TV Club

Week 8: Red-Shoe Diarist

James Gandolfini and Edie Falco in The Sopranos

Dear fellas,

It’s funny—I’ve spent 25 years or so working in my chosen profession. I’ve done some work I’m proud of, I have the job I always dreamed of having, I’ve received a few awards (details of my full life and many accomplishments—along with some great rib-eye recipes from your favorite NBC News personalities—are available on our Web site, where you can catch my daily blog), I’ve traveled the world, been shot at a few times, and have seen Donald Trump’s hair up close. Then, a few weeks ago, along comes an invitation to join in on a little conversation among friends—about a show I love. Somebody had told somebody who told Goldberg that I was a fan of the show. Goldberg asked. I said yes.

Later, when I learned that my role was to go third in the batting order, to clean up whatever hadn’t been touched on in the first two postings by Noah and Goldberg, I didn’t mind, I didn’t complain. I just told myself: This is the business we’ve chosen. When my public role as a network anchor prevented me from taking on the glaringly obvious in the last episode—some really good off-color material about Flatbush Bikini Waxing—again I told myself: Let it go, it’s only business.

When I learned they were bringing in a new guy this week, a writer from the show, I knew that would mean less material for me. But when he turned up, I let it go.

So now I’m faced with a choice: either mope around like I’m persona au gratin, or find something useful from that great episode that hasn’t been talked about yet by the dozen or so guys I’m now competing against for attention.

 To wit: What’s the deal with the red side of the electric shoe buffer? I get the black side, everybody does. But when I saw Sil (in one of his last acts while standing) using the red side on his white vinyl kicks, it got me thinking. I always figured that even cordovan was a stretch for the red side—hell, I was 20 or 21 before I even learned what cordovan was—but white shoes exposed to that red fuzz at such a dizzyingly high rpm? You don’t know who’s used the red side before you. Or for what. And mob shoes? You don’t know where they’ve been. What does Paulie do to keep his so shiny and fresh-looking? We know he has a shading hierarchy in his California Closet—we remember him packing for Florida. He brought the “first-run” pair, and the necessary backups. Just in case. You can’t have too many.

So that’s all I’ve got. It’s not like there was a lot of material left to work with. Now, I wait. Later I may go to the newsroom. I’ll try to keep my head up around my co-workers and pretend everything’s fine. I will read the comments and scoff at the conspiracy theories. Will I appear in this crowded space again? Right now, I’m going to take a nap. When I wake, if there’s an e-mail from Goldberg or Noah inviting me to write about the last episode, I’ll know I have a partner. If there isn’t, I’ll know I won’t.