Tradition!

I'm watching Fiddler on the Roof tonight as I do mindless tasks online and off. I love the music, the humor, the culture, the fiddling. And the serious undertones of the plight of the Jewish people give it a touch of gravitas often missing in the musicals of the '60s.

Watching Topol sing "If I Were a Rich Man" reminds me of my first Dragoncon. No, not because I'm so broke at Dragoncon every year that I end up eating Chef Boyardee cold out of a can.

My first Dragoncon was my quietest. My first book had not yet come out, and nobody had ever heard of me. I had exactly one panel and spent the rest of the time haunting my publisher's booth and stalking Harlan Ellison, who was at the show for the last time, as it turned out.

Harlan Ellison and Peter David are best friends. Apparently they had suggested doing a song-and-dance routine to the show, which became some kind of talent show. They were scheduled to do a boring panel on writing for TV, so they decided to shanghai the panel and do song-and-dance numbers for an hour.

I was treated to watching Ellison and David sing "If I Were a Rich Man," obviously enjoying the hell out of it even as Ellison mocked David for knowing all seventy-five verses. While I'd seen the movie a few times and heard the song many more, it is now indelibly connected to Ellison and David for me.

Of course, the fact that I am wending my way through The Essential Ellison might be influencing me just a bit. That, and the man replying to a statement that money is the world's curse: "May God smite me so, and may I never recover!

Amen, Tevye.

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