Friday, September 11, 2020

Games With My Sister

I was just glad I didn't awaken to rain this morning. I had morning work. Was glad to settle down for breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood instead. Daniel is inspired to give the sunflowers his mother grows to his neighbors after Lady Elaine sends her seeds. His gifts eventually encourages the entire neighborhood to give to their friends, causing King Friday to declare it "Neighbor Day."

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. Work occasionally got mildly steady, but it was mostly dead all day. While it never rained and it wasn't as humid as yesterday, it was still gloomy and gray. The weather still wasn't appropriate for lingering. I spent a lot of the time working on story notes. Had a few annoying customers; otherwise, no major problems.

I'm not crazy about my schedule next week. In good news, two days off in the middle of the week, Wednesday for my next doctor's appointment. Trouble is, not only do I have fewer hours, but they're either very early or later than I have been getting them. And I'll have to miss the first Eagles game of the year on Sunday!

Dashed home quickly down the Black Horse Pike. I wanted a chance to sneak some writing in before Jessa arrived. Charles is about to ask Brett something when he feels a claw tap him on the back...and he runs headlong into the largest of the small demons. Brett, then Gene, has to dislodge him from the former Sir Thomas (Tom) Kennedy.

Broke at 6 to make Fudgy Brownies for dessert and watch Match Game. Broadway star Robert Morse (who appeared with Charles in the original cast of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying) and TV favorite Adrianne Barbeau joined Gene, Fannie Flagg, and the regulars for jokes about Gene's wavier early 70's hairstyle and what best friends Charles and Brett would share. (Hint - it's not spouses.) The second episode brought in a very frisky contestant who really, really wanted a kiss from Fannie. Richard and Gene had to hold him back!

The second episode just began as Jessa arrived with her puppy Midnight in tow. Poor Jessa is very upset about everything that's going on. She's convinced that Jodie and Rose don't like her, because they haven't included her in anything that involves Dad's death. I think they don't know how to reach her - physically and mentally. They don't really understand either of us.

She bought a pizza cheese steak and mozzarella sticks, and we shared them while Sale of the Century was on. That young guy went for all of the prizes this time, including 50,000. Once again, no one could get close to him. He bought no Instant Bargains this time, killed everyone at the Speed Round, and became one of the top winners on the show.

We stuck around for Concentration while enjoying our brownies. Jack Narz hosts this earlier syndicated version of the rebus-puzzle-based memory game. The first round is pretty similar to the 1980's version, with less-elaborate prizes. It's the bonus round where this one differs. The contestant has to guess two rebus puzzles in 10 seconds. Get one, and you get 50 dollars. Get two, and you get a car. I've only seen it done twice on the rare occasions I watch this one...and tonight was one of those night. The gentleman won several big prizes (including a nifty clock), then got the car with time to spare.

Finished out the night with more vintage game shows after Lauren left. Bumper Stumpers was a favorite of mine that ran on USA in the late 80's. Two sets of contestants have to guess what a pair of car license plates say. If they earn enough, they can go on to the bonus round. If they guess seven license plates there, they win 2,000. It's pretty cheap for a game show, but the license plates are fun to guess.

Jackpot! was a lot more fun. In the original version from 1975, a group of 12 asks one member of the group goofy riddles with a dollar value. If they answer correctly, the money is added to the jackpot. If one member yells "Jackpot," the person answering and asking the riddles can split the jackpot. In this episode, the girl answering the riddle and the guy who asked it got to split over $38,000! A later jackpot win was also fairly large. (Alas, this is one of only two full episodes that exists today, probably because of that big win.)

Finished out the night before the Match Game syndicated premieres with Whew! Boy, is this one accurately titled. Hanna Barbara did the animated opening, depicting 10 villains who try to take the contestants' cash, rather like Whammies on Press Your Luck. The contestants have to guess which word is wrong in a certain phrase. If they get it right, they charge ahead, or are blocked by villain blocks placed by the other contestant earlier. Getting to the 6th level and not hitting blocks will win them money and the chance to run the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet has a row of the 10 villains from the opening, each holding more blooper questions and blocking the contestant's way. If the contestant answers the bloopers correctly, the "villain" will move their hands and let them pass...and they have to do this in 60 seconds! Maybe that's why the guy who won was so excited when he made it through The Gauntlet with time to spare.

To my knowledge, Whew! and Bumpers exist in full, but aren't shown that often outside of YouTube. As of right now, it's the only way to catch three of the most unique game shows ever on TV.

Bumper Stumpers (1987)
Jackpot! (1975)
Whew! (1979)

And yes, I do remember what happened September 11, 2001. I just started my last semester at college that day. I went into more detail on that in this blog entry from 2015.

Memories On a Busy Day

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