We were at Philadelphia International Airport yesterday, when we stumbled upon some of the finest ears in show-biz. There we were, patiently waiting for our flight to arrive and carry us back to the boring world of Ohio life, ordering a turkey pita from Bassett’s that was less than fabulous but less heart attacks then Burger King right next to it; and there they were.
“Tuna Salad! Tu-na Sa-lad.”
We’re not sure what made us turn our head, but then suddenly it all seemed worthwhile. The award-winning author of Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom, and his ears; with wifey in full-tow. We looked, collected our wits, and looked again, this time imagining that we were only imagining things. We weren’t. Those flap-jacks on the side of Albom’s head were even more breathtaking in person as they are on
his weekly show Mike Lupica’s weekly show, The Sports Reporters on ESPN.
I just had to do something. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I decided to scramble through my wallett at the cash register to allow Mr. Albom time to catch up with me. When he was finally done with the chore of ordering for he, and Mrs. Albom, I got my big chance.
“No I didn’t mean a sandwich, I meant TU-NA salad. I mean on lettuce. Put extra tuna on the lettuce. I’ll also have two bottled waters,” said Mitch’s Ears and Mitch
“Are we going to have time to eat it or will we eat it on the plane?” asked a puzzled Mrs. Albom as I was picking my spots.
“No honey, we’ve got time. We’ve got time to sit and enjoy the salads here,” said Albom to his wife, dressed very hip in his TEVA sandals and khaki shorts, tucked in shirt, monster calves exploding from his 5’6″ body.
I finished paying, and getting napkins, and really just meandering around, when there they were, right next to me. Mitch, and his ears.
“I’m a big fan of yours. I watch your show each week, I even watched it this morning,” I said, lying and hoping like hell he was on the show this week.
In a passing glance, he was obviously more concerned with the Tuna salad for he and the Mrs. so I allowed him to take time to formulate his response.
“Really.” he said. Notice that’s with a period, not a question mark. There was no emphasis on the ‘really’, it was more like a ‘I give a fuck’ really, which was half what I was expecting, and totally what I wanted.
“Yeah, I really am, is there anyway we could get a picture?” I decided to push my luck early on.
“Look we’re in a hurry, and I’m trying to eat (these tuna salads), we’ve got a flight.”
I understood his tough situation; so I decided to go another direction.
“What’s it like to work with Mike Lupica so often?”
He pondered for a moment and I thought I’d crossed the line. Usually, that’s just a normal question. When you’re talking about a person working alongside a dickwad the size of Lupica, the person is automatically going to go on the defensive.
“What kind of question is that; how do you mean, ‘How is it to work with Mike Lupica?’. I’m a professional, Mike is a professional and a friend of mine, and so I’ll give you a professional answer, it’s great I enjoy working with him.”
“Ok I was just wondering, I’m a big fan of his too. Have a nice day.”
I went back to my dry turkey pita, and Mitch and his ears attacked that tuna salad with ferocity. The lesson to be had here, is if you’re going to New Jersey, or out east anywhere anytime soon, don’t fly into Newark, use Philadelphia and you will be rewarded as I was, with the best ears on sports television.