Making A Smudge

I’m feeling really good about maybe making a smudge. But every time I get to feeling really good about it, an automatic thing happens. My head fills up with a picture of Mr. O’connell, my 320 pound high school Latin teacher, and he’s saying “Sic Transit Gloriam.” As most of you know, Sic Transit Gloriam does not mean “Gloria got sick on the subway. “Loosely translated Sic Transit Gloriam means “Don’t get a big head”…but you have to have a pretty big head for a picture of a guy the size of Mr. O’connell and fancy words like Sic Transit Gloriam to fit inside.

 The thing that made me feel like maybe I was making a smudge, was when my friend Dean Landsman called…all excited. He said Alec Baldwin just mentioned you on a public broadcasting radio show called Studio 360. To hear how it sounded, click here

 That’s what I call making a smudge. Look, guys like me don’t do big enough things to make a mark on life. The kind of people who make a mark on life invent the internet, or become president of the United States, or marry Britany Spears. But doing a radio show that people remember for a couple of decades…that’s what I call making a smudge. And it’s a valid smudge whether somebody famous like Alec Baldwin remembers, or whether it’s a non-famous fellow smudge maker who remembers.

I put a few minutes of an air check of Mouth vs. Ear on the current podcast.  It was lots of fun. And I guess it helped me make a smudge. 

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

 1- What did Daniel Webster think the members of congress had in common with a tree?

 2- Where did bankers get the idea of how to goose us? 

3- What does your car probably have in common with a three day old guinea pig ?

 Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 Mouth vs. Ear was a lot of fun. It was the result of the fact that I’ve always thought that it’s always easier to apologize for something you’ve done than to get permission to do something a little unusual that you want to do. The show started when the program director at WNBC said the station license calls for doing a half hour informational public service talk show every night. A half hour informational public service show is usually thirty minutes of bore—ing. But I figured that a quiz show is about information. And most quiz shows are always talking about how honest they are. So why not do a quiz show where we tell people up front that we’re going to cheat. If I had asked permission to do it, it would never have gotten on the air. So I just did it. And I lucked out. I think when you get to be a member of the Louie-Louie Generation, and you look back at your life, you’re always sorrier for the things you didn’t do, than for the things you did…even when the some of the things you did were mistakes. Big Louie, his own bad self…the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation always says, the worst mistake you can make is being afraid to make mistakes.

 There’s a story in the Bedtime Stories personal audio cd about a guy who didn’t take a chance…when he had the chance to take. I think he was pretty sorry for it. The story is called The Prince of Fantasy. It’s in the current podcast. If you like it, you can just keep the podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Bedtime Stories icon on the home page.

 I spent a long time in the radio business. Some of the people on the air have…egos. In fact sometimes you see a guy walking out of a radio studio holding hands with himself. I don’t like that.

 And I very well understand the comparatively small impact I’ve had on life. I didn’t invent the internet. I didn’t become president of the U.S. I didn’t even marry Britany Speers…I’m especially glad about that one. So you don’t have to worry that I’ll think I’m some kind of big shot. I know I’ll never make a really big mark on life. But it’s fun thinking I’ve made at least a little smudge. So don’t hold a gruge for the guy who’s made a smudge. 

 Don’t worry. My lady Wonder Wench understands the difference between a mark and a smudge. And she’s not the least bit afraid to hit me with a fast Sic Transit Gloriam if she notices me holding my own hand. 

 So, thanks for letting me make my little smudge. You’re doing that just by listening to this podcast…whether you’re Alec Baldwin or not.

4 Responses to “Making A Smudge”

  1. dick butler says:

    You sure make us feel like were not the only ones who think louie louie! Now don’t get a (can’t remember latin) big head.

  2. Tom Preston says:

    Mouth v. Ear and Also Genius v. Dummy are two of the smudges I remember you for. On YNY one night, you asked me if I was listening before or tied up and I told you I thought what seven consenting adults did in the privacy of their own home was none of your business.

  3. Jack Marshall says:

    You made many more smudges than you seem to be willing to admit. Long before Mouth vs. Ear, you pioneered with Dick Summer Subway, with the NAG campaign (Night-liters Against Gutlessness) to raise public awareness against apathy, and with the show that led you to where you are today … The Lovin’ Touch. And there were more, much more.

    Don’t be so humble, my friend. Your smudges are approaching complete blackout level. I’m so glad that I got to experience it all.

  4. Bob says:

    Hi Dick
    May I add to the current list of notes, you my friend are a bit too humble, for you have touched countless people all over this land with your acomplishments. A wise man once noted that we are NOT the best judges of what we each have done.