Thursday, June 28, 2012

The "Mindy" to My "Mork"

Most people who know me know that I've been a fan of the classic sci-fi sitcom Mork & Mindy for well over a decade.  Ever since seeing reruns on Fox Family back in 1999, I've been quoting the show, using "Na nu, na nu!" as a greeting, and exclaiming "Shazbot!" when things go wrong.  For those who haven't heard of the show, Mork & Mindy aired on ABC from 1978 to 1982.  Mork (played by Robin Williams) was an alien who crash-landed in Boulder, CO while on an assignment to study Earth customs.  The first Earthling he meets is Mindy McConnell, a beautiful college student.  Mork naïvely moves in with Mindy, not realizing what him living with her appears like to those who don't know he is an alien.  Over the show's four seasons, Mork got into one misadventure after another, usually caused by his lack of understanding of our planet.  Usually, Mindy had to explain to him how things really worked on this terrestrial ball.  It's a hilarious show, and, in my opinion, it makes more modern network sitcoms such as Friends or Everybody Loves Raymond look like Teletubbies.
Although I've watched and loved situation comedies ranging from The Andy Griffith Show to Growing Pains to Home Improvement to VICTORiOUS to That's So Raven to even the little-known, single-season Complete Savages, Mork & Mindy has had a hold on me that no other show has been able to match.  It isn't just the sheer hilarity of the show, or Robin Williams' utter zaniness; it's because, in many ways, Mork is like me.  Seriously, although he was an alien from a fictional planet, he acted in a very autistic way.  Consider the following:
  • Mork often asked questions about idiosyncrasies of the planet, such as, "Why do they call it 'rush hour' when nothing moves?" I've always wondered similar things; even as a kid, when I read The Extinct Alphabet Book, and it had the coleacanth under the letter "C," but mentioned that it had been discovered that it wasn't extinct, and said it "should not even be in this book!" My first response was, "Then, why is it?"
  • Mork sometimes made people upset without realizing what he was doing or saying; for example, he once got into an argument with Mindy just because he'd heard from a friend that you "kiss and make up" after such an altercation.  However, Mork's earthling roommate had no idea why he was acting in such a way, and got really infuriated with him.  I've had almost the exact same thing happen; I've said things in an attempt to make people laugh, but ended up doing nothing but enraging them.
  • Mork often had trouble understanding the world in general, and needed people (usually Mindy) to explain to him what was really going on.  The same is true for me; I've always had trouble with human tradition at large, and am eternally grateful kind, patient individuals--especially my mother--for helping me to comprehend them.
It's no surprise that "Morko" has been one of my favorite sitcom characters for many years.  I know it's just television, but, I got to thinking today: If I'm like Mork, then, if I ever get married, my wife should be like Mindy! No, I'm not searching for a Pam Dawber look-alike; that's not what I mean.  Instead, what I'm trying to get at is: Since I have always had trouble understanding the ways, customs, beliefs, and behaviors of the denizens of our planet, I would need a significant other who could help me understand them.  My mom has been great at that, for sure, but I can't depend on her forever.  I've become better over the years at comprehending human behavior, but recent incidences have shown that I still have some work to do.  Could there be a woman out there--either coeval or a "cougar"--who could do that for me? That, I don't know, but I sure hope there is.  Frankly, I think a "Mindy" is what this "Mork" has needed all along.
Any comments?

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