Monday, August 18, 2008

And now, the rest of the story ...

During the Banff World Television Festival, I wrote a silly post about the string of coincidences that led to a running joke with some friends about being able to summon people with the power of my thoughts. I now have permission to share the even stranger sequel to that post.

After taking in one session on the final day of the festival, I was off to see friends and family in my home province, so I wrote a very brief description knowing it would be several days before I'd start writing my "official" article. Here's what I wrote then:
The final day of Banff was a short one for me -- slipped into the session with Jeff Greenstein of Desperate Housewives/Will and Grace/Friends, who had recruited BBC producer Jon Plowman (The Office, Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous, every other British production ever) to join him for his session on The Craft. That man can talk. (Greenstein, that is. I'm sure Plowman can, too, but he didn't get a chance to prove it much this time.) Luckily, he was funny and biting and full of advice for the roomful of writers and producers.
A week and a half later, I was home finishing up an article about that session, combined with that of House's David Hoselton's, when my email notifier popped up. I had a new message from a "Jeff" with the subject line "I sure can talk ...". I knew there was something familiar about that phrasing but couldn't quite place it (it had been about 10 days since I'd written that post, after all, and in the meantime I'd written a lot of other posts). So when I opened it to see the full name of the sender, a name I'd just finished typing a few dozen times, my poor little brain had a few moments of confusion trying to process the fact that the person I was writing about -- someone I'd never met, never talked to, who had no reason to know of my existence – had just written to me at the exact same time.

Thank god the man is a comedy writer and took my comments in the lighthearted way I'd intended (Plowman in fact contributed greatly to the session, but, well, Greenstein sure can talk, and he was the advertised speaker so Plowman often acted as interviewer). The entire text of his email was: "But I also appreciate a kind word when I read it. Thanks for that." So while he was clearly totally cool about it, I tried to remove my foot from my mouth and also explained the coincidence of timing. Naturally that fun-if-freaky exchange led to me eventually asking him for an interview, which he graciously granted last week.

I thought I might incorporate this story into the article, but as you see, I couldn't figure out how to make it concise, so consider this the deleted scene.