Sunday, March 28, 2021

Rainy Day Games

Was reading The Secret Garden in bed and listening to the heavy rain on my roof when I heard my cell phone jingle. Rose called me yesterday, and I forgot to call her back. She's having Easter outside at her house this year and wanted to know if I could come. I asked for Easter off; we'll see if I actually get it. She also agreed to drive me to and from work. The rain was too heavy for me to ride a bike, and I've had enough of Uber.

Had Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes for breakfast while listening to my 1991 original cast album of The Secret Garden. This operatic version of the story ran for almost two years on Broadway, but it's mostly been seen regionally and in concert since then. (Though apparently there is talk of a revival.) Here, the story adds in the ghosts of Archibald Craven's (Mandy Patinkin) wife Lily (Rebecca Luker), along with Mary's parents and Indian servants, to comment on the action. I really wish they left the focus on the kids where it belonged, and not on their parents and Archibald. While Archibald and Lily do have some nice ballads ("A Girl In the Valley," "Lily's Eyes"), most of the best songs are the kids in the garden ("Wick") and trying to stay together ("Hold On"). 

The rain continued to come down at a good clip when Rose pulled up on Hillcrest. Finley was with her, reading a board book about bugs. She became very upset when her mother had to stop suddenly in Audubon and she lost her book under a seat! I left Rose to look for it while I hurried into the Acme, arriving just in time.

Work wasn't bad when I got in, but the crowds finally arrived around noon. It was a pain in the rear. I couldn't keep up with the long lines. Some meat had labels that hadn't printed right and would ring correctly. I had to call managers to put them through...and there was no one in the meat department on a Sunday afternoon to fix them. 

Thank heavens it slowed down enough by quarter after 5 for me to shut down without a relief. The rain vanished by that point as well, though it remained warm and humid. Rose waited for me when I got out. She had to take me home fast - Finley took a nap, and her 10-year-old brother Khai was watching her alone.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Gary launches himself at the head bandit who pushes Marshal Gene Rayburn around, but the man easily shoves him aside. Richard doesn't appreciate the violence or their rough treatment and tries talking his way out of it...

The rain returned while I worked...and when it rained, it really poured! I couldn't believe how hard it came down. We never did get the thunderstorms Rose mentioned, though we had plenty of wind. 

Had leftovers for dinner and finished Secret Garden after my writing. Went into the shower after I ate, then on YouTube. The only Easter game show episode I could find was from Match Game '75. Brett and Fannie sport ugly Easter hats, which somehow migrate to Tom Bosley and Gene Rayburn. 

As I did on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, instead of focusing on the holiday, I looked for shows with families playing. By far the most famous game shows with family contestants is Family Feud. Thought a Richard Dawson-hosted syndicated episode from 1977 with a gospel-singing family was appropriately religious for Easter. Also did an episode of the Ray Combs Feud from April 1989. 

Families competing against each on a game show goes back a lot further than anyone knows. Keep It In the Family from 1957 is a prototype of Feud. It works in much the same way, only with more typical trivia questions instead of surveys, and big prizes instead of cash. It was also an early TV announcing job for Johnny Olsen; Bill Nimmo hosted.

I loved every version of Double Dare that came out in the late 80's-early 90's, and Family Double Dare was no exception. Here, we have two family teams playing those sloppy Physical Challenges and making dares. Marc Summers is in charge of this incarnation, too.

Combs returns for the very similar Family Challenge from 1995. The only difference in this Family Channel show is there's no trivia or daring here. The family just play sloppy stunts for points until they win. Check out the hilarious "stunt" midway through where the dads have to kiss whatever comes out of three doors blindfolded! (I'm a bit surprised they got away with that one in a family-oriented game show.)

Spend the week before Easter seeing if you can keep up with these wacky families!

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