Willard Scott, 101 Dalmatians, and the Alaskan Pipeline

I grew up watching The Today Show, so I delighted in gossip when a co-worker told me a friend of a friend who knew Katie Couric said she was a witch.  I remember Matt Lauer doing the local NY news with a head full of hair and a closet devoid of dildos.

So, it comes as no surprise that I was excited to meet Willard Scott.  It was another lobbyist reception, and Peter and I each got a Polaroid with the legend.

We were soon ushered into another line.  And not one to the bar.  Poor Peter always had to be the first to the bar before they ran out of white wine.  He was allergic to red, and if they didn’t have a full bar or beer selection he would die.  Or itch for a while.  Whatever.  I was going to get my picture with another celebrity.

We couldn’t see behind the backdrop, so when it was our turn, I wouldn’t have been more surprised if J. Fred Muggs was sitting there.  “I don’t get it,” Peter said to the photographer, “What’s that?”

“That” she offered up a little too enthusiastically, “is one of the Dalmatians from 101 Dalmatians!”   The live action movie had been released two years earlier.  What kind of strange lobby is this?

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The freaking dog was all grown up so it wasn’t even like a cute little “I’m going to make a coat out of the puppies” puppy anymore.  We had no choice but to take the picture.  It was unclear if we should ask the dog for his autograph.

We closed the Willard Scott/101 Dalmatian mash-up down and wandered the building’s labyrinthine halls, trying to find our way out.  This particular floor’s offices were being renovated, and moving boxes lined the hallway.  We had tunnel vision for something shiny and round at the end of the hallway.

The four-foot-tall tube had a small plaque attached to its apex.  “To Congressman So and So, In commemoration of your help in the creation of the Alaskan Pipeline”.

Peter ripped the plaque off of the pipeline and put it under his jacket.   We ran around in circles until we made it outside.  Seriously, where was security those days?

While I’m sure the statute of limitations on our crime has run out, I’ve always felt crappy that we never returned it.  Somewhere in life, between passing it back and forth, we lost it.  Every few years I ask Peter if he’s sure he doesn’t have it.

Could you imagine us walking into this congressman’s office, asking for forgiveness and being scolded like children?

If we ever remember who it belonged to, I hope that he will take us up on a fine bottle of bourbon instead of retribution.  Or at least not spank us.  I recently saw a report that spanking is no longer an appropriate form of punishment.

It was on The Today Show.


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