At the coffee house. Haven’t been here in a while. Less a house than a store, really. The music playlist today is 80s. From the speaker poured that famous piece of mid-80s German fatuity, “99 Luftalloons.”
Said to nice young clerk: ”Nothing like 99 Red Balloons in the original German!”
Pity smile. Pause. “I’m sorry, what?”
“It’s the song – it was a hit in the 80s. This is the German version. It’s better because you don’t have to understand the lyrics.”
“Oh! Well, I wasn’t around.” Smile. Pause. “What can I get you?”
Kids today. No respect for kids of yesterday. Thing is, we were required to know every fargin’ thing about the 60s when we were coming up, being schooled in the ways of the Most Important Musical Genre Ever. You were required to nod at your elder and respect their sage ways, and thus I found myself in a few dorm rooms listening to peers explain why Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Reefer and Cocaine were incredible not just for their harmony and song-writing skills, but their abilty to make music that on longer than three minutes. To which you could only say: may all your girlfriends take “Love the One You’re With” to heart everytime you’re out of town.
To be honest, I did listen to a lot of Zeppelin, but at least they were still alive, still producing, still touring. The first three albums seemed to come from another era.
I’m in the EVIL SUBURBS again. Came out here to get anti-itching spray for the dog and a fishing rod for daughter. You know, the average trip. Both are needed right away, which is why – to repeat myself for the 9348503rd time – I’m glad I live now, because getting on a streetcar to go downtown for these things wouldn’t be an option. And I doubt they had anti-itch dog spray in those days. Your dog itched, you let him scratch. Didn’t get her a licensed or endorse rod – the options for kids were Hannah Montana, which holds no interest, Barbie, which is SO little-kid-and-long-ago (she had to use a Barbie one today, and complained bitterly about it. I reminded her of the hours she spent on the Barbie games, and we had a happy conversation on the way home about the merits of each. Game nostalgia: it’s one of those things we have. I suspect more dads have game nostalgia in common with their kids than Moms. BECAUSE MOMS ARE BUSY DOING THINGS. Okay, okay, Betty F., take a Miltown.) There was a Transformer rod, which I wouldn’t get lest it turn itself into an animate, self-aware Cuisinart, and a Spider-Man rod. No. I got something else, but it seemed too big – so just to make sure she was equipped, I went to the Sports Authority, a place whose name sounds like all your purchases are legally binding. Found a kid’s rod she may or may not like – it could be construed as Too Kid, but she could think it’s cool. I will not reveal the existence of the backup rod until the other, cheaper rod fails.
Got the dog spray. Hope it works. He’s miserable. Hasn’t moved much all day, since the slightest motion seems to set off twitchy itching. Just touching a flank leads to twitchery.
Off to home; I’ll report back to see how the brightly-colored rod went over.
And it’s a go! Good.
Now outside, enjoying a Reyka on the rocks – I drink this vodka because I feel bad for Iceland, and want to do my part for their evaporated economy. Unless they raise the price again. I’m having internet contrusions again, and the despair, she is great. The same damned problem; pages load a bit, then stall. Everything loads a bit, then stalls. File transfers start out “robustly,” to use the word people like to throw around when they’re talking about the internet, and the transfer rate trickles down to nothing. Three ISPs. Two different routers. Three different modems. New cabling on everything. COVAD techs to the house to check out the wiring. No one knows anything. No one has any idea. It’s making my job impossible and I do not know what to do.
And now, for no good reason except that it’s something I’m vaguely interested in this month: the Faces of The Price is Right, part 4. You can learn more from game shows and magazines than history books and pre-fab dramas. This is what people actually looked like.
Trust me. I was there.
The modified Purple Conductor’s Hat. All above the Groovy Railroad:
It’s always nice when Miss Garland drops by, dead or alive:
On to the contestants:
They were reacting to A NEW . . . sailboat. As you can tell, Lady Jumpsuit on the left is doing a quick grim calculation; the lass on the right, wearing one of those sternum-high bosom-accentuation devices so popular in 1974. is just stunned by the beauty and majesty of the moment.
The winner was:
Panathea. Here’s where it gets interesting. Of the PiR shows I’ve seen in this series, it’s white, white, white – one fellow of Japanese ancestry, and he was a gardener by trade. Panathea was Black, and a delightful contestant , just the sort of happy extrovert the producers look for when they’re vetting the people queued up to watch the taping.
I do wonder if the producers, or anyone in the booth, worried about this:
A fridge full of watermelons. But that was the prize for the next round, and I’m sure the producer was happy Panathea won the sailboat. Still, I wonder if anyone thought “uh oh” when Panathea came on down, given the fridge-full-of-watermelons to come, or – quite possibly – perhaps people gave no thought to the matter? You can make the argument that they should have been concerned, because it would look bad. C’mon, the African-American contestant wins a sailboat, and we give her watermelons. Yeah, that’ll play well. Or you can say Who Cares? The only color on this show is Green. Well, also orange, lots of orange, but mostly green.
Lady Jumpsuit seems to have strolled out of a country-western song, no?
Miss Gwenny Paltry, come on down:
This woman ran down with confident obvious athleticism:
Bob noted she was very good at running. She’d gotten a lot of practice being chased by boys? She said, well, no. Oh, then you got a lot of practice running after the boys? She said, well, no, Bob. I felt bad for her; most people don’t expect to end up on national television interrogated about the frequency with which they pursue the opposite sex on foot.
The prizes. We have to discuss the prizes. This was a luxury premium box in those days.
Burnt orange AND avocado green. Win win.
This was an acceptable car in those days. My. God.
When it came to the showcase, it was Lady Jumpsuit against Panathea. Keep in mind they get a Black contestant once every two months, or so it seemed. What’s her showcase? A trip to fabulous . . .
Gracious, she was. But she passed to Lady Jumpsuit. And now, here’s your fabulous showcase!
Riding lessons! Immediate cutaway:
I’m not trying to make a big deal of race and culture here, but it does illustrate the assumptions the show made. You can’t get any WASPier than sailing, horseback lessons and a trip to Norway.
One more thing: kids, do you know what Janet’s holding?
State of the art high-tech c. 1973. An answering machine.
LATER: Comics up around 11 or so; Miscreant Roundup at buzz.mn for your noontime reading pleasure.
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