Peep Show

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.

copyright - Randy Maize
copyright – Randy Maize

“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.”

Uncle Zeb
Uncle Zeb

37 Comments on “Peep Show

  1. 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!!


  2. 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!


  3. 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


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers – Violation | The Blurred Line

  7. 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.)



  8. 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!


    • 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.


  9. I watched Romper Room, Captain Kangaroo, and Adventure Time. I remember those days, that was back when there was decent programming to watch.


  10. 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.


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