Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Tain't Funny, McGee
I’ve been sick. It’s not flu, it's just a very, very bad cold. No vomiting, just coughing. And coughing, and coughing. Aches and tiredness, too. I’m getting better, but slowly. Ellen has it worse than I do, but she’s improving, too. The coughing is less scary, and we no longer speak in deep voices, sounding like strangers. I’m feeling well enough to tackle the Christmas tree, which stands in tired glory. There’s something depressing about a Christmas tree after Epiphany, even an artificial one, so it’s got to come down today.
And I think I need to watch something funny. A funny movie. Or listen to an old, funny radio show – Fibber McGee and Molly, maybe. Or, if I can distance myself from his shocking downfall, Bill Cosby. His riff on a visit to his dentist is a riot. Poor old man – maybe not Bill Cosby. He makes me angry that his humor is ruined. It wasn’t angry or cruel, like so many comics’ humor is. Sometimes I feel like writing him a furious letter, because I loved him, or the person I thought he was. I saw him in person, back in the early sixties, at the Hungry i in San Francisco, and became an instant fan. I had all his records, and watched his television show faithfully. And then . . . dammit. Dammit to hell. So maybe not Bill Cosby. As Molly says to Fibber at least once in every show, “Tain’t funny, McGee.” Not anymore, anyhow.