Saturday, October 31, 2009

It is accomplished!

I’ve been working for more than ten years on my first long-form piece of narrative fiction and I just finished it yesterday. Worked on it all morning (mostly on formatting issues), took a break to go to the dentist for yet more compulsory dental calisthenics, then came home and worked till I dropped. By the time I dropped, it was finished.

At least finished enough for me to retire it and think about doing something else with my scant free time. Like learning to play the guitar more good, or speak passable English. Maybe get to know my family...

I’m sure some grammatical, punctuation and formatting mistakes remain but my feeling right now is “fuck them.” It’s all there, just the way I want it, and if somebody wants to edit it into perfection someday, they have my blessing.

Although it took me ten+ years to complete, in the interim I also finished a 3-hour Captain America screenplay and a 16-hour miniseries about the second half of the XVIII Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

But this is the real deal – the thinly-veiled autobiography that most first-time authors start with. Strictly for the purposes of satisfying my own vanity, I will present the prologue below in its entirety then never mention the subject again.

Finally, I’d like to thank Tucson, Arizona, for scarring me so completely and effectively as a child growing up there that I spent more than ten years trying to write my contempt for it out of my system.

And now, the Prologue:

The sun had slipped almost completely behind the Judean mountains to the west, and most of the crowd had gone home. Crucifixions, even of local celebrities, had begun to lose their drawing power by the time the Romans and the city elders sentenced the carpenter-rabbi from Nazareth to hang from a cross.

The Roman crucifixion was not a meticulous affair. Like the Romans themselves, it offered just enough rote and ritual to appear a legitimate bureaucratic function, while its application was often as not sloppy and open to wide-ranging interpretation.

Crucifixion offered its victims a generous array of ways to die, and different victims succumbed to different causes. Blood loss. Internal bleeding. Head trauma. Suffocation. If one withstood everything else, the suffocation took them.

No one walked away from a Roman crucifixion.

That day there were three unfortunates lined up along the crest of the hill overlooking the drab Judean countryside. A light drizzle had begun to fall, and storm clouds were boiling up out of the west. All three condemned hung with their heads down in the thin rain, their long matted hair hugging their purpled, bloody faces. The heads of crude iron nails extruded from their wrists and feet, and all three were fighting for every remaining breath.

The heartiest of the trio croaked out through cracked lips to the man hanging at his side, “I’m Demas. That’s me mate Gestas on the other end. He’s the troublemaker.”

Gestas glanced over but said nothing. It didn’t seem he could spare the effort.

Demas continued, “An honest man can’t earn a living wage, then when he’s forced to nick from the temple granary to feed his family… this is the end of it.”

The stranger in the middle either didn’t hear or was too weak from blood-loss to muster a response.

“Gestas, tell our new mate what they got you for.”

This opportunity proved worth the effort. Gestas spat out, as best he could through swollen lips and missing teeth, “For being a Jew, trying to live peaceably in his own homeland.”

One of the guards noticed that, and with a half-hearted scowl, thrust his spear in and out of Gestas’ shriveled belly.

Gestas screamed in pain but seemed to smile at the same time, as if reveling in this validation of his hatred for his tormentors.

The guard wandered the couple steps back to his post and grumbled to his companion about the rain. He struggled to pull his cowl up over his helmet while his companion laughed at his clumsiness.

Demas turned to the second man.

“Hey. Hey…”

The man in the middle crooked his head slightly toward his inquisitor, but said nothing.

Demas persisted, “What did they get you for?”

The man in the middle seemed to slip even further down on his painful perch. With an effort, he flung his wet mop of hair onto his shoulder, revealing a face so badly beaten that it made Gestas’ wounds look superficial by comparison. He opened his near-toothless mouth to show where the top of his tongue had recently been either chopped or chewed off. His eye that remained, however swollen over it was, was clear and held no self-pity.

In spite of himself, Demas looked away.

After a while of grim silence, Demas turned back to the man and said, “You must be that preacher I heard about. That healer. The vandal. The heretic. You had to have known this would be where you’d wind up, didn’t you?”

The man ignored him this time and concentrated instead on the effort of drawing his next breath.

Demas glanced over at the guards again, then continued in a lower voice, “How come you don’t miracle yourself away off this son of a bitch? And take me with you.” Demas glanced over at Gestas, then back at the man hanging next to him. “The two of us, you and me – we could still make it!”

The man looked over at Demas, searching his face to see if he was being mocked.

Demas averted his eyes and stammered, “I used to watch you preach, whenever I could.” He paused, before deciding to continue. “I saw you cure a cripple once, right there in front of my eyes, a mate of mine the whole of my life. After that, I, uh… guess I followed you at a distance, you know. My career was um, at odds with some of your, uh, ideals – but I never got tired of hearing you speak. I always felt… good listening to you talk.”

The second man stared at him a moment longer, then his head sagged forward.

The rain drizzled on a while longer uninterrupted before Demas mumbled to himself, “Sure wish I could hear you talk now…”

Some thought the carpenter would use his uncanny abilities to rescue himself at the end, but for reasons that were lost with him, he never did.

In the end, he died like any man. Alone. Afraid.

I stood at the foot of the center cross in the drizzling rain, as close as the disinterested guards would allow an ussauming young Jewish boy to approach. Only one other remained in the rain and mud at the foot of Golgotha with me; by any honest account, the man who should have been hanging on that center cross, the criminal Barabbas.

Or Barabbas the patriot – depending upon whom you asked.

The rain, mud-red with the dying man’s blood, ran in rivulets down the sodden earth. I had to step aside to get out of the way. My feet weren’t fit to be washed in it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Memo to Daddy:

Monday, October 26, 2009

“Oh, I see you’re standing better today”

As usual, there is a silver lining of comedy to be found in even the gloomiest stormcloud of misfortune…

So of course by this morning the sutures in my gum are coming loose prematurely and I have to race back to the dentist to get them repaired at a moment’s notice. I hop in the car and haul ass out there and sure enough, the anticipated quickie last-minute patch job ends up requiring multiple applications of The Long Needle. And I was so sure it was going to be a painless affair I totally failed to drug myself up beforehand.

After the repeated stabbings, the actual re-stitching only took about 10 minutes. As I was stepping out of the chair the dental assistant, the same girl who’d been involved in last week’s ordeal, remarked, “Oh, I see you’re standing better today.” Although I have no recollection, they must have had to use a spatula to scoop me out of that chair last Friday.

I am so grateful I have no recollection, I only regret leaving credible witnesses alive. I must have been having a prescient moment when I walked into the office today and told the girl at the desk, “Hi, I seem to have misplaced my dignity and was wondering if I might have left it here last week...”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dr. Teeth and the electric mayhem acid test

Let me take a minute to talk about my teeth.

Now, if I was talking about the current state of my teeth, it would qualify as a short story at best. There’s just not very much left to tell. If I was telling the history of them, however, it would have to be published in volumes, like textbooks about the 100-year War.

Let’s just skip to the present-day and I’ll fill in any gaps that come up (no dental pun intended).

A month ago the latest crown dropped out of my mouth. This has been happening to me for more than 20 years and I didn’t think that much about it. When I was in my 20s I was a major meth-head and as a result, have had terrible dental karma ever since. Even while in my 20s, the few times I visited a dentist it was always a credit dentist in the ghetto and my business partner and I would tailgate the dental appointment. We’d arrive early and sit in the car in the parking lot slamming beers, smoking joints and doing rails. None of the dentists spoke English and the place was a warehouse, with sheets between dental chairs instead of walls. One time I got caught adjusting the ratio of laughing gas to oxygen, I remember getting cursed out in Korean by a guy named Kong but was pronounced ‘Kang.’ Or vice versa.

In my defense, there was a lot going on at the time.

So when the latest crown gave up the ghost I sighed but didn’t give it much thought. Having a crown re-attached is like filling up my gas tank to me: Oh geez, is it that time again already?

Brevity, brevity. I still have TV I want to watch tonight.

So anyhow, I quit doing speed 20 or 21 years ago and quit abusing prescription drugs about 10 years after that.

Till today.

When I went to the dentist a couple weeks ago to get my crown reattached, as usual, I encountered a worst-case scenario. I’m embarrassed that I was even surprised.

The dentist, a lovely young lady whom we shall call Dr. Teeth, informed me that there was not enough tooth left to attach anything to. We were going to have to have put in a post. You know, drill a metal stick onto my jawbone and glue a fake tooth to it. Except, because I had already had the tooth root-canaled, first she was going to have to remove the root canal, which of course was installed with the intention of being permanent.

