Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beyond awful: two more shitcoms that never should have existed

This is the only epsisode of Heil Honey I'm Home ever aired. No one knows how many were made. The rest were buried in a concrete bunker, or set on fire, or ran away to Argentina. It was a sort of I Married Adolf thing that reeked of bad. The disclaimer at the beginning insists this was a great work of art and tragically misunderstood. I am not against Hitler parody. I kind of like SOME of the Downfall parodies, though somebody decided to beat it to death and it's no longer funny. Mel Brooks took it to sublime heights in The Producers, one of my all-time favorite movies which I still laugh at after watching it at least 27 times. But this. . .

This is Hitler as Archie Bunker. I bailed partway through. And you will, too!

And this is Woops.When I heard about the idea for this show, I groaned but disbelieved it. This was during the height or depth of the nuclear panic in the mid-1980s, and everything teetered on the point of a pin as Reagan's doddering finger fumbled around for the button. He probably thought he was ringing for the nurse. Meanwhile, I just dismissed it as somebody's sick idea of a prank.

And then. . .

Anyway, Woops (strangely misspelled)  is a comedy about the last survivors of a global nuclear war. To get a more accurate picture, watch The Day After, Testament, or Threads. Anyone involved with this appalling, jaw-dropping crime against humanity should be tied to a chair and forced to watch Threads in its entirely. I coudn't. I was sobbing too much.

Some things, believe it or not, just ain't funny. The end of civilization? Hitler in a sitcom? Television, get your head out of your ass.

Shit stew: the lows and lows of '70s TV

It's dead-summer, like dead-sure or deadbeat. So here's something lightly borrowed from ME-TV, which steals everything (with link right at the top!). If I only paste a link, no one will read it.

So what was I doing from 1977-1978? Gaaaaaah. I had two babies! I had my first baby in 1975, and my second baby in 1977. I was 21 and 23 years old respectively, and had never held a baby, let alone taken care of one. For the most part, I was alone, as my husband frequently travelled. I had no friends to speak of, and no family support. I don't know how I made it. I think everyone thought I'd go under from postpartum depression, but I didn't. If I had spaced my two children out more, it would have been much more enjoyable (or less stressful), but that's what happened, Shannon (the "baby", now nearing 40) was in a hurry to get here.

TV? I don't even remember! At some point I became addicted to Upstairs Downstairs, though when I recently attempted to watch some of them on YouTube, they seemed dreadfully mannered and even dull. For an awful interval, I watched Another World, but refused to get into it and become One of Those Women.  I do remember a few of these clinkers however. Sanford Arms, Man from Atlantis, Operation Petticoat. . . no one really had time to get attached to them.

MASH came along about that time, didn't it? And the first season of MASH was utterly horrible: trite, silly, completely unrealistic and a travesty of the quirky, legendary movie. And it went on to be, not just classic, but landmark. So what happened? It had really good people in it, better than their material; and as the show wore on, the material got better and the two elements melded. Groundbreaking TV comedy-drama was the result. (And my favorite character was Charles Winchester, the one nobody liked, because he could act rings around everyone else. His character evolved to a greater depth than any of the others, which is no mean feat when you're playing someone unlikeable.)

Would any of these shows have made it if they'd been given the chance to evolve? They wouldn't have been classics or legends or anything like that. Mulligan's Stew ran for six episodes - stew, indeed - SHIT stew!! The dog one reminds me of that Tom Hanks movie with the disgusting dog in it - I don't want to look it up, and as with 90% of things now, I don't remember the name of it.

I couldn't remember: Minions; Pikachu; and Pusheen. I got the first syllable of Minions, but it came out Minchkins. It's awful.

(Oh. Six episodes of Mulliganw's Stew were made. They didn't say how many were shown. I used to relish the unsold pilots that were inexplicably aired back then. I mean - why? Most of them were appalling, but then there's the failed pilot for Star Trek that was retooled, recast and became another TV touchstone. The same thing happened with Mr. Ed. The horse was the same, but not Wilbur.)


Half of the television schedule, scrapped. By May 15, 1978, a whopping 45 of 96 shows had made the canceled list — and more cancelations were on the horizon. The casualties were reported in a syndicated news story that proclaimed, "TV's Worst Season Slowly Nearing an End." The TV listings were littered with sitcom corpses and dud dramas. Even celebrity vehicles like The Betty White Show, The Ted Knight Show and The Richard Pryor Show failed at the start.

