Or, Hello Dalai!
So, the folks at the National Civil Rights Museum announced recipients of their annual Freedom Awards today (an aside – I hope they policed the grounds before the news conference… I pass the place nearly everyday jogging or on the bike – and that stretch of Mulberry hasn’t been too clean lately).
Myrlie Evers-Williams and Julius Erving will be honored. I understand Evers-Williams, wife of a slain civil rights figure, with her own accomplishments in the field. I’d question whether they picked Dr. J because of all those spectacular dunks… or his starring role in “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.”
But I know they trend toward throwing a celeb or sports figure in the mix each year for their ability to draw public and media attention (What? Picking people just for their level of celebrity? Sure, and don’t be shocked when you find out there’s gambling going on at Rick’s Café Américain…)
I guess it’s good that they haven’t picked anybody who would need letters of transit to get to town for the ceremony in October (This stuff is really not going to be funny if you haven’t seen “Casablanca”).
The International Freedom Award will be presented to the Dalai Lama a month earlier during a luncheon at the Peabody. The flowing robes, the peaceful nature. The “Caddyshack” jokes you know you’ll hear. Let me start with Carl Speckler’s Lama monologue:
“So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth Son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the 18th and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”
So, congratulations Lama… or Dalai… Mr. Lama…