And then we had to wait three to six months for the procedure to heal before I had to go back and she could drill the metal spike into my head. Jesus Christ!

As the date of my appointment approached, I became more and more frightened of the excavation that was going to be required.

Oh wait, let me skip ahead to something irrelevant but fascinating and gross. I heard The Missus on the phone tonight, telling someone that Dr. Teeth (the dentist, remember?) had told her that she had filled the huge hole she scraped in my mouth with bone matter from corpses and cows. I don’t have anything to add at this moment. As you may imagine, I’m still processing that piece of information.

Getting back to this morning’s ordeal, The Missus had already agreed to drive me so I could get as gakked beforehand as my relative sobriety would allow me. I took my full day’s allotment of anti-stress meds for breakfast and before I left the house, I also took the two valium left over from my last oral surgery as well as a couple of OTC sleeping pills. My dentist doesn’t use gas – usually a deal-breaker for me – but she’s so damned good.

To give you an example of my dental karma, I was originally sent to Dr. Teeth after another local dentist had performed a botched root canal on me. So we met when she had to re-root-canal a tooth that had already just endured a horrific trauma. I swear to god, I wouldn’t be surprised if I go home to glory some day straight from the dentist’s chair.

So I was pretty loaded by the time we arrived for my latest punishment. And then I mentioned that I should have called ahead and had her prescribe me a couple of valium for this morning’s procedure. She was surprised that I hadn’t and asked me if I’d like one. I asked for two. She said, “Well, you’re supposed to take them an hour before you come.” I told her not to worry, I’d chew them.

The drugs arrived and I chewed ‘em right up, washing them down with some tepid tap water. She scrunched her face and asked me if it tasted okay. I shrugged and said it tasted like chicken.

Then she hit me with the big needles and I tell you what, I may have been relaxed, but those shots still hurt like a mothfucker. I don’t know if it was new drugs or new places she was poking me, but the pain radiated from the injection point down the inside of my mouth like a thick, burning trickle of lava. But hell, I knew better than to complain. If the shots did their job, it should be the last actual pain I felt.

All that was left was the fear.

Then she gave me my regularly scheduled teeth cleaning while we waited for the shots to take effect. When it came time to get down to brass tacks, she asked me if my mouth felt numb. I was so blasted out of my mind on stress-relieving agents by that time my speech actually slurred. It was embarrassing but I think I convinced her it was the novacaine.

Here’s where I cut to the chase: She ended up having to postpone then cancel her next appointment because my one-hour procedure ended up taking two and a half hours. Of digging and scraping and drilling and more digging and scraping and drilling. And she still didn’t get 100% of the tooth out. She told me there’s a tiny bit of tooth left that is so deep she couldn’t risk further excavation. Presumably, she was at risk of drilling all the way through my bone and out of the bottom of my chin. And that there’s a ‘tiny’ chance it could cause me problems down the road. Which would require a repeat of today’s horrific ordeal except next time I would make damn sure I was unconscious for it.

The saving grace, if there was one, was that I was so twisted on the dope that the whole thing passed for me in a timeless state of constant fear and noise and pressure and discomfort and more fear. If I had to guess, I woulda guessed 90 minutes at best.

Two and half hours of digging and scraping into my skeletal structure, then filling it with the remains of dead cows and people.

The weird thing about that kind of experience is, no matter how badly you try to overdose yourself before the procedure, by the time it’s over and you’re out of that chair your body has dumped so much adrenaline into your system… I would compare it to how fast you sober up when the police car behind you hits his lights and siren. I actually walked out there surprisingly conscious and coherent. And to Dr. Teeth’s credit, as usual, the only pain I feel now that all the drugs have worn off are the poke-points of the needles, which is literally unavoidable.

Still, I have to go back in a week and have the sutures removed and two fillings replaced at the baseline of couple of my front teeth. Last time I went in to have one of those little fillings patched up, I ended up with a surprise root canal. That was just a couple months ago. What do you suppose the odds are with two bum fillings I’ll walk out of there with simple replacements? And my front teeth are extremely sensitive to pain. I always have to have to have her inject me again and again during the procedure. Last time it was so bad, she had to inject the painkiller directly into my jawbone.

It promises to be a lovely time. I can tell you right now that Dr. Teeth will not get out of the office at 1PM the way her receptionist explained to me she had to next Friday. She said that to me so as a joke I said, “Well then, how about noon?” expecting a laugh. Instead she wrote it down and handed me an appointment card.

