Monday, February 13, 2023

Foolish Heart

Started off with a late breakfast and Match Game '75. I came just in time for Gene to announce a new contestant...a gentleman who happened to own a motel in Encino, California, the very town Brett and Gene are always joking about having trysts in. Rather amusingly, he went on to win in the next episode. The others got to help him with "Line __" in the Audience Match.

Headed out for a walk around quarter after 1. The weather continues to be too nice for hanging around inside. It was sunny, breezy, and nearly in the 60's when I strolled along to Dollar General. No wonder they weren't terribly busy. I just grabbed a pack of Suave soap (6 for a dollar!) and two boxes of Dollar General's generic grape and strawberry-watermelon electrolyte drink mixes.

The Dunkin' Donuts on the White Horse Pike finally reopened last week. While the exterior was remodeled into the modern, blocky look a few years ago, the interior remained largely the same. Now, they finally cleaned up the interior, pulling the donuts from the back and putting them in a case that was right out front. The chairs and tables have a Formica retro look, with the smaller ones being rounded and cushy. Most donuts are too sweet for me, though. I went with a Vanilla Bean Coolatta instead. It took a bit of time. There was a long line at the drive-through window wanting to get Dunkin's coffee again after having to wait two weeks.

After the poor, harried lady finally got it to me, I took my sweet, cool treat down East Clinton and the stone stairs into Newton Lake Park. Thanks to the ridiculous spring-like weather we've had, I'm already seeing the first yellow crocus in gardens and green grass waving in the breeze in the park. There was even a guy going fishing. I dodged other people out for walks and the muddy dirt path behind the houses on Beachwood. Instead of going all the way, I followed another path up a hill, past a large stone Tudor house and a few other older houses, enjoying the stroll and the view.

When I got home, I looked over a Valentine's Day card from my mom and watched Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers during lunch. This Looney Tunes compilation special has an Elmer Fudd-like Cupid spreading love among the Toons, despite Bugs insisting he's medling. Bugs falls for the mechanical rabbit being chased in a greyhound race, helps Granny get a gold-digging Yosemite Sam off her back, dodges an overweight and over-eager Eastern European female rabbit, and finds a mate for the Tasmanian Devil. Detective Daffy tries to figure out why a gorgeous dame claims she's guilty when she isn't, while Pepe Le Pew plays sheik for a beautiful black cat at a Foreign Legion fort. 

Took my laundry down to the basement after lunch...and that was when the trouble started. I missed the last step, turned my ankle, and found myself wailing on top of a pile of spilled laundry. Good thing I did land on the laundry - the floor is concrete. I managed to get it all in the washer and myself back upstairs, but my ankle hurt and was swollen. (Oh, and I did get the laundry done, though someone else had to bring it back upstairs.)

I went online to do some writing and try to figure out what to do about my ankle. Revised it to be Lee Merriweather as the reporter again. She's indifferent to Richard's attempts at flirting. She'd rather dump him on Gene Rayburn, who is getting ready for a meeting about the next day's show...

By 6:30, there was no denying it. The ankle was badly swollen, and though I could walk on it, I was limping and it was really sore. A friend who was running errands anyway took me to Cooper Urgent Care in Audubon to have it checked out. 

Checking in proved to be quick and easy. I'd been there at least twice before, when I broke my elbow in May 2020 and overextended my right thumb in May 2018. I did have to wait for a few people in the waiting room before me, but it only took about ten minutes before they came for me.

I was very upset by the time they took my blood pressure. I can't believe I did this. I'll never be able to make that appointment to talk to Karen about finding a job now. And if I can't find a job, I'll never be able to make enough money to buy an apartment or condo. I need to get back on my own. I don't feel like a real adult. I feel like a spoiled child who isn't good enough to own a home or do anything that real adults do. 

Another lady came in and checked my foot, then lead me down to another room two doors down. I sat on a bench, and they scanned my ankle with the x-ray. It all took less than 10 minutes before I was back in the check-up room.

