Goodbye, Andy Rooney; I’m going to miss you

By Ernie Sochin….
One of my favorite TV personalities just turned off his camera and microphone at CBS’ 60 Minutes. I say turned off, because he never used the word retire or leaving but it was his last regular appearance on the famous news show.

I speak of course of my idol, Andy Rooney. Why my idol? Because he does exactly what I would love to do, only he actually gets paid for it. He also is quite famous, although he hates it when people call out his name or acknowledge him in public. On that we are different.

His last TV comment was: “If you see me in a restaurant, please let me enjoy my meal.”

Andy, for 39 years, has been able to say just about anything that crosses his mind and, although he did get into trouble for it on a few occasions, for the most part everyone loved him. What he did best is exactly what I try to do, just take ordinary things that we all experience and talk about it in an amusing manner. When I had my radio show, I did the same thing and actually did get paid for it, but not very much.

Here are just a few of my examples: On a trip to Chicago one time, my permanent traveling companion forgot her little makeup bag. She called my son at home and had him ship it to the hotel via FedEx. Then we had to make an immediate trip to Marshall Fields to buy temporary replacement cosmetics so we could go out that evening. The cost was $185.

I began to wonder just how much all these blushes, mascaras, conditioners, eyebrow pens, concealers, moisturizers, pencils, etc. actually cost our family each year.

My housemate said, “You really didn’t want to know.” So I took my calculator, spread out all her stuff and added it all up. Then in my intimate wisdom and concern for the welfare of our country, multiplied the total times the number of women in the United States who probably use the same stuff. The figure turned out to be many trillions of dollars. My idea was for women to begin contributing these dollars to the government instead and thereby solving the national debt virtually overnight.

Shoes: While preparing for a local TV show that I was doing at the time, I began counting the number of shoes in the female 80 percent of my closet. You must notice that every shopping mall has more women’s shoe stores than hardware stores for men. There must be a reason. I decided to illustrate this on TV by filming the 80 or so boxes of woman’s shoes compared to the three pairs that I owned: Black, Brown and sneakers. (Okay, I exaggerate a bit.)

In my mind, that covers just about any combination of clothes that I might need to match. The owner of these woman’s shoes was quite upset with me for many weeks for allowing people to see into our personal closet. Maybe she was right, but somehow I think Andy Rooney would have gotten away with it.

You see, these are just simple stories that just about anyone can relate to and Andy Rooney did it in a masterful way. I, for one, will really miss him being on every Sunday night. Boy, what I wouldn’t give for a job like that, but then I might have to leave Miami’s Community Newspapers and who would want that? (Please don’t answer.)

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