It's hard to believe, but my son Brandon Block is The Graduate. This spring he's graduated from high school and is headed off to college in the fall. I'm a little concerned, however, that he may be taking his role as The Graduate just a wee bit too much to heart.
Lately the kid's been kind of listless, mostly just lying around the pool and drinking beer.
"Brandon," I said, "what's going on? It's perfectly understandable that a young man who's done excellent work might want to relax a bit, but you're taking this to extremes."
"I'm a little concerned about my future, Dad," said Brandon.
"I am, too," I replied, "especially considering we don't have a pool."
"Some guy at the graduation party suggested I go into plastics."
"Plastics! This isn't 1967!"
Brandon's odd behavior continued. One day soon after, he walked into the kitchen with a startling announcement.
"I hope you won't be too shocked, Dad, but I'm having an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of your business partner."
"Frankly, Brandon, I am shocked. Because I don't know anybody named Mrs. Robinson, and I don't have a business partner!"
"Nevertheless, I'm having an affair with Mrs. Robinson. It began one night in a hotel where I also had an amusing interaction with a desk clerk played by actor/writer Buck Henry."
Now I was really concerned! I was so concerned I discussed the situation with my psychiatrist, Dr. Kropotkin, but what he said was not all that reassuring, especially when he asked me if I could get him Buck Henry's autograph.
Then came the bombshell.
"Dad, I'm going to marry Elaine Robinson."
"Isn't that kind of a half-baked idea, son?"
"No, it's completely baked."
"No, Brandon, I mean it's half-baked in that She's a fictional character! None of these people are real, they're characters in a movie!!!
"Nevertheless, I am going to marry Elaine Robinson."
Two days later, I received a phone call that was the final straw.
"Who is this? Mike Nichols? Mike Nichols who?! Brandon did what?! Disrupted Elaine Robinson's wedding and ran off with her?!! He wants me to meet him where?!!!"
I sped to the address the man had given me, ran into the house, and incredibly there they all were: the late Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson, the late Murray Hamilton as Mr. Robinson, the young Katherine Ross as Elaine Robinson, Dustin Hoffman as no one in particular, and even Buck Henry!
"Brandon, how is this possible?!" I exclaimed. "How can you actually be The Graduate?"
"Everybody's The Graduate at some time or other, Dad. Life's like that. And then we move on to another movie."
"I think I get it," I said. "And this is your time. What movie's next for you?"
"Who knows? That's all part of the deal."
"Hey, Bran, if it turns out to be Casablanca?"
"Can you get me Bogey's autograph?"