T o d d   M e r c e r

 

[For Henry Winkler)

 

Look, he didn’t write the scene,

he didn’t chime in at the meeting, saying,

“Hey guys—how about you have me

ski-jump a shark.” He drew no storyboards

showing a greaser aloft, a dorsal fin

breaking the waterline. Fonzie didn’t advocate

for the leather jacket and shorts combo.

He wasn’t ready to lose fans, he didn’t plan

to become famous for a fleeting cool,

for pushing plot too far to keep that

je nais se quoi mystique. The man

jumped the shark, that’s all.

He didn’t beg the network brass.

Fonzie read the script and did his job.

 

In Fonzie’s Defense