Wednesday, February 20, 2013

step in time

How did you spend your day? I spent mine in a very heated Twitter dialogue with Dick Van Dyke's wife. Yeah, you heard me.

It all started in 1964 when my Aunt Clara took me to see Mary Poppins at the Orleans Theater in northeast Philadelphia. I was totally captivated by the on-screen antics of Dick Van Dyke as the comical, rubber-legged Bert — horrible Cockney accent and all.

Perhaps I've gone back a little too far.

I have been active on Twitter for nearly five years, ever since my friend @Kasten asked me, "Are you on Twitter?" I didn't know what that was, but I was determined to find out. Once I signed up for an account, I couldn't keep my 140-character mouth shut. You think I had a big, opinionated mouth before... sit me in front a keyboard and I spew on about anything and everything. TV, baseball, music, religion — nothing is safe and nothing is sacred.

In addition to friends, I follow several celebrities (comedians @AlbertBrooks and @ConanOBrien; author @RebeccaSkloot; actor @TomHanks). I recently discovered that Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) started tweeting. How cool! I immediately started following. I enjoyed his autobiography this past summer and his self-titled sitcom was always a favorite, so how could it be bad?

It could. It was awful.

Now, I know that Mr. Van Dyke is an innovator in computer animation. He is credited with the creation of 3D-rendered effects used on his TV drama Diagnosis: Murder. So, he is familiar with operating computers. But he is also 87 years old. And his tweets reflected that. At first, there was a lot of "I'm just getting used to this." and "Trying to get the hang of this Twitter thing." Then it progressed to a long string of retweets of fans offering praise to the venerable Mr. Van Dyke. Then, when he was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, he retweeted the praise all over again.

I had enough.

Yesterday, while riding the train home from work, I innocently tweeted this, from my phone:

and I thought nothing of it. Several minutes later, my friend Matt weighed in with a typical smart-ass comment:

The Internet can't resist a good "dick" joke. I laughed to myself and replied:

and I thought that was the end of it. I was wrong, because I soon received this message directed to me and my tweet:
It was from one Arlene Van Dyke, Mr. Van Dyke's bride of just under a year. And, obviously, she doesn't care for talk like that about her husband. Just the same, nobody smart-asses Josh Pincus. I wasn't about to let this one drop without a fight. (Many years ago, my father-in-law said he never met anyone who held a grudge like I did.) So, I gave it right back to Mrs. Van D. :

I hit "send" and immediately "unfollowed" her husband. I got this reply:

And, again, I thought that was it. Until I got this tweet from someone using the name "Lucille Ball Tribute," a follower of  both Dick Van Dyke and Arlene Van Dyke:

I replied to all parties involved:

I really was. Or at least I planned to. I actually fell asleep during the episode, but I do watch the reruns almost nightly.  The next morning, I turned on my phone and was greeted by this:

Holy crap! Dick's wife is as relentless as I am! So, if she was game, so was I. I kicked off what turned into a lengthy dialogue.

Then, a change of heart....

So, it looks like me and Mrs. Van Dyke are cool. I think I may give Dick Van Dyke another chance. Now, let's Twizzle!

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