Thursday, April 14, 2022

Happy Birthday Matches

Started a gorgeous day with a very quick yogurt-and-peanut-butter breakfast with two oranges. At this point, it was sunny, bright, and very warm out. It had to be in the upper 70's by 10:30, when I headed out. Mom mentioned that the best way to combat disorder of electrolytes was with Propel, so I stopped at WaWa on the way to Barrington for a watermelon, along with a tasty chocolate protein bar with the least sugar and ingredients I could find.

Pulled in at the Barrington Antique Center around quarter after 11. This is a huge barn of a place on Clements Bridge Road. It's rabbit warren of tiny rooms are stuffed full of every possible even mildly vintage thing you can think of, from 100-year-old china sets and figurines to DVDs and toys from four or five years ago. 

You could probably spend a whole day exploring the place, but I only had an hour. Finally found a pretty and unique 18-inch doll sitting with a few other mid-century toys upstairs. Her sales tag said she was from 1966. She had badly matted rooted blonde hair pulled back in a messy ponytail with a rubber band, but she was otherwise in perfect shape for a nearly 50-year-old doll. Her hard plastic body had no cracks or blemishes, the very mod makeup and blue eyeshadow was bright and sultry on her rubber head, and her purple paisley minidress, underwear, and stockings had no snags. She even had her white soft plastic shoes. To my surprise, she was only 8 dollars, marked down to $6.82 with their store-wide 20% off sale.

Rushed across the street to lock my bike at the rack next to the pizza parlor and pick up the bus on Clements Bridge Road. For once, they were right on time. Despite it being past 12:30, there was no traffic anywhere, not even in Deptford or on the Black Horse Pike. I spent the 20 minute trip listening to two old men chatter loudly about local events.

Since the bus lets you off right next-door, I had lunch at Red Robin. They were so busy with the tail end of the lunch crowd, I ate next to the bar. Kept things simple with an iced tea, a grilled chicken sandwich, and steak fries. The fries were perfectly seasoned and crispy. The sandwich was too salty and way too dry. Too bad they didn't have the Salmon Burger again. That was so much better. 

Round 1 Entertainment is two doors down from Red Robin. Spent the next hour running from giant Bust-a-Move to giant Space Invaders to giant Pac Man to Skee Ball to a bean bag toss, and having a marvelous time doing so. Tried several cranes, including one that had big stuffed Lunas from Sailor Moon, but wasn't able to win anything. Also did two carnival wheels that required you to turn them with your own power, one with a pirate theme. Didn't turn my points in; I'll wait until Lauren visits to see how much I have. 

Walked around a bit after that. The Deptford Mall FYE is primarily for pop culture knick-knacks and doesn't have the DVD or music selection that the larger ones in Lauren's area did. Didn't see anything I really needed at another pop culture store, Box Lunch. Bought new pants for work from JC Penney and socks from Boscov's. 

Picked up the bus at 4:30. Once again, it was right on time, and there were no problems getting back. Good thing, too. Dark clouds gathered, even as the bus chugged along Clements Bridge Road. By the time I unlocked my bike, they were thick, black, and nearly overhead.

Stopped briefly at WaWa again on the way back for more Propel and a salad for tomorrow...but I wasn't able to outrun the storm. It started raining hard as I rode through Audubon. Waited ten minutes at the entrance to Legacy Diner, then just moved on and got wet.

One of my neighbors invited me over for a birthday dinner while I was at the Antique Center. Alas, I ended up being ten minutes late. I actually passed her car as I rode furiously down Newton Avenue. She was going to come and get me. I parked my bike in her garage and dried off there with one of her towels instead.

Had chicken Parmesan, baked ziti, and salad with my neighbor, her elderly mother, and two other women from the neighborhood. They gave me cards and an ice cream cake and sang "Happy Birthday." I got to show them Candy and tell them about my adventures and how I'm doing in my new home. The rain was already stopping when I arrived. By the time I headed out, it was long gone and sunny again, though windier and much chillier. 

Watched Match Game PM as I brushed Candy's blonde tresses and tied them back with a piece of white yarn. Bubbly Betty Kennedy took Brett's spot while she was doing a play in St. Louis. Swedish jokes abounded here when Gene discovers that the male panelists speaks that language. Charles is more nervous about answering "__ Sprout" while that UCLA crowd hoots and hollers.

Finished off the night with even more Match Game. I enjoyed that favorite episodes marathon I did on my birthday last year so much, I did a second round of more episodes I love. Started with the one in 1973 when McLean Stevenson appeared naked from the waist up on the show except for a bow tie. McLean borrowed clothes from the other male panelists that week, and apparently they wouldn't loan him anything else. Richard makes a crack about having to get him to the Largo, a then-popular strip club in LA.

Betty White appears in many of my favorite episodes. Of course, I had to include the one from 1974 when everyone celebrates her birthday in the end. (Incidentally, by my calculations, she was 52. Not 73, as Brett suggests! At least, not then.) 

I also love the episode from the end of the week in 1975 where she and her beloved game show host husband Allen Ludden appeared on the panel together. Gene said "I've had Betty" in response to the contestant calling on her in the Audience Match, prompting her husband to come down for a little chat. Said contestant was supposed to belly dance if she won, but the music department played "Stars and Stripes Forever." Not that this stopped Brett and Betty from showing their own versions of belly dancing!

1975 was also the year of Richard's infamous answer of "Trench Hand" to "Trench __" in the Audience Match. He and Gene joked about eradicating "Trench Hand" for the rest of the episode, and they'd refer to this several times over the years. Richard did better a year later helping an older woman win money with an especially difficult Head-to-Head, "__ Ball." Charles was less amused when he did his own imitation of him a little earlier in '76.

By 1977, Richard was hosting Family Feud and was quite fed up with appearing on a show where he had little control over the proceedings. The School Riot was one infamous incident when he argued with the judges over an answer. He argued over his answer of "baggie" for "bag" later that year, and though he was equally incensed over being turned down, his protests didn't come out as well this time. 

Richard's departure in 1978 threw the spotlight on other members of the panel. Brett was reunited with her maybe-ex-husband Jack Klugman when he appeared on the panel in late 1978, after the set changed and the Star Wheel came in. By the last episode of the week, they were arguing next to each other, and the remaining panelists held a mock wedding for them. Sweetly silly Joyce Bulifant got to show off her early dance training by doing an awesome jitterbug with a former champion dancer in an episode from 1979.

One of the most memorable contestants ever on the show appeared during two 1979 syndicated episodes. Ginger was a very nice lady who gave some of the strangest answers I've ever heard. Her answer to "100 legs and __" was "accordion." She somehow managed to win and give "Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie" for "Cuckoo __" in the Head-to-Head, to the utter frustration of Robert Walden, who was supposed to match her. Her answer literally sent everyone onstage falling over laughing. Gene ran around in goofy shock, spinning the Star Wheel and yelling "Run for your lives!"

Things could get even rowdier on the nighttime show. Marcia Wallace's answer to where a guy lost a couple of inches was censored on an episode in 1977. It's easy to tell from the expression of mixed shock and amusement on Richard's face when he saw her answer that he couldn't believe she said that, either. 

Here's all of tonight's Match Game episodes, including the one from Buzzr, so you can celebrate with some of the wildest people to ever hold a birthday bash!

And here's my review of Sister Act 2: Back In the Habit, which I watched yesterday. 

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