Does this story have a point? Fuck no. If I had to have a point to every story I wrote, I’d expect to be paid for it. And I don’t see anyone lining up to pay me for writing.

I’ll be sure to drop you a line after next week’s alleged quick in-and-out office visit. A good time – and karma – is guaranteed for none.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October, 2009 — The month in doodle:

It’s a pitiful thing to look back at any month in one’s life and realize the two best days were the ones you spent in Tucson, Arizona.

U2 live Sunday on YouTube!

They’re apparently broadcasting an entire show live at 8:30pm PST from Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. The channel is simple:

(As an aside, if you’ve ever traveled to the Rose Bowl to see a show, you will appreciate even more being spared the 3-hour traffic snarl in and out of the venue. It’s built in a ditch with only one road to get there. I saw Guns & Roses & Metallica there back in the day and swore I’d never go again.)

I’m sure the webcast won't preclude the inevitable DVD release of the tour sometime down the road, but for working-class slobs like me who are kicking themselves for living so far away from a big city and the requisite big paycheck to afford to catch this tour, this is a lovely gesture by one of the best, most consistently relevant rock & roll bands ever.

11-year-old girl kicks ass on RUSH instrumental

Prepare to have your mind blown:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hope and Gory

Well, I’ve been flyin’ under the radar a little bit lately. Crazy busy. There was some traveling in the middle there, then all this work that piled up before and after. Then a power outage and an internet melt-down that ate about 36 hours of my life and stomach... My point is, all kinds of swell news passed me by during my most recent period of embunglement.

In this case, the pivotal embunglar was my nephew Andy. He planned himself a wedding far from the home I love and The Missus ended up not being able to make it due to a nasty cold, so I was solely responsible for the boy all weekend in a not-my-own-home environment. In other words, I really had to pick up my game.

Here is a picture of my son with my mom; he is decorating a belated birthday cake she made for him:

One thing I would have blogged about, if I had taken my computer with me, was Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win. My first thought, like everybody’s I assume, was that he won it for not being George W. Bush, which is admittedly a mighty low bar.

The political implications came next. Man, I thought, this is not going to help him get anything done in Washington with an opposition party that could already be politely described as recalcitrant. All this is gonna do is add rocket fuel to Obama’s detractors, give new wings to their hate.

On the other hand, people did kind of stop talking about Letterman. By the time Entertainment Weekly showed up with a Photoshopped pants-less Letterman on the cover, it felt like really old news.

The other recurring news item I couldn’t escape was the escalating number of dead American servicemen and women coming home from Afghanistan. The Bad Guys over there, they are definitely stepping up their game.

I saw a great movie a couple years ago, “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Although it was from award-winning comic director Mike Nichols and starred Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, the story it told was spine-chilling. It was about Afghanistan and how, throughout the ages, it had held off world-class conquerors like Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great in antiquity up to the very best despotic efforts of the USSR in more recent history.

Total number of would-be conquerors who walked away a winner after coming in to kick ass and take names in Afghanistan? Zero. Eminent dickwad Christopher Hitchens, sounding like he was quoting someone else, called it “the graveyard of empires” on Bill Maher’s show the other day. NBC's Richard Engel, a balls-out, straight news reporter if there ever was one, broke character a couple weeks ago and opined on-air that our involvement in Afghanistan “could only end in tears.”

It was a Walter-Cronkite-denouncing-the-Vietnam-War moment. This tide is turning, jack. If I can see it anyone can.

Can Obama? Two things history teaches us is that ground wars in Asia are a lost cause and generals always think they can win any battle by throwing enough troops at it. For God’s sake, that’s why the framers of the Constitution put the citizen president in charge of the military brain trust. Cooler heads were designed to prevail, not be talked down the path of lunacy.

I got to thinking, Obama got to have his cake and eat it too when he accepted the Peace Prize. A Nobel award, sure. Even the Peace Prize, some day, when he had actually ended a war or two instead of, at this point, stretching a couple out indefinitely. Let’s maybe snag ourselves a little corner of Iraq, like we have Gitmo in Cuba, then get the fuck outta Dodge. Then go to Oslo and make a nice speech.

