Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Anne Robinson's Unsent Poem to Spammers

From Tom Carroll

As I was working on a project yesterday morning and keeping my mind and heart open to humor, happiness and healing, I found a segment of video from a modeling interview that Mike Bown, Paul Schumann, and I did with Anne Robinson not too long before she passed away.

Seeing the video again brought instant laughter, cheer, and healing to my heart. It reminded me of the story Mike tells of meeting Anne at a book signing after not having seen her for many years. In fact, she wasn't in a wheelchair the last time they had talked. Anne instantly recognized Mike and greeted him with a warm hello and a kiss. When Mike asked how Anne was, she replied: "Oh Mike, I hurt from the eyebrows down." To which Mike intoned, "I'm so sorry, that must be really difficult." With a serious and sad look Anne replied, "Mike, don't worry. It's no problem, because I live from the eyebrows up!" She finished with a cheesy grin and a hearty belly laugh.

That story, Anne, and that special afternoon of interviewing with Mike and Paul all have special places in my heart!

Anne told many stories that day which were woven seamlessly into the larger fabric of the interview topic (the use of humor in leading non-profit boards). Due to the nature of our goal to elicit certain kinds of information (not to shoot a video or tell tidy stories), the story narrative is often stopped, started, and skipped as Anne patiently answered our questions. This makes the clips quite choppy. However, in the very beginning of our session, Anne let loose with this little self-contained gem about dealing with the frustration of email spam. Though it's a bit bawdy, it really captures -- for me, anyway -- Anne's wonderful way of answering life's difficulties and challenges with liberal doses of humor.

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