes flat. Car, job, a place of my own; faster than a speeding bullet I was back on my feet as a fully self-sufficient adult-type person.

But let’s be real here. Mario’s speed-demon experience left the proud plumber lacking in certain vital areas. This overeager hero never got blown up on the magic mushroom, never harnessed the power of the fireflower, and never saw the flashing lights of the invincibility star. But I’ve got no regrets. Super Mario Brothers was just the humble beginning of a world-dominating franchise, don’t ya know.

Yes, here I sit, a blank slate who was dealt a mighty fine hand, willing and able to dive in way over my head in search of adventure, focused and determined to stay on point and on balance, and always willing to spit the truth, like that handsome devil Peter Sarsgaard spouting off about the rough and tumble picture business:

Don’t despair, Pete, that next great script is right around the corner. I know because I’m writing it. And if, dear reader, you think that’s just bravado, well… you really ought to know better.


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