Sunday, August 22, 2021

Bet On Rain

Not for the first time recently, I awoke to the patter of rain on the roof. It would have been more soothing if I didn't have early work at 8 AM. Thankfully, by the time I ran out, the rain gentled down to a tiny shower. Even that vanished as I made my way across the parking lot and into the Acme.

Despite - or maybe because of - the weather, we were busy the entire afternoon. I was technically cashiering, and I'd had some annoying customers. One of my first customers of the day wasn't happy when she read a sign wrong and bought the wrong bags of shrimp. She then took twenty minutes to get another bag and held up a long line. 

By 2:30, we had plenty of cashiers and not enough people elsewhere. The manager pulled me to help the weekend bagger with the carts while he cleaned the bathroom, and again a half-hour before I finished so he could gather the outside trash and recycling. Either way, I was happy to do it. The sun came out, and while it remained humid, it was breezy and not really that hot.

The clouds rolled in again as I rode home. Listened to The Desert Song while I changed and had a snack.  This is the 1950's British Angel version, which includes two comedy songs and a ballad that are often cut from other recordings. June Bronhill and Edmund Hockeridge handle the ballads, while future game show host Bruce Forsyth handles the rarely-recorded comedy numbers "It" and "One Good Boy Gone Wrong."

Worked on writing for a while as the album finished. Duchess Marcia explains how she ended up in the dungeon. She yanked on Betty's ears ("boxed them'), to Brett's amusement. She also says that the Queen has no desire to harm anyone...but she's not sure about the Red King...

Broke for dinner at almost 7. Listened to my Golden Treasures oldies record collection as I ate leftovers and made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Among my favorites on the third of this three-disc record set are "Five O'Clock World," "Windy," "Judy In Disguise," "Young Girl," "The Boy From New York City," and the lovely "Jean" from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Maggie Smith. 

Finished the night online with more casino and gambling-themed game shows. I have fond memories of watching the 1987 syndicated High Rollers when I was a kid, I believe on WPHL 17. Wink Martindale asks questions and plays a series of mini-games with two contestants. If the numbers they roll add up to the numbers in a column, they get the prizes in that package. I really wish this and the original Alex Trebek versions lasted longer. They're both a lot of fun to watch.

High Low from 1957 is one of the oldest game shows involving gambling. This is basically Twenty One with celebrities asking questions and making bets on the contestant. It's a bit slow-moving, and while it was apparently never investigated, I wouldn't be surprised if this one was rigged too. Jack Barry is also the host here. 

The poker-themed Pay Cards was revived as Super Pay Cards! in Canada in 1981. This one is played pretty similar to the original game, only with two contestants and no celebrities. It actually moves a bit faster and makes things slightly more interesting. Art James returns as host. 

I loved the 1986 Card Sharks, but I had no idea there was a syndicated version with Bill Rafferty hosting that ran from 1986 through late '87 until recently. Same deal, only here, the contestants can win prizes like trips on the regular card board along with money. It's almost like Classic Concentration with cards instead of rebuses. Many people like Rafferty better than Bob Eubanks and wish he hosted the daytime show. I don't know about that, but I do know he's very funny here, including reacting to the female contestant getting one of the questions exactly right!

Wink Martindale returns for Las Vegas Gambit, a 1980 revival of the original Gambit filmed at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Went with an early episode that retains the original blackjack-based bonus round. You have to be quick to catch this one - Wink spits out rapid-fire questions, and the contestants answer likewise. Look for the gag in the beginning with Wink and the ten-gallon cowboy hat!

Bet on these rarities to provide entertainment for storm-bound families and gambling fans! (Look for the original commercials on High Rollers...and a bad tape on Las Vegas Gambit. Too bad that show hasn't been seen anywhere but YouTube in years.) 

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