Monday, March 10, 2014

TWIN BIMBOS TWERKING

I told my friends at work big news, but they already knew the ME-TV Network (Memory Entertainment-TV) was added to our local cable package. We compared notes and I found out a lot more about the station’s 24-hour lineup of vintage shows.

One friend, BS, was less enthusiastic…he lives near Philadelphia and his cable provider just took away his ME-TV. So over the next few days, I rubbed it in his face that I saw, “RAWHIDE,” “NIGHT GALLERY,” and “THE FUGITIVE.”

BS took the friendly taunting well until I told him I have “ON DEMAND” and that I set my DVR to record off-hour presentations of, “COMBAT!,” “THE RIFLEMAN" and “PERRY MASON.” BS whined, “I love Perry Mason.” I said, “I remember as a kid watching it with my folks.  I was always clueless but it was fun seeing them unfurl the evidence and guess...whodunit.”
"PERRY MASON," AIRED 271 EPISODES, (1957-1966).  THIS ULTIMATE IN EARLY LAWYER SHOWS STARRED RAYMOND BURR (left), (BURR'S TV STARDOM HAD PERFECT TIMING BECAUSE HIS SPUTTERING CAREER WAS DEPENDNG ON JAPANESE GODZILLA MOVIES).
I hadn’t seen a Perry Mason rerun in thirty years. I watched two episodes and was pleased that despite the corniness, (especially the wise cracks at the end) that the stories were interesting. But the biggest thing I took away from the show was actor William Talman who played Los Angeles District Attorney, *Hamilton Berger, (Perry Mason’s regular courtroom foe). 

*In a bit of Perry Mason trivia, D. A. Burger only won three cases against Mason...and two of them were in the ninth (final) season.


My memory went into total recall mode and remembered William Talman's attempt at a great contribution to society. Talman was never a big-time movie star, (his role on Perry Mason defined his career). But in light of a real-life tragedy, he used his Hollywood star-power to advance an original idea that probably saved much misery and a lot of lives. It's too bad not enough people appreciated his purpose and didn't follow his lead. Unfortunately in 1968,Talman succumbed to his real life tragedy and died a young man (53) from lung cancer. Yes, his motivation was idealistic but his intent should earn him enough hero status for his face to be immortalized into Mount Rushmore.

Before passing away, Talman became the first celebrity to do a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the American Cancer Association. This plea was intentionally NOT shown till after his death. The impact of his anti-smoking message was made stronger because his expert “testimony” gave the correct perception…that he was speaking from the grave.
WILLIAM TALMAN (1915-1968) SAID, "I DIDN'T MIND LOSING THOSE COURTROOM BATTLES, BUT I'M IN A BATTLE NOW I DON'T WANT TO LOSE.  BECAUSE IF I LOSE, IT MEANS I LOSE MY WIFE AND KIDS.  I'VE GOT LUNG CANCER...IF YOU DON'T SMOKE, DON'T START.  IF YOU DO SMOKE, QUIT!  DON'T BE A LOSER."
  In 1985, international superstar Yul Brynner made a similar public announcement.
YUL BRYNNER (1920-1985). AMONG HIS HONORED CREDITS, HE'S BEST KNOWN FOR HIS 4,625 APPEARANCES ON BROADWAY IN, "THE KING AND I."  IN HIS PSA FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY HE SAID, "NOW THAT I'M GONE, I TELL YOU: DON'T SMOKE.  WHATEVER YOU DO, JUST DON'T SMOKE.  IF I COULD TAKE BACK THAT SMOKING, WE WOULDN'T BE TALKING ABOUT MY CANCER."

We’ll never know how many people were saved by these straight forward campaigns but I know my parents never heeded their warnings. Trust me, the world was a far better place with my folks in it and healthy...but before my dad became an old man, he died suddenly and painfully and mom had a long debilitating illness that ruined her golden years.  Both deaths were from the effects of smoking.




