Click here to read this adventure from the beginning.
Brian stands on the stage, wondering where he might find another guest host at the last minute. He doesn’t have to wait long.
Two seconds later, there is a clatter in the wings, stage left, and Margaret Cho trots on the stage. “Do you validate parking?”
Brian: “How did you get here?”
Margaret: “By walking up the steps and past the curtain. Should I do it again so you can take notes? Or are you making a reference to my ethnicity? Got a problem with Koreans? Did I breach your white-power security?”
Brian: “No! I just… wasn’t expecting you. I love everybody. Well, mostly everybody.”
Margaret: “You sound just like Ellen. Do all the queens love everybody?”
Brian: “Well, not the Republican ones. So, you know Ellen?”
Margaret: “Of course I do. I’m the one who brought the jambalaya. I know she loves it and I was in the neighborhood and I just happened to have some with me.”
Brian: “Well, that worked out pretty well.”
Margaret: “You know what’s not working out?”
Margaret: “You. According to Ellen, anyway. She said I should hop out here and present the next segment so you’ll stop embarrassing yourself. Or at least I think that’s what she said. Her mouth was pretty full.”
Brian: “You’d be willing to do that? I’m having a hard time making the lines sound funny. It’s easier when I put my words in someone else’s mouth.”
Margaret: “Well, I’ve got a big mouth, so there should be plenty of room. Let’s see the script.”
Brian starts to walk that way.
Margaret holds up her hand. “Stop right there. Six feet away from each other until further notice.”
Brian: “You’re taking that seriously, aren’t you?”
Margaret: “Yep. Six feet from everything. Hell, I stood outside the kitchen while I was making the jambalaya, using a leaf blower to get the spices in the pot and then a hockey stick to stir it. Just toss me the script.”
Brian tosses, and Margaret catches, sending up a cloud of cayenne pepper as she does so. She flips through the pages. “Yeah, this isn’t going to work.” She hurls the script onto a piano at the back of the stage. [Elton John stops playing long enough to autograph it and then he gets back to tinkling on the keys.] “Too many words.”
Brian: “But I love words.”
Margaret: “Obviously. With a passion that should not speak its name. But not everybody has time for that, especially since I need to go check on the jambalaya. You should never let it boil, only simmer. I’ll just do the shorthand preso.” She turns to the audience.
“Even though this category page is called ‘Education, Explication and Elucidation’, we really don’t need those last two words. This page is all about education. Self-education, things you can explore during this global time-out.
We’re looking for links, here. Digital places you can visit so you can learn more about things that interest you. Links that are free are the best, obviously, but don’t let it limit you.
Links to art museums with digital tours. (Many of which are incredibly detailed, brimming with information.)
Links to open-learning portals at colleges and museums. (Many of them are free and even offer actual certificates and degrees.)
Links to historical sites that share forgotten stories and cultures. (Or share some of you own history and culture.)
Links to online cooking shows and blogs. (Or maybe your own recipes and demos.)
Links to “brain health” sites and programs that help keep you sharp with challenges and exercises. (Some of us really need this at our ages.)
Links to programs that can help you learn a second or third language.
Links to reputable genealogy sites. (So you can finally get started on that family tree you’ve been thinking about, or cultivate a tree you’ve already planted.)
Links to art classes, with video how-to’s on drawing and painting and sculpting and the whole artistic gamut. (Some of you have produced videos like this. I’ve seen them. Share!)
Links to writing programs and workshops and groups.
There is a tremendous crash offstage, followed by the sound of what might be a water buffalo trying to wriggle out of the La Brea Tar Pits. Ellen pokes her head around the curtain. “Margaret! Come quick! Portia just fell in the vat of jumbalaya.”
Margaret sighs. “Damn that woman. I’ve told her a thousand times to stay away from what I’ve got cookin’.” She looks at Brian. “Sorry, White Bread. Duty calls. You’ll need to find someone else for the final segment.” She trots away.
Brian lets loose with his own sigh, hanging his head, bereft. Then he realizes that someone is still messing with the piano, and he glances in that direction.
Elton: “You seem a little blue. Want me to play a song for you?”
Brian, glumly: “I guess so…”
Elton: “Come on. Plenty of room on the bench. Do you have your own sunglasses or do you need to borrow a pair of mine?”
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