If you’ve been around these parts very long, (and with a couple notable exceptions, I’m certain you haven’t) you already know about my long-standing personal friendship with the beautiful, hilarious and talented actress, comedian, writer, podcaster, and Co-host of the daytime talk show The Talk on CBS, Aisha Tyler. If you’re new here, you can read the story here and here (though if you bother to look at those, I apologize that many of the pictures and links are broken, which makes them less exciting to read, especially the first one) and even here (though that last one is less about Aisha and more about an odd and confusing experience I had which happened to be on the same night as my last visit to one of Aisha’s shows.
That unavoidable, once a year event, which we often wish we could ignore is coming around again… really soon. And to celebrate Michelle and I went to dinner at a restaurant I had never been to before called The Dead Fish. (Rumor is that’s a famous line in the family that started the restaurant. The kids would ask mom, “What’s for dinner” and mom would say, “Dead fish.”) I had heard lots of good things about the place and had high expectations, which, sadly were not lived up to. It’s a nice enough place and the food was fine, but I expected better and more. I had “Crispy Pork Shank” which was not crispy at all and, in fact, was rather the consistence of pot roast, something I do not care for, and had a lot of fat on it. Plus, I ordered a Bombay martini, having recently discovered that Bombay Sapphire gin is actually quite smooth and pleasant – something that came as quite a surprise to me as I wasn’t much of a gin drinker. I wasn’t as specific as perhaps I should have been while ordering, but I was disappointed with what I was served. It did not come in a martini glass but rather some sort of goblet, almost like an old time champagne glass (non-flute). The goblet held very little liquid and they left me with an ice filled shaker with the rest of my martini in it. By the time I was ready to refill my glass, the ice was half melted and my martini was severely watered down. On top of that, there was noticeably too much vermouth which, for my tastes should really just be there to take the edge off the gin slightly, not be a notable flavor, particularly in a martini with such quality gin!
Dinner was followed by the late show at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco. My good friend Aisha Tyler was headlining. As far as I know she hasn’t toured since starting her stint as one of the cacophony of voices of The Talk which is in the same vein as The View. I told Michelle, “It’s better than The View, but it’s still a bunch of ladies sitting around a table talking over each other for an hour.” (I was disappointed when I found out my good friend was joining that show, but I am happy for her and her well-deserved success – and paycheck.) I was sure that after such a long break she would have a full set of new material, and for the most part she did.
After the show we waited in line to talk to Aisha, get a picture taken with her and an autographed copy of seasons 2 and 3 of her very funny, animated, FX sitcom Archer.
(This is the part where you find out just how close Aisha Tyler and I really are…)
Given the way I‘ve been feeling this weekend, I was feeling ever so slightly insecure and as we were waiting in line, I mentioned to Michelle that I was going to be disappointed if Aisha didn’t recognize me after so long.
We walked up to her and she greeted us as graciously as ever! She and I shook hands and ended up talking over each other. She said, “It’s nice to meet you.” as I said, “It’s been a long time. It’s nice to see you again.” A moment of unmistakable confusion darkened her eyes before she brightened up again and, with evident enthusiasm, said, “Hey! I didn’t recognize you for a minute.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking, and if it were anybody else, I might agree with you. I just don’t want to agree with you. And, only because of what she said next, do I choose to believe with certainty that she was sincere. She looked me over from head to toe and then looked back in my eyes and said, “Every time I see you, you’re skinnier than the last time! That’s why it takes me a second to recognize you! You look fantastic!” (Incidentally, her inscription on the cover of season 2 of Archer was “So foxy!” Those of you who are Archer fans will understand: on season 3 she wrote, “Sploosh!”)
See, I can’t help thinking that she really does recognize and remember me, because, “Hey you used to be way fatter!”, while complementary in its own strange way, isn’t really the way to fake remembering someone who may not have been fatter before. Given what I’ve observed first hand about her kindness and grace, I can’t believe she would choose that tactic.
I used to be way fatter…
(Really wishing I’d worn a better shirt. That shirt is WAY too big and is now in the “to donate” pile.)