Hello, it’s me. I’ve thought about us for a long, long time. OK, apologies to Todd Rundgren—but hello. How are you? It’s been a while. You look well, you haven’t changed. Is that a new haircut? Looks great on you! Yes, The Loafer was away for a while. It looked like it wasn’t going to come back, but now it’s back! Where have I been in the time since The Loafer was gone? Oh, I’ve been around, but let me fill you in on what’s been going on in the last month or so since we saw each other.
When The Loafer fi rst closed up shop I sat around on my couch for about a week. I had a steady diet of cheese whiz and chips, laying around all day watching old episodes of “Sale of the Century” on YouTube. After this phase of ennui passed, I knew I had to do the humane thing, it was time to let Batteries Not Included roam free. I packed the column up into the back of the car and drove to my aunt’s farm upstate.
I opened the hatchback and said “Go on, git! You’re free now!” Tears streaming down my face, my column looked back at me like “I would never leave you.” Both of us unable to part from one another, I drove the column back home, where it then spent a week on my couch watching “Sale of the Century” on YouTube and eating Doritos. I wanted to figure out if I could find a new home for us. I asked friends, showed up to poetry slams, but nobody was particularly welcoming of my stories about my wife Sheila, child Lemuel, and my low-key obsession with the 1980s game show “Press Your Luck.” (Two game show references in one column, I’m back baby!) So I took some time off to go on my own “Eat, Pray, Love” journey. I backpacked through Europe and found my back isn’t what it was back when I was in high school. I threw it out as soon as I got to London, and then I wound up on the couch of a friend’s flat—where I was respectful, but they sat around in their underwear eating fish and chips and watching “Are You Being Served?” on YouTube. After this respite, I found myself back home, where I began hanging around The Olive Garden all day and really testing just how unlimited their unlimited pasta bowl was.
Then I heard words that The Loafer would be coming back, and I knew this summer of woe had left me in awful shape. It was time to tone the muscles in myself and Batteries Not Included back up to fi ghting weight. I hired a trainer and I began to walk fi ve miles each day while my trainer yelled: “Name an obscure sitcom that most millennials won’t know about!” I shouted back to him “My Mother The Car!”
Soon I had all my muscle mass back and I was a lean, mean, quipping machine. I began to write, day and night, furiously! So here we are, The Loafer is back, Batteries Not Included is back, and I’m back. I’m all geeked up and ready to go, and I hope you are too. Now that things are back to “normal”—as normal as they get for this column—you’ll see the kind of shenanigans you always counted on seeing from me appear once more over the coming weeks. It’s good to be back, and it feels very good to say—see you next week.