Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Magic Number - and other nostalgia trips

Foofing about on YouTube the other day, as one does, and I was amazed by how much stuff there is that isn't music videos (grammar). Thank god that out there somewhere are people as nerdy as me (but in a different way), joyfully uploading every crackly VHS tape of Blake's 7 or Button Moon (although try as I may, I can't find a clip of Avon snarling "Hit that button... NOW!!"), uploading their entire 1960s record collection, and having to illustrate it with a two and a half minute shot of the record sleeve or, odder still, the stereo equaliser, because items such as "You Don't Have To Be a Baby to Cry" by the Caravelles are too old to have a video. AAAAAAnyway - While searching for Kermit singing "It Isn't Easy Being Green", a truly sweet and poignant little hymn to self-acceptance that, even at the age of 5, made me want to hug him, I came across this...


...which took me right back to being a small child again. I grew up (till the age of 8, anyway) in Canada, and Sesame Street was the flat-out all-round best thing ever. This, people, is how I know my three times table, and even these days I still sing "3, 6, 9... 12, 15, 18..." when counting something in threes. I never had a problem with turning thirty because as far as I'm concerned, Thirty is the big strong scary one you wouldn't mess with.
I have no idea how they managed to be so educational without being obvious or preachy, because children know when they're getting a nasty spoonful of education in a sugar coating - somehow they just seemed to make it effortless and fun. I could still sing you the theme tune, although given that I've forgotten the second verse of "O Canada" that's probably just a sign of a selective memory rather than a highly-developed one.
Far more arcane, as childhood TV habits go, are the all-but-forgotten Kid Power, which I can still also sing the theme tune from, The Osmonds, which implanted forever in a geek pub-quiz way the names of all the Osmond brothers but for unknown reasons missed Marie out altogether, and The Jackson 5ive, similar, but in hindsight far creepier. What was with the cartoonising of pop bands in the 70s? Was it supposed to simultaneously render them more popular and less sexy? Thank god they never thought of doing that with Gary Glitter.
Thank you for reading! This episode of "Life Happens Between Books" was brought to you by the letter N and the number three. "Sunny day, chasin' the clouds away... on my way to where the air is sweet..."

11 comments:

Steve said...

Sesame Street still gives me a warm feeling inside and that's nothing to do with a penchant for Big Birds... I always preferred The Grouch anyway. I used to love the Banana Splits and the cartoon they featured... The Arabian Knights... I'd love to see that again.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Was The Arabian Knights "siiiiize of an elephant!!" ?
My personal love in Sesame Street was Cookie Monster. And The Count ("Zey call me...THE COUNT! Because I love.. TO COUNT!!") And I miss Big Bird! Why didn't he transfer to the Muppet Show with Kermit? Did they fall out over creative differences? Or Miss Piggy?

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh Avon was my first love and he still does something for me when I see clips of him. Big sigh! Odd really cos you think I would have gone for Servalan - she was much sexier and more my thing, but Avon. Oh Avon.

I've never watched Sesame Street.

But I LOVE youtube. I waste so much time on youtube - I love it almost as much as wine and cheese.

Lucy Fishwife said...

I hate to admit it but I had a crush on Tarrant, oh yes, he of the curly perm and huge teeth. Servalan exerted a strange sexual magnetism over all who surveyed her, male and female alike - was she in fact a female Ziggy Stardust? Certainly her wardrobe would beg to agree...
I've got some absolutely fantastic oak-smoked cherry tomatoes in oil, just great with a mature cheddar. Bring a nice chunky red.

Brother Tobias said...

Let me know if you find one on long division - I missed it moving between forms and had to muddle my way through the next decade (until the pocket calculator was invented), using a home-devised system of repeated doubling (which I later discovered was the binary system).

Lucy Fishwife said...

Nothing simpler!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgBhhTiQjYU
... don't say I never do anything for you...

Reluctant Blogger said...

Well, I have brought some rioja - will that be OK.

I just had to whizz my tomato glut in the food mixer - couldn't keep up with them at all. Seems a shame to tomato-saucify the poor blighters.

Tarrant??? haha no, surely not. But yes, Servalan did have a bit of the Ziggy Stardust about her. I went into one of my Avon-reveries after I was here last - it was not conducive to work.

I'll pour the wine shall I? Or is it too early to start drinking???

Brother Tobias said...

Lucy, thank you! How is it that a simple video can achieve in one minute what Dicky failed to achieve in a year? (If he taught that badly, is it possible that he wasn't even the fighter ace he claimed to be, in spite of the bomber jacket he habitually wore?)

Can Bass 1 said...

How very charming! (And in tune, too.)

Lucy Fishwife said...

RB - It's never too early, but I may start with a smaall one. Tomatoes have gone the way of all flesh (ie my stomach) but I now have some celeriac remoulade which is nice with Roquefort. White wine?

BT - if I wore a tiara, would that make me Marie of Rumania?? I say by a man's works shall ye judge him. He certainly wasn't a mths teacher, whatever else he may have been...

CB1 - Why, thank you! I have a serviceable alto when pressed.

ScentScelf said...

Holy Rankin Bass, Batman! I've scored a total blog hit. Let's see...we both use the word "foof" as a verb, my "foof" was used when talking about perfume, I'm all excited about the long division video [oops, no good, removed], I want to add "HR Pufenstuf" to your collection of shows (live action + some cartoons, and Mama Cass to boot), in another post you discuss Time and Again, books, perfume, good humor (and writing)...

Sorry, not the usual pithy comment. Just a happy shout out from a new fan. (Done in the style of Grover, something like "Hey, Lucy bay-beeee")