87c: Dabney Coleman / The Cars
The Winning Spirit
Hal Everett.....Dabney Coleman
Deborah: Hello, and welcome to "The Winning Spirit", the show that profiles those special individuals who have surmounted the odds and inspired us all. Now, our scheduled guest, Barry Ripley, the one-legged soccer player, couldn't make it tonight. But Mr. Hal Everett, who is sightless, has agreed to step in at the last minute. Thank you so much, Hal.
Hal Everett: Yeah. Right.
Deborah: Now, Hal.. you lost your sight in a freak accident, is that right?
Hal Everett: Yeah. that's, uh.. that's right, uh.. what's your name again?
Hal Everett: Deborah, it happened about six years ago - I don't really want to go into the details, but it was porcupine-oriented.
Deborah: I'm sure it was a terrible blow. But you've learned to overcome your blindness, haven't you?
Hal Everett: Overcome it?
Hal Everett: What is that, a joke?
Deborah: Well.. no. I mean, I'm sure you still have a fulfilling life, right?
Hal Everett: Doing what? Listening to a sunset? Didn't they tell you, honey? I'm blind, okay? Hello! Blind! Where are you? Can't see you!
Deborah: I.. understand that, but.. given everything, isn't blindness just one more obstacle to overcome?
Hal Everett: Yeah, right. I'll tell you what, why don't you try it for about a day and a half?
Deborah: Okay.. well.. I'm sure it's very challenging.. But what about the positives? We've had guests who've mentioned special advantages blind people have. For example, your other senses are heightened, aren't they?
Hal Everett: Oh, yeah. Yeah, they're great. I can smell a little better now, that really comes in handy on the subway every day. Not to mention, the hearing, of course, you know? So, let's figure this one out - I can hear crickets chirp a little louder than you can, and you can see? Yeahhh.. that sounds fair. That's a fair trade-off. Thanks, God!
Deborah: Well, of course.. nothing could compensate for it.. but.. you must be grateful to have your loyal seeing-eye dog, right? I mean, isn't there a special close relationship there that sighted people just can't appreciate?
Hal Everett: Well, first of all, on the dog - he doesn't like me, and I don't like him. And, when it rains, of course, that's really great, because I get to use that enhanced sense of smell we were talking about, that's a wonderful thing.
Deborah: Right.. right.. well, what about your sense of touch? Now, that must be useful. Here, I'm going to take your hand.. [ rubs his hand across her face ]
Hal Everett: No, no, no, no, no! Don't do that, okay? That's like out of some bad movie. [ awkward pause ] Did I get it in your nose?
Deborah: No! [ struggling to keep the interview alive ] You mentioned God earlier. Now, you haven't lost faith in God, have you?
Hal Everett: No, no, no. I stil believe there's a God, no question about that. I just hate his guts right now.
Deborah: Alright. Well, you're a little bitter, Hal, no doubt about it. But you haven't let it stop you from living a normal life, have you, Hal?
Hal Everett: Well, yeah.. I'm pretty much dead in the water, I'd say. Mostly, I just hang around the house and drink a lot of beer. That's about it.
Deborah: Perhaps you have some advice for other handicapped people out there, something you'd like to say to those who might be asking, "Why me?"
Hal Everett: Mmm. Well.. I guess I could say, "Join the club, fellas. We're screwed. Why you? Why me?"
Deborah: You know something? You're a horrible man, you know that? I mean, a few weeks ago we had a blind horseshoe pitcher on, and he was just wonderful! And then we had a blind skydiver, and he has managed to adapt!
Hal Everett: Well, they're insane, honey, they've got no grip on reality. Guys, you're blind! Okay? Calm down! Stop embarrassing the rest of us! What is it that you people want, anyway? Do you want us to perform for you, is that it?
Hal Everett: Well, I'll tell you what, why don't I just do a little dance for you, okay? [ stands up and dances like a jackass ]
Deborah: No! No! Stop it! [ starts crying ]
Hal Everett: Are you crying?
Deborah: [ between tears ] Yes!
Hal Everett: Ah, she's crying. Alright, will you stop it? Look, I'm sorry. I'll think of something that's nice to say about blind people, okayt?
Deborah: [ calming her tears ] Okay.
Hal Everett: Something like, okay, "If you go blind, it's not so bad, you get a nice tax thing, a little deduction there. Oh, yeah, and you can look right at an eclipse, that's no problem."
Deborah: Well, that was very inspiring, Hal. Uh.. we'll be back next week with Tim O'Grady, the legless, armles songwriter, who I promise is not bitter, and he'll make you feel good about your life.
[ fade out ]