Fender Bender for IBS

The best part of television watching are those 2 minute shorts that happen in between the shows. Some are really funny. Some are really good. Some are really bad. And then there’s some that are really funny and clever.

When I was a kid, I recalled that most of the commercials told me there was a soda war — I guess Coke had a thing against Pepsi — and Lucky Charms were more magically delicious than Honey Nut Cheerios. If I was watching Saturday Morning Cartoons or After-School Cartoons, there were the commercials that told us why a toy was cooler than another. For me G.I. Joe was better than Star Wars figures because G.I. Joe could actually bend his elbows — that was a big deal when I was 12! I wasn’t so much concerned about the doll that could wet or the Bears that made us Care. Not for me.

Those little stories were very diverse and helped us find what we needed to make life great: we could find It’s All Inside at JC Penny and there was More For Your Life at SEARS, Ronald McDonald had Fry Guys, Mayor McCheese and the Hamburglar, Wendy’s wanted to know Where’s the Beef!, Kool Aid Man would punch through walls to make sure we knew there needed to be 2 cups of sugar mixed with that tiny packet, Super-Models told me not to Hate Them Because They Were Beautiful!, Indians (sorry Native Americans) cried over litter, a Bear told us We Can Prevent Forest Fires!, Ivory soap was 99.9% pure (not sure why they could never get that .1% to say 100?), and Colonel Sander’s Kentucky Fried Chicken (the sign really did say Kentucky Fried Chicken not sure why they went to KFC unless they knew Millennials were coming and needed an abbreviation for texting?) was Finger Licking Good! ( but that just isn’t PC anymore.)

Today, we are told that we don’t have enough insurance: State Farm (Fender Bender), AllState (Mayhem Happens), Geico (Little Pig Go Wee Wee All The Way Home and Humpday!), Progressive (Yo Flo!), Liberty (Statue in frame always) Farmers (We know a Thing or Two Because We’ve Seen a Thing or Two!), and Nationwide (Is on Your Side!)! Maybe my rates are so dang high is because all the money spent on advertising instead of paying claims (just wondering?). And if I don’t have enough insurance then I’m surely not medicated enough from everything from my eczema to my irritable bowel disorder — please disregard the 3 minutes of the side-effects. Lastly, if you can’t afford these medications than you need something like GoodRx, which I’m curious if a $87 drug can be reduced to $9 bucks because of a stupid coupon, why can’t that drug just be $9 for everyone?

I find more enjoyment over those commercials I can ridicule and yell at. But there’s some that just truly make me truly laugh– like the new State Farm Fender Bender commercial or the old Kmart ad I shipped my pants!. If you haven’t seen it, please search for it on youtube. Oh, I think I’ll go find some of those old 80s commercials….

The President’s On…Oh no!

I’m old but not that …old. But I do remember a time when the President addressed the nation that your whole night of TV watching was ruined!

I don’t recall what kind of refrigerator or stove we had as I was growing up. But I do recall the television. I know that both the refrigerator and stove were vital for keeping me alive — with being key to food storage and preparation. That was kind of important. Yet, the television raised me. I’m surprised I didn’t call it Papa Television. It watched over me after school and on Saturdays. It was responsible for teaching me important life lessons — and informing me what cool new toys to want. Oh, and breakfast cereal. So, it was partly responsible for keeping me alive as how would I’ve known about Cookie Crisp and Honey Nut Bunch?

The television was a 1977 19 inch color Zenith with a dual dial. It wasn’t one of those TVs stuck into a furniture cabinet. We had a TV stand. Yet, like most TVs of the time, it was molded in a wood-grain plastic to appear more furniture like. It didn’t even have coaxial connectors. I remember we had to have UHF to VHF (transformer) adapter to use cable. The top dial had 13 VHF cable channels and the bottom dial had the 14 -83 UHF channels using it with an antenna. I find it odd that in the 70s and 80s TVs were referred to in advertisements as “color” (or “B&W”). This sounds absurd today because who’d want a 65 inch LED “Black and White” television? Yet back then, color in your TV was a premium and added a $100. I’m pretty sure my mother bought the TV from SEARS. Yet, I do remember we had the tuner replaced twice (yes kids, spinning the dial was indeed bad for the tuner). And I know we had a tube replaced too. It’s no lie. There were shops and people that actually repaired televisions. I think to fix a TV today is just buy a new one!

Papa Television was a key member of my family. He was responsible for entertaining me with Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazzard and Sunday Night Movies! These were all broadcast on the big THREE networks — ABC, CBS and NBC. Those were the only channels that aired new shows. We had a few other affiliates to enjoy but they only played old movies or reruns of I Love Lucy or F Troop. The worst thing that could happen to a kid — or me — was the night the President decided to address the nation.

Click. Click. Click. All the channels had the President! “Noooo! He’s on all channels!” For a kid, it just sucked. I remember sitting watching him, whispering, “hurry up.” Sitting there, I asked my mother, “is he done yet?” She was very patient and say “not yet.” Tapping fingers. Twitching feet. Hoping any second, he’d say, “Good night and God Bless America!” Wait! Did he just say it! He did. “God Bless America!” Now back to Six Million Dollar Man….