Our Esteemed Lieutenant: Yaphet Kotto R.I.P.


It never ends, does it? There’s always another one, taking away another piece of all those things you welcomed, those highlights that mark the different stages of your life. Between 1991 and 1997, Yaphet Kotto played Gee, Lieutenant Al Giardello, in Homicide: Life on the Street, one of the very best television series ever made. Gee was the Shift Commander for Detectives like Frank Pembleton and Tim Baylis, John Munch and Stan ‘the Big Man’ Bolander, Mike Kellerman, Meldrick Lewis, Kay Howard and Laura Ballard, big, thoughtful, smilimg, effortlesly in chaege of one of the most difficult jobs you can play. And he was superb, just as they all of them were superb.

And now he too has passed, aged 81. The firmament dims yet again. Where are the people coming from to stand beside him? Not replace him, or surpass him. But stand on the level that Yaphet Kotto stood, to make the memories for the future.

Night falls far too fast these days

Spam 3: The American Connection

Apparently, it’s been decided out there in Spamland that I no longer need to be bombarded with detoxification contacts: I am once again considered clean, which is nice to know, having been clean throughout (except for that day the water pressure was horribly low and I couldn’t get a shower before going to work).

Nor, it appears, am I considered to need impossible quantities of Canadian diamonds to hand out to that adoring legion of lovelies that dog my footsteps wherever I go (you must be joking, I still haven’t got up the nerve to ask out the friendly blonde who works until 10.00 pm nearly every night in my local Co-op).

No, what the Spam Brigade has decided that I desperately need, more than anything under the sun, is Home Inspectors in Baltimore, Maryland, or air-conditioning tube experts in Tucson, Arizona.

Sadly, I do not now, nor have I ever lived anywhere in America, nor visited that strange and far away land, though ever since Homicide: Life on the Street a matter of twenty-odd years ago, I have had a hankering to visit the decaying city of Baltimore (it is not a matter of coincidence that this was also the backcloth for the legendary HBO series, The Wire, since both series have their roots in the same David Simon nonfiction book, and I will at some point seek to impress upon you just how wonderful Homicide was). Therefore, having neither property in Baltimore, nor air-conditioning in Tucson, the latest spam wave is, as usual, singularly inappropriate.

Get your algorhythms checked, boys! (or girls). Cheap trips to Austin, Texas, to see the lovely and wonderful Shawn Colvin play live, yes! Then you might be on to something…