Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time Enough For Chicken

"The only way I survived winter in Iowa was glamour." So said Melissa Ginsburg last night. The occasion of this wonderful remark was our unseasonable drop in temperature. Just earlier in the day Kent Osborne had said that the weather gets a bad rap as a topic of conversation. "It's supposed to be boring to talk about the weather," Kent said. He disagrees! And Melissa is living proof. Kent and Seo Kim and I went to see Dr. Theresa introduce David Simon yesterday afternoon. He gave a talk! Just a few days ago he was hanging out with President Obama in the White House. And now here he is giving a talk. After the talk, there was just half an hour before an ADVENTURE TIME video conference Kent and I were required to attend. Time enough for chicken, thought Kent! "This will be my fourth chicken meal in a row," he said. "Oxford is a chicken town." It may be the highest form of compliment Kent can bestow. We went into Gus's. Kent ordered one chicken wing, which I found amusing. Kent had no qualms. It was just what he wanted. But it made me think of the scene in WAITING FOR GUFFMAN in which Parker Posey is poignantly turning over a single chicken wing on a grill. An image included in large part for its absurdity! Or so I have always assumed. Seo laughed unreservedly when the chicken wing came out. There it was, shining, in its own little basket. A funny sight. Pitiful! Exquisite with mortality. Kent consumed it without irony. He reviewed the most recent chicken dishes he had enjoyed. The wings at another place were different than on a previous trip, bigger, and of a lesser quality of chicken, Kent thought. He suspected that the establishment - which shan't be named here - had gone with a new, cheaper supplier, which started me thinking about THIEVES' HIGHWAY, the great old movie about the crime surrounding apple orchards (!). I jokingly suggested that we should create a TV show that starts out on a free-range chicken farm and follows the chicken to the shady gangsters who push out the good chicken farmers with their bad, poorly raised counterfeit chicken, which they force restaurants to buy... and as we had just seen David Simon, I suddenly knew: "We could call it THE CHICKEN WIRE!" We were very amused. VERY amused! But we both resisted the temptation to tell David Simon about it when we saw him later that day, as Kent consumed his fifth chicken meal in a row. At one point, far across the table, I heard David Simon say something about the Visigoths and I slammed the table and yelled, "I'll tell you something about Visigoths!" THIS WAS IT! Reading that book about the Middle Ages was finally going to pay off. "They killed the Romans but preserved their knowledge!" I screamed. That's all I had. Is the action over? It is not! Just a couple of hours ago Dr. Theresa called our friend Ron Shapiro, who is driving John Waters here from New Orleans. "They're on the road!" said Dr. Theresa.