Speaking of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, I’ve been remiss in unleashing a favorite AJS story. Back in April or May, GQ published my blink-and-you’ll-miss-it article entitled “My Weird Crush: Lady Aberlin,” which was about just that: my continuing crush on Lady Aberlin from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. If you somehow don’t recall, she was the real-life woman in the Neighborhood of Make Believe who was fond of wearing flowing robes and of rubbing noses with Daniel Striped-Tiger; due to some bizarre puppet-human reproductive glitch that I don’t even want to know about, she was also the niece of hand puppet King Friday XIII.

About a month ago, the very nice woman who played Lady Aberlin, whose name is Betty Aberlin, wrote me out of the blue to say, as she puts it, “thanks so much for crushin’ on me.” Aberlin says she picked up the crushin’ terminology from Kevin Smith, who cast her in two of his films, Jersey Girl and Dogma. “Women my age are lucky to play prison wardens and grandmothers and crazy bag ladies,” she wrote me, “and I am VERY lucky to have been cast by Kevin, whose writing/movies I so admire.” But I say that this isn’t so much luck as it is the fact that she did something special for footed-pajama-wearing tikes like me and Kevin Smith, and that we’d all repay her if we had any Hollywood clout. But, to paraphrase the recently departed Robert Palmer, she didn’t mean to turn us on. “[My flowing robes were] nothing sexy cause this is a show for 2-4 year olds, not their fathers.”

In other news: I have upgraded “My Weird Crush” to “My Relatively Healthy Infatuation.” Thanks for writing, Betty!


I didn’t get to sleep until 4am last night because I couldn’t stop thinking about my utter lameness.