                                                          *


To protect the memory of my parents, my immediate and extended family as well as my friends, I decided to preserve our photographs. We've all lent-out our best pictures and some were never returned, they get lost and damaged, are subjected to natural catastrophes and they fade too. That's why I have created a centralized mega-photo forum from my gazillion photographs. By researching the dozens of old-school picture albums in my closet, the scattered, shoe-boxed snapshots left dormant in my garage and the framed beauties all over the house, I realized that I need to organize them…forever.

The conduit of my success is FACEBOOK. I have gone through many of my old albums and discovered that you can waste a lot of time going through each page without seeing a cool picture. So by scanning only the winners, I made themed albums with easy access to the best of the best. Then with push-button technology at my disposal, it's simple to add new ones or share...without the risk of them going unreturned.

One of the eye-opening downsides to my project is that overwhelmingly the photos of my folks include a cigarette. How annoying to see what killed them in action.  Even worse, it seems like every pose was pre-empted by them lighting-up first.
MY FOLKS IN 1968, THE SAME YEAR WILLIAM TALMAN MADE HIS ANTI-SMOKING PLEA.  MY MOM AND DAD WERE A DYNAMITE LOOKING COUPLE.  THEY WERE YOUNG AT HEART AND SHOULD HAVE HAD A LONG, PLEASANT TIME AS SENIOR CITIZENS.

I am not the only person using FACEBOOK as a permanent, preservation device for my old pictures. My friends SHMEE and MSM2 frequently post old pix. To rationalize this practice, they use the computer-speak "T-B-T."  This acronym flew over my head. But because I always tell my son Andrew to figure things out before asking for help, I plugged in my inner Perry Mason and tried to unravel the mystery myself.

The possible T-B-T's  I came up with were, “Totally Boring Time,” "Thoughtlessly Burnt Trash," “Throwing Better Tantrums,” “Tasteless Bad Tacos,” “Thy Bulging Thyroid,” ‘Twin Bimbos Twerking,” “Temperamental Bermuda Triangle” and “Tareytons Burying Thousands.” Somehow, I didn’t think any of my guesses were right.

Still, I wanted to solve the problem on my own, so I googled, "TBT."  In seconds, I had my answer…but the “Truth Be Told,” didn’t fit into the context of what SHMEE and MSM2 had written. In frustration, I gave up and asked my wife Sue. She laughed, “Well Captain Obvious, you’re a silly boy if you don’t know TBT is, ‘Throw Back Thursday.’” “Aha,” I said, “it’s all clear to me now because SHMEE and MSM2 always included an old photo.”

Sue (and some friends), can’t see the cleverness behind my colossal FACEBOOK picture project. She said, “Forget about Throw Back Thursday, you’re obsessed with posting pictures, you’ve already put too many up.”

I was disappointed that she felt that way. I had been doing a little at a time for so long
but this freezing winter has taken a toll on me. I’m still not quite over a three week-plus cold. At its worst, I was over-tired and lethargic. I was spending nearly all my spare time in bed or on the sofa. When I was strong enough to sit upright, “playing” with the photos and writing little snippets was all I could concentrate on. Well now that I have posted over 1200 pix, I still have more than half the old school photo albums to go through. Hopefully my cold will end soon and I can take a slower, less obsessive approach to my ambitious undertaking.

In the mean time, my reality is, I work in one of the eleven buildings in the entire state that allow smoking inside. The lawmakers seem to side with big business.  In the name of corporate profits in a struggling economy, the law permits this travesty of a proven health hazard to continue. The slap-in-the-face absurdity to the situation is made more acute because there is support to ban smoking on public beaches. Baffling? That means, they will force smokers, inside?  Even more baffling!

