Bette Midler, besides my own mother, has been one of the main inspirations in my life. It goes far beyond just being a fan and I really can’t find words to express it. I don’t even have to meet her…it’s just a repsect kind of thing. But because of my admiration for Miss M, I then became familiar with Bruce’s work. I instinctively knew early on that he wrote much of her comic material and I would always point out to others any time I saw his name appear in the credits of many a show. Yes, I was around for “The Brady Bunch”, “The Donny and Marie Show”, and even that summer show, “The Manhattan Transfer Hour”, or whatever it was called. So it’s not like I’m all of a sudden a new fan. And I loved them all!
After 9-11, my life felt changed, and I was changed. I remember being so horrified at the images of the towers falling in New York City. I felt anger, sadness, bewilderment, depression, and fear. I particularly didn’t like being afraid, so I worked very hard to overcome a lot of fears…I became more vocal, I started performing for the first time in public ( we’re talking 40 years of being stage-shy here), learning web design, and in general, trying out new things with a new zest.
However, one day, during the war with Afghanistan, I saw a picture of an army officer who had written a gay slur, on a missile supposedly aimed at Afghanistan, and I just became livid (later I learned it about a little thing named Photoshop, so the pic wasn’t really real as far as the slur was concerned). I decided to vent by sending out an e-mail to everybody in my contact book showing this atrocity. I had Mr. Vilanch’s e-mail in my address book (I had gotten it off his old official website), but had never used it. For some reason, I decided to include him in my tirade not thinking anything of it. Ultimately, within a half an hour, I received a reply back with a cute little Vilanch one-liner. It was Bruce! I got Bruce! I don’t even remember what it said anymore…I just remember the little one-liner making me laugh, maybe a little tear here and there…but it cut through this deep anger that I had. Plus I couldn’t believe he even took the time to respond…I mean, Hollywood people don’t respond to the little people like me, do they? I was so impressed that he took the time to reply that I wrote him a little thank you note back. And to make a long story short, I’ve been bugging the hell out of him ever since! And he still answers.
Ever since then, I have been annoying the hell out of him, if not daily, then weekly…asking questions about Bette, himself and even once sending him the dreaded chain letter. The response on that one was not pleasant! Anyway, I have grown very fond of him and I know he just adores me, don’t ya Bruce? Tell ’em! In the process, I decided to make a site for him, because, dammit, he deserves one. I have never known anybody that can multi-task like he does…he can write jokes, dance, sing, act, attend every charity event known to mankind, and he can write e-mails…all of this at the same time. Now who else can do that? Bette? Not even her. She can’t type.