Friday, March 27, 2015

After School Special 2015

Back in the 1970s one of the Big Three Television Networks - ok it was ABC but close enough - started a program called "After School Specials".  It was aimed at school children who were just getting in the door and gluing their eyeballs to the glowing screen. It tried to help them deal with life's difficult issues.  Divorce, depression, self esteem, etc.  The Specials were earnest, heartfelt and damn near unwatchable even to that less than critical audience.

They lend themselves so readily to parody that a recent domestic problem brought back the late 70s vibe in a disturbing, vivid flash....


"What's wrong Billy?"

"Uncle Dave, Mom has been acting kinda different lately.  In the mornings she is really crabby for no reason.  And later in the day she's falling asleep all the time.  What's wrong with her?"

"Billy....I'm afraid that your Mommy has lost somebody very dear to her."

"Gee, do you mean Mr. Nichols who lives down the hall?  I don't like him very much, he's over here all the time, and he smells like black licorice, and he's always telling jokes that Mommy says aren't very funny."

"No Billy, we're still stuck with that worthless loaf.  I'm afraid your Mommy has lost someone much more important to her.  Someone almost as important to her as you are."

"I don't understand Uncle Dave."

"Billy, I'm sorry.  Last week Mr. Coffee died."

"........oh.......but Mommy loved Mr. Coffee."

"I know she did Billy.  And sometimes when grown ups have to get along without something very important to them, like really strong coffee, they get unhappy.  Just like kids do."

"But Uncle Dave, can't she find another coffee maker?"

"Billy, your Mommy should be proud of how smart and how strong you are.  Of course she will find another coffee maker.  And if it is not quite the same as Mr. Coffee, it it is not quite as good a helper for her in the morning, well, sometimes even Mommies have to be strong.  I know it will all turn out OK if you are understanding and don't make loud noises too early in the day."

"Uncle Dave?"

"Yes, Billy?"

"The other day when Mommy was really sleepy, I showed her my Report Card, the one one that had a couple of C minus grades on it.  She didn't even seem to notice.  I liked that.  Is that wrong of me?"

"No Billy.  But be careful, that trick won't work once she gets a new coffee maker."

"Uncle Dave, what am I going to do next quarter when the Report Cards come out?"

"Billy, let me tell you about Mommy's other friend.....Chardonnay"

No comments: