Dead Dad,

Recall how you resented Art Modell for the way he treated Paul Brown? For that matter, remember the dirty looks you gave when radio played rock singers re-doing old standards? (The Browns’ owner was a “carpetbagger”, you said…and when you heard Bobby Rydell singing “Mammy”? How many times did you point out “He couldn’t shine Al Jolson’s shoes?).

Hold that thought.

You know: the guys in recovery have taught me to let go of resentments. Even justified ones, they advise, hurt only me–inhibit my peace of mind, if you will. (I’ve come to see, Pop, that they’re right. I get that there’s no benefit in playing Victim. F ’em, I now figure. To use your expression, Dad…by exorcising these few dipshits from my life, well…it’s… “addition by subtraction”.

Perhaps that’s why I like Olbermann’s show so much. You may not get it in heaven, Dad. After all, it’s only on ESPN2. Still, the best segment on TV is his nightly five minutes unabashedly identifying who he terms are that day’s “Worst Persons In The Sports World.’

You really need to watch it, Dad. Give me the five minutes. (As you would tell me: “Have I ever given you a bum steer”). You could TiVo it to save time. And if you don’t know how, Dad, ask Uncle Phil for help. After all, he sold furniture. Then you could fast/foward to the part where the sign ‘WORSTS” displays, and play from there. What you’ll hear first is his disclaimer: “First the miscreants, losers and riffraff, the unwashed and the unloved. Don’t take it completely seriously. I don’t mean it completely literally. We just call them the WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD!”

I’m hoping you tune in dad, so here’s a taste. And NO. Don’t worry, I’m not not feelng sorry for myself, but I want you to watch the show. You’ll love it…(like I did ‘”Maverick” which I saw at your urging). So…here it is…a belated Father’s Day gift to you, designed to cover the nearly three decades since you left:


— So….

First the miscreants, losers and riffraff, the unwashed and the unloved. Don’t take it completely seriously. I don’t mean it completely literally. We just call them the WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD!

The Bronze goes to (and no real names, of course), John Smith, a former friend of mine I used to lunch with frequently. This goes back to the early Y2K’s when a lady I’d been dating some time, in a moment of unnecessary candor,told me she’d recently…shall we say “been intimate” with my friend. Much to her chagrin, I called him out on it immediately and of course he denied it. Later that day, bolting into my office he theatened me. (I took that as an admission and exorcised both of them).

The Silver goes to John Doe, another former running buddy. Alas, this friend of a lifetime… he, the only one of Bayard days to discard our joint history when I went through divorce… I’m thinking you’ll find particularly egregious since through decades not only was I steadfast, but way/back/when you and Mom would bug me to include him in things. Even in college …and YES, even when adult. This hurt Dad, seeing as our families go back (and forward).

BUT TONITE MY DEAR FATHER, THE GOLD GOES TO MR. ED! Yeah, that’s right, Mom’s third. You know, the one who once left her in a hospital on the eve of Pesach and went to Baltimore. Yeah, that one. You were gone a decade by then Dad; she filed for divorce, but then (you know her: afraid to live alone), she dismissed it. Years later the clown pulled more crap and she filed again – – – from the nursing home. Dropped that too, she did, telling us demurely that she “wanted to die a married woman”. You should have seen me when I confronted him, Dad — right at Menorah Park. Threw him out of her room, I did. H cringed and Margie looked away but boy did it feel like I was spiking the ball in the endzone!

—And no, you never met him, Dad. Never will. He’s not heading where you are, where Mom is. No, he’s heading south, Dad, because…Mr. Ed, yes— MR. ED …is the last 29 years’ WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!

All my love, Bruce


  1. Stuart says:

    Mister Ed makes Phil the Skunk look like a Saint.

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