A Dr. Abate sighting

Old Feb 28th, 2000, 02:04 AM
  #1  
santachiara
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A Dr. Abate sighting

Check it out. A hilarious account of our Dr. Abate in today's Slate.com. Here's the URL:
slate.msn.com/ISeeFrance/entries/00-02-25_75791.asp. Or go to the Feb. 28 Slate.com, and look for the column called "I See France."
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 02:59 AM
  #2  
Maira
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ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS!!

By the way, I believe Tabitha Soren used to work at MTV (presenter of videos; newscaster, etc...)

THANKS for the "heads up!!!

Although I didn't partake on that thread, I read every post and it was a CLASSIC....
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 07:05 AM
  #3  
howard
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Definitely recommended reading! Very, very funny1 Thanks, Santachiara, for this real public service!
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 07:28 AM
  #4  
Mustangs81
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Funny! It's obvious that the posters on the Slate Discussin Board didn't appreciate the article to the extent that we did.
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 08:39 AM
  #5  
elvira
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santachiara, that is worth a round of applause. The original thread was a scream, but to have it continue onto another forum...and as Mustang81 notes, the Slate responders don't seem to see the humor...
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 09:01 AM
  #6  
santachiara
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To Howard: It was my pleasure to have found this and share it with other Abate aficionados. Two threads in particular have often made my day: Abate and I Was Drunk the Day Mama Got Out of Prison.

Dr. Abate, as someone mentioned in another thread, certainly deserves a novel, if not a movie or sitcom. Anyone want to join forces, write a treatment and pitch it to the networks?

Elvira, and others who commented on the humor-challenged Slate posters: Did you see the one fellow whose roommates were locked in the apartment because he supposedly owed $30. You gotta love it.
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 10:11 AM
  #7  
michele
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Many thanks, santachiara. The article is hilarious as you get a real feel for Dr. A's personality and I always enjoy reading about when technology backfires.

I see John Turturro, with extra thick specs, as Dr. A.
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 10:13 AM
  #8  
Nal Sanders
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To learn that Dr. Abate is not only alive but still up to his tricks is a wonderous thing, indeed. Santachiara, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

No doubt, even as we speak, Dr. Abate is marshalling his PR firm and emailing everyone he knows to post notes that say they "just happened to be surfing the net and stumbled over this horrible afront to my friend..."

And you're right, Santachiara, he is "our" Dr. Abate. We found him first!
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 04:15 PM
  #9  
Linda
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Oh, no. I picture Adam Arkin as Dr. Abate. Like the role he played with Peter Falk in "The Fathers-in-Law". Too funny.
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 04:32 PM
  #10  
Cheryl Z.
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well, I'm glad to find out he's not Italian, he's from Libya.
And yep, Alan Arkin would be perfect!
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 04:41 PM
  #11  
howard
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If he were alive today, Zero Mostel would have been a perfect Dr. Abate!
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 04:50 PM
  #12  
elvira
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Oh yeah Alan Arkin like in The Russians Are Coming The Russians are Coming

Actually, I'm picturing Moe from the Three Stooges...
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 04:54 PM
  #13  
Helen
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I'm picturing Peter Sellers in "Dr. Strangelove." We need someone who embodies a combo of menace and (unintentional) hilarity.
 
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 05:31 PM
  #14  
ritchie
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Just what is holding up that working
screenplay? Don't you think FOX would
be pulling out all the stops to get its
meathooks on it to turn it into an
Emmy award-winning movie of the week.
And having met Mr. Wonderful himself,
I would say John Lithgow (given the
proper makeup, wardrobe and motivation)
would be ideal. He surely knows how to
play roles over-the-top.
 
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 12:08 AM
  #15  
schiara
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Okay, faithful readers. Go to: bbs.slate.com/bbs/slate-iseefrance/posts/ag/832.asp for a dissertation from our friend Dr. Abate. How could we ever have doubted? Mi dispiace.
 
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 12:46 AM
  #16  
Gayle
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Boy am I enjoying this thread! I just checked out the Frommers thread and they sure don't carry the same tone as the fodorites do they? The enjoyment that this forum gives out is great. When our holiday is over I'll still be tuning in to read your witty comments and inputs. Thanks for brightening the evening. Now I have to go and ask a real question......10 days until our hols!
 
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 05:31 AM
  #17  
Neal Sanders
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For those who may be wondering about Dr. Abate, he provided comic relief for this site just about a year ago. For reasons unknown to me, I saved the attached dissertation which I posted to the "Terrible Apartment Service" thread just before Fodors (appropriately) yanked it. Read it and enjoy.
* * * * *

What a fascinating world we live in, and what an interesting place Fodors is. I watched nearly 50 messages pile up under this heading before becoming curious enough to open the thread to see what could possibly engender so many replies to a post about a “terrible apartment service.”

Herewith some observations and conclusions:

Brian, you were absolutely right to ask what an “American Executive Platinum” member is. If indeed Ray meant to write “American Express” then he established the bona fides of his credit limit, not his worldliness. (For someone who still hasn’t earned a free ticket on that airline, learning than American has an “executive platinum” level was a revelation.)

Jan, your “amen” posting 20 hours after Ray’s shows what a small world we inhabit. By now, anyone who opened the thread would conclude, “avoid Roman Homes.”

Dottore Abate, your swift and amazingly thorough rebuttal, posted less than 30 hours after Ray’s original message (which made no mention of Rome or Roman Homes in its header), speaks volumes about the Internet in general and this web site in particular. You have a reputation to protect; you did so quite well. I note your post, at 7:20 p.m Eastern Time, would have equated to 1:20 a.m. in Rome. When do you sleep?

