Margo and Libby, the neighbors, had plopped themselves down on my living room couch.

They were arguing over who had the worst day.  Margo had spent the day picking lint out of the dryer.  Libby had cracked her shins on her cars rusty tailpipe and then stood in line all day trying to renew her driver’s license.

I, on the other hand, was clinging to the arms of the sofa.  My throat muscles paralyzed, waiting for the moment to blurb out my exciting news.

“Of course, none of these things would bother me.” Margo said, “If something dazzling ever happened around here.”

Look at ‘em; they’re so unhappy. I thought.  A lowlife. That’s all I am. I bit my bottom lip as I listened to Libby describe her tight-fitting shoes, and then—I couldn’t stop myself.  I stood up and shouted. “I WON THE CONTEST.”

Libby stopped talking, and Margo spilled her coffee. “What?” they said simultaneously.

“The Nancy and Tracey Take On The World” special that was on last Friday,” I said.  “You know they are the two girls on King TV’s Almost Live comedy sketch show at 11:30 pm every Saturday night.  I won their contests in 25 words say, “Why The World Owes Me A Living.”

“I wrote:  Cereal has hardened in the bowl, dog threw up on the bed, my gums are shrinking, Prince Charming skipped, I use to date Bill Gates.”

At this point, the three of us were high-flying when Margo shouted, “What did you win!”

Tears welled in my eyes as I explained I was on TV for 30 seconds (you didn’t want to blink) dinner at the Georgian in the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel.  Have my hair done at Anthony Tiberio Salon. But the best part was to meet Nancy and Tracey.

“Tell us about them,” they both giggled.  (I thought they would never ask!)

I arrived at King TV at 11 am with my 25 words memorized.  The building itself is spectacular with its five floors, skylighted with a fountain in the lobby.

Tracey Conway met me at the reception area, shaking my hand, looking just like she does on TV.  Nancy Guppy sporting a new short hairdo, tells me we are going to a local park to have me say my 25 words on camera, giving me her big grin.

The three of us walk toward the back of the building to a parking garage where the crew Ralph, Matt, and Peter waited for us inside a large van. The van was full of laughter, and the ride was too short.

We all piled out at the park, and Nancy, the Executive Producer of the special, handed me my original letter to read the 25 words.  She stood on my right with a microphone, and Tracey stood on my left to hand me the prize envelope.

Nancy introduced me, and then I had to look into the camera lens while this fellow on the left of me held a big reflector size of a giant pizza pan that they promised me would make me look thin.  Ha Ha.

We took three takes and called it a wrap.  I was so disappointed.  I wanted it to last all day, and it took less than an hour.

Nancy and Tracey agreed to meet me the following week for an interview for my newspaper column Overdone and Undercooked.  I asked if maybe they would want to go to lunch, too.

I arrived the next Tuesday only to find Nancy and Tracey in their coats, ready to eat lunch.  Without even thinking, I had said that I would drive.

“OH NO,” Margo shook her head.  ‘In YOUR car!”

I have no intention of humiliating myself by relating that grim scene of Nancy trying to find a place to put her feet with her eyes rolling wildly in her head, knowing whatever was down there would stay on the bottom of her shoes forever.

Tracey bravely sat in the backseat where out of pure nervousness, I flung the Styrofoam ice chest, sandals, portable radio, Nickelodeon magazines, hamburger wrappers, and nail polish that was just sitting in the front seat.  I couldn’t bear to see what was already in the backseat.

We drove to Macrina restaurant in Belltown, and outwardly they were the best.  Easy to talk to and as fun as they appear on TV.

“It was a chance to use our more edgy pieces,” Tracy said with great satisfaction when asked about Why The World Owes You a Living. “A chance to have control over a project.”

Tracy, originally from New Mexico, went to graduate school in Los Angeles.  She loved Seattle, moved here, and worked as a temp at King TV in the secretary pool and acted in the evening in theatre productions. John Keister, the host of Almost Live, would pull her out to use her in skits. Until one day, he wanted her full time.

Recently, Almost Live had been syndicated on Comedy Central. They were taping eight shows every two weeks.  Tracey says she enjoyed the big crew and lots of artistic license.

“We try locally, though,” Tracey sighed, “not to think too big; we have to keep our sketches within our budget.”

Nancy’s husband, Joe Guppy, was one of the original cast members, and they had an opportunity to spend three years in Los Angeles writing for HBO’s “Not Necessarily The News.”

About L.A. Nancy said, shaking her head, ‘Well, we didn’t hate it, just needed not to be there, all you do is work, when not working trying to find work. Besides, I love the rain,” she said, her eyes shining

Nancy, a Seattle native, likes the routine of the show. She does admit it is not a job that you leave at the office and have very little time for much else.  They work Tuesday through Saturday and tape Saturday evening.  They spend the week writing, producing, and directing the skits with the rest of the cast.

I turned to Margo and Libby and said, “I don’t mind admitting I could use more days filled with adventure, especially meeting people as fun as Nancy and Tracey.”









Press half of the flour mixture into a greased 8” square pan.  Pour in berries.  Top with another half of flour mixture. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees

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