I imagine a lot of you are probably at least vaguely familiar with Jay Leno. He used to be the host of The Tonight Show on NBC, and he made his name as a stand-up comedian, although I primarily think of him as a car collector these days. His YouTube channel is a festival of strange and wondrous things if you're into that sort of thing.
I see a lot of comments on his YouTube videos to the effect that, despite the fact that he has the kind of money that enables a man to build his own personal classic car museum and stock it with the likes of pre-war Bugattis, he seems like Such A Nice Regular Guy. And maybe he is! But he did insult my father.
This was a long time ago, mind you. I think it might have been before he got the Tonight Show gig, even, back when his connection to the show was that he was the guy who usually filled in for Johnny Carson when the latter was on vacation. Dad and I went to see him live at what was still called the Maine Center for the Arts back then (it's the Collins Center now, after the wealthy family that gave the University of Maine a bunch of money to put their name on the building, which, well, at least it's not the Gillette Center for the Arts Presented by Cadillac or something—anyway, I digress), and just as he was starting his act, Jay looked around, pointed at Dad, and said,
"I see a rather large gentleman at the back—sir, there are four empty seats up here if you'd like them."
Dad laughed, because you have to laugh in situations like that or you're the asshole, and Jay got on with his shtick. Twenty minutes or so later, a group of four women started making their way toward the middle of the front row with many mumbled apologies, and Jay stopped and accosted them: "Where have you been?! I nearly gave your seats to that man back there!"
Now, I'm not daft enough to assume that he meant anything personal by it—that was the kind of comedian he was, at the time, and it was a less considerate age all the way around—but I always think of it when I see people online gushing about how nice he seems.
That said, I do have to acknowledge that he's one of those people I would emulate bits of if I had the resources. Similar to the way in which I would totally join M. Bison and the late Colonel Gaddafi in maintaining a retinue of girl commandos in cute uniforms as a praetorian guard, if I had Jay's kind of money, that's pretty much what I would do with it: build my own personal car museum, and keep wearing the same shlubby clothes I wore when I was poor. :)
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.