Sunday, March 13, 2022

When You Need a Laugh

Began a quick morning with cereal and grapes for breakfast. While bitterly cold for this time of year, in the mid-30's, at least it was sunny and not as windy as yesterday. I was able to take the bike normally this time.

Had a very long day at work. Sundays are busy regardless of when they're happening. It's the only day a lot of people who work during the week can shop. I ended up in the Express lane after the cashier who was there went home, and I had a lot of customers giving me trouble. Two in carts drove off before they finished paying for their orders, to my horror! I got caught up bagging their orders and forgot to look 

Earlier in the day, I swore I saw Rose doing her grocery shopping. I already shut down to go in for my co-worker, but I still called out to her. She didn't seem to see me. She must have been too busy focusing on her shopping to talk to me, or she didn't hear me. I texted her during break, then called her. She never responded when I gave her a thank-you card last week, either. 

Went straight home and upstairs after work. I'm actually glad it was quiet when I came in. As soon as I got upstairs, I checked my text. Rose did text me say she didn't want my thank you card and didn't want anything to do with me anymore, ever. I don't understand why, or what I did. Is she still upset because I didn't move in with Mom and wasn't more organized about getting out? I found a place and moved out at the appropriate date. Isn't that all that matters? What about her kids? She's taking more and more family away from them. She's apparently not speaking to Mom or Anny and her family, either. 

I screamed and cried and sobbed. I can't figure out what went wrong or how to get through to her. Why is she still angry that I didn't go and live with Mom? Because she doesn't want to deal with me anymore and doesn't think I'm capable of changing or surviving on my own? Because she thinks Mom didn't try hard enough to change her landlord's mind and get him to take me in? Because I agreed to live with a stranger instead of her? Because Mom does tend to be really hard on her? I don't understand it at all. 

The truth is...I'm not angry at her. I'm frustrated and disappointed with her. I still love her. She's my sister, and that means something to me, even if it means nothing to her. She's family. I thought family was important, but I guess it isn't. I tried calling Mom, too, but didn't get her. I'll try again with her tomorrow.

It was past 7 when I finally changed and went downstairs for dinner. Mixed up the taco meat from last night with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sauce and vegetables from the sausage dinner earlier in the week. It actually tasted pretty good and was fairly filling.

Finished the night cheering myself up with comedy game shows in honor of Buzzr's Let's Laugh Marathon this coming Saturday. Chuck Barris' shows could get downright savage, with their occasionally dark mockery of people from all walks of life and levels of talent (including no talent). The savage Barris wit was applied to beauty pageants in The $1.98 Beauty Show from 1978. Confetti-throwing Rip Taylor introduced six semi-lovely ladies of dubious talents to be the "beauty of the week" who are judged by legitimate celebrities (most of whom also hosted The Gong Show). If nothing else, I do appreciate that the spoof included plus-sized ladies and acknowledged that women of any size can be beautiful and semi-talented. 

Comedy and game shows go a long way back. Groucho Marx made the original You Bet Your Life into a comedy variety show with a little bit of trivia thrown in somewhere. Here, he happily ogles a gorgeous (and less-than-brilliant) blonde and a lady who has a few unusual talents. 

The original Funny You Should Ask from 1968 has a five-celebrity panel giving their opinions on a topic. The contestants have to guess which star said which line. Since this is a Heatter-Quigley show, it has a few things in common with Hollywood Squares, including all the lines being scripted in advance. Otherwise, it's actually a pretty fun show. Too bad it didn't last a year, and this is one of the few episodes known to exist.

Speaking of Hollywood Squares, I threw in an episode from the late 90's-early 2000's version with Tom Bergenon hosting and Whoopi Goldberg in the center square. I have so many fond memories of watching that one in college. I'd switch between that and Jeopardy during commercials, then would settle on Wheel of Fortune after Squares ended. 

Every Second Counts from 1984 is sort of a cross between a trivia show and The Newlywed Game. Three married couples answer comic true-or-false or this-or-that questions. Right answers awarded seconds for the bonus round. The couple who got the most seconds alternated answering quick trivia for escalating prizes in order to win a car. The answers could be pretty cute, and host Bill Rafferty sure seemed to be having fun. This only lasted a year here, but it's another one that managed a longer run in England, going from 1986 to 1993. 

Of course, I had to do Match Game. My favorite episode of the daytime series is from early in 1977. Since the panelists on the upper tier already matched the contestant, they're not playing. The panelists on the lower desks take advantage of this to imitate those above them. As funny as Richard Dawson is as Brett Somers, the real winners are Jo Ann Pflug doing a hilarious Dick Gautier (complete with huge smile) and Fannie Flagg's utterly spot-on Charles Nelson Reilly! 

I would love to find more of Liar's Club, another comic celebrity panel show. The celebrities are giving a strange, often antique object, and three contestants bet on which celebrity is telling the truth about the antique. Allen Ludden presides over a panel of goofs that includes Larry Hovis, Dody Goodman, and Bob Eubanks.

Fox and MTV jumped headlong into trivia show satire in the late 90's and early 2000's. Fox's You Don't Know Jack is based after a popular computer and video game. Paul Reubens is basically Pee Wee's idea of a hip early 2000's host as he leads three contestants through answering challenging and strange questions. Idiot Savants from 1996 is sort of MTV's version of the same idea, only here, four people choose one topic they're especially good at and play against each other all week, answering rapid-fire questions from comedian Greg Fitzsimmons. 

Truthfully, both shows can be annoying and the "hip" quotient they try to achieve hasn't dated especially well, but the gameplay really is challenging, and they can both be seen as a breath of fresh air compared to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and its many imitations. 

If you need to laugh as much as I do right now, check out these wild and wacky blasts from the past! (Funny You Should Ask comes in two parts. Thanks to Wink Martindale and his channel for the Liar's Club episode!)

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