Randy Cohen

McD. calls with good news. He’s the music director of The Rosie O’Donnell Show, where I used to work. “I’m putting the theme song up for a Daytime Emmy.” McD. composed the music; I wrote the lyrics. Unlike most TV themes, ours is actually sung; the words are heard. Most opening themes are arranged as instrumental music, but nearly all have lyrics. Even if the words are never heard, the lyricist receives a royalty each time the theme is played. The Star Trek theme has lyrics; the executive producer, Gene Rodenberry, wrote them. In television, writing lyrics that will never be sung is regarded as a fabulous opportunity.

McD. isn’t optimistic about our chances: “Patti LaBelle wrote that new Oprah thing.” But a nomination would mean seats at the awards luncheon, which is sure to be attended by many soap stars. I’d go in a second. I’m disconcerted but not displeased that Patti and Oprah may have a genuine effect, if not on my happiness, at least on my lunch plans.

A phone call about a possible job. ABC wants to create a recurring segment to unify its miscellaneous Saturday-morning cartoon shows. This sort of thing is called a wrap-around. The producer says, “We don’t know what it will be, except that it will have two kids and an 8-foot puppet and be shot at Chelsea Piers. Do you have any ideas?” No, I don’t. And theirs seem prematurely specific, like a first-date discussion of where the kids will go to college. I’m just relieved I didn’t suggest a 9-foot puppet.

Walked up the hill to Broadway to meet Sophie’s school bus. In bad weather, we parents and caretakers wait in the cash-machine annex of the Republic National Bank. You need an ATM card to get in. There is no city bus shelter nearby. Some cities provide these, but we’re in tune with the great forces of history: Our ad hoc privatizing of government services outpaces even Mayor Giuliani. And he’s sold advertising space on the basketball backboards in city parks.

Next door to the bank is a hardware store, then a dry cleaner, then the Indian grocery with these three signs taped to the widow, handwritten on Day-Glo cardboard:

·         Basmati Rice On Sale: Buy 2 Get One Free

·         On Sale Corona Beer

·         XXX Movies On Sale: Buy 2 Get One Free (No Refunds)

All in all, a rich, full evening’s entertainment.