Sunday, August 19, 2007

Good day and good luck

The new guy on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” segment in the morning signs off his portion of the broadcast with “In Los Angeles, I'm Doug Krizner. Make it a good day.” That last part always catches me a little off guard. It’s not enough to just have a good day plopped in your lap; Doug thinks you should go out and make one for yourself. It’s a nice sentiment, but what if we’re not up to the challenge? Sometimes the world confounds your best efforts to make it a good day. You never know when you’re going to spill scalding hot tea on your crotch or invade a Middle Eastern country without an exit plan.

Edward R. Murrow came up with, “Good night and good luck.” Walter Cronkite had, “And that’s the way it is.” Bob Barker said, “Don’t forget to spay and neuter your pets.” If I had my own newscast and earned the privilege to inform everyone of all the terrible things that had happened that day, I’d sign off every broadcast like this: “Well, that’s enough of that.”

Despite the best wishes of a morning anchor person, sometimes a good day can be very tough to make. For instance, you might be minding your own business one day, pushing your fingers to the very limits of human ability trying to get five stars on “Sweet Child O’ Mine” on Guitar Hero II, when out of the blue your phone vibrates with a text message, letting you know that somebody wants to pass along a piece of information to you, but would prefer to spend ten minutes punching a keypad with their thumbs than actually have to talk to you. This text might not only break your string of notes and make you lose your multiplier, but it just might shatter your notions of all that is good and pure in the world.

I had just such a day recently when my buddy Derek texted me the following message: “Too bad your boy Bear Grylls is a phony. He’d be cool if he was real.” Derek was referring to the host of the Discovery Channel’s “Man vs. Wild” show and inspiration for my “What would Bear do?” tattoo.

A little exploring on the internet turned up what Derek was talking about. When Bear was supposedly sleeping in a rain forest, ostensibly trying to find his way back to civilization, he was actually sleeping in a hotel and then pretending to wake up in the woods. And it wasn’t even a Motel 6, which technically still counts as wilderness. Bear also pretended to build a raft that experts had already built for him, and used smoke machines to make volcanic gas look more threatening. Still, there are certain aspects of the show that can’t be faked, such as when he quenched his thirst by squeezing a big ball of elephant dung over his mouth or when he jumped into a frozen lake and dried himself off with snow. Clearly, the man is earning his paycheck.

Derek didn’t have to tell me the news about Bear. He could have let me live the rest of my life thinking that there are more heroes in the world than just my parents and Cal Ripken, Jr. I bet Derek goes around the mall at Christmastime telling kids the truth about Santa Claus, too. Don’t worry, young readers. Santa Claus exists every bit as much as Congressional oversight authority. What I mean by “the truth about Santa” is that the Big Guy just turned Russian.

You may have seen the news about Vladimir Putin planting a flag in the North Pole to claim the Big Slushee for Russia, which means that the North Pole’s citizens are now Russian. Da, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And this year, if you’re a good girl, you’ll get vodka and 80’s-era fissile material in your stocking.

Well, that’s enough of that.

You can spay and neuter Mike Todd online at


  1. This is precisely why I named my blog "All Smoke And Mirrors", since nothing is ever as it seems. I don't even do my own blogging, I leave that to a little white-haired guy behind a curtain. Don't tell anybody, will you? I think a little brat from Kansas with pig tails and a pooch is on to me.

  2. I would have to end my broadcast with "don't eat the tomatoes" and have everyone wondering.

    I don't care of some of Bears is scripted, I like him better than that cheesy "survivor man" What an idiot. lol

  3. If I were a news anchor, I would end each of my broadcasts with a warning, "Be sure your sins will find you out, little mister."


    "Don't eat raw eggs. Or you will get Chicken Death."

    Because my middle name is "Protect Your Fellow Man..."

  4. Totally enjoying your show biz blogs. You're up there with Pop Candy. In fact that's where I heard my hero Bear was cheating (and of course, confirmed here). I couldn't believe it.

    I've taken to watching Surviorman instead. He lugs his own camera with no assistants following him. He sometimes has to make two trips; one to get out and another to go back and get the camera that he left to film himself getting out. (really) He totally less polished in front of the camera but after awhile he at least comes across as honest.

    My choice for signing off: So it goes used by Lloyd Dobbins and Linda Ellerbee for their Weekend show, stolen(borrowed) from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five.

  5. I have a love/hate relationship with the text message. I'll call people (usually women)and leave a voicemail (because no one ever answers their phone) and they respond with a text message because they don't really want to talk to me, but feel guilty about not responding at all. It's a bitch.

  6. I was a film/television major and it was a big shock the first time I learned that NOTHING ON TELEVISION IS REAL... EVER.

    Do you think Jacques Cousteau sat in the ocean for hours waiting for a bird to swoop down and grab the fish? Nope. Done in the studio. The research was real--the filming is fake.

    My favorite are the 'reality shows' where people are 'alone'. On Survivor, each cast member has a producer, cameraman and sound guy following them around. Lots of logistics involved in getting people to sit alone.

    So, it didn't surprise me when I watched Bear run around building a snow cave for one--I kept thinking "where does the camera man and producer sleep?"

    His show is just television. I learned stuff from it, but I don't feel cheated.

    Well, that’s enough of that... (Brilliant!)

  7. I changed my mind. If I were a news person, I would end my broadcast with, "That's all she wrote."

  8. Hey, Dudes! Thanks for dropping your kids off in my pool. I'm on vacation this week, sitting on the steps of the library like a goon to get caught up on my interwebbing. Sorry I don't have time to write proper responses, but I'm getting Concrete Butt. This is a related condition to Buns of Steel, but much more temporary. Regardless, I shall fire up some proper responses as soon as I can. 'Til then, y'all have fun. And eat more ice cream.

  9. I see a comment here from you Mike and I had to wonder if you found the elusive high speed wireless oak that can allow you to check the web. Find any ducks or anything else to play pong with?

  10. I feel very bad to go abroad now i feel very much comfortable with Alpine Peaks restaurant thanks papa for giving this restaurant, it seem to be pleasant for my studies