- Let the Pigeons Loose
20 July 2010
Growing up in the late 70’s, there was nobody cooler than Arthur Fonzarelli.
The leather jacket. The comb. The juke box.
Every young boy wanted to be The Fonz.
Every young girl wanted to do something with The Fonz.
They just didn’t know what.
A couple of years ago I got a chance to meet Arthur.
The real Arthur, Henry Winkler.
It was a a brief meeting, make that a VERY brief meeting.
But I shook the right hand of THE FONZ.
My two older kids, then probably 10 and 8, were with me, but as hard as I tried to explain, they couldn’t help but think…
…why is my dad so excited about seeing that gray haired old Jewish guy?
What can I say, he’s the Fonz.
Unfortunately my Happy Days trivia knowledge has disappeared like Richie’s older brother, but I can still remember some episodes like they were thirty years ago.
Richie and Potsie going to the stag party.
Richie and the Fonz double dating with Laverne and Shirley.
Fonzie jumping garbage cans and then the shark.
One of my favorite episodes was when the Malachi Brothers came in for the Demolition Derby.
(Yes, unfortunately I had to look up the name of the brothers. I am officially old.)
When they arrived in Milwaukee, they unveiled the Malachi Crunch and a catch phrase that I still use to this day:
About ten years ago, Seinfeld replaced Caddyshack in my brain as my most quoted show, but there are certain hall-of-fame phrases that seem to re-appear on a weekly basis.
If I ever wonder if I did something correctly, you can rest assure that George Costanza’s, “was that wrong?” will work its way into the conversation.
If something is too expensive, I immediately head back to Bushwood Country Club, because “I ain’t payin no 50 cents for no Coke.”
And if someone lets the cat out of the bag and you are within seven feet of me, you are guaranteed to hear, “Let the Pigeons Loose.”
I’m not really sure if I’m using it in the correct context, but to me once the pigeons have been let loose, it’s time to put on your seat belt.
So where am I going with all this?
I’m taking the scenic route to my lunch today, which I enjoyed with two former colleagues.
Well, more importantly, two current friends.
I was fortunate to manage them when I was managing.
Both of them were relieved of their duties (and their benefits) with no notice in the great fall of 2008.
One of them was on maternity leave at the time, the other was seven months pregnant.
You stay classy San Diego.
Fortunately we still get together for lunch from time-to-time. Unfortunately there’s usually too much time between us getting together for lunch.
Today we met up at a local Mexican restaurant.
I had the Chicken Mole Enchiladas. They each enjoyed what appeared to be a big plate of melted cheese.
About 94% of the way through our two-hour reunion, one of my former colleagues looked me in the eye and said….
…well, actually before she said anything, I knew exactly where she was headed.
For those of you who have read the blog for awhile, you have probably learned a lot about me.
A lot about my kids.
A lot about my mom.
A lot about my good days and bad days.
But I really try not to talk too much about my former employer.
I believe it was Marian Cunningham who said if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Despite the crash and burn landing, the experience I had and the people I met was something I would never trade in.
But that was my old life and this is my new life.
Right or wrong, good or bad, I have made a point to not mention the blog to any of my former co-workers.
I would hate for them to think I am a narcissistic sports maniac, stuck in a 70’s sitcom listening to 80’s music.
Well my friend looked me in the eye, she kinda paused, then stuttered through, “I heard... Are you... Did you... Were you... on CNN?”
“Are you writing a ..”
I guess I was little naive to think that my blog could make it to India and Korea, England and Saddle River, New Jersey without eventually making a stop around the corner.
For the next 20+ minutes I gave them a recap of my life as a blogger.
Somehow I didn’t bore them, because they both said they were actually looking forward to checking it out.
Let the pigeons loose.