Or better still, get us out of Afghanistan. Those three countries – Pakistan, India and Afghanistan – have been doing a slow death waltz together since forever. Adding India and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals to the equation just puts a ticking clock on the whole thing. Why the hell would we want to be anywhere near there when those nut-jobs eventually nuke each other to mutually-assured destruction? And next-door neighbor Afghanistan is bound to be mostly collateral damage, let’s face it.

And for the rest of the world, that’s a best-case scenario. Depending on weather at the time of the holocaust, however, it could become a worst-case scenario for countries planet-wide.

Seriously, we can watch it on CNN from our hastily-dug fallout shelters. We don’t need to send our kids over there for a front-row seat. I like Biden’s idea of unmanned drones and for my money, Chuck Norris and his Delta Squad have my personal permission to slip behind enemy lines and take out a few of the guys at the top in their sleep. So many virgins in the afterlife, so few surviving leaders of al Quaeda…

I must confess a personal consideration in my New Pacifism: My nephew Andy, whose wedding just screwed up about two consecutive weeks of my life, is a United States Marine and is scheduled to ship out to Afghanistan next April.

He’ll be driving giant trucks full of ordnance over IED-laden roads in the graveyard of empires. In the pursuit of a war that absolutely everyone knows already, today, can’t be won. We should be moonwalking the fuck on out of there, double-time, instead of throwing more of our dick up on the table.

The more I think about it, the more the Peace Prize pisses me off. Not at Obama – except for accepting it, but really, you don’t bitch-slap the Nobel committee by refusing their award – but for all the well-meaning, unhelpful meddlers abroad. We’re happy he’s not Bush, too. Probably happier than you are, but we’re not throwing unearned, insanely high-profile awards at him either.

We get it. You really, really, really like him.

Now it’s just us who aren’t as sure as we used to be.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Wicked Gravity: Jim Carroll 1949 – 2009

I just learned today that punk/pop poet Jim Carroll died last month. He was only 60.

I was never an expert on Jim Carroll (it would have required taking poetry seriously), but I knew that his book “The Basketball Diaries” was a million times better than the movie, and that his band’s first album, 1980’s “Catholic Boy,” was one of those few albums that doesn’t have a bad track. Like “Who’s Next” or “Led Zepplin IV,” “Catholic Boy” doesn’t have a clunker on it. It’s a Greatest Hits album right out of the gate. Even “Joshua Tree” had “Trip Through Your Wires” on it.

It looks like it’s out of print (judging by the highway-robbery prices of the handful of units available on amazon) but is readily available on the iTunes for download for the dirt cheap price of $10. If I knew how to link to it, I would.

I’m glad to read that Carroll stayed creatively occupied until his sudden death (a heart attack will stop you right in your tracks, creatively speaking).

If you’re reading this and you’re familiar with any of his work it’s most likely to be the crappy Leo DeCaprio movie they made out of his book or his band’s big hit, “People Who Died.” It would be a crying shame if those were to become the extent of his legacy. “The Basketball Diaries” was my generation’s “Catcher In The Rye.” It’s funny to think that JD Salinger outlived Jim Carroll.

Not ha-ha funny, strange funny.

Anyhow, for my money the best thing on his best album is the title track, and not just because I was a recovering Catholic as well. Well, maybe a lot because of that. If I huffed glue as a teen, I probably would have connected with a different song, maybe “People Who Died.”

But as usual when I haven’t been drinking, I digress…

I’m listening to the CD while I type. Every song is a pop/punk masterpiece; brooding and breathless and menacing. Carroll’s near-spoken word performance is haunting.

With his record company and his estate’s permission (no, I’m just kidding, I didn’t get either), I’d like to reproduce the lyrics of my favorite Jim Carroll song. His was a one-of-a-kind, real deal kind of talent. His lyrics even read well without the music which is no mean feat.

The world is not a better place for Jim Carroll’s absence.

