Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
You Better Believe That
time has come! I have felt it rumbling in my gut for most of the day. No, I will not dignify that over-killed line, that rumblin's caused your stomach to be upset. No thanks. Besides I only eat steak and cheese burrito's from a brand-name dollar store chain and I love wolfing them down from 11 pm to 2 am. and glut-down black coffee as my side. Can't forget about black coffee. My world would not turn without my gallon of "Joe" to get myself in gear. Let me say before I begin that this commentary might, at times, make you laugh and at sometimes, (I hope not), you might be yelling for me to be rode out of town on a rail. At any rate, I respect you and your freedoms. Thanks, Kenneth.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday
nights, Feb. 13-15, I stumbled upon something so mysterious; so diabolical; so shrewd that Charlie Chan would be stumped from what I found. Nope, not a nuclear reactor being built to bring down America. Nope, not a gang of Swedish Commandos who went rogue and want to take over the Gorton's Seafood Company and hold them hostage for funding to send back to their own country--because Sweden is facing financial ruin, but those Swedes, Yumpin! Yimminy! They know how to get things done.
I would lay you even money that if a gang of rogue Swedish Commandos did secure Gorton's Seafood Co., by the threatening of angry yelling and scary disguises, us Americans would be sitting happily on the sideline yelling for the Swedes, for you see, what I am about to share will far eclipse such shenanigans as rogue Swedes and bringing shame to that prideful fisherman statue I've learned to love over the years. I know why I love the fisherman's fish sticks so much is because when I suffered through the fourth grade, our lunchroom women (who could pass for Ward Bond), would only give me TWO lousy fish sticks! Two! And the rich boys and girls got as high as three or four and shoved it up or nose. Why? Why I yell to anyone who might be listening?
In that three-day sabbatical, I was watching a very popular satellite station which I will not name due to my editors flagging my work. But the first letter in this company's name is H - - -M - - - and the network's second name begins with M--and I can tell you, friends, these guys know their way around those heart-wrenching drugstore greeting cards. There! I told you nothing and said a lot.
But this particular network is going wide-open, 24/7 covering every game in town--Christmas and most of the major holidays and a few that these clever scriptwriters have devised. What really gets me going and I am talking pure, unadulterated irritation--the type of irritation that can only be seen and heard on "this" Candy Land of Networks. No, it's not CBN. Not even this network's CEO, Pat Robertson, is as sweet and nice as the former Hollywood stars who not only lend their images to films and specials, but I have recently concluded that these celebrities, once house-hold words, LIVE in La La Land where everyone smiles and skips in clover and cat tails while perfect breezes blow in their hair.
I'm telling you the cold, harsh truth. In the many hours of watching Angela "Jessica Fletcher" Lansbury and co-stars on her "Murder, She Wrote" episodes, I never saw one of the stars frown or grimace. This can be said about those romantic-based movies. All smiles. All laughing and everyone shaking hands, embracing, but with six inches of space between them. This was Paradise Lose. Utopia. No one was unemployed and those that were out of work could just check the Community Bulletin Board and un, oh! "Doctor Wanted! Great hours! Great pay! Apply Inside-- this would be seen on the several business cards tacked to the board ready for some upcoming young person to get a job and make Cabot Cove happier. I told you about how surreal these drama's and films really are. Even the dogs, cats, and even seagulls are happy creatures. The horses that the mayor and city council of Cabot Cove use for their Yearly Fourth of July Bash, are happy horses--grinning and snouting their way down the street.
In the 72-hour sabbatical that I told you about, I sat back and watched as one former Hollywood star would star in one film while his or her co-star would show up on another canceled Mainstream Hollywood sitcom or drama was playing here, on this network for all to see, without an explanation about anyone's background. Remember Lyle Wagoner, Carol Burnette's host and star? Yep. He was there and looking nearly as he looked on Burnette's CBS show. Here is a small list of former Hollywood stars: Don Stroud; Lori Loughlin; Bob Saget; John Stamos; Candace Cameron-Bure; David Soul; and more. A whole lot more.
After so many nights of viewing on this one network, I began to notice something suspicious. Something really devious and maybe shrewd, you will never guess whom I watched who played more like a political figure than an actress: Angela Lansbury--her very name is synonymous with gala events, lots of hoopla and reading Variety to catch-up on what's going on in Tinsel Town.
If you like former male Hollywood celebrities, then look no further. I witnessed Edward Winter "Col. Flagg" on CBSs M*A*S*H; William Windom; Len Cariou and Tom Bosley. Young and Old Hollywood working together with no shame or chastising by the press for appearing on those faster-than-light drama's and cheesy sitcoms that used to spell DOOM for these Hollywood A-Listers. But not as long as "the" "HM" Network is on the air.
It wasn't long until I watched even more former dramatic programs that used to live on CBS, ABC and CBS--there was Psych; Matlock and Andy Griffith never looked so good. Lest we forget Monk, Touched by an Angel, Little House on The Prairie, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. For every taste, there is a show to be seen. Amazing. Purely amazing.
Lansbury, "Jessica Fletcher," is a one-woman show and I saw it all. "Fletcher," who resides in fictitious "Cabot Cove" where she works as a novel writer, "HM" undoubtedly bought it all. And the "all" I am driving at is how "HM" Network bought all of Lansbury's drama's, or the production company's, episodes and on one night, "Fletcher" was winging her way to London for, wouldn't you know it, a writer's conference. You can get away with murder as long as you insert a writer's conference, can't you? So convenient.
And talk about kin folk. "Fletcher" had a lot of kin that ranged from Portland to Scotland and the Herdsman and Aye, laddie! "Fletcher" knew them all and she was treated (on the show) as better as Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge by the way these nationalities came to see her book signings, but during all of her touring and watching more and more former Hollywood Celebrities, I noticed that "Fletcher's" writers had given her some unusually-sharp sense of observation and helped the local authorities, even some PI's solve a dark crime that a few under-handed hoods had tried to cover, but in the last 15 minutes of "Murder, She Wrote," "Fletcher," solved each crime--with the precision of "Perry Mason" when the person on the stand was ready to give it up. "Fletcher" did very well in that respect.
I said a lot about "HM" Network and I did not exaggerate that much. When anger and violence was found it was all easy-going and no REAL violence ever occurred--no employee walk-out's, not even the dainty little diner with one waitress--all was smiles even during "that" time of the month--and when I saw that I all but lost it.
"No one. Not even Donny and Marie are that candy-sweet!" I said yelling to my living room ceiling. My wife was used to my rants, so she kept on playing solitaire on her computer.
The punches thrown were pulled. I viewed it all. The stunt persons were great. But in an hour's time, Murder, She Wrote, I mean, "Jessica Fletcher" was ready, willing and able to tie up all of the loose ends and if a criminal had broke the law, they went to jail. Very simple. And everyone (the star and co-stars) were all drinking spiced tea or coffee chuckling about who said what and before the credits were rolled, William "Dr. Seth" Window would say, "Ayeah," in his finest New England accent.