Thursday, July 26, 2018

Top Ten Life Lessons Pengo Learned From Fred

Me and Fred, from a lost "silent" film. (1986)
This was not the post I intended to write on my fiftieth birthday. But life rarely goes as planned, and birthdays are as arbitrary as any other holiday.

Fred Steiner died this morning from a massive coronary. Apparently he was looking out his window contemplating mowing he grass, which is as fine a way to go as any I can think of.

Fred graduated from Bay High in 1980, a contemporary of my eldest bother, Denny. But we spent a lot of time together, watching movies, engaged in RPG, and producing comedy television for the public access channel.

We haven't spent a lot of time together recently, the last time I saw him was at his mother's funeral, before that at my father's. But unlike some from those old days we never had a falling out, never really lost touch.

I was unable to attend his 50th birthday party, si years ago, but I did pass along a number of things I had learned from him, sincerely offered, to be read at the event. It was only appropriate to be produced as a Letterman-esque "Top Ten" list.

10. Do the best work you can. Don’t get uppity. Create low expectations.

9. Christian Bale was a grown man before he learned what I learned at age fifteen: Do not have a tantrum when the camera is rolling.

8. The cool person stays in his chair, and makes people come to him.

7. Turn TV-viewing into a contest. It's more fun that way.

6. Fred’s defense of The Creature from Alsace Lorraine sketch; “Nobody told me no.”

5. Be original. Avoid high-concept. Edit.

4. Make the Dungeon Master laugh, and you can get away with anything.

3. "I’m SO fucked in the HEAD!"

2. Women are people, not aliens. They are easy to talk to and if you want something from them, just ask.

1. [This one is private.]
When I was a teenager Fred treated me with respect and dignity, long before Denny did. He was one who taught me decency and humility, and humor. I am very sorry he is gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment