Monday, November 20, 2006

Mrs. Columbo Sighting

Tad Friend gave us this: "With rare exceptions, the detective genre demands that its savants pay for their acuity with a stunted personal life: hence Adrian Monk's O.C.D. and Columbo's imaginary wife." "On Television, Killer Serial, The Creepy Appeal of 'Dexter'" in the Nov 20 issue. I hope every New Yorker issue now requires a Columbo reference; there was one in the Gopnik Darwin thing, remember?

Since the general consensus is that Friend is pretty smart I read this as a kind of theory of Mrs. Columbo, rather than a claim that we, the audience, all know, and agree, that Columbo has imagined her. Maybe he did and maybe he didn't, but he loved her very much and there is a whole website dedicated to her. I meant to dress up as Mrs. C. once for Halloween, but then we didn't have the time or necessity to dress up that year. Oh, the irony. Benj looks a lot like Columbo any day of the year, and the guy who worked at the local pizzeria used to call him "Lieutenant," but he's about a foot taller. Benj, not the guy at the pizzeria.

Speaking of imaginary friends, check out my new feature in the sidebar. Now you can trace the influence of Benj, The Thriftiest Girl in LA, The Family Boccigalupe, Madame Librarian and the elusive Aaron Whyte-Reiss, who made up his own name, on this blog.


Anonymous Rebecca said...

What?! Who is saying that Mrs. Columbo was supposed to be imaginary? It's the first I'm hearing of it. I must be the most gullible woman on the planet; I seem to believe everything people tell me, but I ALWAYS believed in Mrs. Columbo.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friend *is* the New Yorker TV critic and he says. Like I say, though, I think he's just floating a theory. Mrs. Columbo as fiction devised by the Lt. has occured to me (and to others, at her fan site) but there is some "evidence" that she is real . . . they have collected it at the site linked in the post.

10:27 AM  

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