don’t say i didn’t warn you way back in the beginning……
i’m old and i’m kind of strange……
sometimes i lie in bed at night and i wonder about stuff. who doesn't?
so, last night i was lying in bed, stroking my pussy, (the cat, you ninnies, what did you think i meant? minds out of the gutter, everyone). she’s attached to my hip. i lie, she lays. i snore, she purrs. (there’s a vaudeville act in there somewhere). so i’m lying, she’s purring, husband is reading and the conversation goes something like this:
me: do you remember lassie?
him: of course.
me: the original, i mean.
him: yes, the one with tommy rettig, who played jeff? long before jon provost played timmy? that one?
me: yes. i’ve been thinking. how come there was jeff, jan clayton as mom, and george cleveland as gramps, but no dad? and gramps? who’s grandpa was he? jeff’s? mom’s? and where was gramps' wife? all these people living on a farm, and dad and grandma were missing. lassie can find jeff when he falls into the well, but she can’t find grandma? so it was kind of a very modern family. a mom, a kid, a senile old grandpa figure and of course the dog, who was smarter than a fifth grader.
him: you think too much.
me: yeah, i know. but while i’m on the subject, remember that danny thomas show, make room for daddy? who’s uncle was uncle tonoose? danny’s? the wife’s? the kids’? (in which case it would have been danny’s brother).
him: uncle tonoose? who the fuck was he?
me: hans conried. a great character actor.
him: really? what else did he do?
me: a bunch of b movies. never mind. and while we’re on the subject, do you remember the real mccoys? that freakin’ jingle still haunts me,
want you to meet a family, known as the real mccoys
that’s grandpappy amos, the head of the clan
roars like a lion but he’s gentle as a lamb
and now there’s luke who beams with joy
since he met kate, mrs luke mccoy.
from west virginny they came to stay
in southern califor-nia (this part oddly rhymes)
old grandpappy amos and the girls and the boys
of the family known as the real mccoys.
me: anyway, who’s grandpappy was he? there was luke and kate, and of course little luke, who i think i remember was their son, and a mexican illegal named pepino, (although nobody seemed to mind back then) and an old coot named grandpappy amos. was he luke’s daddy or his grandpa? kate’s? or was he little luke’s grandpa? in which case he’d be big luke’s pa. i was little then, so i didn’t give it much thought, but it’s goddam confusing.
him: wow, you know you’re really disturbing me.
me: yeah, sometimes i scare myself. moving on....how about bonanza? do you remember that one? three sons and a dad. dan blocker played hoss (that's western-speak for horse, which is the animal he most closely resembled, adam, played by pernell roberts who was a dark haired hottie, in chaps, (a young budding gay boy's fantasy), and of course the adorable little joe, played by michael landon, who was by far, the most handsome. now, as i remember, ben, the dad, was married 3 times and had a son by each marriage. one might ask, where were the wives? all dead? well, let's face it; if you had to wake up every morning and look at lorne greene you might just die as well. but how did a face like his produce little joe? i'm thinking the milkman's kid. (or whatever the wild west equivalent was......the well digger's kid? the chicken feed salesman's kid? something like that.) but once again on tv, a dad, 3 sons, no mom, no love interest of any of the boys, and yet another illegal immigrant cleaning and cooking, this time chinese, named derisively enough, hop sing. (what happend to skip jump, his twin brother? probably left him in china town, or, since this took place in nevada, maybe he was busy doing construction on the hotels on what would one day be the strip, in vegas).
him: you really think hop sing had a brother?
me: probably. a brother, but no wife. hmmm.
him: maybe i should have married your brother.
me: yeah, i know, but you married me, live with it. and btw, i’m not done yet. i had a sleepless night the other day. how about the beverly hillbillies? you had jed, right?
him: you have way too much time on your hands, you know that?
me: humor me a little longer, ok? so, do you remember jed clampett?
him: yes, the buddy ebson character.
me: right. and ellie may who was his daughter, and jethro bodine who was his half-witted nephew by way of pearl bodine, his sister, i guess, played by bea benaderet. there was also irene ryan as granny. so let’s do this again. who’s granny was she? jed’s? ellie may’s? (in which case she’d be jed’s mother? (so why are we calling her granny?) jethro’s? (in which case she’d be jed’s aunt?) and where’s grandpa? dead out in the cement pond? so this is the family in the 60’s. jed, his daughter, the brainless nephew, (who dallied in drag, playing his own twin sister jethrine….which was coincidentally my very favorite part of the entire show), someone’s granny, and let’s not forget the mannish, bookish, lesbian named miss jane hathaway. (ellen degeneres owes her, big time). yet another modern family.
him: i know gay marriage is not legal in florida, but is divorce? you’re one sick fuck.
me: don’t sidetrack me, i’m on a roll. how about the rifleman? chuck conners? (he helped make me gay. but that’s for another discussion). here he was, out in the wild west, strutting around in leather chaps, (there's a trend happening here, with all these hot, wifeless men in chaps, don't you think?), with a boy. the kid called him paw. (that’s how johnny crawford pronounced it). so there was lucas mccain, and mark mccain, (the boy.) where was mom? and not even a gramps in this one? WTF?? what kind of families were they representing. i mean, i was no beaver, or even a wally, or a ricky or david nelson, (christ, those families were too pure. mom vacuumed in heels and pearls. it's not the heels and pearls that freak me out, it's the fact that they had a mom who actually vacuumed.), but i did have a gramps and a granny. (ok, truth be told, i never called my grandmother, who came from a shtetl in russia, and fled the pogroms, crossed the ocean in steerage carrying an infant until she settled in jersey city and spawned 4 more, granny. she just somehow wasn’t the granny type, if you take my meaning.
him: I’m getting sleepy.
me: wait, one more. how about bachelor father? remember that one?
him: yes, john forsythe?
me: that's the one. he played this unmarried guy in his, i'm guessing late 30's, who was so rich, that even his first name was bentley. and who somehow gets custody of a niece, apparently from some dead sister, and he has to raise her all alone, never having been a dad, with no help from an adult woman. he did have, however, i am so loathe to say this, yet another in a series of itinerant chinese housekeepers, named peter tong, played by samee tong. (i shit you not. but somehow amos and andy was the politically incorrect show, even in light of all this other crap going on. go figure. but one more time, it was an odd make-up of an american family. a batchelor, a teenage girl and a chinaman. (probably folding bentley's shirts into neat little piles). too wierd.
him: can the rest of this hold until i get some shut-eye?
me: sure. but i'm going to think about this some more. i think the reason it's upsetting me, is that it seems that if those were the pictures of families in our formative years, then why would, say, bill o'reilly go off on jennifer aniston for wanting a baby without a dad? she could always find a gramps or a granny, couldn't she? i'm guessing she probably already has a chinese housekeeper AND a mexican or two strutting around the grounds of her beverly hills mansion. or at the very least, she could certainly buy a collie. with her money, i'm thinking she could.........seems like a pretty foolish thing to tell people what constitutes a family these days, given our colorful sordid past..........don't you think? ok, babe, go to sleep...............