JAFO

Just Another Effin' Observer

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Location: Huntsville, Texas, United States

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Michelle Malkin Crosses a Line

I saw this post on Michelle Malkin's blog, and I must say that I am a bit incensed.

I'll not have you dissing Clifford, Michelle.

I worked for Scholastic for almost two years (from January of 2001 through October of 2002), helping to put together a product called Read 180 – a reading-intervention program for students who are reading below grade level. Every week, a local dry-cleaner’s van would pull up to the curb in front of 524 Broadway in Manhattan (the building in which I worked), and the driver would carry the Clifford suit into the building; I feel like I got to know Clifford very well in the course of those months.

Now, you can say what you want about Scholastic, the company that publishes the Harry Potter books in the United States, and was also responsible for Charles In Charge. But there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Clifford, the Big Red Dog; he is the symbol of the two best years of my life (with the exception of one absolutely dreadful Tuesday, but that's a subject for another time).

And I will countenance no disparagement of him.

UPDATE (23 June 2005): I neglected to mention that the voice of Clifford was performed by the late John Ritter, whom I had the pleasure of meeting, very briefly, at Sardi's, on the occasion of my birthday. My date and I were going to see The Producers; Mr. Ritter was grabbing a quick nosh with his co-star in The Dinner Party, Henry Winkler. I made an excuse to pass near their table, on the pretext of going to the Men's room (actually, it was not a pretext: I really did have to pee like a Peruvian pack-mule -- damn Martinis!). As I passed, I said, "Hi, Clifford." He smiled and nodded; Mr. Winkler looked at me like I was some rare species of idiot. Okay, so it was my night in the barrel.

And that was it: my brush with celebrity.

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