How It Ended… Originally

I grew up in the era before the VCR and mass syndication.  This means that if you missed a television broadcast, it was gone until they re-aired it again over the summer.  At best you only had two shots at seeing something before it was gone forever.

The only exception to this was the a holiday special.  While you only got to see the holiday specials once per year, there was always the possibility that you’d see them again and again over successive years.

This meant that every Christmas season after the mid 1960’s you could look forward to reuniting with Charlie Brown, Frosty, and Rudolph.  My Favorite holiday classic was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, not because I liked Rudolph so much, but because it featured Yukon Cornelius.

He excited me because he had a pistol, a pick axe, and a pack of dogs!

For years I wondered what it was that Yukon Cornelius was doing out there at the North Pole all by himself.  From the evidence presented, I assumed that he was some sort of beatnik prospector looking for “Silver and Gold” just like everybody else.

At no time in any of my yearly viewings did I ever learn what it Yukon Cornelius was out prospecting for, or if he ever found it.

The only clue to what our friend was actually up to is found in the trademark flipping, and then licking, of his pick axe.

Continue Reading…

The Artificial Sweetening

When I go see the Hobbit this weekend I won’t be having a Diet Coke.  It has nothing to do with whether or not Diet Coke is a good product, because I suspect that it is.

I just don’t like Diet Coke.

Diet Coke doesn’t taste very good to me and let me explain why: It doesn’t actually taste like the real Coca-Cola, which I love.

Diet Coke is a substitue for caffeine addicts who feel the need to watch their waistline while battling their own personal energy deficiency.

I know that this opinion doesn’t describe every diet soda drinker because I’ve talked to people who’ve never had a regular Coke before.  I have quite a few friends who started with Diet Coke and they don’t actually enjoy the original version’s ultra-sweet combination of caramel coloring and high fructose corn syrup.

To these folks, having a regular Coke throws their entire palate off-kilter.  In fact, many of them actually enjoy the strange aftertaste that artificial sweeteners bring to the table.

Having never experienced the original, they’ve developed a preference for the not so “Real Thing.”

Continue Reading…

His Most Attractive Feature

I recently overheard several middle-aged, female, Starbucks customers gushing over Hollywood star Ryan Gosling.

They each took turns trying to describe what it was that made him so attractive to “their daughters”:

“He can do it all: Act, direct, sing, even do a lot of push-ups with his shirt off.”

“I saw him looking good in some cut-off cord shorts and mid-ankle boots with heels.”

“He looks good when he’s wet, dry, bearded… even wearing those nerd glasses that the pastors at my church are all getting.”

The whole thing eventually devolved into a conversation about whether his eyes were better than his pecs, or his pecs were better than his abs.

I left before they started working any lower.

As I drove away I wondered if they realized that these things are also true of just about every other handsome, chiseled, actor in Los Angeles?

When I relayed this story, and my cynical comments about the common desirability of A-list leading men to my friend Jordan (who looks good dry or bearded) he told me that Ryan Gosling was actually quite a bit different than the average movie star.

“That guy works at a sandwich shop”, he said.

Continue Reading…