A reader pointed out that I never explained the phrase “Fan mail from some flounder” in my most recent post.
In case you’ve been unable to sleep because I never answered my own question, you will sleep well tonight because I’m going to explain it right now, or you’ll be so bored by this blog post you’re already sleeping.
Rocky and Bullwinkle are fishing in a row boat when Rocky spots a message in a bottle floating nearby.
Rocky says, “Look, Bullwinkle! A message in a bottle!”
Bullwinkle replies, “Fan mail from some flounder?”
Rocky leans over, and plucks the bottle from the water. He pulls out the message and says, “No! This is what I really call a message,” as he shows the viewing audience a piece of paper with scribbles on it, which leads to a commercial.
Here’s the video!
(Courtesy: Mutters Log on You Tube)
This clever cartoon was the way the show segued into commercial breaks. I think it was pretty cool, and worked really well to keep the audience of five year olds, or those of us with the maturity level of a five-year-old, engaged.
Rocky made us think the commercials were important, and if a talking, flying, fishing squirrel whose best friend is a talking, fishing moose in a rowboat says something is important, how can you argue with that?
MAD LIBS, PART I IS COMING SOON TO A COMPUTER NEAR YOU!!!
I’ve been helping a friend with a project and wanted to check in to see how things were going. You don’t ask Emmy Award-winner Nicolas DeGrazia, Creative Director and co-owner of Bitter Jester Creative, Inc. with fellow Emmy award-winner Daniel Kullman, “Hey, how’s the project going?” You want to come up with something witty, or pithy, or some other word that ends with a “y.”
A witty AND pithy idea suddenly hit me in the head like a can of tuna. I would text Nic, “So, any fan mail from some flounder?”
But, it occurred to me that I didn’t know what that really meant. I knew it was from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, but couldn’t remember the context in which it was used.
Would it make sense to send Nic a text asking if he had, indeed, received any fan mail from some flounder? And, while I was at it, I thought, “How do flounder write fan mail anyway?”
Did it have deeper meaning? Was it un-P.C? This inquiring mind needed to know.
It was 11:00 AM, and all I had done was lounge around with the dogs. At least I looked super-cute in my completely mismatched flannel pajama pants and fabulous mustard-colored Free People sweater. I was just sitting around, as I often do, waiting to become noticed by someone who wanted to offer me a book deal.
So, instead of snazzing up my LinkedIn profile, or actually working on the book I’m writing I Married him Anyway, I opened an investigative file about fan-mail-sending flounder. I had a feeling I was on to something, “this big.”
I set out to reveal the mysterious answer to a question those of us raised in the 1960’s and 70’s probably never even thought about or paid attention to. That’s good journalism!
I began by Googling, or as my mother and sister, Beth, say, guggling, “fan mail from some flounder.” I didn’t want to end up sending Nic a questionable text that might encourage him to re-think our friendship.
While researching flounder that sent fan mail, I stumbled* upon a blog with the intriguing name, “Randy Lilleston: Editor/blogger/sometimes a musician” which Google found instantly because the title of one of the blog posts he wrote was “Fan mail from some flounder,” written on April 28th, 2011.
2011? I was not the only person seeking knowledge about fish that send fan mail! I felt just a little bit better about myself.
Randy, if you’re reading this, (I can dream, can’t I?) I guess I’ve been living under a rock, or at least several layers of blankets because it’s been so cold in Chicago, until today, but I had no idea who you were. There. I’ve confessed. And, I don’t feel better.
For the few of you who have never heard of Randy Lilleston either, first, let me say, “Shame on us.” Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you, with deep embarrassment, that his blog post didn’t just happen to pop up at the top of my Google search willy-nilly. This guy is a big deal!
From his LinkedIn bio, I gleaned the following:
“Randy Lilleston is the Editor-in-Chief of Industry Dive, in Washington, DC the Senior-level editor and manager with extensive experience on digital and print platforms. Producer of award-winning journalism for some of the nation’s largest and most respected news organizations. Skilled at building teams, increasing audience size and devising/executing strategy.”
Don’t worry. I didn’t understand that either.
But, I did understand with whom I was dealing when I read the rest of his LinkedIn bio.
“After graduating from the University of Central Missouri with a B.S. in Journalism, Randy was a Washington bureau chief/White House reporter for four years, before becoming the Managing Editor of online ventures and senior editor of CQ Daily Monitor.”
I’m not finished. I just needed to take a breath.
He then became,
“The Senior Editor of politics for CNN.com, moving on to become the Managing Editor at AOL news, and the News editor of USA Today.com. From there, Randy became the Supervising Editor of digital news for NPR.org, before becoming the Editor-in-Chief of Industry Dive.”
Randy, if you’re reading this, I assure you I am not a stalker. I’m just doing due diligence, and, as a Jewish mother, kvelling.
After filling out the form to become the next president of the Randy Lilleston fan club, I put my crayon down and thought to myself, “Why would a guy with such an impressive oeuvre (guggle it) write a blog post about fan mail from some flounder?
Well, I’ll tell you. The first lines of his post are, “I just found out today that the complete Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends has been issued in one DVD boxed set for the first time. Amazon is asking 68 bucks for it. I want it.
Now I have to rehearse the conversation I will have with my wife, explaining why I really really really need to spend 70 bucks to obtain (to crib the language on Amazon.com) “91 trips in the WABAC time machine, 38 attempts to catch Snidely Whiplash, 91 tales fractured and 50 bits of wisdom from Mr. Know-it-All.”
I feel much better about myself. Thanks, Randy! You’re a regular guy just like the rest of us. And, after reading more of your blog posts, I love your taste in music (The Drive-By Truckers? Awe-some!) but I’ll have to save that for another post.
To read Randy Lilleston’s complete blog, “Fan mail from some flounder,” please click the following link:
So, Nic, by the way “Any fan mail from some flounder?”
* Anyone who knows me knows I’m a klutz, and stumbling is a part of everyday transportation for me.
Note: Nic, Dan, and Randy, sorry for the amount of commas,,,,and probably other punishable uses of punctuation, but to me, it’s all about the fan mail. Who am I kidding? It’s all about the flounder, too.