An Accidental Meeting of the Minds?


An accidental meeting of the Minds?

By Don Mueller

I've told stories in my past columns about famous smart people. One man I've always admired for his brilliance is Steve Allen. We all know of his wide accomplishments in TV, music, comedy and writing. I would always sit in awe when Steve would demonstrate his incredible ability to improvise witty lines faster than a speeding bullet. (as my friends can tell you, I can only think of funny answers two days later) I've always wondered, has Steve ever been a member of Mensa? So I found out. I asked him. That's right, I met him at a bookstore appearance and asked him. Here's exactly what Steve told me: "I'm not a member formally, but I've spoken at a number of their meetings every year, maybe 4 or 5 times. It's fun to be with such bright people at those occasions!" Later that evening when most of the crowd had left, I had a chance to talk some more with Steve, but let me leave you with an interesting exchange that we had. I was explaining to some of the group there about my big win last year on "America's Funniest Home Videos", that the program was nice enough to give me $10,000 for turning a water sprinkler onto a cat. Someone asked me if any animal rights group had objected to my clip. I told them that I had to do my interview with Bob Saget three times, after Vin Di Bona told me not to use words like "squirt" and "blow-up" when describing my clip. Steve overheard my comments, and explained that he got a lot of negative mail from animal rights groups when he told a certain dog joke on one of his shows. Steve then told me the joke:

"There was a man and his dog trapped on a desert island. After a few weeks, food was really getting scarce for this man, so he made a desperate decision; He killed his dog and ate it. There was nothing left but a pile of bones. As this man was savoring the meal that he had just had, he looked at the bones. Finally, thinking about the best friend that he had just lost, he said, 'y'know, I wish Spot was here; he would've loved those bones!'"

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