Then comes the barrage of testimonials. Dottore Abate must have emailed many people, imploring them to reply to the “terrible apartment service” item on Fodors’ Europe Forum. The first one, from Lowell Moorcroft, comes just 16 hours after that plea. It is well written, concise, and contains a hearty endorsement that Roman Homes is a superb outfit.

Mr. Moorcroft’s posting is followed swiftly by five more, several of which give multiple plugs for Roman Homes’ web site, raising Fodors regular Sally Fowler’s suspicion that these postings are awfully well orchestrated. But not to worry. Less than half an hour later, Ron Walsh, who according to Fodors’ search engine until now has posted exactly once (a week ago in response to a query about Yorkshire), assures Sally that Dottore Abate was up front about soliciting testimonials. How nice of Ron to have scrutinized that lengthy post, and how fortunate that he was right there to answer Sally’s concern!

And then in comes Dr. Wolff, who just happens to be surfing the internet from his office, drills down five levels – and the exact five correct levels, at that! -- into Fodors.com and stumbles upon this unjust criticism of Roman Homes, from which he just happened to have recently rented a villa. Dr. Wolff is so enthusiastic in his praise, he posts his message twice. By the way, if you happen to tap in Dr. Wolff’s URL, you’ll find that “golinharris.com” is the home page for a very large Chicago public relations agency. This raises the question of what client will be billed for Dr. Wolff’s time last Friday at 3:23 p.m. Chicago time.

Dottore Abate makes another tearful appearance a few hours later to say he is touched by the outpouring of support. He goes on at length to describe his properties, and how they are out of reach of 99.9% of Rome’s population (himself included).

But the support continues to roll in. Among them, Karen chimes in with an accolade, which contains the curious disclaimer that she is writing “with absolutely no other interest in this matter.” Where in the world did that come from? And, there is an emerging similarity about the way these messages are written. They’re all written by, well, writers. They are concise, they always praise “Dr. Abate,” who either met them at a train station, carried their bags, chauffeured them across Rome at midnight, or pointed them to the best meal in Italy. There is invariably an accolade for the superb web site. The perfect location of each apartment is also described (it is never the same apartment). And they will all be back. Now, the world of individuals who can afford to rent an apartment in Rome is quite circumscribed and those do so will inevitably share certain traits. But Karen and many of her fellow travelers just sound too polished. Either they make no grammatical or spelling errors, or else their posts are so cartoonishly written and spelled as to be viewed as comic relief.

Lynn, another regular Fodors’ contributor, begins to smell a rat. Dottore Abate, however, quickly (less than an hour later) suggests this is a case of people twisting facts, and that his agency should get a fair trial from a jury of his Internet peers. His evidence is presented in excruciating detail, and he goes on about Italian law at some length. From its length, he had to be writing that brief long before Lynn gave voice to her suspicions.

By Sunday afternoon, after yet more testimonials and speeches from Dottore Abate, Lynn has it figured out and casts her vote as a juror. She writes, “These so-called ‘opinions’ have been solicited (contrived?) by a man who owns a business…” Agreeing, Amanda from Ole Miss suggests Dottore Abate has been just a little bit too over the top in his defense, but Fodors’ newest old hand, Ron Walsh, jumps in after less than half an hour and engages in a little argumentum ad hominen. Ron seems to be monitoring this web site awfully closely.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not a betting person, but if I were, I would place a sizeable wager on this thread’s duration and content being an exercise in what the public relations industry calls “crisis management,” and particularly what has emerged in the past year as “crisis e-management;” the quelling of rumors and innuendo on internet web sites. Dottore Abate is indeed a businessman and clearly not the “idiot” he was characterized as being early on. To the contrary, my suspicion is that he is sufficiently savvy to have a PR agency on retainer, and either he or they caught the Roman Homes negative mention via a web dredging service, and went to work on a perceived crisis.

But crisis management is an imperfect art, and the replies were just a little too quick, too slick, and too pat. After a while, it all looked orchestrated. And so Lynn and Sally and the Fodors regulars figured out what which way was up. That’s where it ought to have ended. However, unable to stop themselves, and impressed that every time there was a new reply the thread popped up to the top of the pile, the PR agency kept at it far too long.

Ron, I know that when you write this up for the PRSA Journal or submit this for a Silver Anvil or whatever, you’ll neglect to include Jo’s recent reply: “All this lot has proven to me is… never rent an apartment from Roman Homes.” Because Jo probably speaks for lots of us, and you wouldn’t want your client or your peers to think your campaign backfired. But it did. Big time.

Note to Fodors: you now have a pretty good list of people whose posts should be considered advertising unless proven otherwise.
 
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 05:56 AM
  #18  
santachiara
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Thanks, Neal, for the marvelous recap of the Abate Saga. I had forgotten so many nuances. Now, anyone want to start a pool on the date and time that Abate and his spin controllers hop from the Slate to the Fodor's site? First place is two free nights in a one-star hotel near the train station when the International Federation of Gypsies convention is in town. Second place is two free weeks in a Roman Homes apartment.
 
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 09:14 AM
  #19  
Cheryl Z.
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and the winner has to bring his/her own washcloths...
 
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 12:51 PM
  #20  
kissyour mirrors
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You have very neatly gathered yur Web-Sters around you and are asking for Dr. A to send in his. Grow up. No one but you care about the recap.
 

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