11.16.2009

Tulane Chris on Game Shows

BLOG BOOTY CALL!!!!! I had planned to write a jaunty little post this morning about my thoughts on marriage, complete with photographic evidence of the contents of my refrigerator (I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!!) but, as per usual, Boss #1 failed to mention last week that I have to go to a SIX HOUR new product training this morning in Crystal City, Virginia (of all places.) (I hate you Virginia.) (No offense, Virginia readers.) (Maryland pride, bitchez.) (Why am I still typing?) You know, in case my stapler or the Swiffer Wet-Jet decide they want to re-do their offices and come to me for their furniture needs. Thank god I'll be able to field those questions. And of course I'm wearing my urban moccasins today. I'm sorry, Corporate Dress Code, but I thought today was going to be a low-key alone day and I wanted to be comfortable! But now I have to go "network" and mingle. In urban moccasins. I just...I just hate this. I hate my life. Please put me out of my misery Jägermeister. Please?! I have nothing left in me and this "just for now" job is starting to take over my life in a way that I am in no way comfortable with. And I'm dying. On the inside.............. ANYWAY! I booty-called Tulane Chris and he pumped out this bad boy of a post for us. Thanks Tulane Chris! Welp! I'm going to go doodle "KILL ME" 5,000 times on a piece of paper while I pretend to be fascinated by wood veneer. If I'm still alive tomorrow, I shall see you then. Enjoy!

Like most people, my childhood was dominated by one primary goal: getting sick enough to stay home to watch game shows on morning television. I think we all made a sandwich out of the old mayonnaise in the back of the refrigerator, kissed the dog on the face, and sat in the bathroom for an hour with the heater on in hopes of getting a Symptom bad enough to get to stay home form school. You didn’t want to actually become ill, just… unwell. Fevers, sniffles, and coughs were pay dirt, diarrhea or a sore throat was acceptable, but vomiting meant you had Gone Too Far, and meant that you couldn’t have snacks while you were home, just Ritz crackers and Sprite. No sane adult can look at Sprite now without having a flashback to himself saying “Mom. Mom, come on. I won’t throw it up. Let me have some bacon. I hate crackers. I’m well. Not well enough for school, just bacon well. Mom. Bacon. Mo-om. MOM. Mom. Bacon,” stealing some bacon, and then vomiting the bacon.

But if you managed to get just a little parvo from the dog, you could have a wonderful few mornings. After the morning performance of “I Feel Bad,” America’s most popular song-and-dance, your parents would go to work (or, in some families, your father would go to work and your mother would pop a few Xanaxes and listen to murder mysteries on tape for a few hours…uh, let’s just say for example.) You were at home more or less alone in the daytime, which was the best thing EVER. (You know, if you didn’t have friends.) The good shows didn’t start for a while, so you had to occupy yourself with games like Drink the Syrup, See What the Dog Will Eat, and Hide in the Clothes Hamper. You could watch Nick at Nite, but they always filled the morning with crappy shows like “F Troop” and “Bewitched” with the second Darren.

Finally, the game shows started at about nine. There were a bewildering array of game shows in the early Nineties. That weird Scrabble with the back-and-forth letters and the weird sound effects. The (Amount Will Vary) Dollar pyramid, the rules of which I literally never figured out. Name That Tune, which I think was staged – no one can recognize “Lady in Red” from three notes, let alone “Stardust.” Press Your Luck, with Whammy and Tammy and the lights bouncing around the box. And, of course, the big ones: Hollywood Squares and The Price is Right.

Hollywood Squares. Lordy-lou, that was a gas. This was the era of Whoopi Goldberg in the center square, and if this Tulane Chris Thursdays gig lasts, you better believe I got a whole damn post about Whoopi just waiting in the wings. I don’t know why I liked this show, because I never knew who anyone on the periphery was. Now, as an alleged adult, I think the idea of Charo answering trivia questions is amazing, but back then I thought she was the Queen of Spain or something. (Fancy dress, spoke Spanish, famous for an obscure reason… it makes a little sense, admit.) I did, however, badly, badly want to be on Hollywood Squares so I could have a square. I picked out which one I wanted (top left) and I wondered if they’d let me decorate it. I was going to put houseplants in it, as well as a gold trashcan like my grandparents had in their study. For some reason, I thought this was “fancy.” Objectively, this is probably just a combination of two common childhood fantasies, fame and having one’s own place. It still makes me sound like a weird fucking little kid, though, which I apparently was.

Why is The Price is Right so much damn fun? Part of it is watching fat, marginally educated people jump up and down and scream while performing menial tasks for money. Actually, that’s probably all of it. The prizes were always kind of shitty. Even as a child, I wondered if I could get cash instead of a hutch or, God forbid, a pale salmon sectional sofa. I think they reused the same sofa set for seventeen years because no one wanted the damn thing. The Showcase Showdowns were the worst – you had a choice between a nautically themed living room set with a ship’s wheel coffee table and portholes agogo and a package tour to the People’s Islamic Republic of the Grand Duchy of Wallawallabingbangboom Days Inn Resort. People competed for these, tooth, nail, and arm fat – I remember one man spun the glittery wheel so hard it broke.

