I received an email sent in by a reader. Well, actually, I don’t know if you’d call him a reader. I should probably just call him “Bill.”
Bill wrote: “My sister sent me some of your blog entries and I liked them initially, but I began to lose interest quickly…
“Your work is often full of indecorous humor… You’re sometimes trying too hard to be folksy...
“Before you get upset with me, Sean, I do not wish to disrespect you. I have been teaching college English for a long time.”
Well, Bill, I’m embarrassed to say that when this email showed up I was watching “The Golden Girls.” I should be humiliated to admit that I was not reading heavyweight literature like T.S. Eliot or Melville. Because I’ve pretty much proven your point. Even though I’m not sure what your point was exactly.
Anyway, in this particular “Golden Girls” episode Burt Reynolds was a guest star. And since this is a family column, I won’t share every indecorous detail of the episode because, for starters,
I don’t technically know what indecorous means.
What I will tell you, however, is that Burt Reynolds came bursting into the room and the scene went like this:
(Studio audience applause—also a few cat calls.)
BLANCHE: My God, you’re Mister Burt Reynolds!
BURT REYNOLDS: I hope so, or else I’ve got the wrong underwear on.
(More cat calls.)
The thing is, I’m not claiming to be a true writer. Real writers wouldn’t draw inspiration from “The Golden Girls.” Real authors draw inspiration from Bach preludes, and they smoke fine cigars.
A few months ago, my friend Robert organized a meeting with a well-known author like this. Robert and I arrived at a large estate in Central Florida. A woman invited us into a mahogany study.
On the walls were pictures of this writer, gracing magazine covers, playing golf…