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Sam Pollak

May 11, 2013

Using time off in the worst way possible


“I’m terribly sorry, sir,” he said. “Both of the Daily Star helicopters are in use at the moment in pursuit of the news.”

I put on a brave face, told him I understood and jauntily opined that the company’s champagne was always chilled better in the limo, anyway.

“Peel me another grape before I leave, Ralph,” I said, “and then let me begin my week of purgatory.”

My future biographers will no doubt ponder just what it was that led to my chaining myself to The Daily Star’s Corinthian columns the next time I was ordered to take a vacation.

Having spent Monday writing an opera and proving the existence of dark matter in the universe, I turned on the television Tuesday afternoon, expecting light entertainment or perhaps a mind-broadening documentary.

As it turned out, while channel surfing — that’s what we men of leisure call it — I came upon “The Jerry Springer Show.”

I had kind of been aware that Mr. Springer, a former mayor of Cincinnati, had been on the air for the last 20 years or so, and that he had zany guests, but I had never actually watched an episode.

Now that I have, I despair for the republic. The show’s participants — white people, black people, Hispanic people, Asian people — none of them apparently ever heard of birth control — or, for that matter, marriage or decorum.

I’m making the guests’ names up because I don’t remember them, but it really doesn’t matter. It was pretty much the same story over and over and over again.

Jerry begins by talking with Wanda, an enormous woman who has had three babies with her boyfriend Harold, who is quite skinny. (For some reason, most of the women on the show tend to be gigantic while the men look as if they haven’t had a decent meal in months.)

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Sam Pollak

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