Catholic Boy

By Jim Carroll

I was born in a pool, they made my mother stand

And I spat on that surgeon and his trembling hand

When I felt the light I was worse than bored

I stole the doctor's scalpel and I slit the cord

I was a Catholic boy,
Redeemed through pain,

Not through joy

I was two months early they put me under glass

I screamed and cursed their children when the nurses passed

Was convicted of theft when I slipped from the womb

They led me straight from my mother to a cell in the Tombs 

They starved me for weeks, they thought they'd teach me fear

I fed on cellmates' dreams, it gave me fine ideas

When they cut me loose, the time had served me well

I made allies in heaven, I made comrades in Hell

I was a Catholic child

The blood ran red

The blood ran wild

I make angels dance and drop to their knees

When I enter a church the feet of statues bleed

I understand the fate of all my enemies

Just like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane

I watched the sweetest psalm stolen by the choir

I dreamed of martyrs' bones hanging from a wire

I make a contribution, I get absolution

I make a resolution to purify my soul

They can't touch me now

I got every sacrament behind me:

I got baptism,

I got communion,

I got penance, 

I got extreme unction

I've got confirmation

'Cause I'm a Catholic child

The blood ran red

The blood ran wild!

Now I'm a Catholic man

I put my tongue to the rail whenever I can.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Indefense of Roman Polanski

Quaaludes? A 13-year-old victim? Anal rape??

Case closed. This is a man who deserves his day in court.

Polanski's never even denied the events in question occurred, just tried to 're-contectualize' them for three decades. Now, I'd rather we brought Osama bin Laden to justice (or Dick Cheney or George Tenet for that matter) than pissed away resources on 30-year-old sex crimes the victim doesn't even want pursued anymore, but now that we've got him, we have no choice but to feed him into the capricious maw of the American Celebrity Justice System.

So I’m sorry, Famous Directors of Filmland who have sprung to his defense, I don’t care if Polanski directed “Citizen Kane” while curing cancer, there is no statute of limitations on child sexual predation in my book. I say bring him back and let the dirty laundry fly.

Plus, when Woody Allen springs to your defense in a child sex-abuse case, it may be time to find a new champion to carry your banner in the court of public opinion.

I’m just sayin’.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Driving traffic to Sarah Palin’s Facebook page

Well, Dave Letterman has stepped in it again. For a public figure who guards his privacy as zealously as he does, it’s always Letterman who’s being held up to public scrutiny. Whether its stalkers repeatedly breaking into his home or Madonna dropping the F-bomb 17 times or being flashed by Drew Barrymore or raising the ire of Sarah Palin, the crazies are just drawn to this guy in droves.

Here’s my take: Letterman is a guy who lives, eats and breathes his show. If he didn’t meet women on the job he would literally never meet women. If there was a medical name for this phenomenon I would fall into the same category. I met my wife and, prior to that, all but one of my previous girlfriends through the auspices of my place of employment.

But he’s the boss and that puts him in a sticky situation, ethically. I had an extremely cute little gal working for me once and I never even allowed myself to flirt with the idea. Let alone her. Plus she was engaged, but man, if she had been in editorial instead of production…

But I digress.

It’s telling that it wasn’t any of the young ladies in question who decided to stab Letterman in the back, it was a third-party. It suggests to me that these affairs – and as yet, we’re only assuming there was more than one of them — were mutually consensual and the young lady(ies) walked away with their careers undamaged when the relationship(s) ended.

But we’ll see what the weekend brings. This could fill up a lot of dead air on the cable news nets (except MSNBC because Letterman is neither in maximum-security lock-up nor an online pedophile about to meet an NBC employee on camera).

The one young lady the press seems to be focusing on in this bizarre scheme is a former occasional onscreen foil of the talk-show host, a young lady whose current boyfriend is the fellow who has been arrested for trying to shake down Letterman. According to online accounts (and you may judge their veracity thusly), the young woman is described as “mortified” that her current beau went digging through her possessions to compile the box of black-mailable evidence he allegedly left in Letterman’s car.

Of course, the full extent of the ‘dirt’ on Dave is unknown as yet and that’s why I wanted to get this post out now. I wanted to go on record supporting Letterman. Whatever ugly truths are revealed as a result of this, I think they will pale in comparison to the shake-down attempt that brought them to light.

And maybe my prejudice as someone else who always had to troll the office pool for women to date is showing. When all you have is your job and a social-anxiety disorder, there is one way to meet women, period.

Plus, Letterman is a funny guy, wealthy and powerful. This is a combination of characteristics that I have observed many women find attractive in men. I can’t imagine he ever had to play the ‘Boss’ card with his conquest(s) and as of this posting, no such allegations have emerged.

I’ll tell you two things for sure, though. One, his mea culpa made for riveting television. And two, Conan might as well air a “Best Of TV Test Patterns” show on Monday. The only good thing to come out of this will be watching how Dave handles it on-air.