ABC was sitting pretty with the top three shows on television — Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days and Three's Company — neatly bunched together on a blockbuster Tuesday night. With Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Soap, ABC could also claim some of the hottest new series. CHiPs and The Incredible Hulk clicked for CBS. But elsewhere, the debuts fizzled at an alarming rate.

Looking over the list of premieres from the 1977-78 season, it's a real Who's Who of "Huh?" Here are 13 unlucky busts. Did you watch any of them?


NBC quickly called a mulligan on this shank, the lowest rated new show of the season. Lawrence Pressman, perhaps best known as the boss doctor on Doogie Howser, M.D., played the patriarch of a very Eight Is Enough–ish family. Just six episodes were produced.

Image: CBS Television Distribution


Jack Webb was a TV giant, bringing pioneering realism to police and rescue procedurals like Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency! However, the K-9 unit would prove to be his Achilles heel. Mark Harmon, who had also featured in the backdoor pilot for an Emergency! spin-off titled "905-Wild," starred alongside a cute Labrador retriever named Sam. Six episodes were produced, the last of which contained the final screen appearance of Vivian Vance.

Image: NBCUniversal Television Distribution / markharmonfanwiki


Not long ago, we asked, "Do you remember the show San Pedro Beach Bums?" You answered with a resounding, "No." We can't blame you. The SoCal "bums" were an assorted handful of Sweathog-like characters — the tough guys, the ladies' man, the dweeb, etc. They were named Stuf, Dancer, Moose, Buddy and Boychick.

Top image: ABC / sitcomsonline


With Quark, Buck Henry looked to do to Star Trek and Star Wars what Get Smart did to the spy genre. (Mel Brooks would have far more success with Spaceballs.) The madcap adventures of a space garbageman, the sitcom featured sexy twins, a plant man, a disembodied head and a transgender engineer.

Image: Columbia Pictures Television


It's just like Sanford and Son! But without Sanford. And the son. Both Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson were nowhere to be found, as an old Army buddy of Fred Sanford takes over the property and runs a boarding house.

Image: Sony Pictures Television


It's hunky Patrick Duffy! As (not technically) Aquaman. Actually, the undersea hero was closer to Namor, the Marvel legend. Marvel published seven issues of a Man from Atlantis comic, which almost matched the 13 episodes aired. Duffy did have a nice butterfly kick, though.

Image: Warner Bros. Television Distribution


The educational computer game The Oregon Trail began to become a familiar school presence in 1974. What most children of the era will remember about the game is the familiar fate of "You have died of dysentery." That could explain why just six episodes of this Western aired on NBC. Or it could be because audiences had fallen out of love with Westerns.

Image: NBC / Universal Television


Further evidence that the era of the television Western had ended was this CBS flop, which only managed to air a meager four episodes. Rugged Renaissance man and karate black belt Rick Moses played the titular pioneer.

Image: 20th Century Fox Television


Imagine Dallas set on a tropical island. Perhaps people were expecting more Hawaii Five-O.

Image: MGM Worldwide Television


Patrick McGoohan was famously known as the Prisoner, but he truly felt trapped in this medical drama. "A disaster ... the most miserable job I've ever done in my life ... a total frustration from start to finish," the actor later reflected.

Image: CBS Television Distribution


The spin-off from the 1976 sci-fi film roped in D. C. Fontana and other vetern Star Trekwriters, yet schedule changes lost any potential audience. The show's failure forced the Mego toy company to cancel plans for Logan's Run action figures.

Image: MGM Television


Operation Petticoat was a hit comedy film in 1959 for Tony Curtis and Cary Grant, andPetticoat Junction was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s. However, this was 1977, and the market was not hungry for more petticoats nor WWII humor. John Astin headlined, adding more nostalgic flair, while Tony's daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, offered a blood link to the original.

Image: ABC


Beverly Archer, who would go on to play neighbor Iola Boylen on Mama's Family, starred in this sitcom about a working couple. Other TV vets such as Tom Poston and Joan Van Ark could not compensate for plots like "Stuart tries to become a professional magician."

Image: MTM Enterprises / CBS

OK, I'll tell you

NOTE. This was my first experience with embedding a Vimeo, and because it's ginormous, the right-hand side of the frame is cut off. But when you watch it, it's as if nothing is cut off. This is quite interesting, a recreation of Nietzsche's Writing Ball (and if I EVER have to spell out his name again, I will be writhing more than writing).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Love walked in - again

Nothing seemed to matter any more,
Didn't care what I was headed for.
Time was standing still,
No one counted till
There came a knocking at the door.

