January 29, 2004
The Giggles and Green Acres
In 1999, when I was still working for Nick at Nite in NY, I took a business trip with Lisa and Michael to L.A. We did a bunch of fun stuff which included interviewing some classic TV stars.
One of the first items on our list was to go to Eddie Albert's house. Mr. Albert was 94 at the time. He was a lovely, friendly man, and we had a great time talking to him. Just before we left, I asked Eddie for an autograph made out to "Steve."
Eddie was a little hard of hearing. "What was the name?" he asked.
"Steve," I said louder.
"What is it?!"
This wasn't the best time for me get the giggles, but that's just when the giggles like to strike. I wasn't trying to be a dick. I wasn't intentionally laughing at the old man who couldn't hear. I was just suddenly struck by how surreal the whole situation was. What the hell am I doing in Eddie Albert's house? Why am I yelling my name at him? Doesn't Mr. Haney sell hearing aids?! Life can get weird.
I didn't want to laugh right in this sweet man's face. I gave Lisa a look, choked back a giggle and stared down at the floor until she stepped in.
"Steve!" she yelled at Eddie. He still didn't understand, and asked her to spell it. After she shouted each letter, he repeated it back, and carefully wrote it down.
Too late. He already wrote "C" on the paper. Lisa just pressed on as my stifled laughter seeped out in the form of an odd wheezing sound. They finished, and managed to spell the rest of my name correctly.
When he was done, Eddie looked at the paper and sounded it out. "Seeeve... well, why didn't you say so?!"
At this point, tears were rolling down my face and my stomach was starting to hurt. I eventually pulled myself together, we thanked Eddie and were on our way. The autograph is around somewhere in a box. One day when I find it, I will post it up here.
I have not had a case of the giggles that bad since then. Except for when my wife was in labor and started pushing the baby out. There is no Lamaze technique for when you find it hilarious that your wife's head is turning purple, and there's some freaky little guy sticking out of her.
I wasn't trying to be a dick. I wasn't intentionally laughing at the woman I love as she gave birth to our child. Okay, maybe a little bit.
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