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| Tony Kornheiser

With 'Friends' Like These, a Guy Needs a Little Scotchgard Protection

May 24, 2000|Tony Kornheiser

I was reading the story about how 3M had decided to stop making Scotchgard because they couldn't get rid of it; it was all over the environment--it was "persistent and pervasive."

And I thought: Isn't that what we wanted?

I mean, if you paid an extra $30 to get each cushion on your living-room chairs and sofas Scotchgarded so it didn't matter what your kids spilled or where your dog tinkled--wouldn't you want the Scotchgard to be "persistent and pervasive?" Let me bring this down to a personal level: If you're the sort of person who never remembers to flip over your mattress every six months, how would you ever remember to have your furniture re-Scotchgarded?

In fact, now that I know Scotchgard, as the story reports, is "found widely in the bloodstreams of people worldwide," I'm thinking of buying a batch before 3M stops producing it--and slugging it down. How great would it be if I Scotchgarded myself from the inside out! That way, every time I went out in the rain, rainwater would just bead up and roll off me. I'd be my own car wax.

I could have used some Scotchgarding last week. On Sunday, I went to a wedding, where I knocked over a glass of champagne, ruining the new suit of a man I had just been introduced to. Five nights later, I dined with my boss, and I knocked over a glass of red wine on his new sports jacket, which he took great pains to tell me cost $400. I don't know where this sudden clumsiness came from, but I hope it goes away soon. I'll bet the National Park Service wishes it had Scotchgarded Los Alamos.

*

Let me see if I understand this: The Park Service is now setting fires?

Did I miss something? Did they replace Smokey the Bear with Dennis Hopper?

What does the Park Service say to the people of Los Alamos now?

I mean, besides, "Hot enough for you?"

But I digress.

The big news this week was the unbelievable score made by the cast of "Friends."

These six dopes are going to get $750,000 per episode next season. At 24 episodes, that's $18 million dollars each!

You'd think with that kind of money, Courteney Cox Arquette could afford a sandwich.

There seems to be a generational divide. On one side is "Seinfeld," and on the other is "Friends." Both sitcoms revolve around an ensemble cast of single buddies living in the city, trying to make sense of life's everyday quirks--and occasionally having sex with each other. There's only one substantial difference between the shows: "Seinfeld" is actually funny. Alan Greenspan is funnier than "Friends." The only person on that show who's even remotely amusing is Lisa Kudrow, and if she plays the guitar one more time, I'll defect to Cuba with Elian.

And tell the truth, don't you secretly want to see David Schwimmer fall into a thresher?

*

There's not one breakout star in the cast. Man About Town Chip Muldoon, who has written TV sitcoms, says, "The three guys on 'Friends' are so indistinguishable, you could replace them with the starting outfielders from the Detroit Tigers and nobody would know."

I mean, really, year after year, it's the same six friends. Don't these people meet anybody new? Is there a law against having a seventh friend?

And everybody on "Friends" is getting so old. Soon, they'll have to get out of that coffeehouse and start meeting at their proctologist's office. At least "Beverly Hills 90210" had the good sense to get off the stage before Tori Spelling started having hot flashes. It got a little much when their plot lines involved Social Security payments.

I wish I'd found out earlier that the cast of "Friends" was holding out for a big raise. I'd have pitched NBC on a new cast: Me, my friend Nancy, Muldoon, America's Best Loved Feature Writer Mr. Henry and my smart friend Martha. (And if we need six, maybe Bobby Knight; wouldn't he be a laugh riot?) Our version of "Friends" would be much more realistic.

First of all, we wouldn't live together, because then none of us would be friends. Second, because we're all in our 40s and 50s, and we all have our own families and our own lives, we wouldn't see each other often, and we wouldn't stay out late. In fact, we'd probably spend only as much time together as it took to knock back a couple of martinis and fall asleep on the sofa--which had better be Scotchgarded in case I continue spilling things. Or drool.

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