Love walked right in and drove the shadows away 
Love walked right in and brought my sunniest day
One magic moment, and my heart seemed to know
That love said Hello ! ,
Though no a word was spoken

One look and I forgot the gloom of the past
One look and I had found my future at last
One look and I had found a world completely new,
When love walked in... with you.

How can I explain what it's like to have a relationship with someone who isn't there?

You woke me up again, George. Or did I awaken you? You just appeared, when I was sure it was over, I'd never see you again. But when I least expected it, I felt you so near my face, so near I could almost feel your breath on me, and you said, "I'm right here."

I think you saved me from myself, or reminded me - I can do better, that I can dispense with mean-spiritedness towards anyone. I can do better. I had forgotten. It's not the sort of thing you'd do - no curses, hexes or revenge. You were not vindictive. When I feel your spirit now, it amazes me - such beauty of soul that shone through in that amazing music.

Your beauty is beyond my power to describe, but I must try. To have someone just appear - especially when others claimed it was impossible (and I no longer care if it is "just imagination", which is where I live anyway) restores my soul. And you had something to say to me which made utter sense, and I had no trouble following it at all - because it was right.

Such beauty happens just once. And yet it happens all the time. To the end of time. 

It's a bird. It's a plane. IT'S AN ATOMIC TURTLE!

Gamera is a giant monster or daikaiju originating from a series of Japanese tokusatsu films of the same name. He first appeared in Daiei Film's 1965 film Gamera, which was initially produced to rival the success of Toho's Godzilla, however, Gamera has gained fame and notoriety as a Japanese icon in his own right. The character has appeared in other media such as comic books and video games

Gamera has the general configuration of a turtle, albeit a tremendously large one that is capable of walking on two legs and flying. He does occasionally walk quadrupedally in his first three films.

Gamera demonstrates the ability to manipulate objects with his forefeet. He possesses a pronounced sagittal crest on top of his head and his mouth is filled with teeth, which is unprecedented in turtles - with exceptions perhaps for the prehistoric turtles Proganochelys and Odontochelys - plus a pair of large tusks protruding upward from the lower jaws.

In the Shōwa era series, Gamera was a titanic, fire-breathing, prehistoric species of turtle who fed on petroleum-based material, presumably giving him the ability to breathe fire and fly by "jets" ignited when the monster retracts its legs – it can propel itself by spinning through the air with all four legs in and (shown in later films) can fly straight with just the rear legs drawn inside its shell.

- Wikipedia


Mechanized voodoo instrument.

Mouse acupuncture machine.

Rotary pincushion.

Medieval musical instrument, 

Metallic dandelion.

Salvadore Dali's bulletin board.

Golf tee storage unit



Monday, July 25, 2016

The mystery of Billie Joe

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and we walked back to the house to eat
And mama hollered at the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said she got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Papa said to mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billie Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please
There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was shame about Billie Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it just don't seem right
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?
I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite
That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today
Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way
He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge
And she and Billie Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe
Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

I think  more deep psychological meaning has been assigned to this song than (even) MacArthur Park or Inna Gadda Da Vida. I confess here and now that I like it, and that, upon reflection, it's not as schmaltzy as it may appear on the surface.

In only five spare verses, Bobbie Gentry opens up a world. That world is wounded, disaffected, and achingly lonely. The story is about a suicide, but it's also about the callousness of adults casually discussing a young man's death while they scarf down a typical Southern meal ("Pass the biscuits, please").

The food obviously means more to them than the boy, with one exception: a girl sitting at table unable to eat, trying to absorb the shock. Though she narrates the story, she is never named. The trauma and horror of the details accumulate bit by bit, along with her family's indifference towards the  tragedy. And then, of course, there are all those mysteries: who was Billie Joe McAllister, what relationship did he have with the girl, was he black, was he gay, did he make her pregnant? And (most importantly), what were she and Billie Joe throwing off the Tallahatchie Bridge?

Gentry, a Southerner from Mississippi who rebaptised  herself from her birth name Streeter (perhaps to distance herself from her po'-white-trash roots), doesn't explain a lot of things, and has even admitted she doesn't know all the details herself. Great storytelling only implies, leaving lots of space for the listener's interpretation.

