I'm a big fan of Six Feet Under, a TV drama that was broadcast on HBO from 2001 to 2005. I purchased the DVDs of all five seasons, and watch at least one episode just about every evening. Yes, I'm addicted to the show.
In the first season the actress Tracy Middendorf portrayed the role of Adele Swanson, who was married to a pyramid scheme operator, a character named Chandler James Swanson; Chandler was killed when he hit his head, diving into his backyard swimming pool. "Chandler created 'Beauty Vision.' We had operations in 48 states and the nation of Uruguay." I love that line. South America is, after all, a burgeoning continent, as Kramer once noted on an episode of Seinfeld.
Tracy Middendorf is married to Franz Wisner, who was Jesse Raben's roommate at Tufts University. I worked with Jesse Raben at a DC law firm back in the eighties.
I once went to dinner with Jesse and Franz. [It was on an evening in early August 1989, after I had attended an Akin Gump Happy Hour at a restaurant in Adams-Morgan, a neighborhood in Washington, DC.] During the meal Franz asked me: "The last time you went on a date, was it with a girl or a guy?" I said: "It was with a hermaphrodite." Jesse Raben said: "Hermaphrodites. They fuck and they are fucked."
I asked Franz: "What is your ethnic background?" Franz said, "Aryan stock." I responded, "common or preferred." Franz looked at me with disdain.
After dinner we walked back to Jesse Raben's apartment on New Hampshire Avenue. Franz said: "Where did you get that belt?" I said: "At Hecht's." Franz said: "That's a cool belt." I said: "Hecht's is a cool store." Franz smiled.
Jesse said: "I'd invite you up to the apartment, but it's late." I said: "We're friends now, right, Jesse?" Jesse Raben said: "Always, Gar, always."
By the way, the meal was -- as Joan Nathan would say -- tres formidable. I love Chinese restaurants. I love Waiting in Line At A Chinese Restaurant. Wasn't that the name of a TV sitcom?
In any event, that was more than twenty years ago.
Alas! Franz never writes; he never calls. So much for my so-called friends who would support me till the ends of life.
Franz went on to make history as The Man Who Got Dumped At The Alter and turned it into a career in itself. While I went on to getting dumped by Bob Strauss, then writing a book about that Insignificant Moment, and in so doing, transformed plagiarism into an art and racketeering into a science.
Here's Franz Wisner being interviewed on the Today Show on NBC.