I don't follow motor racing any more, but occasionally I'll stop and watch the closing laps of a big race if I'm waiting for something else. So it was with the Indianapolis 500 last Sunday, which TVNZ somehow managed to squeeze in between the America's Cup and other sports stuff. Anyway, the winner Scotsman Dario Franchitti was upstaged by, who else?, wife Ashley Judd (soon to be seen on-screen in William Friedkin's Bug). She was soaked to the skin - this was hard to miss - and when asked for her reaction to hubby winning the controversial race, drawled, "Well I just wanna say, he won the race like a true gennelman, he came from 14th place to first, picking the others off one by one, but I repeat he won the race...like a gennelman." Judd's Southern charm came across as suitably sincere soundbite.
Then, later that night I heard a repeat of a November, 2006 Prairie Home Companion, with Garrison Keillor. He was reminiscing about working with Robert Altman, who'd died the previous week. Apparently, a sign of the veteran movie director's approval during the shoot was his use of the expressions, "Not bad" or "That's pretty adequate". Remember the outcry when Lindsay Lohan (who was terrific as the troubled teen in the "Prairie Home Companion" movie) scrawled her heartfelt but grammatically suspect tribute to Altman after his death, finishing with the line: "Be Adequate"? The English-usage pedants gave Lohan a hard time over this. Turns out - in retrospect - it was an in-joke, though Lohan wisely chose not to respond to those on the outer. Radio man GK even had his guests, Richard Dwrosky and Guy's All-star Shoe Band do a ditty slyly entitled, Be Adequate.