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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

23 September 2008

In Praise of Captain Kirk

So I’m sitting home last evening when Matt calls.

“Hey, you want to go to Kooter Brown’s and drink some beers, eat some chicken wings and watch the Jets play on Monday Night Football?”

I had just had supper and was stuffed, as usual because I cook for an army and eat like horse. But beer and chicken wings? That's like Jello: There's always room for beer and wings. “Sure!”

“Well I’ll be pulling into your driveway in about, ohhhhh, forty-five seconds,” he says.

He knows me so well. He was already enroute to my house when he called.

Kooter Brown’s is a local sports-bar – you know the kind, with t.v. sets all over the place showing a multitude of sporting events and sports memorabilia lining the walls. Places like this are normally packed on Monday nights here in Pensacola. But Kooter’s was surprisingly (and disturbingly) empty. Don’t people go out to party and have fun anymore?

Anyway, one of the televisions had ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” on. (Our waitress said that an elderly couple had asked if they could watch it. We didn't see any "elderly couples" in the place and assumed it was the waitress herself who wanted to watch it.) Neither Matt nor I recognized any of the “stars.” Thankfully, that show ended. Then “Boston Legal” began.

Now, I don’t watch television; I spend most of my free time online. But every once in a while, I’m reminded that there are some really, really good shows on network t.v., and I think “Boston Legal” is one of them.

Begun in 2004, “Boston Legal” was a spin-off of a series called “The Practice,” which was a fine show in its own right. “BL” has got a great cast: James Spader; Candice Bergen, John Larroquette, and of course the great, larger-than-life William Shatner. I used to watch “Boston Legal,” but it was part of the collateral damage when I got fed up and just stopped watching t.v. altogether.

Seeing “Boston Legal” again (silently, the volume was turned down so everyone could hear the Jets’ commentary) reminded me of how much I like William Shatner. And who doesn’t like Shatner?

Spader (“Alan Shore”) and Shatner (“Denny Crane!”) are wonderful together. It’s fun to watch them. And I guess I will be doing it again. Temporarily. “Boston Legal” is in its fifth and final season – and a short one (12 episodes) at that. Oh well…

To give you an idea of how much fun “Boston Legal” is, here are a couple of snippets of dialogue from the series:

Alan Shore: [referring to a book about parasites found on salmon] "This book, '
A Stain Upon The Sea,' it's all about these sea lice."
Denny Crane: "Interesting."
Alan Shore: "They call them cling ons."
Denny Crane: "Did you say Klingons?"

And this one…

Denny Crane: [walking through a crowd of reporters] “Dennycranelaw.com. Pictures, bios, hobbies. I once captained my own spaceship. Multi-talented.”

I love t.v. shows that don’t take themselves too seriously. “Boston Legal” certainly does not.

Remember the phone company called MCI (now Verizon)? They had a t.v. commercial on that was just hilarious.

Adding Jonathan Frakes ("Commander Riker" from "Star Trek: The Next Generation") was a stroke of genius.

Then again, I am obviously and easily amused. I love these little flashes of brilliance that t.v. can occasionally offer.

Finally, William Shatner is known as the spokesman for the Priceline.com travel service.

The look on Shatner's face as the realization sinks is is terrific.

By the way, wings were great (hot!), the beer (Yuengling) was watery and the Jets lost.


Anonymous said...

The best deja vu, for me, was
The last Newhart episode -- long but hang in there for the finale...MdeM

Bob Barbanes said...

Miguel, first of all, welcome back!

Secondly, what can I say about the "Newhart" finale?

Series ending.

Just absolutely hilarious. But then the whole show was. Zany. Wacky. It often made me go, "How do they think up this stuff?" Then again, having Dick Martin (of Rowan & Martin fame) associated with the show didn't hurt. That guy was just plain nuts! And Tom Poston...hoo-man! Great people, great writing, great show.

Did you catch Mimi from the Drew Carey show there? And Lisa Kudrow way before "Friends?"

What a show. I have to admit I laughed out loud all the way through the clip.

They sure don't make 'em like that anymore. Now we get stuff like "Two and a Half Men." Hah-hah, uhh, hah.

Anonymous said...

I recently heard Sulu married the man of his dreams in California...

"By the way, wings were great (hot!)" (and good, I'm assuming, which is kinda sad that you don't actually have to go to Buffalo for great wings.)

"...the beer (Yuengling) was watery (Aaaaaugh! my daughter's college is in Pennsylvania, where the oldest brewery in the US, Yuengling is produced, and I always pick up a case. I never associated the term *watery* with Yuengling!! Sad!)

"...and the Jets lost." (tough fans, those Jet fans...)


Bob Barbanes said...

kman, I read that all of the still-living cast members of the original Star Trek were invited to George Takei's wedding...except Shatner. So, who doesn't love Shatner? Takei, I guess.

And you know it's funny. When I lived in New York we used to call them "Cajun Wings." Down here in the south we call them "Buffalo Wings." Confusing, eh? But yes, they were GOOD! The wings at Hooter's can be greasy, but these were perfecto! (Then again, when one goes to Hooter's, the quality of the wings are the last thing anyone notices.)

And I don't think it's sad that you don't have to go to Buffalo for great wings anymore. We have a small sandwich shop here in Pensacola called "Phillies." It's owned by a guy from Philadelphia and his specialty sub - cheesesteak, naturally - is to die for - as authentic as it gets.

Finally, some time ago I had to visit Pottville, Pennsylvania on business. Friends said that I just had to visit the Yuengling Brewery. Trouble was, I got into town late, and my business was concluded early on the next day. I left before the tours began. I've always like Yuengling beer though, and attributed the watery flatness of the pitcher I drank at Kooter's to the fact that the keg was probably not the freshest. Not much call for Yuengling down here, I'd imagine. Probably shoulda just ordered a pitcher of Bud...

Anonymous said...

whata 'bout the Jets?...


Bob Barbanes said...

What about the Jets? Brett Favre definitely has his work cut out for him. It was painfully obvious even to me that they were not yet working well as a team. Given time, this may change and improve. Probably not before the end of this season. But remember, Favre is no spring chicken - he may not have that much time.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it will take to get the Jets to go all the way. It's not like they haven't had talent over the years.

I've always been a Giant fan and I think the time those guys hired the banner plane with,"15 years of lousy footbal... we've had enough" towed behind it over the stadium was great. Maybe next time you're in NY hover over the stadium, when the Jets are playing, with a banner with a giant (no pun intended)picture of the Super Bowl trophy hanging from your ship.

Capt Kirk was a guest on Fox & Friends one morning. They do a 15 minute casual thing after the show that you can watch online. He said he wasn't well liked by the cast of Star Trek and didn't realize it for the longest time. His friendship with Nimoy eventually did grow, but he was pretty shocked when he discovered this, he said.


DAVID said...

One day, both of my children will THANK me that they weren't named James Tiberius Kirk Simpson!

Hooters has hot wings?!


Bob Barbanes said...

One day, both of my children will THANK me that they weren't named James Tiberius Kirk Simpson!

...Or Bart.

Hooters has hot wings?!

So I've been told, heh-heh.