Returning here after more than two years–after I went bye-bye in 2013, after saying Helloooo!–I was tempted toward a good George-ism to capture the moment. Maybe the simple, ebullient “I’m back, baby!”
Or the subversive, Eeyore-ish voicemail he once left Jerry, “Hey, it’s George… Pfft. I’ve got nothing to say.” (BEEP)
But even Costanza comes up short here. (Sorry, George. I’m really sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.) To capture such an unexpected turnabout…I turn to the one-and-only Kramer.
In one of Kramer’s bass-ackwards falls into a legit job (Brand/Leland was the poor, unsuspecting company’s name), his boss called him on the carpet about his output. “I’ve been reviewing your work,” Leland said. “Quite frankly it stinks.”
He went on to tell the Ritz-cracker-smacking Kosmo that he must move on. I don’t even really work here! was Kramer’s crack-me-up reply.
As to why exactly that cracked me up…consider my absence, yes (I don’t even really blog here!)…but do read on.
My absence was not intentional. Not even in my mind was I gone (although there is that, sometimes, as Kramer once pointed out.) I still love this blog. I still love this show–even though some of it is not as funny to me as I near 20 years of great marriage and my mid-40s, and seriously/sillily raise 52 children.
(Actually we only have 5, but my wife and I jokingly refer to “our 52 children.” Because despite the joy, the laughter, all that Schmoopie…sometimes the comments, the questions, all that snap, make it seem like we have way more children than we do.)
Still, much of Seinfeld is as funny to me now as it was when I first discovered it. Some of it is even funnier. Which is why I never meant to, in early 2013, stop adding to this Seinfeld survival guide to Life.
Around that time, in an Seinfeldishly ironic twist, Life dispatched a plane across the landscape of the Bounds family, unfurling a banner that read “Survive this”–and started dropping circumstantial bombs. We wanted to yada yada yada over the whole thing…in the George-negative, not the Elaine-positive way.
Then came a Newman-ic depressive phase. You know, where you’re denouncing vegetables and calling for shots and doing other foolish things that have people wiser than you saying life-saving things to you like you better think again, mojumbo.
The dance of Life didn’t halt, per se, during that time. It just shifted into a full-body-dry-heave kind of dance. Arms flailing, legs akimbo. Feet moving the family halfway across the country…that sort of thing.
I can hear George now: Your chances of success in this blog are only hurt by you continuing to write it.
Even with that attractive power of the Opposite seemingly at work, I stayed away. Much later, an idea: If I get back into it someday, I’ll do some new material then get out. Take a bow. Cue the curtain drop.
Not long after, the get-out plan got a good-surprise “Get out!” push.
Seinfeld cracking me up over Life itself–for me and for those around me–is what led me to launch this blog-ode to the series on July 5, 2010. Five years to the day, that is, coming up here soon. The final-bow plans came up about a year ago. I crafted a Seinfeld-ism “bucket list.”
While I dabbled with the plan–fast headed to the five-year anniversary–yet another Seinfeldian twist occurred: my blog got linked in the New York Times. This week. (Scroll down to the “George’s love of cheese” line.)
I can hear Jerry now: Costanza*…Benes**…Bounds***?!
*Recall George’s hand-clapping joy over a “NEW YORK YANKEES!” job.
**Recall Elaine’s hip-swinging joy over a “NEW YORKER!” gig.
***Pardon my laptop-tapping joy over a NEW YORK TIMES! nibble.
The New York Times exposure leaves me grinning a la Jerry’s “And you want to be my latex salesman” grin AND looking unfazed a la Newman’s “Hi-lar-ious” deadpan face. Not at the New York Times. At literary agents. Because back in 2010, when I started this blog, I had been trying to publish this material as a book.
The rejection-letter emails that followed (coming mostly from literary agents based in NEW YORK CITY) are best summarized by this one line from one such agent:
“I don’t think anyone outside of New York is really that interested still in Seinfeld.”
Cue the look on my face akin to Jerry’s when that Donna Chang gal he was dating used the word ridicurous.
The High Note
Scores of Seinfeld lines come to mind in witty retort to that agent’s comment. But I’ll just end where I began here and reach back into the Kramer-working-for-Brand/Leland episode. The morn of Kramer’s first day on the job, Jerry saw Kramer in a suit and tie and–dazed and Uncle-Leo-level-confused at his notoriously jobless friend now gloriously dressed for a job–Jerry said, “How long have I been asleep? What year is this?”
Have you been asleep? I wanted to say to that agent. Do you know what year it is?
Seinfeld has conquered the world!
That was 10 years ago.
Now look at Hulu.
“That people will only watch television like this in the future is so obvious,” Jerry himself cracked-wise at the April announcement to the world of the Seinfeld/Hulu duo.
Yes it is, Jerry. Yes it is.
So now I turn to George, to do as he once did and–as he learned from Jerry (“Showmanship, George!”)–get out on a high note.
Time to publish that book myself.