David Lettermanitus

David Letterman as Communication Role Model

Hard to believe, but I’m thinking Dave Letterman influences me more than a little. I offer this insight because you might have Lettermanitus too– and we should be alert to such things. Part of living the examined life.

One example: last night I found myself scratching my dog’s ears and saying in a falsetto, Well hello, hello, hello baby. I startled myself and my dog who raised both silky ears with alarm. I never talk baby talk to animals– or do I? My silly phrase sounded so familiar.

I let my mind wander. It wandered to Stupid Pet Tricks and skidded to a stop. I was imitating Dave’s greetings to new dogs.

To confirm my hypothesis: a telephone buddy from Santa Monica recently visited our left coast. He scrutinized me as I prattled on. He laughed and said, you remind me of someone. I shrugged and twisted my mouth to one side, embarrassed at the attention.

Like that, he pointed at my mouth, laughing harder. You make self- mocking, ironic faces just like Dave Letterman.

I suddenly remembered visiting weatherman David Gilbert in prison. A lifer, he told me he listens to Letterman but has never seen him. What’s everybody laughing about when he talks? David asked me.

I thought hard. It’s the faces he makes, I answered, feeling a pang of pity for David Gilbert.

Thanks David Letterman. I didn’t know I had a communication role model. But I do like your style.

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