Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
CP: I can’t even. It’s too embarrassing.
RN: You can tell me. It won’t go any further. Swear.
CP: Well, I feel I can trust you. Of course you must also confide, just to me, your most humiliating moments.
RN: Fine. I’ll start by saying I’ll never live down an utterly mortifying error in the paper. I was writing about wild game dinners, and noted that the menu included roast peasant. Pheasants everywhere are still laughing, at my expense.
CP: Ha. That’s a springtime walk in the park compared to the time we had to wrestle in eighth-grade P.E. class. As in, classmates gather round the mat to watch and learn all kinds of things as two classmates grapple and coach shouts helpful tips. In my fear and anxiety, I managed to cut one. I got over it sometime in my late 30s.
RN: Oh, please, that’s nothing. I spent two junior-high years mowing lawns, shoveling driveways and babysitting to save for a racing bike. “Pearl Orange,” the catalog said. When I pulled my new — and nonreturnable — bike out of that big C. Itoh cardboard box, it was, yes, pink. Bright pink. A pink bike in 1973 suburbia did not go over well.
CP: I dunno. You add a couple of those confetti-colored handgrip streamers and ride into the Burnsville sunset with your head held high. “I, Rick Nelson, decree that pink is the new blue.”
RN: I lacked the adolescent Peck confidence.
CP: If I do have any confidence, it gets me in trouble. When I briefly worked for public television, I volunteered to do some on-air membership begging. It looked easy, just step out there and read from a teleprompter about the myriad benefits of supporting your local PBS station. You saw the movie “Network,” right?
RN: Please tell me there is archival video, somewhere.
CP: You may wish for that. I hope someday to forget how I froze on live TV, was immediately covered head-to-toe in a drenching sweat and somehow got to the end of my spiel. At that point, clueless about what to do next, I just began to say it all over again. At which point they moved to veteran Channel 2 pitchman Joe McDermott, who did these on-air solicitations in his sleep.
RN: You want mortifying? I was once a model on an episode of “Good Company,” remember that KSTP gabfest? The owner of our gym talked me into it — he was the show’s fashion adviser. The segment was called, and I’m not kidding, “Male Figure Flaws, and How to Hide Them With the Latest Fashions.”
CP: I think I got booked on there once, too. It was so terrible that I have completely blocked out what I was asked to go on about. But if you want fashion humiliations, you have come to the right guy.
RN: If we’re going to delve into your leisure suit era, I’m not sure if I can sympathize.
CP: Shamefully, I think it may have involved a cowl neck and a pendant.
RN: Oh, dear. I know you’re a “Golden Girls” fan, but I never pictured Bea Arthur being your personal style guru. Good to know.
Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib