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Approximately Left of Milwaukee

Hello?

“Hello!”

Do we know each other?

“Yes, we do know each other. We communicate not infrequently on a broad range of topics, of which we are in general agreement much of the time. Hello!”

Hello! I still can’t place your face…

“We communicate on The Internet, a vast and powerful network of peoples stretching throughout the entire plugged-in world! That is where we communicate!”

Oh!

“I knew you’d come around. Like I was telling you recently, Ralph Malph never wore the letter sweater on ‘Happy Days,’ Potsie Weber wore the letter sweater: it said his name, ‘Potsie,’ right above the number, in bold blockscript.”

But I…

“Yes, you’re correct, it was actually his nickname. Potsie’s real first name was Warren. Warren ‘Potsie’ Weber was his full name. He worked at Cunningham Hardware, which was, of course, the store owned and operated by Howard Cunningham, the father of Potsie’s best friend, Richie. Actually, check that, Potsie didn’t just work at the store, he was the assistant manager of the hardware store.”

I don’t have any idea…

“You know how I know that?”

…what you’re going on…

“Because of The Internet! Also? When I normally talk to you I am practically NAKED.”

…about.

“The other thing to remember about Potsie is that while people thought he was dumb, he was accepted into medical school. Was Ralph Malph accepted into medical school? No fucking way. Ralph Malph! Look, I know that a lot of people are going to come out and say Ralph Malph > Potsie, because of all the funny jokes and such, and also because Potsie Weber was kind of a tool most of the time, mainly because of the way that Anson Williams played him and also because the writers sort of forgot that they originally created him to be kind of smart, but I am going to come out right now on the Potsie side of the Malph/Weber line. Draw my line in the sand, as it were.”

Who are you again?

“Just like that episode where they were roommates in college, and made a line down the middle of the apartment, and Ralph had to climb in the window and Potsie couldn’t use the bathroom. Or maybe it was the other way around. In either case I’m planting my flag here, on the Potsie side. PROUD POTSIE MAN HERE. Go on, tough guy. Tell me I’m wrong.”

Hey, I gotta split, there’s a John Mayer concert and…

“You know what’s really sad? Potsie was never loved by his father. Nobody remembers this now, but they hung a lot of his early jokes on his miserable relationship with his dad. And then he was rejected by his original best friend, Richie Cunningham, who became the best friend of Arthur Fonzarelli almost by necessity, since Henry Winkler had created the show’s first breakout star, and the nominal leading character (Richie) had to then be increasingly attached to the Fonzie character to provide better ratings opportunities.”

Shit.

“In so doing, however, Potsie was shunted off to Malphland, a veritable dumpster heap in the Cunningham-centric Milwaukee suburb where the program was set, perhaps only one step above minor characters like Bill “Sticks” Downey, the Negro Drummer played by Jack Baker, who went on to a career in porn before sadly dying of complications stemming from HIV, or Chuck Cunningham, Richie’s older brother, who appeared during the show’s first season and then disappeared, never to be mentioned again. Potsie. They almost did this to Potsie Weber.”

“Look, I don’t want to take up all your time, I’m just saying: connect the dots, man. Connect the dots. It’s like I tell my old lady all the time: somedays you wake up and you feel like Potsie Webber in a Ralph Malph world. You really do, man. You really do.

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  1. July 7, 2011 at 13:12

    This was very interesting to stumble upon on the internet! I get it.

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