Bits and Pieces From the Week that Was

When Jeff Conaway’s family took him off life support we learned the real reason he was dying. It wasn’t a drug overdose after all.

It was his body’s surrender to years of abuse of prescription pain medications with the true cause being pnemonia and untreated sepsis. I swear, until my bout with sepsis earlier this year, I had no idea it was so common. Now it leaps off the page everywhere I look.

Reading all sorts of news reports on Conaway’s life and death, I discovered I can tell the general age of the writer by the slant of the report. If they called him a star of Grease and didn’t include Taxi, they’re under 30. Every kid has seen the movie but they aren’t likely familiar with the hit TV show if they weren’t around in the 70’s. (It aired from 1978-83) I will always think of him as the star of Taxi, Bobby Wheeler, and that makes me, er, over 30. RIP Jeff. We loved your work.

John Rich’s win on Celebrity Apprentice was somehow overlooked here. The country music superstar raised more than a million dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s hospital in Memphis and proved himself to be a creative and decent guy. Marlee Matlin was also a formidible force and excellent advocate for the deaf. Rapper L’il John deserves a lot of credit too. This guy with a mouthful of metal, crazy hair and saggy pants is another wickedly clever dude. Star Jones should be locked away somewhere soundproof and never appear before a camera again. Nene Leakes – put a cork in it. I don’t think TV has ever showed us a less sophisticated, more embarrassing display of prehistoric human emotion but I don’t watch Jersey Shore, so I can’t be sure.

Tiki Barber, what an idiot. The former football hero is blaming racism for his recent fall in fortunes. He left his wife, who was pregnant with twins, for a twenty-something intern. He claims people are unaccepting because he’s black and she’s white. As if! Did I mention he’s an idiot? He blew a broadcasting career after leaving the Giants by being, well, boring. He’s working out like a demon now to launch a comeback on the gridiron after four years away but it remains to be seen if anyone will have him.

But the capper this week, the moment that illustrates Tiki’s lousy judgment and sheer stupidity, was when he compared himself and his girlfriend to Anne Frank. He told Sports Illustrated that when he first left his wife and had nowhere to go, he and his gal hid out at the home of his Jewish agent which made it like “a reverse Anne Frank.” Right. Anne Frank who was forced to hide out for her life and died in the Holocaust was not a millionaire former athlete abandoning his family for a twinkie. Oh, and Anne was smart, another reason the analogy doesn’t work.