Another doctor came to give me the verdict. Oddly, though they suspected there might be a chip, as of right now, it doesn't look like there's a fracture. The bone is smooth and not jagged. It's still sore and swollen, though, so I have to wear a boot and take two days off of work. (To be honest, I really didn't want to work 8 1/2 hours on Wednesday anyway.) I also have very high blood pressure and need to do something about that, though I wonder if some of that might be stress from the last few years. 

Soon as I got home, I went upstairs and put my ankle on ice. Had dinner, then spent the rest of the night watching relationship and dating game shows on YouTube. By far the best known of these are The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game. These brainchildren from the titillating mind of Chuck Barris were designed for maximum randiness at a time when the networks were just starting to push the boundaries of good taste. Dating Game had bachelors and bachelorettes choosing from three potential dates; Newlywed Game let four just-married couples answer questions on their relationships. 

They became the templates for almost every dating and relationship show that came after them. The biggest hit among these imitators was Love Connection, which ran from 1983 to 1994 in syndication. Chuck Woolery lets a woman or a man select a date from three potential suitors. Unlike with Dating Game, we do get to hear all the details of their date, whether it worked out or not. If it didn't work out, they can choose from among the also-rans. Honestly...I found this show to be a colossal bore as a kid, and it still doesn't interest me much today. The interview portions leave me cold, with all the fussing over what went well and what didn't. 

Dating shows go back further than most people realize. The template for Dating Game would be Blind Date. This started out on radio in 1942 and was one of the earliest game shows to hit television in 1949. It also made history, with Arlene Francis being one of the first female hosts of a game show. Three young college gentlemen talk into a phone and answer questions from three young ladies. Honestly kind of cute, especially the odd skits midway through.

Tattletales revised an earlier show, He Said, She Said. Same deal as The Newlywed Game, but this time, celebrity couples played for the audience members. My interest in this show depends heavily on the couples playing. This episode from 1976 had Clifton Davies and his darling wife Lorraine, Richard Dawson and his then-girlfriend Jody, and William Christopher and his very funny wife Barbara. Richard and Jodie and William and Barbara were the big winners here.

Even ultra-hip MTV got into dating shows in the late 90's with Singled Out. This time, one guy or girl has to narrow down a potential date from a field of 50 would-be suitors. When they've whittled it down to three hopeful canidates, the three answer questions about what they want in a lover, and the guy or gal holds up signs to answer it. Jennifer McCarthy and Chris Hardwick pumps up the crowd and keeps the wacky proceedings moving. 

Romance shows came from abroad, too. Ross Schafer cut his game show teeth on Love Me, Love Me Not, an American adaptation of an Italian dating show from 1986. The champ listened to a panel read true or false statements about love and romance. If they guessed correctly, they "captured" the panelist. If they guessed incorrectly, the panelist got $100. In the second round, they took turns choosing questions from panelists they didn't own and tried to steal the other contestant's panelist. The bonus round had them guessing answers to love-related questions while going around a giant orange "daisy." Getting all the way around netted them a car.

Unique among dating and relationship shows in that it focuses on trivia, not relationships or mating. No one talks about their relationships or goes out on a date here. Too bad the game is way too complicated, and the Daisy Chase finale is kind of silly. 

Change of Heart debuted in the late 90's, just as "reality" shows and talk shows revolving around troubled relationships were starting to pick up steam on American television. Here, the couples are already established, but having problems. They date other people, and see if they want to stay together, or remain with their new mates. Ho hum. Despite being a five-year syndicated hit, I found this to be an annoying snore. It's a little too Jerry Springer for me, with all these people screaming over their bad habits and fussing that their mates aren't good enough. 

Match Game was more fun when married or dating couples played on the show. Jody and Richard actually did turn up together in a week in late '75. Jack Klugman and his wife Brett Somers initially appeared together during two weeks in 1973. They didn't do a week together again until 1978, by which time they'd divorced. No matter. They were still hilarious together, enough for Charles to insist they sit next to each other on the last day of the week and the others to hold a mock "wedding" for them. 

Spend your Valentine's Day enjoying these games with your own favorite love connection!

And here's more vintage Valentine's Day specials on the funny side of love for your enjoyment!

No comments: