Hey, everybody! How was your weekend? It was good? Oh good, glad to hear it.
I’m sorry, what was that? Oh, you ask how MY weekend was? Well, to be honest, my weekend. . .
Guess who I met yesterday?
Yep, that’s me and MIKE “The Beej” FARRELL!!
Mr. Farrell was in town yesterday doing a book reading for his new memoir, Of Mule and Man, which is about a cross-country road trip he took a couple of years ago while on a book tour for his 2007 memoir, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist. The book tour featured dozens of stops, each sponsored by an advocacy organization for human rights, and Mike did the 8000+ mile road trip alone — just him and a rented Prius, a car he nicknamed the Mule for it’s combination of hybriditude and stubbornness. As with the man himself, the book features an engaging, irresistible amalgam of comedy and seriousness, a combination that makes Mike Farrell the kind of progressive thinker I think it’s easy for all sides to listen to, interact with, and learn from. He’s a gentle soul with emphatic, passionate beliefs — a rather delicious and deadly combination.
The reading itself was amazing — he didn’t actually read from the book at all, but instead told us a few funny stories about his trip and then said he mostly wanted to hang out and chat. So, that’s what we did! He encouraged us to ask him anything, and our reward was getting to listen to him talk about his incredible advocacy work (special focus on anti-death penalty activism — yay, Mike!), as well as a few stories about M*A*S*H and his experiences as an actor in general. Both of his books talk a lot about his life as an activist, if you’d like to learn more, and you can also read journals from his trips to places like Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, and other war-torn places on his web site, Mike Farrell Online.
After it was over, we each got a few minutes of one-on-one time with him while he signed our books, and I got to tell him face-to-face how much I respected him and how grateful I was to him and his co-stars for the impact that M*A*S*H had on me as a kid. Being able to tell him that in person was one of the high points of my life, I kid you not. Even better: he seemed genuinely pleased to hear it, and was more than happy to pose afterward for the above photograph as well.
Thank you, Mr. Farrell, for being so gracious and accessible to us all yesterday, and for taking the time to talk to us about the things you are so passionate about. You’re an inspiration.
Additional thanks go to my friend BCL, because if you hadn’t emailed me about Farrell’s reading yesterday, I would’ve MISSED IT, which would’ve been a goddamn crime.
And, of course, gratitude size XXL to my husband, Mr. Meg, whose store of patience appears to be infinite.
Great frakkin’ weekend all around, my peoples. Might even have been one of the best.