July 4, 2003

Ford v. Fonz

Happy July 4th! In honor of this fine Independence Day, I thought I'd tell you of the time President Gerald Ford totally F'd me in the A.

I'm an only child. When I was a kid, television meant A LOT to me. It was all I had. One particular Tuesday night in the mid-70's, my parents went out and left me at a babysitter's house. I didn't want to be there at all, but at least I could still watch my shows, because back then I was ALL about Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. Oh, yes. The hour of power. Everything was going fine until disaster struck. President Ford came on to give a State of The Union address right before Happy Days was about to start. What a dick!

And if that wasn't bad enough, this was before cable TV, so he was on EVERY CHANNEL. I was so upset I sat down and dashed off an angry letter to the President about what he had done. (Well, as angry as shaky block letters in pencil on wide-ruled paper can be.)

Some time went by, and I actually got a response back from the White House. It was from an aide to the President. He apologized to me and explained that it wasn't the President, but the networks themselves who donated the air time. Whatever.

I suppose it was nice that they even wrote back, but I'd just like to point out that during the next election, President Ford lost in a landslide to Jimmy Carter. I'm not saying it's because he pre-empted Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. I'm just saying when it came time, no one voted for him. Draw your own conclusions.

A few years ago when I was working for Nick at Nite I actually got to tell this story to Cindy Williams, Michael McKean, and David Lander (Shirley, Lenny & Squiggy). They were all very cool, and really interested in hearing it. Or at least they pretended to be. And isn't that the type of moral fiber this great country was founded upon? I don't know what that means. I'm just looking for a patriotic way to end this. USA #1!



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