Friday, April 14, 2023

A Very Matching Birthday

Started off my birthday with breakfast and Match Game. As I have the past two years, I opted to have an all-day Match Game marathon on my birthday, starting with the infamous episode from 1973 where Gene comes in sporting a god-awful green and red plaid suit. Jack Carter says he looks like "a station break in Poland," and the others won't even turn his way when he makes his entrance. 

Hurried out after that to enjoy my big day. Had a few errands to run before I left Oaklyn. Dropped some paperwork in the post office box on the White Horse Pike. Forgot to deliver the Easter bags for Rose and her kids on Easter day; left those on her stoop. Picked up a Lemon-Blackberry Propel at WaWa.

With all that, it was 10 after 10 when I finally pulled into the parking lot behind the Barrington Antique Center. It's a huge old building with a rabbit's warren of room filled with every single vintage item you can imagine, from 100-year-old china and glassware to DVDs and books from two or three years ago. Even with all the things displayed, it didn't take me long to find something interesting.  Cooking With Mickey Around the World Vol l and 2 sat on a table when I came upstairs. I initially grabbed Volume 1, then decided it made sense to take them both. They were $5 each; they came up to a little over 10 with taxes.

(Research on eBay later in the evening revealed they're apparently a bit rarer than the price at the Antique Center would indicate. Though there's a later publication from 2004 that goes for as little as $4, the two volumes from the 1980's can be found for anything from $10 to $75 a piece, though most of them seem to be going for somewhere between $20 and $30. That's still a lot for two spiral-bound cookbooks from 40 years ago. 

I've seen these mentioned in some Disney blogs and pages that cover the history of the theme parks and have wanted to try them. They're collections of recipes from restaurants in Disney World and Disneyland. The 2004 release would cover Disneyland Paris and the Disney Cruise Line as well.)

It took me so little time to find and buy those books, I left earlier than planned. I just barely had enough time to lock up my bike before the bus to Deptford arrived. Fortunately, there were only two other people on the bus, and none of them got off at the Mall.

Since the bus drops you off less than a minute from Red Robin, I began with lunch. Tried something different, the Whiskey BBQ Chicken Wrap. Oh, yum! Grilled barbecue chicken with tangy barbecue sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, and lettuce and tomatoes. It was delicious. There were just enough perfectly seasoned steak fries, too.

Went to Boscov's two doors down after I ate. I had such good luck finding t-shirts at their Junior Plus section in December, I thought I'd look for more. Once again, the Junior Plus section came through. I found one t-shirt with a sunflower print and a lovely soft tunic in pretty spring colors, with elastic sides.

Next up (after a brief peek at FYE) was Round 1 Entertainment. Spent the next hour or so running from Pac Man to Mario Kart Deluxe to spinning wheels. The skee ball machines are finally working again, so I got to play those, too. Though I did amass a tidy sum of points, I ultimately decided to save them for when Lauren visits next month. I did get my second toy from a crane at Round 1, a small Kirby poised for flying. 

Was in and out of stores for a while after leaving Round 1. Peeked at Box Lunch and Go! Calender and Toys, but saw nothing interesting. Did better at JC Penney. I picked up a pale blue polo shirt and a pair of black jean shorts, both on sale. The Visa gift card Mom gave me bought these.

Headed across the parking lot after I got back around to Boscov's. There is a Barnes and Noble in Deptford. It's across the street from the Mall, behind the newer shopping center with Bed, Bath, and Beyond and the Christmas Tree Shops. At least it was a nice day for a stroll and dodging traffic. It was still sunny, breezy, and very warm at that point, nearly in the mid-80's, but not humid.

Barnes and Noble was very busy at that point, mainly with kids and parents looking for something to read or play over the holiday weekend. I didn't have that much left on the gift card, so I just picked up a just-started cozy mystery series set in a record shop and the Cary Grand Screen Icons set with Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, My Favorite Wife, and the Cole Porter "biography" Night and Day. 
My receipt came with a coupon for a dollar off a Starbucks Frappucino, so I treated myself to a chai tea version. And of course, I had to have a big "Celebration Cupcake." The Starbucks was also pretty busy, mainly with teens and college students looking for a quiet place to chat with friends or check their laptops.

By the time I finished my drink at 4:30, I didn't really feel like braving traffic to get back across the street...and even if I did, I used up all of my cash on hand on lunch. Called an Uber to get me back to Barrington. She arrived within 9 minutes, not bad for the height of rush hour, and got me to Barrington in about 10. Got on my bike soon as I arrived and rode home, mostly taking the back roads to avoid the congestion except for a brief stop at the WaWa in Audubon for a drink. By this point, it had clouded over and was slightly cooler, but thankfully, the clouds didn't do anything but look ugly.

Did some writing after I got home and put everything away. Fannie finally gets Brett calmed down, reminding her that Richard is here to watch the gold. Brett, however, won't leave until she gets Gene and Richard's full assurance that they'll find her cattle and keep the ranchers from losing more.

(I did get some presents from others today. A friend gave me a beautiful bouquet of coral-orange roses, along with a mug with Hershey's Kisses and Snickers in it, a card, and a balloon. It was very sweet of her.) 

Spent the rest of the night watching Match Game episodes on YouTube. Of course, Gene was hardly the only regular on the show to come in for jokes. A question on one episode asked what Brett Somers would have been arrested for. When Gene asked if we could "get a little milk from Patti," he meant the answer to a question...but Patti Deustch took it a whole other way. Richard Dawson did his Cockney Newkirk voice to read a question about what the Germans would put on to torture the Hogan's Heroes crowd. Betty White had a habit of stripping whenever the appropriate music was played, notably in an episode from 1978. There was also the episode where someone backstage somehow spelled "soup" as "suop" on the Audience Match.

Gene ran into problems of his own. He got his microphone wire tangled around soap star Trish Stewart and yanked the poor girl off her seat! Trish took it well, but Brett and Kaye Stevens chewed Gene out for not being careful, Richard asked Gene to bring up a girl for him, and Charles Nelson Reilly said he preferred the Santa Monica Pier for fishing. He claimed talk show host Mike Douglas hit him on the head when he took his place in the opening for a cameo in one 1976 episode; a year later, he attacked a camera man for not putting a shot where he wanted it. 

Some of the contestants could get even wilder. Overly enthusiastic Dorothy Zinni really livened up the first two shows of 1974. She got so excited, she accidentally hit the perfectly calm and cool guy next to her. Even Richard was too afraid of her for a kiss! One pretty single lady claimed she "fooled around" early in 1975. Needless to say, Richard told her to call him! 

There were memorable male contestants, too. Handsome high school phys ed teacher Ron Valenti really turned Fannie Flagg's head in mid-1975. Cop CB Farnsworth became one of the show's top winners in 1974, prompting Richard and Charles to make up a song about him. Rita Moreno was very nervous helping a gentleman win $20,000 in a later nighttime episode...but her delighted reaction when he said his answer is absolutely priceless! 

Party on with some of the wackiest people on TV in these classic episodes!

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