THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.
In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.
Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.
by Larry Brody
Time now for a major confession.
I, Good Ole Larry B, am an addict.
No, it’s not drugs. Nor booze. We’re not even talking work, fame, good times, bad times, or money.
I’m addicted to a television show by the name of Dr. Who.
It’s a British series that runs in the U.S. on BBC America and the Sci-Fi Channel. The current version of the show is in its fourth season. Previous iterations appeared from the early ‘60s to the 1996.
I knew about The Doctor, as the hero is called, but didn’t become a fan until a couple of years ago. One night, Gwen the Beautiful was flipping through channels and there it was—The Doctor’s vehicle, an old British police phone booth, soaring and spinning through space and time, controlled by…well, by a madman, you could say.
I mean, here’s a dude over 900 years old, saving civilizations and getting into trouble wherever and whenever in the universe he goes, and loving every single minute of it.
Laughing in delight at the fact that whatever is happening is, in fact, happening.
Eagerly throwing himself into all he does, whether it’s the best of possible activities or the worst.
Celebrating the defeats as well as the victories.
And doing everything his own strange way because he’s the sole living representative of the smartest and wisest alien species in the universe.
Intelligence, wisdom, and experience are The Doctor’s primary weapons. Supplemented by a little gizmo called the “sonic screwdriver” which the writers have cleverly made into the ultimate tool and weapon, capable of getting my hero out of any jam the rest of his attributes can’t handle.
There, I said it: “My hero.”
He became my hero that night Gwen made the mistake of stopping too long on BBC America. Since then I’ve watched every episode that’s aired, and not just once or twice.
Searching for insider knowledge, I’ve been a regular visitor to the various Dr. Who web sites.
Pursuing episodes I’ve heard about but missed, I’ve investigated the gray-area sites where you can watch or download any number of films and TV shows. Giving in to my packrat tendencies, I’ve even bought all the DVD collections of the series, even those going all the way back to the ‘60s.
And, last week, my addiction caused me to go full-scale insane and buy a big screen, high definition, projection TV.
It didn’t hurt as much as it could have. I found a slightly used one for sale for about one-third of the retail price. But still…I didn’t care this much about the quality of the picture I was watching when I was a television producer.
Kinda scary, that fact.
So scary that I sat down and thought very hard about why I love the show as I do, more even than my former Most-Loved-TV-Series, the classic 1960s U.S. series. I Spy.
And the answer came to me. Not from the Wind. Not in a dream. Not courtesy of a ghostly presence. Instead, I used my own knowledge and wisdom and experience.
And realized that I identified with this alien super-being. Completely.
Not just because of the qualities I’ve already mentioned, but because of something The Doctor and I share that I don’t share with most human beings.
You see, unlike most humans, The Doctor can’t possibly be subject to peer pressure. Because he has no peers.
Also unlike most humans, the fact that he’s a perpetual outsider doesn’t bother him. Oh, he’s got his lonely moments, sure, but they don’t last all that long. Because The Doctor can’t even imagine what being one of the gang would be like.
You can’t miss something when you don’t know what it is.
The Doctor, as I see him, is the perfect example of someone with a condition doctors call Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s a mild form of autism. People with Asperger’s can think and feel and communicate, often at a very high level…but when it comes to social interactions, they—we—just don’t get it.
We’re clueless about what other people need from one another because we don’t need it. Parties? Confidants? Hangin’ out? Alien concepts. For the most part, Asperger’s people need someone else for only two things:
To tell us what other people need so we can give all we can.
And to love.
There, Gwen, I confessed! Now can I watch the new Dr. Who DVD?
Now can I—please—have that hug?