2006.12.13 Someone is a turkey and it's not Richard Lewis

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

My husband has written about geocaching several times in his By the Way column, so maybe you’re already acquainted with the notion of hunting for treasures outdoors in outlandish places. I enjoy geocaching the way I enjoy showers. I’m not big on getting under the water, but once there, I don’t want to leave. I revel in the warmth and the transformation from skankiness to cleanliness, but I hate making that plunge into the tub. 

I don’t operate the GPS unit and I don’t initiate our sojourns on geocache trips. I don’t even try very hard to find the treasure or “cache.” I just like seeing where we end up when David, armed with a pile of computer printouts of geocache sites, says, “There’s one two miles from here if you turn right. OK, now turn left. Go another mile. It’s somewhere within 100 feet. We should see a sign. Oops, we just missed it.”

I knew when I married him that my husband was rather shy and reserved, mild-mannered and easy-going, meek and mild. So I was rather unprepared for his latest scheme.

“What do you think about putting a geocache in our bedroom?” David posed this question the other day.

“Why do you ask?” I inquired when I stopped laughing.

“I thought I should get your permission first,” he said. “Although maybe Maddie’s room would be more of a challenge.”

Putting a geocache in our house seemed like a very bold and uncharacteristic thing for David to suggest. I can’t imagine him welcoming strangers popping up in our sleeping quarters, trying to find a box of trinkets stashed under our bed.

I’m more used to the kind of behavior he exhibited when we were in Miami walking the streets of Coconut Grove with our kids and Ben’s girlfriend Sarah, looking for a restaurant the day before Thanksgiving. We had stopped at an odd intersection to discuss the options, when David turned to me and said, “I think that was Richard Lewis who just walked by.”

“Where?” I asked, looking around.

He pointed down the street as a man in black rounded the corner.

“Why didn’t you stop and ask him?” I admonished David.

“I wasn’t sure, but I think it must have been. It looked so much like Richard Lewis that it has to be Richard Lewis,” he said, becoming more and more convinced.

It was the kookiest thing. Of all the celebrities we might have seen, it was so odd to see one we had just discovered. We had recently started watching on DVD the first couple seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, an HBO show conceived by and starring Larry David, the guy who produced Seinfeld.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is insanely funny; creative, but irreverent. The show follows Larry David through his daily foibles and blunders, and sometimes features actors who play themselves, such as Richard Lewis.

Every time Richard Lewis appeared on the show, David and I would turn to each other and say, “Who the heck is Richard Lewis?” Because we lived without a TV for so many years and rarely went to the movies, we have huge gaps in our cultural awareness.

Apparently, Richard Lewis was a famous comedian in his heyday. Maybe he’s still in it. In the show, he appears as Larry David’s hapless friend, a recovering alcoholic; neurotic, but very amusing. You can’t help but like the guy.

I probably belted David a couple of times on the arm for not stopping Richard Lewis to say “Hi” and compliment him on a great show. But then David looked back and said, “Here he comes again.” And there was this short man wearing black from head to toe, walking toward us like Groucho Marx.

“Go say ‘Hello’ to him,” I urged David. “He’s gonna get away.”

But the rest of the family had started shuffling along and David wasn’t budging. So, I walked over to the man in black, grabbed his arm in a friendly gesture and said, “You have to be Richard Lewis,” and he said, “Oh, I get that all the time.” But as soon as he spoke I knew it was him. “Where can I get a soda around here?” he wanted to know.

We chatted a bit and learned he was playing that weekend at the Improv comedy club nearby, and that Larry David is a great guy, not the schmuck he makes himself out to be on the show. Rozee snapped a quick photo and we let him go off to find his soda.

Later that night, we lamented, “Shoot, we should have asked Richard Lewis over for Thanksgiving dinner.”

The next day, I walked past David, standing with his hands against the wall in the hallway, one leg still, the other pumping backwards toward his behind. I looked at him, slightly askance, wondering what the heck kind of exercise this was.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m kicking myself for not asking Richard Lewis to eat Thanksgiving dinner with us.”

Wouldn’t that have been a great cache?

• To see the celebrity hunter with her cache, visit the Observer’s website (http://statelineobserver.com).

 

    - Dec. 13, 2006 

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