In writing my column for this morning about the PBS Masterpiece series "Downton Abbey," something happened that has never happened before — Rob Rogers and I found ourselves working the same joke.
His "Brewed on Grant" cartoon also played off the resemblance of Downton to Downtown — which in turn suggested also sorts of Yinzer jokes to both of us.
In the first draft of my column, I had a bevy of humorous Pittsburgh-related references. But at about 4.30 p.m., he sent his cartoon into HQ and I saw then what he had done, the blighter.
We had not spoken or e-mailed each other. I was working in the Boulevard of the Allies office; he in his studio at home. But we both hit on the same idea. — proof that great minds do think alike, or at least mediocre minds, depending on your point of view.
I was the one who had to go back and rewrite, because he finished first. In the end, it worked out better for me. My column is distributed nationally and goodness knows what people elsewhere would have made of all those Burgh jokes. As it was, they had just a sampling.
It's official. Our reunion will be on Thursday evening, March 22, at a tavern to be named. Will someone please volunteer to spread the word on back channels about where it will be held? (Suggestions emailed to me are welcome) Discretion is advised. I have long wanted a better class of enemy but until that happy day caution is the watchword.
Mugsy and Rocky, I hope you both can come. I do not see you names among those who have indicated they can attend. It wouldn't be the same without you.
Please note that spouses or chaos creatures are welcome.
Fair warning: This event may be the farewell and last hurrah for the blog. I am not at liberty to give details at the moment but early next month many of the blogs at the PG are changing — and these changes may remove the rationale for this one.
As you know, I have been depressed about the incivility that has taken hold here, but that issue is entirely separate from the coming PG changes. That those changes happen to be coming at the same time I have been having gloomy thoughts about the future of the blog is simply coincidence. Nobody needs to feel guilty.
Nothing is decided yet but I thought I should at least give you warning that some crying in our beer may be necessary on the night.