Rerun Realization

PATTY DUKE SHOW, Patty Duke, 1963-1966

PATTY DUKE SHOW, Patty Duke, 1963-1966

I didn’t have to hit the snooze button today, which is a major accomplishment considering I stopped being a morning person sometime after my 40th birthday.  No, today, not only did I wake before the alarm, I woke up in time to see The Patty Duke Show.  Which comes on MeTV at 5:00 am Central Time.  Which is really really early – I know this because the dog is not awake yet at 5:00 am.

The Patty Duke Show was something I am sure my parents enjoyed but that I had never heard of until MeTV.  It’s one of those black and white family shows where everyone’s hair flips up, words like “swell” are used, and kids get into shenanigans as opposed to street gang wars, drugs or hissy fit wads over words like “Jesus.”  It was a pretty good episode, except I’m not sure who came up with the idea of a “twin cousin” who talks strangely and calls Patty Pah-TTy.  Something odd is going on in a family with identical cousins….like banjos in the woods.

Anyhoo, after Patty Duke comes on, I Love Lucy comes on.  I used to watch that show a good bit when I was a kid, but I never realized how much Lucy whined or what a big buttface Ricky was.  Seriously.  But it was the Vitameatavegginmen episode, so of course I watched that instead of going back to sleep, because going back to sleep with less than an hour until the alarm goes off is a recipe for deep-seated resentment at the world in general.  So now I’m wondering where I can buy this stuff that is good for you and gets you tipsy after only three spoonfuls. Why is THAT not in the drink aisle at Publix?? It comes in a medicine bottle, so even Baptists could drink it!

After I Love Lucy one of television’s great cinematic masterpieces comes on – The Brady Bunch.  The blended family where everyone likes each other and 6 children share one bathroom.  Again, words like “swell” occur frequently.  As an aside, i noticed at the gym last week that when I try to walk really fast on the treadmill with the incline set at 9, my hair does that back and forth thing like Jan’s always did….just before I go into cardiac arrest.  This episode of The Brady Bunch featured a downtrodden Peter trying to come up with a personality.Apparently he didn’t have one.  I don’t remember if this came before his voice changed because it was “Time to Change,” but I know it came after the new Jan Brady’s disco wig.  At any rate, Peter decided to become Humphrey Bogart and go around saying “pork chops and applesauce.”  I watched this episode because it was also one I remembered from childhood.

And then it hit me.  I had the kind of childhood where I actually remembered that Peter Brady said pork chops and applesauce.  I got the Osmonds album for the Christmas of ’78 instead of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.  My giant glasses had my initials on them in little gold stickers.  And….and…I thought a Dorothy Hammil haircut was a good idea.  This explains so much.  Of course, I’ve had this epiphany before (like pretty much every time I go to my parents’ house and see my 7th grade picture).  But I have to make sure this time I mention it to my counselor because he always gets my best material.  No, it’s not material yet, but a few more days of self-pity and sarcasm and it will be.

So anyway now it’s 2:00 and I’m sleepy at my desk because I watched reruns instead of sleeping, and there’s only so much Netflix you can stream while waiting for files to upload.  JUST KIDDING anyone who reads this who works with me.  It’s called creative license.  I am an English minor and know these things.

Oh, and guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? Chicken, why do you ask?


Path: A Question


Celia sat back in her chair, trying to give Natasha some space.  “So is that why you killed your father? Because he knew? Were you afraid he wouldn’t stay quiet?  Because you must know that no one would have ever caught you had you not decided to kill him.”


Natasha slowly twirled the butt of her cigarette into the ash tray and looked at the table.  Silence had never been unusual during their interviews, but this silence seemed strangely thick and tense.  Celia realized she was seeing one of the only glimpses of feeling anyone had likely ever observed in Natasha, and she wanted to lean forward, to watch closely.  However, Natasha was so obviously uncomfortable that Celia had to look away out of some strange sense of sympathy.


“I have thought about many things over the five years I have been here, and I have resolved every question about my life except that one.  You are correct.  I would have been undetected had it not been for my father’s murder.  Of course, psychologists said that I killed him because I needed the world to know what I had done.  That is not true.  I had no need for anyone to know.”


“So you have no idea why?”


“I was not afraid of him, afraid that he would disclose what I had done.  After all, he was just as culpable as I was, and just as Machiavellian.  Perhaps it was his own hypocrisy that killed him.  I do know this.” Tasha pushed the ash tray aside and sat very straight in her chair, her gaze boring into Celia.  “James Baldwin was wrong. The only thing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose is a woman who stands to lose everything and who is not afraid to take someone with her when she does.”