North Penn Life - - ACCENT -

Sit­ting out at the Lim­er­ick out­let mall dur­ing the big La­bor Day sale last week­end, I had plenty of time to day­dream. I know my role on these shop­ping trips: Sit­ting, snooz­ing, schlep­ping. And, of course, with all of that comes the day­dream­ing.

And here is what I con­cluded: I miss Ge­orge Car­lin.

AV wH finG RuUVHOYHV Ln the mid­dle of silly po­lit­i­cal FRnYHnWLRn VHDVRn, , wRn­dered what Car­lin would hDYH WhRughW DbRuW WhH SURcess of choos­ing our lead­ers WhHVH GDyV. , GRn’W bHOLHYH it’s a stretch to say that he wouldn’t think much of it at all.

But I don’t write about pol­i­tics in this space. We hDYH HnRugh RI WhDW hRR-hD at our dis­posal if we choose WR UHDG LW. SuI­fiFH WR VDy WhDW I don’t think Ge­orge Car­lin would be amused by to­day’s pol­i­tics.

I started lis­ten­ing to Car­lin in the early 1970s, around the age of 13 or 14. In those days, he recorded com­edy al­bums, and I was fas­ci­nated by his use of the lan­guage and his take on hu­man na­ture. He was less po­lit­i­cal then, but so was my teenage wRUOG. CDUOLn WhRughW flDWu­lence was funny and so did I. I still think that to­day and I’m sure he would, too.

7hH fiUVW CDUOLn DObum I can re­call lis­ten­ing to was called “Class Clown,” re­leased in 1972, and it had on it what would be­come one of Car­lin’s sig­na­ture bLWV: “SHYHn :RUGV YRu CDn 1HYHU SDy Rn 7HOHYLVLRn.”

In case you are nRW IDPLOLDU wLWh LW, WhH VHYen words you couldn’t say Rn WHOHYLVLRn bDFN WhHn wHUH bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep­bleeper, bleeperbleeper and bleeps. Three of those words can now be said on nHWwRUN WHOHYLVLRn, DnG DOO FDn bH VDLG Rn SDy WHOHYLVLRn. 1RnH, hRwHYHU, FDn bH writ­ten in a fam­ily news­pa­per and that still holds true to­day be­cause, well, it’s un­nHFHVVDUy. :H’YH DOO hHDUG WhH wRUGV; PDny RI uV hDYH used them. You don’t need to see them in your lo­cal news­pa­per. I con­tin­ued to lis­ten to Car­lin’s com­men­tary through col­lege, HYHn VHHLng hLP SHUIRUP OLYH RnFH at Iowa State UniYHUVLWy Ln APHV, Iowa, in the late 1970s. Frankly, I don’t re­mem­ber much about that per­for­mance be­cause I was pre­oc­cu­pied in those early years of col­lege with women, beer and D nHw PRYLH FDOOHG “AnLPDO House.” But I’m pretty sure I laughed be­cause I al­ways thought Car­lin was hi­lar­i­ous.

The next time I got a FhDnFH WR VHH hLP OLYH wDV nearly 20 years later in Las Ve­gas in the mid-1990s. My wife and I were with my col­lege room­mate, Billy McBride, and his wife, Cher, on a lit­tle three-day week­end get­away to Sin City.

,W wDV WhH ODVW HYHnLng RI RuU WULS, DnG wH wHUH OHDYLng Rn Dn HDUOy flLghW WhH nHxW morn­ing. Car­lin was per­form­ing a late show at one of the casi­nos — I think it was BDOOy’V — DnG HYHUyRnH HOVH in my party was tuck­ered out and didn’t want to go to the show. But how could I not walk right across the street to see the great Ge­orge Car­lin?

So I went by my­self, bought a sin­gle ticket, and got a seat right in the front row for the show. Car­lin was bULOOLDnW WhDW HYHnLng.

After­wards, I de­cided to fiOO uS WhH UHnWDO FDU’V gDV WDnN VR , GLGn’W hDYH WR wRUry about that the next morn­ing on the way to the air­port. There was a gas sta­tion right near Bally’s, so I got the car out of the park­ing garage DnG hHDGHG RYHU.

Be­cause it was late, one FRuOGn’W fiOO uS DW WhDW VWDWLRn wLWhRuW SUH-SDyLng fiUVW. SR , walked into the store, where there were two cashiers. One hDG D ORng OLnH RI VHYHn RU eight peo­ple stand­ing in it, the other had only one guy. Nat­u­rally, I picked the shorter line.

The guy in the line, dressed in a black T-shirt and black jeans, was blab­ber­ing on about how he used to be a FDb GULYHU Ln LDV 9HgDV DnG blah, blah, blah. I wasn’t a foot away from him but was only half lis­ten­ing, more con­cerned about weather I wanted a bag of peanuts or potato chips.

The dude in front of me HYHnWuDOOy TuLW yDNNLng. I pre­paid for my gas and went back out­side and fiOOHG WhH WDnN. :hHn , wHnW back inside to col­lect my change, I got back in the same line.

When I got up to the counter, the fe­male cashier said, “Did you see who you were stand­ing be­hind when you wHUH Ln hHUH WhH fiUVW WLPH?” “No, who?’ I re­sponded. “That was Ge­orge Car­lin,” she said.

“No it wasn’t,” I said. “I just came from his show not a half hour ago. And I’m a hugH IDn. ,’YH gRW WhH WLFNHW stub right here in my pocket.”

She re­ceipt then from pro­duced a be­hind the counter. On the back it was signed, “Ge­orge Car­lin.”

Argh. Car­lin had been wear­ing a black T-shirt and black jeans for the per­for­mance. He had once been a FDb GULYHU Ln LDV 9HgDV. HH had a pony­tail.

Some for­mally trained RbVHUYHU , wDV DW WhDW SRLnW in my jour­nal­is­tic ca­reer. What a missed op­por­tu­nity. , wRuOG hDYH ORYHG WhH WDON with him one-on-one then DnG , wRuOG ORYH WR WDON with him now and get his take on to­day’s po­lit­i­cal land­scape.

My guess would be he’d say some­thing along the lines of bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep­bleeper, bleeperbleeper and bleeps.

Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery Me­dia and au­thor of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ ya­hoo.com. This col­umn can also be found at www.mont­gomerynews.com.

Outta Left­field Mike Morsch

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