September 10, 2003
Mommy, Fonzie's Talking Crazy
As you may know from this site, when I was a kid I liked me some Happy Days. (You might remember I wrote an angry letter to President Ford when he pre-empted an episode of it.)
After I received my so-so response from the White House, I dared to write a letter to the only man more important than our nation's leader. The coolest man on the planet. The Fonz himself.
I don't have a clue what I wrote to him about. I'm sure it was dumb. A year must have gone by with no response, and I gave up hope. Then one day, out of the blue, I received an envelope from Los Angeles with a Happy Days logo on it. I nearly lost my mind.
I tore it open to find a Fonzie postcard, wth a note written to me on the back. Sweet Mother of God! I was shaking. Fonzie wrote back to me! TO ME! This could be enough to finally make me cool!
I flipped it over and started to read what the Fonz had to say. For some reason, Fonzie wanted to tell me that "Self respect is the cornerstone of joy."
Wait a sec. Fonzie doesn't talk like this. What's going on?! I mean, it's a nice sentiment and all, but I'm eight years old Fonzie! What the F are you talking about?!
I sadly realized what I held in my hands was not a letter from The Fonz, but a crappy pre-printed postcard. Not only was it pre-printed, but it contained a cryptic message no kid could understand. I can still remember my mom trying to explain to me what the hell a cornerstone was.
I was broken-hearted at the time, but looking back I now think this postcard is the greatest thing ever. The picture of Fonzie above is a scan of the actual post card. This picture to the right is the back of it. Read the quasi-insulting birthday wishes and you'll see why there is a 60% chance I cried. Click here or on the back of the card to see Winkler's words of wisdom full-size.
That year Christmas came early courtesy of Henry Winkler. Then he took it right back, crumpled it up, and rode over it a few times with his motorcycle.
It is believed that the actual "Cornerstone of Self Respect" is now hidden deep below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Here is a photo of The Fonz on the infamous day he lost it there.
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