Thursday, April 28, 2011

(Not So) Mad About Him

Somewhere in our basement I have an eight-track player and recorder from when Panasonic, outside the USA, marketed audio gear as "National" (for the trademark lawyers in the audience think 'mid 70's' and yes, nineteen seventies and bite me). I don't think I ever had blank eight track cartridges.

Just me, or was that a noisy format or what, even in the car. Who could forget that goofy piece of sort-of aluminum that switched tracks because there was only so many minutes per strip of tape (and UA, geniuses that they were, actually put a channel changer in the middle of Don McLean's LP version of American Pie because they obviously didn't hear a hit).

It's probably not located with another obscure purchase of mine, an elcaset player/recorder, a machine its proponents insist (to this day) was ahead of its time (it wasn't but sometimes to get things right you have to get them wrong).

My wife has made sure most if not all of my single-guy sartorial experiments like the plaid bell-bottom dress pants, with two inch cuffs and the platform shoes, can never come back to embarrass me as she threw those out within minutes (as I recall) of our getting married. Trapped by no track of ours, for they hang suspended; but not from the rafters of my basement.

Something that never made it to my basement, and never will, was the second coming of Paul Reiser. I know, 'who?' The guy in that show, "Mad About You," with Helen Hunt on NBC; that Paul Reiser. He, briefly had a show on his old network on Thursdays and when I say 'briefly' I'm not whistling Dixie (neither Winn nor Carter).

It aired twice and from how this reads, it seems the second episode was more by accident than deliberate. An acquaintance of mine (we're FB friends but it sounds presumptuous to say anything other than acquaintance about people whom you've never met) Elissa B, loves all things televisiony (except adjectives like that) and she offered not a word about the Second Coming of Paul. I should have known based on that silence and yet.....

If you like Curb Your Enthusiasm it might have reminded you of that a bit, except for the being funny part, of which it had almost none. Based on the published ratings for the second show, I may have been the only person on the Eastern Seaboard to watch the program when it aired.

We have a DVR thing, came with the cable package, but I don't know how to work it (our daughter Michelle does and I suspect it's full of Glee (the show not the emotion)). Because we have that, we put all the VHS player/recorders in the basement, too; soon I'm gonna have a whole museum down there.

So it's possible that when I pass from this earth all knowledge of this show will vanish as well. I wouldn't be amazed to learn that wouldn't be regarded as especially tragic in the Paul Reiser household. It seems that the Final Frontier was a damn sight closer than we thought, eh, Paul? See you in basement that time forgot, buddy.
-bill kenny

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