I’m taking a cue from network TV, taking a break and rerunning some Old Coot articles. But, it won’t be like the networks overuse of reruns. They run five or six new episodes of a show, starting in late September or early October, and then start the reruns. New episodes appear a month or so later, following weeks of advertising and hoopla! The average major media production of network shows is 16 original episodes a year.
Back in my day, when rerunning shows was invented, it was a “summer” phenomenon. The new season began in September, like it does now, but it ran until June. Thirty plus episodes a year, and then summer reruns.
Oh, how we groaned, we hated to be stuck with shows we’d already seen. But, stuck we were, with only three channels to choose from (the three major networks). No cable channels. No cable! Just a metal antenna on the roof or a set of rabbit ears on top of the TV set, often with hunks of tinfoil dribbling off the “ears” to bring in better reception or eliminate the “snow” that infringed on the picture. TV sets were the size of small refrigerators, sometimes with built-in record players and AM radio receivers.
So, anyhow, I’m giving in and submitting for publication a few reruns of my own. I have over 700 articles to pick from, dating back to 2003. If your memory is anything like mine, you probably would never know the difference, if I hadn’t fessed up to the scam. Heck, when I read through one, to see if it’s still pertinent, I don’t recall ever writing it, so I think I can get away with a few reruns. Starting next week, the Old Coot Rerun Season will kick off. The first one is my eulogy to the now deceased, shiny, chrome car bumper. The second slams food producers for getting the “portion size” listed on the package wrong.
To get you prepared, those of you that have read this far, I’m including a partial rerun from an article that ran in 2009; the “Um People,” one of my favorite human nature observations.
The Old Coot discovers the “UM” people.
I was studying the “Um” people the other day. You know the type. They wait in line, staring at the racks of donuts in Dunkin Donuts, or the extensive menu at a fast food joint, but when their turn comes, they are dumfounded. The clerk says, “How may I help you?” They reply with, “Um.” And after a long pause, continue with “I think I want a dozen donuts,” and another, “Um.” They tap their index finger on their chin and repeat it again, “Um.” “Um.” “Um.” Finally, they get started. “Give me two jelly.” That’s followed with another, “Um.” All through the selection process the dialog is interspaced with ums. That’s why I call them the Um people. They’re never prepared for the task at hand. When the exasperated clerk finally gets their order together and says, “That will be seven dollars and sixty-eight cents,” they shift back to their “UM” mode, with, “Um, where did I put my wallet?” Everything that comes their way is a shock. We all do this from time to time, but the “Um” people never get out of the groove.
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