A movie was later made about the story, solidifying some of the myths, and I think that spoiled it. Of course, in the movie it's all spelled out: Billie Joe was gay and jumped off the bridge out of sexual guilt. I hate it when someone comes along and plugs all the holes and spaces, usually with the most trite possibilities.

And then there are the "mystery verses". As I began to dig into the enigmatic, brilliantly-written lyrics, I discovered there was a so-called "seven-minute version" featuring only voice and acoustic guitar, which was later cut down to four minutes (still unprecedented in length, except perhaps for MacArthur Park) for radio play. Of course I couldn't find it, and it's doubtful it even exists. This version is tighter, and though the lines somehow fit into the sad, almost bluesy tune, many of them don't scan. This gives them a conversational rhythm that's eerily lifelike. It's one of those things that shouldn't work, but does. Obviously this song has been worked on and worked on, and yet the seams don't show.

I'm no Bobbie Gentry fan, and this genre doesn't interest me at all for the most part, but every time this song comes into my head it arrests my brain. So what was it: an aborted fetus, a wedding certificate, stolen cash, a Grammy award? This last tantalyzing detail is probably what secured the song as a timeless hit. (When asked what it was, Gentry was famously quoted as saying,"I don't know.")

There's a lot we don't know: if the family is black or white (unlikely they are black, because they seem to own their own spread and don't give the impression of being impoverished), whether or not the girl is pregnant (?) or just mad about the boy. Or if she even loves him. His supposed gayness comes out of left field: some say the ie spelling of his name (inexplicably changed for the movie) indicates his sexual orientation, though the fact it was recorded by Bobbie Gentry, a masculine name with an unconventional spelling, obscures that (rather stupid) possibility. Billie Jean King was yet to rise to ascendency, but Billie Joe, Betty Joe and Bobbie Joe were already fixtures on Petticoat Junction.The fact Gentry and one of the Bradley daughters have the same first name seems tremendously significant. (Just a coincidence? You decide.)

The song touches on various raw nerves of '60s pop culture: the angst and disaffection of youth (then called the "generation gap"), racial tension, poverty, social status, forbidden sexuality, and lyrics that you had to listen to over and over again and "figure out" (unlike Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Love in my Tummy and My Baby Does the Hanky Panky). Of course I looked for the seven-minute version with all those extra verses, and turned up only one image of a sheet of paper, a rough draft which may or may not be bona fide. Lots of old threads on message boards from 2007 ask the same questions and come up with all sorts of possibilities. Bobbie Gentry was smart not to answer them. Personally, I always thought Mama was trying to fix the girl up with that "that nice young preacher, Brother Taylor" - did she know more about her daughter's infatuation than she was letting on? Was she trying to get her mind off the whole sordid mess? At any rate, they've invited him for dinner, no doubt so they can throw pleasantries at each other with only passing reference to that unrepentent sinner, Billie Joe.

And that's all I have to say about it for this moment, but the more I listen to that lyric, the more I study it, the better it gets. You see, it shouldn't work - the lines have too many syllables - it's melodramatic and even depressing.  But as with Dionne Warwick's  Do You Know the Way to San Jose (which drew unprecedented numbers of people to the city, in spite of the fact that the song portrays it as a sinkhole of failed dreams), people thronged to Tallahatchie Bridge in the strangely-named town of Money, Mississippi. It was only a 20-foot drop, and I'm not at all sure that's enough to kill a person. But the bridge collapsed in 1972, an eerie thing. It had rotted away, obviously, or merely bucked under the weight of pop-culture legend.


Money Bridge Collapses, Greenwood Commonwealth, 06/20/1972

MONEY – The Tallahatchie River Bridge here collapsed between 11:30 and midnight Monday and presumably joined Billy Joe MacAllister in the muddy waters of the Tallahatchie.

Leflore County Deputy Sheriff Ricky Banks said he received a call from Sheriff Rufus Freeman about 12:15 a.m. today telling him the bridge had collapsed.

Leflore County Second District Supervisor Ray Tribble had called Sheriff Freeman earlier when two boys who had been fishing discovered the bridge had collapsed.

The two boys reportedly had gone upstream to fish and upon returning to Money found they couldn’t get over the collapsed span in the Tallahatchie River.

Tribble and his county road foreman Homer Hawkins then blocked the bridge off at the approaches on each side to prevent anyone from driving into the river.”

[Caption under photos]  BRIDGE OUT AT MONEY – The middle section of the Tallahatchie river bridge at Money tilted towards its upstream side as it collapsed Monday night. The steel suspension bridge was built in 1927. Staff Photos by Steve Bailey.

