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Life After Harpo (Run On)

Many years ago, when I was younger, less pessimistic, and even more obnoxious, the local black newspaper decided that I, along with some other black students in the area, was respectable and scholarly enough to feature in its annual round-up of ostensibly intelligent high school seniors.  Someone called a friend and me to the guidance counselor’s office and gave a us a form to complete; it featured the typical set a questions one might ask a seventeen-year-old: favorite subject(s), college choice, future aspirations, etc.  Outside of  one genuinely nice thing about a mentor, Mrs. Patterson, the answers to my questionnaire could have been surmised for what it was: a load of uninspired teenage crap, including the “Oprah Winfrey is my hero,” stock answer.

Like any child of parents who worked full-time, I was often babysat by old people and television.  As such, Oprah was part of my weekday afternoon ritual.  (Yes, I’m continuing with the ritual theme–again).  I’d come home from school, plop myself in front of Nannie and Papa’s television, and catch the last half-hour of The Young and the Restless while I did my homework.  Then, we’d catch Oprah at four.

Once I moved to Chicago I started watching Oprah every morning.  As a hater, it’s important that I begin each day with a certain degree of disdain for the world, and I find an hour of The Oprah Winfrey Show does the job.  Yet lately, the disdain I feel while watching has been replaced by great sadness, because each morning I remember that this is the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

How I will spend the nine o’clock hour next television  season is beyond me.  I’ll face that day when the tears stop.  In the meantime, I’d like to present a list: twenty-five reflections inspired by way too many years of watching The Oprah Winfrey Show.

  1. Ain’t shit under my chair.
  2. Oprah Winfrey knows the lyrics to zero songs.  Therefore, she is terrible at lip-syncing.  There are ample clips from various shows to prove this point.  I have no idea why the director insisted on cutting to her anyway.
  3. Everything Pras Michel knows about attaching himself to far more talented people and benefiting financially, he learned from Gayle King.
  4. You can’t spell god without an O.  I’m just sayin’.
  5. Oprah sleeps with a vial of James Dean’s blood under her pillow.  This is the only way I can adequately explain why white ladies go bonkers when they see her.
  6. Steadman Graham must be in the witness protection program.
  7. The only thing more obnoxious than John Travolta in a movie is John Travolta on the Oprah show.
  8. The same statement holds true for Tom Cruise.
  9. In fact, if you’re a dude and want your crappy movie promoted, you should call Oprah.
  10. Just ask Chris Rock.
  11. And Tyler Perry.
  12. Speaking of movies, I’m still really mad about Beloved.
  13. So is Toni Morrison.  (This is merely a guess.)
  14. I love it when Oprah acts like she has no idea what drugs are and/or how to use them.  In other words, last season’s two-part Whitney Houston interview brought me endless amounts of joy.
  15. The word ama[aaaaaaaaa]zing[!!!!] can’t wait to get its life back.
  16. If I had to choose between accidentally stepping on Suge Knight’s new Jordans and being confronted by Oprah on her show.  I’d pick the former every time.
  17. Just ask James Frey.
  18. Oprah: 1, Your entire life : 0
  19. BUT Oprah: 0,  Weight loss: 234979124. Can’t win ‘em all.
  20. All of my Oprah imitations begin with, “My friend Maya Angelou once said…” and then I say something super obnoxious and underwhelming–just like Oprah.
  21. Like a teenager committed to rebellion, I blame Oprah for this stint in graduate school.  I refuse to live my best life, just to spite her.
  22. The above logic is absolutely irrational, as irrational as the idea that a black woman could ever rule this friggin’ world.  But it happened.  Oprah Winfrey, FTW!
  23. Note to self: never trust any Oprah expert–except Nate Berkus.
  24. Not that she will, but if Oprah asks, I never wrote any of this mess.  Or this.  Or…
  25. The only thing that makes me laugh harder than Oprah singing her own theme song is the jheri curl.  It’s that funny:

Thank you for 25 years of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  How will I ever get along without you?