A morsel from the "Rockford Files"

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Apart from my former Boston Globe colleague Renee Graham, this will probably fall mostly on bored ears. I can't draw a larger point or demonstrate very much of anything from it, and yet I fail to self-edit.

Anyway, I've been on a jag of reruns from "Rockford Files," a 1970s show that featured James Garner. I thought I'd probably seen them all, but in this run, via the "watch instantly" portion of Netflix, have run across a couple I had missed. I suspect this is some form of escapism, or some symbolic effort to return to the womb. Or something.

Anyway, if you ever saw the show, it had the same opening visuals, but one part would change every episode: His phone would ring and someone would leave a message. Usually it would be not-awful-but-not-good-either news, showing how annoying life could be. 

Anyway, here's one I heard yesterday:

"This is Betty Fernell. I don't know who to call, but I can't reach my foodaholics partner. I'm at Vito's on my second pizza with sausage and mushroom. Jim, come and get me."

Anyway, that little bit of the zeitgeist popped its head up in 1978, a year I was doing all I could to denude the pizza trees myself. I was years from any easing of my "foodaholic" lifestyle, though as you know if you've visited here before, I freely claim food addiction as part of me today/. I do it gratefully, too, since once I accepted that my self-health efforts were laughably futile, I could start to rely on the suggestions of others and recover.

Anyway, let me ask: In your experience, or observation, or opinion, are there more Betty (and Bobby) Fernells today, or fewer?

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