(Post-script. This now strikes me as a total crock. I mean  - look at the names! Sherriff Rufus Freeman is straight out of The Dukes of Hazzard. Ray Tribble - ? What can I say? Then we get to Homer Hawkins, and we KNOW we are in the territory of satire.)

Biographical tidbit about B. G. :

Of Portuguese descent, Gentry was born Roberta Streeter in Chickasaw County, MS, on July 27, 1944; her parents divorced shortly after her birth and she was raised in poverty on her grandparents' farm. After her grandmother traded one of the family's milk cows for a neighbor's piano, seven-year-old Bobbie composed her first song, "My Dog Sergeant Is a Good Dog," years later self-deprecatingly reprised in her nightclub act; at 13, she moved to Arcadia, CA, to live with her mother, soon beginning her performing career in local country clubs. The 1952 film Ruby Gentry lent the singer her stage surname.

POST-THOUGHTS: This post may have quite a few add-ons, despite the deceptively simple subject matter. I wrote earlier that the girl in the song sits there looking ghostly with shock. But how do we know how she looks? There is no mention at all of how she feels or reacts until the FOURTH verse, and even then, all we know is that she has no appetite. Her mother chides her for it, not so much because her child isn't eating but because all her cooking efforts are going to waste. And that is all we know about her reaction. There is no mention of grief. There is no mention of tears. Nothing! Just a mother getting on her kid's case for wasting food. It's shocking, when you really look at it, because all the rest of it, the assumption of a grief-stricken girl listening to the adults expressing their callous indifference to a tragedy, is imagined, inferred. It's what we don't know about her and about her relationship with Billie Joe that makes the song so compelling.

So how do we even know she loved him?

It's everything that is going on around the subject. Of course the adults aren't as indifferent as they may appear. They're keeping the subject at a distance because it's so horrific. When her brother starts to reminisce about Billie Joe and the playful, if rather disgusting incident at the Carrell County picture show, it's obvious the girl knew him, and her parents knew that she knew him.

Another layer? The stigma of suicide: "well, he done it to himself, didn't he?" is the unspoken subtext as they stuff themselves with cornbread and black-eyed peas. He should've acted like a man, faced up to his troubles, whatever they were.

The end of the song is so heartbreaking that I haven't even touched on it. It's the most masterful verse because of its Southern Gothic melancholy, worthy of passage in a  Tennessee Williams play. By the end of it, the girl is completely alone, idly tossing flowers over the side of that fatal bridge. Ironically, the last verse somehow echoes the terseness of her parents in its lack of emotion. She is simply stating the facts. There is just enough story here for us to make up the rest, projecting our own deepest griefs and yearnings, proving once again that a real story reads you.

AND THIS IS THE LAST THING I WILL SAY. (Promise!) I found out in all my meanderings through the song and the history of the bridge that Money, Mississippi is where Emmett Till was brutally murdered, inspiring Bob Dylan to write one of his fieriest songs when he was only 20 years old. I can't quote it here because it's a subject unto itself. But Money, Mississippi strikes me as a bubbling, seething cauldron, a place where ignorance and evil ruled, and perhaps still rule. I would like to think we are making progress, that all the hard work of the '60s paid off. But these days, as we slouch towards Bethlehem or slide towards that other place, I have so many doubts that I wonder if we're going to make it at all.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Is it real, or is it . . . Meredith?

Oh all right then, the last one was posted by a "fan". But I think it makes a point. With the exception of an extremely blurry profile picture (below), these are all the photos currently posted on Meredith McIver's Facebook page. I mean, all of them! At first the page didn't exist (she doesn't seem to have a footprint anywhere on the internet), then an empty Facebook page sat there for several days. Then, this! Many people are taking this very, very seriously and saying, "You see, folks? She DOES exist. You were being really stupid believing all those dumb conspiracy theories." From the comments, I'd say at least 3/4 of readers believe this is her real page. People don't really look at photos, and if they do, they believe what they see without questioning. Oh, there she is with Trump. . . with Michelle Obama . . . with  - Whatsisname. . . 

But I still don't buy it. She's a cardboard cutout, as convincing as the photojob you can see in these pictures. And yet, if we express any doubt of her existence, we're quickly clapped down for being one of those survivalists with guns and dried rations in his basement. 

