Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Dark and Windy Afternoon

Began a gloomy gray morning with banana pancakes and The Monkees. The groovy 60's boy band had some pretty strange adventures during their second season, but "Monstrous Monkee Mash" may be one of the weirdest. Davy Jones is lured to a spooky house by a comely vampire, who turns out to be Dracula's niece. Her uncle wants to use Peter Tork's brain to bring his monster to life! It's up to Mike Nesmith to rescue his bandmates and get them all out of this house of horrors alive. 

Worked on writing for an hour after I ate. Goodson admits that he and Gene are stalemated. They both think they're doing what's best for the show. He'll let Gene go for now, but he really does want him to tone the schtick down. I have Gene watching the pirate movie that goes into the fantasy sequence on the plane, but I think I may re-write that tomorrow...

Broke for lunch and getting organized around 11. Watched the Halloween episode of Happy Days while I ate. Richie Cunningham is nervous about his buddy Ralph Malph holding his annual Halloween party in a reputedly "Haunted" house. Joanie's friend told her that anyone who goes into the house loses their head! Fonzie reminds Richie that there's nothing to fear but fear itself...and the possibility of the party being invaded by a gang that's upset they weren't invited.

Spent the entire afternoon at work pushing carts and sweeping...and I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. We were pretty darn busy this afternoon, with long lines by rush hour. Thankfully, they had enough help for me to stick to bagging. Thankfully had help all day, from a bakery worker recruited to push carts early-on and a new and very competent young man later.

Went straight home as soon as work ended. Passed Jodie chatting with the neighbors next-door as I made my way down Hillcrest. She confirmed what Rose told me yesterday about her going to St. Augustine, Florida for two weeks. She claims she won't be in any place with people. She just wants to visit the places she and Dad went to. The neighbors will water the plants and bring in the mail. I can leave the rent for her before she comes back and am welcome to use the laundry room while she's gone.

Arrived home just in time for the start of Match Game '74. Had sliced chicken on tomatoes and salad greens as Richard found Brett's lost earring and Allen Ludden was frequently teased for a strange answer he gave earlier in the week. Charles and Gene settled on the steps together to answer a question during Match Game PM

Sale of the Century switched to their "End of the Summer Bash" week, with high schoolers playing and prizes tailored accordingly. An apple-cheeked Latin Club vice president gave a young water polo player a run for his money, but he just made it past her in the Speed Round. Poor kid messed up on the second-to-last Bonus Round puzzle and did miss that money.

Ended the night on YouTube after a shower. Since I've had luck finding vintage variety shows there for Christmas, I thought I'd see if I could find one for Halloween. Came up with a dilly - The Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976. And boy, is it from 1976. Guests include Roz Kelly from Happy Days and Tim Conway joining Lynde in a sketch spoofing the trucker craze of the mid-late 70's, Billie Hayes and Margaret Hamilton in their Witchiepoo and Wicked Witch alter egos respectively, Florence Henderson in another skit with her as a frosty British beauty avoiding the advances of Sheik Lynde, Betty White as a ghostly beauty pageant winner, the Osmonds, and KISS performing their huge hit ballad "Beth." If you loved Lynde on Hollywood Squares or sitcoms in the 60's and 70's, or are a fan of KISS or anyone involved, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

Skipped ahead a decade and a half for another rare Halloween special featuring a Golden Girl. Rue McClanahan appeared in The Wickedest Witch in 1989. She's a none-too-happy witch who's been banished underground with a group of particularly dumb lizard-like creatures who are obsessed with game shows. When she learns that forcing a child to do a hateful act will release her from the spell that keeps her there on Halloween night, she has one of the creatures go to Earth to find a child. What he comes up with is a little boy who is obsessed with magic...and while he's happy with the spells the witch teaches him, he can't bring himself to hurt his new lizard buddies, no matter how silly they act.

Check both of these out on YouTube for a major blast of spooky nostalgia! 

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