July 09, 2003

Summer ReRuns

There are those times when bubblegum for the brain is just the right kind of junkfood my listless cranium craves, and so I'm waiting for Mr. DISH to send me a replacement for the lightning-fried receiver. Home alone last night I would have watched Law and Order, a show I discovered for the very first time about two weeks ago (reruns are usually first runs for us). Reasonably good acting, plot and point, I'm thinking, as the Boobus Toobus goes. But no signal, sorry Charlie. But there I have planted my carcass in vegetative viewing position, remote in hand, so I'm gonna watch some danged thing, and am happy to remember that I have not worked my way through the M.A.S.H. First Season videos I got for Christmas year before last. Hot diggety.

You know how it is. There is a reticence to be done with it, like a good book. When it's over, it's over. So, I felt guilty when I indulged myself and watched two episodes last night... one roaring hilarious, the other poignant with some funny lines... in the way this series so characteristically could hold you by that fine thread of emotion between laughter and tears. It occurred to me that the characters are pure archetypes. In the first episode, Hawkeye the hero/jester fired one-liners baddabing with Trapper John McIntyre the straightman valet; Radar is cast as the wizard, sees and hears things the others do not; Henry Blake is benighted king who inherited the throne not from desire or aptitude; Frank Burns is the Villain/Fool, Hoolihan the fawning wench/witch. In the second more serious episode, the characters all fell into the same roles except for Hawkeye who was the prevailing Moral Voice, the Conscience of an era, Jury and Judge of War and Death, and his humor black. But I digress...

Among the various torments inflicted on old Ferret-Face, Frank, in the first episode, Hawkeye and BJ put Frank's hand in a bowl of warm water while he was asleep. The first time I remember seeing this trick was at summer camp. But for the life of me, I can't remember if it produced the desired effect. Is this just a camp tale, or can anybody tell me for sure that this would work on anybody but a TV character? Not that I have plans to use it like on our house guests this week or anything.

Camp tricks. Let's see. There was the old standard of short-sheeting your victim's bed, putting toothpaste in their hair while they slept, honey in their shoes, itch powder in their swimsuit, that sort of thing. The most memorable camp prank I recall was the year somebody brought to camp an old crank telephone innards that generated a nice little current (malice and forethought?) and wired it up to the trough urinal in the latrine. We waited for an hour or more until our least favorite counselor came in to complete the circuit with a very brief yellow stream. That folks, was entertainment, and I think Pierce and McIntyre would have given that prank the 4077th Seal of Approval, don't you?

Posted by fred1st at July 9, 2003 06:05 AM | TrackBack

Don't know about the others, but I do know, from observation mind you, that a healthy squirt of sun tan lotion down the throat of a snoring sleeper eventually results in blessed quiet.

There is a brief period of commotion you have to endure first, but silence prevails in the end.

To sleep. Perchance to dream.

Posted by: Jim (aka JC South) at July 9, 2003 08:21 AM

I was just wondering if you had any good tricks to play on some high school boys for camp that some girls and I would be able to use on them. We would preferably want to trick them at night while they are asleep and awaken to it. I would greatly appreciate it if you could conjure up any thing for us before the NEXT WEEK. We want this to be something they will never forget.
Thank you,

Posted by: Mel at May 4, 2004 09:17 PM

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