clever humans: my long distance relationship with steve martin

It's true; distance can strain a relationship. For instance, my long and complicated relationship with
Steve Martin.  It suffered under the weight of his absence....well, that and his lack of knowledge of the relationship.

Wait, let me start again. It's true one-sided-ness can strain a relationship.

Shortly after I discovered KISS, I discovered Steve Martin. While other third-graders were going to bed at 8pm, I was encouraged by my father to stay up late, i.e., "you've got to see this guy do stand-up. He's hilarious!" Rabbit ears, an arrow through the head, happy feet, the non-conformist's oath...what wasn't there to love? That year I went to school for career day as Steve Martin.  (In hindsight, I am fairly certain we were supposed to dress as an occupation, not particular individual, but the instructions were vague).  As I read my one-page essay covering the pros and cons of following in his footsteps professionally, did teachers toy with the idea of a home visit? Did they worry what kind of parents encourage their eight-year-olds to stay up for Saturday Night Live?

Nowadays, every 30 or 40-something claims they always loved Steve Martin, but I ask, did you have pin ups of him in your dorm room? Did you write him fan letters addressed to simply "Hollywod?"  Could you perform King Tut choreography in a pinch even now, 30 years after it aired? Well, perhaps you could. But did you read his plays, appreciate his books, worry about him when he went through a gloomy phase in the 90s? Ah, Steve, they hardly knew ye. But I knew ye.

Let it be clear, I didn't have a crush on Mr. Martin. I didn't want to marry him or date him. I just wanted him to move in down the street for the summer, so we could go to swim team together or something.

Today, I wish him well. The banjo career's nice. I always knew he had it in him. By the way, two years after that first career day, I went to school as a lawyer. Snooze, snooze. However, I did receive a banjo for Christmas in Steve's honor.