I’m not going to tell you what time my father knocked on the door to my apartment today because I’m a teensy bit embarrassed that I slept that long…but after welcoming him in and asking what I could do for him, he informed me that he had planned to take me to lunch.
Naturally, I immediately followed this announcement by asking the standard ten questions that only my real father would know the answers to because…well, I don’t wish to cast aspersions on the man, but he doesn’t volunteer to treat me to lunch too often—and I suspected this might have been a pod person only pretending to be dear ol’ Dad. But first on the agenda, I had to call those weasels at CharredHer about a discrepancy in my cable bill—about a month ago, I agreed to try out some online music service of theirs on a free basis…and for some odd reason, the darn thing never did work right on my computer (I kept getting major error messages) so I said to “heck wid it” and decided it wasn’t worth my time. In signing up for this, CharredHer stated that they would contact me as to whether or not I wished to continue it after my free thirty days were up…and you’d think I’d be old enough by now to know when someone’s not telling me the truth, but…well, chalk it up to my cheerfully optimistic nature that people are basically good, I suppose.
So I’m trying to sort this out on the phone—something I’m usually loathe to do because of this whole strained voice thing…and the individual to whom I’m speaking (we’ll call her “Melissa”…because that’s the name she gave me) tells me that there’s actually a way I can save on my cable bill (which is currently the size of the national debt) by agreeing to try out Showtime for a year. I am, of course, skeptical about such a thing and so I made her point out to me what my bill would be if I agreed to do this…and as it turns out, there is a small savings…enough to purchase a candy bar at the local googolplex assuming I ever go out to the movies again. I told her to go ahead and sign me up even though the odds of my actually watching anything on Showtime are fairly remote…the only upside to this is that it will give me access to Showtime On Demand, so maybe I can find something on that worth seeing. (Meanwhile, my father shakes his head in amusement, the same way he does when he’s thinking “That’s my boy—the chump.”)
After completing this transaction, mi padre and I went off in search of Athens’ UPS store because he had some things to mail to sister Debbie that she opted not to take with her on the plane trip back to I-o-way (a couple of birthday gifts, some books for Rachel, etc.). We managed to locate UPS and he goes inside to have the people there put everything in a big honkin’ mailing box…and I agreed to stay in the car and wait until he gets back. Fortunately, I noticed that he had left in the vehicle my sister’s address that he’d written on the back of an envelope—so I followed him inside and handed to him upon spotting him at the front counter, going through some note cards that were in his pocket on which he thought he’d written where the package needed to be mailed. (Later, we discovered that the note card…was inside the envelope I handed to him.) When he came back to the car, he showed me what the tariff was to mail the stuff to Snip and cracked: “Maybe we should have eaten lunch first.” (Me: “Looks like we’re heading for Krystal”; Krystal being the Southern equivalent of White Castle and the restaurant once usually goes to when they’re short of funds.)
But instead, my father treated me to some KFC (“the crack cocaine of fast food”), and on the way home, I told him Jay Thomas’ Lone Ranger anecdote, which he got a kick out of hearing. I also stopped by my mail box, which was a good idea—because I don’t think the mail person could have squeezed any more mail into it (it had been a good while since I checked on it). Dad agreed to come inside with me (I had an article I printed off that I thought he would get a kick out of reading) and as I made my way to the front door I found a package had been placed by the stoop.
The photo to your left is what was inside the package—the latest Radio Spirits collection for which I composed the liner notes. It’s a 4-CD set with eight classic broadcasts from 1947 featuring George & Gracie, several of which feature a story arc in which Gracie sells the Burns’ home…and our favorite comedy couple are at odds to secure other lodgings as a result. (There’s also a September 18, 1947 broadcast that features famous costume designers Edith Head, Orry-Kelly and Howard Greer for the movie fashion mavens in the audience.) The generous people at RS often send me a copy or two of these collections and I generally keep one for myself and give one to Mom and Dad. As it would so happen, I have an extra one—and that’s where you come in.
If you’d like the opportunity to take this set into your own home and enjoy some classic old-time radio comedy, simply drop me an e-mail at igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com with the phrase “Home Fires Giveaway” in the subject header, and you’ll be entered into a contest to win a copy of these timeless broadcasts. You don’t have to send me your snail-mail address right away but if I do have it, I can send it out to you that much quicker. The deadline for this “Home Fires Giveaway” will be EDT next Wednesday (July 21)…Thursday morning, I’ll draw a name at random, and inform the lucky winner that their prize is on the way. (I’ll also insert a reminder or two between now and the deadline for those who came in late on the announcement.)
And as a special nod to Mike Galbreath, longtime TDOY commenter and supporter—I promise to get your Invaders prize out to you tomorrow…and I’ve included a little “bonus” to apologize for being so tardy in mailing it. In the meantime, fans of OTR comedy—and particularly Burns & Allen—are encouraged to enter this great giveaway…courtesy of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear!