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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Green Slime of Ignorance

How was your New Years' celebrations?  Were they great?  So-so?  Don't quite remember it because you had one too many tequila shots?

Well, I have to tell you that my New Years celebrations were extremely quiet.  They were filled with episodes of "Bones", Chinese takeaway, and snow!  Seriously, the first day of 2015 brought forth a real winter blizzard!  I suppose it was a good thing that all of the stores were closed for the day because I can only imagine how much a mess it would have been trying to go on the roads that day.

Meanwhile, our Christmas was green.  I think the weeks got mixed up on the calendar this year.  We're supposed to have snow on Christmas, not New Year's Day!

Oh, well.  Since the snow pretty much kept everyone inside (at least in my neck of the woods, it did), I opted to spend the day doing absolutely nothing but curl up with some books, and watch a little television from my iPad mini. 

But you know, I've been also doing a lot of thinking about the upcoming year, as well as a lot of other things that have been flowing through my mind (which is really good, since 2015 has been designated the official anything goes year for A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE), and all I have to say is that I've been thinking about a time in which things didn't seem so complicated.

As I enter a new year, I have a wide awakening of what I want out of life.  And, all I have to say is that what I am doing is not living life.  I guess the best way that I can describe it is that I am feeling like I am stranded on a gigantic orange buoy in the middle of a huge body of water, and I...

Ick!  How did that happen?  Now I am soaked.  Oh, wait.  That's right...I can't say wa---that substance that keeps all of us alive because I'll get it dumped on my head.

Oh, yeah, you're probably wondering what I'm talking about, right?  Well, on New Year's Day, since I was stranded inside because of the snow, I chose to watch a marathon of a television show that used to be on the air when I was a little kid.  It was a show that I used to love a lot because of just how funny and daring it could be.  From 1979-1990 (mind you, I wasn't born during the earliest years of the show), "You Can't Do That On Television" made hundreds of child actors wet whenever the said the "W" word, and they also dropped a lot of green slime on them whenever they said those three magic words "I Don't Know", just li...


Anyway, as I was saying, when a child proclaimed that he was clueless about something, down the green slime came.  And depending on the recipe that was used, the green slime could be quite hard to wash out.  Poor Christine McGlade and Vanessa Lindores must have had to soak in the tub for a week after shooting this scene from the 1982 "Television" episode.

But wait...I thought the show was called "You Can't Do That On Television".  Well, it was.  And back in the days in which it aired (which was the decade known as the conservative 1980s), the show did push the buttons on several instances with jokes that featured vomiting, flatulence humour, belching, risky subjects, and opposite sketches.  Usually the show did a good job walking on the border between decency and indecency, but a couple of episodes on "Divorce" and "Adoption" were banned from both CTV and Nickelodeon (though interestingly enough, I remember watching both on YTV).

But of course, many people complained that it was cruel and unusual punishment to throw buckets of green slime over someone because they did not know the answer to a question asked by another kid, Abby Hagyard, or the dozens of characters played by late character actor Les Lye.  Of course, I was not one of those people.  I loved it when the kids were slimed!  It was fun just to see how they would react when that slimy, green liquidy stuff splattered all over them.

And, you know...I think that I would rather take a bath in the stuff than admit that I didn't know something.  At least, that's how I felt when I was a kid.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when I was growing up, I found it difficult to ask for help when I didn't know the answer to something.  I reckon that had I been a cast member on "You Can't Do That On Television" when I was seven or eight years old, I would have probably been slimed more than a hundred times by the time I had turned ten.  It wasn't because I considered myself to be some sort of know-it-all or anything like that.  I suppose I felt some sort of embarrassment in admitting that I needed help once in a while because I saw it as being a sign of weakness. 

I'll readily admit that as a kid, I didn't really show much aptitude in street smarts though.  Book smarts, absolutely.  Street smarts, not so much.

Now as an adult, I will readily admit that I no longer see asking for help being a detriment.  Sometimes it may very well be the only way you can actually learn something about yourself.  And sometimes, it may help you figure things out a lot better.

Such as, when you're doing algebra homework and you can't figure out how "x" equals 51,881.  You can call a homework help line to get tips on figuring out the answer.

Or, when you are trying to mount a television to a wall, but can't figure out what tools you need to use.  You simply read the instructions or have someone help you install it.

Or maybe...just maybe...if you're looking to shake things up in 2015 by finding either a new job, or a new place to live (or both actually), and you are having a really hard time asking friends to help you out in your search...there's no shame in asking for that help.

Or, so I tell myself, anyway.

Sigh...remember when getting green slimed was the only thing you had to potentially worry about when you were a kid?  I miss those days.

Anyway, since I brought up "You Can't Do That On Television", I thought I would share my list of Top 10 episodes of the series.  I thought it would be a fun way to reminisce about the program, and these are the ten episodes that made me laugh the hardest.  I do not have links provided for these shows, but you can find every episode of the series on YouTube in some capacity.  At least, you can for now.

Anyway, here are my top 10 favourite episodes of "You Can't Do That On Television" in order of appearance.

1.  NUTRITION (1981) - Christine McGlade talks about the benefits of healthy wearing most of the food she talks about!  Oh, and Lisa Ruddy gets a special porridge surprise.  Definitely the funniest 1981 episode.

2.  TELEVISION (1982) - This was Vanessa's first episode, and also the episode which featured the multi-coloured and striped slime which I showed up above.

3.  COOKING (1983) - Everybody hates Christine's cooking, and aren't afraid to show their disgust.  This also features one of the most creative introduction sketches ever seen on the show.

4.  TECHNOLOGY (1984) - Touch the green square if you'd like me to continue this list.  Touch the red square if you want me to stop.  Oh, green won!  Too bad!

5.  REVENGE (1985) - This is a really great way to illustrate just how messy revenge can get.  Now with more ketchup, jello, milk, and maple syrup!

6.  POP MUSIC (1986) - Alanis Morissette gets slimed.  Enough said.

7.  POVERTY & UNEMPLOYMENT (1986) - This episode starts off being painful to watch as nouveau riche Naida forces Alasdair, Vanessa, Doug, and Robert to be her personal slaves.  Thankfully, she gets her comeuppance at the end of the episode.

8.  TIME (1989) - Ever wonder what slime looks like from a black and white filter?  Though many people dislike the 1989-1990 season, I thought it was one of the best.  Watch Chris, Christian, Sariya, and Jennifer literally go back in time for this one!

9.  AGE (1989) - Because the "Adoption" episode was banned, Ross asked Vanessa to come back for one episode about the subject of age.  It was a brilliant episode for mixing old cast members like Vanessa with the new cast members like Stephanie, Chris, and Patrick.  And, hey, keep an eye open for cameos by Christine, Alasdair, Doug, and Kevin Kubusheskie.

10.  INVENTIONS (1990) - Sadly, this was the final episode of the series, but it was also one of the best, as a robot that looks just like Christian causes a lot of problems on the link set.

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