For all the good William Talman and Yul Brynner strived for, today’s YOLO (You Only Live Once) mentality doesn’t want to hear about the side-effects of their actions on other people. They feel beaten-down by anti-smoking restrictions and when they can light-up, they feel entitled. After all, between hacking coughs, they know the grim reaper is ready to take them. So if they can’t help themselves, they certainly don’t care about anyone else.
I'VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SMOKING, USING DRUGS OR UNNECESSARILY RISKING ONE'S LIFE TO BE COOL...SIMILARLY, IT'S ALSO HARD TO BELIEVE THAT ONE YEAR FROM YESTERDAY, JOHN BELUSHI WILL BE DEAD, (FROM DRUGS), AS LONG AS HE WAS ALIVE.  BUT AS TALENTED AS THIS YOLO WAS...TODAY, HE'S JUST ANOTHER SCHMUCK.

Thanks to secondhand smoke, my friend TH (a thirty-year casino veteran) has a thick, ear-to-ear neck scar, from the throat cancer surgery that saved his life…and he NEVER smoked or used a tobacco product in his life. There are plenty of stories like his...and most have far less upbeat endings.

I say protect your memories. You never know what might befall you. Whether it’s throwback TV or the images of your folks, healthy and in their prime, use all the weapons at your disposal to keep them.

If you don't, there’s always going to be YOLO's and blunt-blowing, “Twin Bimbos Twerking,” your eyes irritated and throat scratched from, "Thoughtlessly Burnt Trash," someone “Throwing Better Tantrums,” because they can’t smoke their stinky-ass cigar wherever they want, “Tasteless Bad Tacos” due to tobacco stink, secondhand smoke causing, "Thy Bulging Thyroid" and a “Temperamental Bermuda Triangle” ready to kill any who gets too near…all because of “Tareytons Burying Thousands.”
TAREYTONS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE 1954.  THEY HAVE BECOME SIGNFICANTLY LESS POPULAR AND ARE NOW ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE OR IN SPECIALTY SHOPS.  THEIR LONG AND SUCCESSFUL AD CAMPAIGN (above) EXPRESSED A BRAND LOYALTY, WORTHY OF FIGHTING FOR.  TODAY, THIS MARKETING STUPIDITY ONLY REINFORCES THE NOTION THAT YOLO's (PERHAPS UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME), HAVE BEEN AMONG US FOREVER.

The next time I have good news for my friends at work, hopefully I'll be telling them that the suffering is over!  That effective immediately, there's a 100% smoking ban in all New Jersey indoor facilities.  Can I get a, "That Blessing's Tremendous!" AMEN to that!!!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another case of: "Terrorized by Tobacco". It's almost comical to me that my new life has no evidence of cigarette smoke. California just doesn't practice it anywhere close to a building or establishment of any kind. Casinos in CA are a different breed altogether. When visiting Pechanga Resorts I had gone no further than opening the door of the place when those horrible memories of smelling like dirty ashtrays on my rides home from AC came rushing back. Smoking and gambling seems to be linked like bad DNA. Feel free to make the trip west for some fresh air my friend, I don't have to tell you, the door will always be open for thee.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I saw my mention. And I love ME-TV too!! I'm in Petticoat Junction heaven!!!
--- MSM2 in Brig

Charlieopera said...

good stuff ... nice tribute to Talman (they always made him appear so sinister--you had to root for Mason (and the alleged bad guys))... I didn't start smoking until 31 (my bad), and I chose the worst (Camel regulars -no filters) ... I switched to cigars for a few years and when they became the Yuppie specialty, I moved to a pipe (which I smoke today but only at home) ... my old man died of lung cancer (smoking) ... my Mom had to stop from pollops and she did and is still around ... my sister died from cancer and never smoked a day in her life ... it definitely isn't a good thing and I agree it should be banned everywhere inside buildings, including casinos ... good one, Steve.

James Bruffy said...

I have been watching ME-TV sometime on may trips to Maine. It is like stepping back in time.

Sol said...

"Outstanding, and they are mild!" What a crock of shit! If only all these famous people knew back then what they would have known today about smoking, I wonder if they would have even touched a single cigarette. ( except for Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Since they're animations, they could smoke their prehistoric little asses off and live on forever)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fPwpymO1bs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-y_N4u0uRQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1A_zkUtGvw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz8EQT2LB-w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBCyPdEIdOA