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Friday, 14 October 2011


Rufus R. Jones

1. A HUGE fan, obviously. I had a Happy Days metal lunchbox and was very jealous of the kid down the block who had the happy days action figures. The Fonzie figure had a jointed thumb that you could move into the thumbs-up "Ayyyyy" position. I still love the show.

Here's an example of how much this show means to me. Last week I saw one of my wife's students playing basketball at the rec center and he was wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. He also had a wide sweatband around one wrist. When I passed him near the water fountain I greeted him with "What's up, Chachi?" and he of course had no idea what I was talking about. Kids ...

2. Yes, the image of the shark jump in particular is burned into my brain. There is not a more glorious sight on Earth than The Fonz on water skis with powder blue trunks and a leather jacket. I still get chills when I picture Richie struggling to decide whether to stay in California as an actor, then throwing his contract into the ocean after he decides to go back to Milwaukee.

3. This is a real toughie. Al was great as the original character and owner of Al's. I loved his catchphrase "Yeah ... yeah, yeah, yeah." My vote must go with Arnold for one very specific reason. Arnold's catchphrase was sort of a raspberry, he would press his lips together and produce a quick "Phrrrrrt!" sound that my father can imitate perfectly when he wants to cut short a conversation.

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