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Friday, December 30, 2011

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Considering the time of year it is, and in this specific instance, you bet your ass it should.
You are catching me today with my dander up.
If you were to look upwards, you would undoubtedly see my dander.
I am in particularly high dudgeon.
Again, if you were to look upward, that would be MY dudgeon you'd be staring at.
This one requires major backstory, and most-likely much expansiveness on my part.

When I was growing up, in public school, junior high, and high school, I had a very good friend.
Now he is simply an old acquaintance whom I'm now convinced should totally be forgot.
I'm only going to half out him.
I'll give you his last name.
It is Zisser.
I'm only doing this because after the major figurative slap in the face he gave me, my only other choice would be to physically confront him, literally slap his face, and challenge him to a duel.
And physically, I'm really not up to that.
So, figuring on the likelihood that he has Google Alert, his last name should be enough to call this to his attention.
I mean, what's the point of having a blog if you can't use it to settle scores with?

As a child, and as an adolescent, Zisser was always my stalking horse.
He was always a much better student than me.
He always got better grades than me.
I swear that by the time he was eleven years old, he had his career choice mapped out.
He was going to be a lawyer, just like his way-older brother.
I, of course, into my early twenties, had no idea what I wanted to be.
Zisser was the example I was supposed to follow, according to my mother.

Hanging on the foyer wall in his parents' apartment in Queens was his Bar Mitzvah picture.
Next to it, in his handwriting in magic marker, was his name, followed by, in quotes, "The Best Boy In The World".
I really couldn't argue with that.
As far as I could tell, he WAS the best boy in the world.
And he wasn't embarrassed that it was still hanging there throughout his college career.
I suppose I should have suspected then that this was the first sign that he would become a full-fledged terminal braggart.

With my mother, it was always "Why couldn't you graduate college in four years, and go on to law school, like Zisser?
Why is it taking you six, and you still don't know what you want to do with yourself?"
I had to explain to her, more than once, "Well, you see ma? It's simply because I am not the best boy in the world.
Zisser is. I don't stand a chance."
I would be met with "Well, don't you WANT to be the best boy in the world?"
I'd reply "Desperately. With all my heart. (And I meant it) But that title is already taken. I can't wrest it from him."

After college, Zisser and I kind of drifted apart.
He went on to law school, and I went on to nothing, until I
fell into writing.
We went to each other's weddings, each involving much travel, because we lived in different regions of the country.
I always sensed that there was some lingering competitiveness between us.
Particularly after I had made it big in TV writing.
And Zisser probably figured that even though he was now a successful lawyer, I could probably buy and sell him five times over.
And he'd have been right.
And it probably didn't sit well.
He followed all the rules. He got out of college in four years. I was headed for bumdom.
It didn't compute.
He should have been in a position to say "I told you so."
But I never gave him that opportunity.

The last time I saw Zisser was at his daughter's Bat Mitzvah, about ten years ago, in Florida, where they still live, and where that
fackockta "Best Boy in the World" Bar Mitzvah picture is probably still hanging on some wall in his house.
The event turned out to be a two-day orgy of self-congratulation and homage to this little girl of thirteen, who apparently was the greatest scholar and greatest humanitarian the world would ever see.
More and more examples of this were shared during this orgy.
I wonder if Zisser gave any thought to his guests, who also had daughters who were his daughter's contemporaries, who were perhaps not as scholarly or humanitarian as Zisser's.
Any thought that he might be rubbing their noses in it?
Like his "Best Boy In The World" picture was rubbing my nose in it?
So the title of "Best Girl In The World" was bestowed on her.

I think the mold of "Best Boy In The World" was first cast by
Zisser's way-older brother.
He became a major star defense attorney in Florida.
Zisser then joined his law firm, becoming an attorney specializing in divorce cases.
Cashing in on human misery, as it were.
Cleaning up, and cleaning up on, messy divorces.
His way-older brother was once featured on "A Current Affair", depicted as the crafty Jew lawyer who got his obviously guilty client off on a murder rap by outsmarting the other lawyer.
That was his job.
But maybe if he actually was the original "Best Boy In The World", he might have turned his talents to becoming a D.A.
What am I thinking?
That would require a major pay cut.
He's a member of my tribe.
So that would be out of the question.
These were my first indications that they both were perhaps not worthy of their titles.

Next, how I got slapped in the face, and why I'm slapping back.

I'll give you a hint.
It has to do with yet even more recent and substantial nose-rubbing.

Happy New Year, all!

Well, almost all.......

My book, "Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store, You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
You might want to check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
The website "On Screen & Beyond" has two hours of an interview I did on it's podcast in their archives.
Just Google On Screen & Beyond to find them if you're interested.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."