I received a call on the morning of New Year’s Day from an old friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while, wishing me a Happy New Year. He asked me what I’d done the night before and I told him I was in bed by ten p.m.. He made fun of me and said he knew me when I did anything but sleep on New Year’s Eve.

We laughed. He said he stayed home and watched ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. And then he said something that made the laughter stop. He said in a slurred voice, “I’m Dick Clark and welcome to Time Square. Now back to you Ryan.”

And then he added, “Seriously, they should just retire him or have him talk to a camera that’s not plugged in. He wouldn’t even know the difference. We don’t need to see something like that on New Years. It’s a downer.”

I didn’t laugh and he sensed that what he’d said was over the line and he changed the subject. We got off the phone shortly after. I chalked it up to him just trying to say something funny and going too far but then I wondered if this kind of thinking is prevalent in our society.

I googled around and sadly found many people arguing Dick Clark should retire from the public eye – for his own good…

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