I was watching The Price is Right with my grandparents the other day, and I imagined what it would be like to be on it. I realized quickly that I was the last person they would choose. Imagine, if you will:

“Tulane Chris, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, come on down!”

“I am not from Philadelphia. My great-great-grandfather owned a plantation in…”

“Come on down!”

“…moved to Texas after the war, and so anyway I don’t have any actual Yankee blood, not that that’s necessarily…”

“COME ON DOWN.”

I walk sedately down the steps, one at a time, without hooting, hugging a stranger, or thanking Jesus or the Blessed Virgin.

“Tell us a little about yourself!”

“Well, my mother went into labor during Thanksgiving dinner of 1984, which I think is why we’ve had a difficult…”

“And next, we’ll be bidding on this lovely Supreme Court china set! Each Justice, past and present, has been hand-painted on a piece of fine bisque porcelain. From the William Howard Taft gravy boat to the Ruth Bader Ginsburg lazy Susan, this set is a collector’s dream! Bids!”

“I wouldn’t pay a dollar for that. Sandra Day O’Connor makes me nauseous enough with her looking up at me from a sherbet cup. As for that wet sack of hot crap, John Roberts…”

“Bid is one dollar, and since all others have overbid, you win!”

A sedate, hootless walk to the stage. There is a scuffle as I avoid hugging Drew Carey. I do poorly in the game, having estimated every price as “too Goddamn expensive, wasteful to pay that much for a blouse.” A lucky spin lands me in the SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN, where I insist that the other contestant take the polyester dinette set and the trip to Ebola Island. I am called a poor sport, and put on the Studio Audience Blacklist. My Supreme Court dishes and I have to take the Greyhound back, and I pay for road food by staging puppet shows where David Souter and Sonia Sotomayor have a fistfight for Felix Frankfurter’s attention.

20 comments:

Katelynn said...

Anything that mentions both parvo and Sandra Day O’Connor in the same vicinity is clearly the highlight of my day.

Heather said...

*giant dorky blog-following yelp of happy*
you made Tulane Chris purple. I am so happy--he needed his own color.

the sir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the sir said...

It amazed me how many people took my politics rant seriously. It's a dark day when a man can't make wild, unfounded accusations of madness and perversity against public figures without people questioning things like his "sanity" or "credibility."

I meant it about Bobby Jindal, though. Woof.

So anyway, here's a return to my normal post genre of "LOOK HOW COLORFUL AND ECCENTRIC I AM LOOK LOOK"

-Tulane Chris

the sir said...

PS, my blogging color is based on a conversation I once had with my mother about the color of my aura, and how it was the same color as a particular article of clothing Dorothy Zbornak owned.

-Tulane Chris

The D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The D said...

Ugh, really? Burn...(sulks, turns, heads to turn in resignation as President of the Crystal City chapter of 2B1B Fan Club).

But great guest post, fond memories of calling out sick, both as a child and today. Actually, I think I'm coming down with the urge to watch TPIR and Maury tomorrow... (cough, sniffle)

James said...

It was Diet 7-Up for me. Can't drink it to this day, but I crave it when I get the flu. Freakin weird.

2 Birds, 1 Blog: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Ugh, really? Burn...(sulks, turns, heads to turn in resignation as President of the Crystal City chapter of 2B1B Fan Club).

HAHAHAHA! I'M SO SORRY! I am in A WAY at the moment and I took it all out on Crystal City, VA. I would. I love you. Please don't forget it.

Wiggs (The Beholder) said...

My swimteam went to The Price is Right one year because if you bring more than 25 people, they guarantee that at least one person will get on the show. Wouldn't you know it - the cokehead of the team was the one they called down. He ended up being one of the few people in the history of the show to get called down but never won the initial guessing part so he could compete. Every time they asked him for a price, he would get all twitchy and paranoid looking (like I said, cokehead) and then say something completely wrong, like "ONE MEEEEL-EE-YUN DOLLARS!"

Anyway, they sent him home with a movable wet-bar that was essentially an Ikea cabinet put on wheels with a piece of plywood for the counter. Also, Bob Barker was sort of an asshole.

All of this is to say that Price is Right sucks in person, and you're better off enjoying it from the comfort of your mom's couch.

Margo said...

It was Ginger Ale for me, and I want to vomit just typing that......

Tine said...

I once dated a guy whose lifelong dream was to be on the Price is Right... note the past tense.

My mom always made me drink lemon lime Gatorade. Blech.

Darren #1 always trumps Darren #2! Even with the whole drug overdose thing.

The D said...

It's ok, I never got the resignation letter notarized so it didn't count. But don't knock the City of Crystal: we have a Chili's! And a strip club that's suspiciously designed and named as if to trick tourists into going there for dinner. Except when you go in thinking the $6 steak special sounds like a deal... wham! Boobies.

Anonymous said...

TULANE CHRIS... I was born on Thanksgiving 1984 TOOOOOOO. We must be soul mates!

Lauren Marie said...

i'm crying. literally tears.
dear heavens i loved the price is right.
still not convinced that Drew Carey is the right replacement for Bob.

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