Better late than never |

Better late than never

Too often, according to my son Doug, I find myself talking about television and how much it means to shut-ins, aka old folks, like me. If you watch as much TV as I do, there aren’t many surprises. Then one came along that was an absolute delight.

I have no idea how many weeks this “new” show was on air Tuesday nights. I just found out Sept. 6, which you may have unfortunately missed — was the last episode. What a shame! The show is titled “Better Late Than Never.” Four well-known older American figures — two television/movie stars and two sport figures — tour some Asian countries to check their cultures and try their food.

Quarterback Terry Bradshaw, boxer George Foreman, and actors William Shatner and Henry Winkler make up the cast, along with a 30ish buddy who makes travel arrangements. The entire show isn’t some set up “I Love Lucy” type of program. Everything is instantaneous and almost always just hysterically funny. With who I presume is the main figure, Henry Winkler, the entire show wraps around the five figures doing and saying all the wrong things.

Henry aka the “Fonz” from the Happy Days show has this wonderful ability of looking at the camera and giving you that “Did he really say that?” look when one of the other characters opens his mouth. It is as if the four of them — and their young sidekick who carries their luggage — is right there in your living room. One episode had them in South Korea going into a restaurant that serves tiny raw “live” octopus.

First you see this young girl hammering down on one, breaking it up into serving pieces. Somebody looks at her and remarks — “Is she mad at that thing?” Eventually, one of the five swallows a tentacle — still swishing back and forth – as the others stare in disbelief. However, the scene I really enjoyed was when they find out that their suitcase-carrying buddy has booked them into a cheap hotel for $6 a night.

What their “room” consisted of was a huge bare heated floor where you simply lie down and go to sleep, which you share toe to head with lots of other strangers. The next scene is supposedly a tourist attraction. It’s the DMZ zone between North and South Korea. Being the nuts they are, they get too close. Soldiers on both sides react.

It gets really scary, that is until the end of the scene when their suitcase buddy tells the audience it’s a set up farce just for tourists. He points to one of the supposed solders who says, “I’m from Cincinnati.” The four characters have already fled safely back into their rental car

We had an interesting week – other then our usually boring day-by-day living — with a trip out to the base. I had to get some much-needed prescriptions and we spent an hour at the commissary getting a ton of much needed groceries. I did one of those “up and down each aisle so that I wouldn’t forget anything,” and when the total came up to almost $300 I wasn’t surprised.

It took us over an hour to get all of that food put away in freezers, pantries, etc. Once done, I looked at Doug and said something about my not cooking after all of that hard work. So off we went to Fernley and our favorite hangouts, Japanese food and Steve’s ice cream. The restaurant was busy, even at two in the afternoon, and two tables away sat four nice looking young men.

Smiling, I nodded to Doug who said what I was thinking, “Navy.” They were off-duty, of course. We watched as they devoured a ton of sushi while expertly using chopsticks. I was amazed at how much those four could put away. Finally, I had to ask them if they were indeed Navy? It’s usually easy to recognize military personnel. These gentlemen were in shorts; tee shirts, neat and clean and they all had short haircuts.

An interesting conversation began, and we found out that one was from our home state, Pennsylvania. We all ended up having ice cream next door, too. I had to ask them how they managed to find that particular eating establishment so far from the base. They told me that other military had told them not to miss having their favorite sushi. God bless our wonderful young military personnel. All in all it was an interesting week.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at