Greetings, Pop Culture Retrorama readers! I’m BAAAAAAAAAACK!
What I Did On My Summer Vacation…
I’ve been quite busy this past summer. Well, busy in the sense that I had a pretty big milestone of life happen almost three months ago…
Yeah, I did things that require changing my name (the hyphenation is informal and used for writing purposes).
After that (well, after being whisked away to another room to “make it legal”)…
We went to Las Vegas for four days (and took the entire week off from writing)…
…and then I came home and resumed my writing duties on Allison’s Written Words!
I’m excited to be back in the saddle of writing for a dedicated nostalgia site. I’ve missed my time with Retroist, so you can imagine I was very excited when the invite was extended to contribute to Pop Culture Retrorama. I’m hoping that I can continue to give the very best of what I offered on Retroist to this new site!
Enough of that, let’s get to work!
Previously, On Retroist…
Back when I was a newbie writer for Retroist, I had made a request for a specific Amazing Stories episode to be discussed on the Saturday Night Frights podcast. My request wasn’t exactly “fright” material, but when one asks for episode ideas, another gives episode ideas.
I could easily have done my own recap of it, but I really wanted to make my voice heard for some strange reason.
So, there it was – I asked for Vic and The Projectionist to talk about the Amazing Stories episode “Remote Control Man.”
This particular episode has this silly little personally nostalgic connection for me – it was the first episode I ever saw (in reruns, like the rest of the episodes I’ve seen), but it was one that has absolutely stuck out in my mind. So, it was ripe for requesting!
It became Episode 057 of the podcast, in case you’re wondering. And I loved every minute of the podcast, as much as I love every minute of the episode.
So, for the not-so-amazing part of this rambling story…
Picture It, 1988 (or 1989, I Don’t Remember)…
Back around late 1988 or early 1989, when I was six years old, I came into the room while my mom and dad were watching television. I thought they were watching a movie. My memory of it was this older guy was being “bossed around” by his ugly wife, whom he kept calling all kinds of cutesy names, like “peaches.”
I remember my dad making this comment that his wife is no peach. The henpecking wife asks her put upon husband to fish a utensil out of the garbage disposal.
That part had my attention, as did the arrival of the couple’s hellion of a young son.
The thing that makes this all so funny, and just absolutely has stuck in my head for the last thirty years, was my mom’s reaction to the arrival of the bratty son, Ralph.
“That little s**t is going to turn on the garbage disposal!”
And, she was right.
Of course, if you’ve seen the episode, you know how the scene ended – poor put upon husband got his hand out right before bratty son flipped the switch.
We all laughed about it, but I’ve had this fear of sticking my hand in the garbage disposal to get anything out ever since. I don’t think it was the scene in particular that was so memorable, but that my mom’s reaction to it made it more memorable.
Upload via Allison’s Written Words
We never finished the episode (again, I thought it was a movie), so I lost track of it after that, but as we all know, things do have this strange ability to find its way back to you when you least expect it. And being the nostalgic person I am (or at the time, was going to be – I didn’t know it yet), it would find me.
The Summer Before College…And Beyond That…
The summer after finishing high school, I was home on a Saturday afternoon, going through the channels, when I came across the Sci-Fi Channel (I refuse to ever call it the SyFy Channel, or “Siffy,” but it was still “Sci-Fi” in 2001), and the put upon man calling his wife “peaches” and “cherry blossom.”
It was that movie again!
Well, I found out that it was not a movie after all, and I actually did get to see the rest of the episode!
It would be a few years (and the movie channel Encore showing the compilation Amazing Stories movies) before I would see the first few minutes of the episode, but there it was. I also found out the name of the episode the third time around, and it would take years and a lot of nostalgia to understand/pinpoint every single reference in the episode, as well as all the cameos, as there were so many!
Years later, in my mid-thirties, “Remote Control Man” has never stopped being funny for me. The story of poor put upon Walter Poindexter, despised by his wife, overworked by his co-workers, intensely disliked by his bratty young son and peace-loving Hare Krishna of an older son, as he seeks solace in the one thing that never judges, annoys, or overworks him – the television – is definitely made “amazing” by how Walter goes about dealing with his abysmal life.
And the part with the garbage disposal? I was watching the episode the other day, and the thought of my mom’s reaction (“That little s**t is going to turn on the garbage disposal!”) made me laugh hysterical…and jump when bratty Ralph offers to “give his dad a hand.”
I still hate garbage disposals.