An Open Letter to Tina Fey

Dear Ms. Fey,

I’m writing to you today as a wild-eyed, obsessed fan perfectly normal person who is in no way a threat to one day shoot you  interested in annoying you.

I feel I’m off to a bad start.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Let me try being honest. I am slightly obsessed, but that’s your fault. I am powerless in the presence (either actual or virtual) of funny people, and, frankly, I believe there are few people currently roaming the planet who are funnier than you.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you that I did not watch a lot of SNL when you were involved, and I didn’t see a single episode of 30 Rock until it started showing up on certain streaming services after the end of its original seven-year run. I remember thinking more than once, “When season eight starts, I’m there! 100% commitment.” But alas.

I did, however, catch a handful of episodes on said streaming services, mainly at the suggestion of my daughter, who is much younger than me, and perhaps relatedly, much hipper. She kept telling me, “This show is hilarious. You’ve got to watch it.”

So I did. I found it painful. Literally physically painful. At various points during the episode, which featured Tracy Jordan’s painful childhood memories, “I once saw a baby give another baby a tattoo! They were very drunk!” my laughter was so totally consuming that I feared for my survival. If I had been able to take my eyes off the television screen, I might have seen the look of horror on my wife’s face, and her finger hovering over the “1” on her phone, having already punched in the “9-1.”

Again, the responsibility for all of this rests squarely on your shoulders.

Due to various and sundry circumstances involving the cost of retaining use of various and sundry streaming services and other financial obligations which “society” deems as “more important” than “entertainment,” such as “food” and “shelter,” (big sale on quotation marks at Barnes & Nobel), I was unable to watch the series in its entirety, but I was already hooked, and knew that one day, ONE DAY!, I would watch every episode. Breathing and regular heartbeat be damned!

A couple of weeks ago I was darkening the corridors of my local public library, (through the use of black construction paper and duct tape) and was preparing to climb on the shelves housing the DVD collection when a certain title caught my eye. It was “My Friend Flicka,” starring a young Roddy McDowell, and it literally caught my eye as I fell directly on it. But as I began to stem the flow of blood, I noticed that my library possessed all seven seasons of 30 Rock. And listen to this: they were willing to let me borrow them! Apparently, this is how libraries work. Who knew?

So I selected season one and was almost out the door before they explained to me the whole deal with library cards, and their need to know that they would eventually get their products back from me. Again, who knew?

Eventually, we cut through all the red tape, which was the color of the duct tape I’d used to darken the corridors, (un-darkening was another condition they put upon my borrowing from them), and I brought home that first boxed set.

By the second disc my wife had the paramedics on standby and by disc three they were at my home, actively monitoring my vitals. More than once through the hazy state in which my oxygen-deprived brain spent those several hours, I heard my wife actively curse your name, so sure was she that you, and you alone, were going to take from her the man she so loved.

Over the next weeks, I brought home season after season. My health started to deteriorate measurably, but I pressed on.

Tina Fey Deadheads [Feyheads?]

Around season four or so, I remembered that my daughter had purchased a copy of Bossy Pants. In case you’ve forgotten, that is the title of a book which you wrote. If I’d had no other exposure to your genius, I would have been willing to become a Tina Fey version of a Deadhead and just follow you around the world, based on your response to an internet post from someone who put forth the theory that you didn’t have a funny bone in your body to which you replied, and I quote:

“You know who does have a funny bone in their body? Your mom. Every night. For a dollar.”

I’m not dead yet so I cannot say with certainty that this is the funniest thing I will ever read, but I can say without fear of contradiction that is sure as hell is the funniest thing I’ve read so far.

By this point in our journey together my obsession had grown to the point where I had begun to fantasize.

Soft lights. A little romantic music. Some wine. A couple of laptops. The two of us laughing so hard that IV’s needed to be inserted. Then I remember, we are both married people, and through some odd twist, not even to each other. Then I also remember that I’m ten years older than you and that when you were just joining Second City, I was listening to my wife call me a series of bad names as she pushed our second child through her vagina. So I scaled back the fantasy to us just working together. Oddly enough the details, (lighting, music, alcohol), did not change.

But I digress, perhaps uncomfortably so. In fact, I’ll elongate the digression at this point by attempting to prove my status as a helpful individual. Knowing that the phrase “restraining order,” may have randomly popped into your head by now, I’d like to lend a hand by providing links to a couple of places on the internet where you can get them dirt-cheap and quickly. There are hundreds, so I’ve narrowed it down to the few that seem most legit. They are:

I think the third one is a not-for-profit group so you might want to support them. Up to you.

At any rate, I have about 50 pages left to read in your book and am on disc 3 of season six. Both of these situations are worrisome for me because both represent a state of coming to the end. I personally want Bossy Pants to be a little longer than Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past at a meaty 1.5 million words and 30 Rock to have lasted longer than Meet The Press, which is in it’s 70th season this year.

But I am not a monster, (proof: I do not show up once on I realize that life is composed of seasons of its own, and that they don’t correspond to NBC’s broadcast season which has grown increasingly confusing over the past several years with the advent of breaks in the middle of the season, and five or six premieres per show during an eight-month broadcast period, followed somehow by nine or ten season finales for the exact same title. New math, I’m told. Common core, apparently.

So I recognize you’d want to move to new vistas, fresh horizons, and a handful of other beginning-related clichés that I don’t have the time to research right now. And that’s fine.

All I’m asking is that you Donald Glover me. Stumble upon my work. Laugh so hard that they have to dust off one of those sweet old iron lung machines for you that must be laying around in a warehouse somewhere, Portland I’m guessing. Then send me an email and say, “I’ve softened the lights. All I could find was an Air Supply cd. Will that work for you? You bring the wine. And your own laptop. I’m not running a charity here.”

I really don’t think that’s an unreasonable request. But if you do, I’ll deal with my crushed life, thanks to the techniques I’ve learned at Don’t give it a second thought.

Update: Feb 16, 2020

Ok, Tina. One last thing to show you I’m the real deal, which only you and the folks who read you book will get. I had planned on mentioning it almost three years ago when I originally wrote the post, but couldn’t find the particular item I’m about to show you. (Don’t panic. Do the math. There’s no way I could have misplaced that for three years – though I sometimes think I may as well have). Anyway, have a look:

Now, Tina, you also know that I often wear jeans. Yes. That is my actual left leg.

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