Remember when TV stations had local programing? You do? Then you must be as old as Perry Block. For those under forty, let me explain. Back in the golden era of television, stations would do anything to gain viewers and improve ratings. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this was by bringing local children into the studio for fifteen seconds of fame.
Every station in our viewing area (all three of them) had a “Santa Show” where the kids would sit on Santa’s lap and stare dumbfounded at the camera while Santa attempted to gain their attention long enough to learn who they were and what they wanted for Christmas. (A ridiculous premise since he’s already supposed to know those things.)
My favorite local show was Uncle Zeb’s Cartoon Camp. It came out of channel 8 in Tulsa. Uncle Zeb dressed like an old prospector and was forever popping adult oriented one-liners. If the temperature was below freezing, like it is here today, Zeb would proclaim, “Hey, kids, it’s Brass Billy Goat weather out there.”
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the host of our weekly program is Elmyra “Babs” Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
“Hey, Randy, why do you think they boarded up the windows like that and spray-painted ‘No Trespassing’ on the building?”
“To attract attention. It’s a new marketing ploy.”
“That doesn’t make much sense.”
“Sure it does. Anytime you tell people NOT to do something, they can’t help but do it. For example, hang a ‘Wet Paint’ sign on a park bench and see how many people touch it to see if it’s wet.”
“Ah, that explains the gaps between the plywood.”
“Exactly, they’ll line up in droves to peek through those cracks.”
“But isn’t that the home of a supermarket gossip rag?”
“Yep, The National Inquirer.”
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This is the blog of a woman who is seriously on the edge and I mean right ON the edge…no, not there… just a little bit further… further than that…no, further still…just a tiny bit more… just move slightly to the right a little…no, that’s too much…just move a tad to the left…that’s right, just there…now you’ve moved too far to the left… Damn, what part of the ‘on the edge’ do you not understand? Oh, and her matricidal boy genius, come devil spawn.
Or the three people I guilted into reading this blog, whatever.
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Hi Russ – can people get that old ? 🙂
My cartoon was Johnny Quest….
Evidently, one of us can.
Oh, those clever ad men!
LOL your quirky story lines never cease to amaze me. 😀
If I were a kid, there is no way I’d go anywhere near Uncle Zeb!!
Zeb was harmless with the kids. He loved to play the camera.
I especially like the “tell people not to do something and they can’t help but do it immediately. Ha!
Reverse psychology, it works every time. Well, almost.
Now, Russell, that comment about me is wholly unfounded and untrue! Yes, I’m older than some folks but certainly not all THAT old! I do remember some of the children’s shows in Philadelphia back in the day, however. The Edwin Booth Show was my particular favorite although it was oddly yanked off the air when I was ten. And I always loved Charlemagne and Friends. Those were the days …. I just can’t get into that newfangled TV like Howdy Doody and whatever else!
I’ve heard of Edwin Booth. He was John Wilkes Booth’s brother. Man, you’re older than I thought!
lol and it’s so true about the no “tressrassing” thing. to some it looks more like an invitation 🙂 i’ve always liked the older cartoons–tom&jerry,the flintstones,bugs bunny,ninja turtles,etc the newer ones,especially ones like spongebob fill kids’ heads with rubbish.cow&chicken made me feel stupid ,not sure if they’re still playing that one at cartoon network
I’m inclined to say that I recall the temptation to do what’s forbidden goes back to Adam and Eve. But I’m not going to go there because that implies I was also present, possibly slithering around a tree, and that might give the impression that I’m older than Perry.
Want an apple?
A comic observation on human nature. I’m not familiar with the National Inquirer but I assume that’s some form of irony? Good one again.
Their motto is “Inquiring minds want to know.”
Reverse psychology strikes again!
And so they will. I would. I would definitely peep through the gaps.
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So true-people always love to do what they are told not to!Loved this fun spin on the take -made me chortle:-)
Fair point about the Wet Paint sign, Russell. The temptation is so strong!
Of course.. my fingers are always white from wet paint…
Wow, I didn’t know anyone was older than Perry!! I really enjoyed this one, Russ. Reminds me of an “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and Ethel were trying to put a painting back in a gallery while there were people in the gallery. The two of them started looking up at the ceiling and when everyone else was looking, too, they hurriedly returned the art. (Or more or less that way.)
Ah, contrariness and insatiable curiosity. No matter how many times we hear about that cat, it never does seem to sink in, does it? Of course, if it did, we’d probably still be hunter-gatherers. But then again, paparazzi would be out of a job. Great take on the prompt!
In Kansas City back in the day, we rushed home from school to watch Torey Southwick and his old buddy Gus. http://www.wtv-zone.com/dpjohnson/kcit50/page2.html
Your introduction brought back lots of memories. While I love your story, as always, I liked your intro more. Guess that happens to those of us of a certain age. Although, thankfully, I’m not as old as Perry. 😉
I clicked the link. Interesting story about Torey. I don’t know what caused me to reflect on those days, but it sure seemed to bring back memories for a lot of people.
Good one, Russell! People always do what their not they shouldn’t do. I guess it’s human nature. Keep warm.
I watched Romper Room, Captain Kangaroo, and Adventure Time. I remember those days, that was back when there was decent programming to watch.
Spot on observation of those with ‘enquiring minds’, in other words: nosey! And yes, I would take a peek too but only in the interests of science… Ahem.
Making me smile again! That’s good.
say “don’t look” and we look. say “don’t laugh” and we laugh. reverse psychology exists because it works. well done.
Women’s logic on sex, these are pictures every man can probably relate to
This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that
helped me. Kudos!
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