The "proof" I'm hearing is stuff like: she co-wrote several books with Donald Trump in the 2000s. Look! It says so right on the book covers! And if it's in print, it MUST be true. My grandma used to say that (or was it my great-grandma?). She's 65 years old (though she looks more like 40 in the pictures). She went to ballet school, or someone named Meredith McIver went to ballet school, somewhere. She was born in New York and raised in New Jersey, or something like that, and that matches up with "a" Meredith McIver, so she must be real!

I still believe that her name/identity were either wholly invented so that someone could take the fall for Melania Trump's disastrous plagiarized speech, or perhaps they just pulled the name of a real person out of the files - someone now so disconnected from Trump that she's likely to keep her mouth shut (perhaps for a price).

To me, "proof" would be seeing an interview with her on network TV, or perhaps on the news. Anything at all would do, but it has to have her face on it, and it has to have her wearing something besides that dreadful polka-dot jacket. The excuse for her remaining out of sight is that she needs to keep a "low profile" to play down the embarrassment of the theft of Michelle Obama's speech (which was, of course, entirely her fault).

Someone is having us on here, of course. Michael Moore? Who knows. He's too busy predicting the end of the world as we know it (and he might just be right). There's no way in the world this is a valid Facebook page, but where IS her valid Facebook page? Why is it enough for some people to say "she co-wrote a book with Trump, therefore she must be real"? It might be a pseudonym. Such things have been known to happen. I just don't see anything that holds up. And the panicky/contemptuous tone of the articles debunking the "conspiracy theory" is suspicious to me, too. "Stupid idiots! How can you doubt Trump's integrity? He would never do a thing like this. That's as stupid as believing in Bigfoot."

As a matter of fact, I like the Sasquatch photo best, and it's just as skilfully photoshopped as all the rest of them. Her profile picture is so blurry that you really can't tell who it is, which makes me wonder. Maybe she really IS blurry, though - her identity certainly is.

Sorry. . . this is an awful game

Monopoly, Sorry, Yahtzee, Clue. Some board games are classics and have been staples of family fun time for decades. Then there are those odd games where you simply crack open a bunch of nuts, or slowly murder a large mammal with gravity. We dug through some old Sears catalogs from the 1960s to remember the forgotten board games of the decade.

Did you play any of these?


Twister is game already full of flirtation and suggestion, so it is suprising that a younger spin on the game blantantly called LOVE existed in the midcentury. "Use your hands and feet to spell L-O-V-E," the ad proclaimed. Our parents would have put the kibosh on this scenario immediately.


Here is "the game that gives you a funny feeling." Players put their hands inside a box and fondle and plastic toy, trying to guess what it is. Once you've become familiar with the 23 little objects, the game was pretty much pointless. Of course, you could also just cut a hole in a shoebox and make your own.


This glow-in-the-dark game looks pretty fun, with its little plastic snakes, bats, keys and spooky trees. Oh, and feathers! That being said, with all the tiny parts, there's no way kids weren't losing some pieces.


You wear a belt with rings attached to it. You run around. Your friends try to rip off the rings. Hours of fun!


Bucket of Fun combines all the fun of cleaning up your toys with… well, that's it. Plastic balls erupt out of a plastic bucket. You gather them up. This is like selling a deck of cards just to play "52-card pick up."


For a mind-numbingly simple game — you swat a bee — the description is rather long-winded: "Spin bee on spinning card. Watch closely where he stops. Spinner has 4 colors that correspond to Bee Launchers. If spinner stops on your color act quickly to get your bee up before he's caught on the launcher. If bee is caught before launch, catcher gets 2 points… after launch 1 point. Winner is the one with most points."


Hey, kids! Want to rupture the spine of an ungulate? Just overburden this poor Bactrian camel with wood and watch his back snap in two! Ha! Just because "the straw that broke the camel's back" is a common idiom, that doesn't mean it makes for a good game.


Feed a clown marbles.


Pick open a bunch of plastic walnuts, looking for marbles. At least with real nuts, you can eat them.


More proof that all you needed to make a game in the 1960s was some plastic food and an idiom. Though, technically, isn't the goal of the game — dumping beans into a pot — "spilling the beans"?


What more could children want than a cold, ultilitarian, multi-purpose game from "gambling expert" John Scarne. Okay, maybe on second thought we'll play with that plastic camel.


Another thing kids love: the tragedy and politics of the evening news!


"Cecil is a hand puppet that really talks… He directs the game." Obey the dragon!