And Then There's Bea
I have just possibly done the gayest thing in my entire life. I changed my ring tone to the theme song from Maude. Of course this choice is in homage to the legendary deadpan Bea Arthur who passed away Saturday morning. (I guess my other choice could have been Thank You for Being a Friend from The Golden Girls. Yeah, not so much.) As a matter of fact, I was so taken with the moment, I not only bought And Then There's Maude, but the entire Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends album on iTunes. (Can I still say album? It sounds so wrong.)
When I first met Michael he would do this weird thing. He'd say a joke and then to punch the laugh he'd look away and do a take. Thing is, the take would be to no one. I finally pieced together that my man goes nowhere without his invisible camera. He was practicing his Bea Arthur technique, the standard comedic ba-dah-bum rhythm. Think of the typical Dorothy moment on The Golden Girls: "Shut up, Rose,"-beat-take to the camera. And my husband would do that. In a restaurant, in the park, sometimes in the bedroom, didn't matter. He longed to be the next Bea Arthur.
About seven years ago Michael and I went to see her show here in LA. We stood in line behind Sharon Stone waiting to get into the theatre. Sharon Stone! What a sighting, right? This was right after the komodo dragon attacked her ex-husband's foot. And she was talking to her friend about the problems she was having with her psychic. I thought I hit star sighting jackpot. I could spin this one out for years. But after Queen Bea stepped on that stage, the Sharon Stone thing became a distant memory. Bea was genius. She opened the show with a piece called Lamb, in which she tells the audience how she prepares leg of lamb. I don't know how she did it, but somehow she made this mundane Julia Child recipe hysterically funny. Tears were running down my face, I was laughing so hard. She probably could have read Moby Dick and I'd bust a gut. I think we will all miss this virtuoso of comedy.
Compromisin', enterprisin', anything but tranquilizin'...