Monday, December 28, 2015


My brother likes to listen to a program on local radio on Sunday night called Looking Back. In the program, the radio personality uses the term "The Wayback Machine".  Of course people of my generation understand the reference because Rocky And Bullwinkle was a popular television show when I was in high school; it was aired prior to American Bandstand; we watched both programs daily after coming home from school.

I loved the characters, the segments with The Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody, Natasha and Boris, Fractured Fairy Tales, Mr. Know-It-All, and Dudley Do-Right, but my favorite was at the end of each episode, which was always a cliff-hanger, and the announcer [I later learned was William Conrad] would intone dramatically, e.g.: one about Rocky being trapped on a mountain: "Be with us next time for AVALANCHE IS BETTER THAN NONE--OR--SNOW'S YOUR OLD MAN!" I loved the puns.  A friend and I would constantly be using "OR" references, much to the irritation of family, friends, and teachers.  I sometimes do it today!

Algebra was my first class of the day and my friend and I would be chattering animatedly about the previous day's Rocky and Bullwinkle episode. After tiring of hearing us, one day my Algebra teacher, Mr. White, said, "Great minds run in the same channel OR fools think alike." Touche, Mr. White!

Mr. White did not have a pleasant smell about him and I think that he wore the same clothes all week long. He wore different ties occasionally but his white shirt was dingy and his trousers were always shiny on the rear and one could see chalk residue on them from the previous day. [It just dawned on me that they were from a suit which, of course, was not washable and needed to be dry-cleaned; he probably couldn't afford to have them dry-cleaned!] He would also have little bits of toilet paper stuck to his face where he'd nicked himself shaving. I thought about giving him one of my father's styptic pencils.

I did well in Algebra--with the help of my brothers--and although I am sorry that I do NOT remember Algebraic formulas today--I DO remember Rocky and Bullwinkle!  Hmmmm?  It's interesting that the term "Wayback Machine" is now an internet colloquialism for past events!

HOKEY SMOKE, Bullwinkle! We're still relevant!  Listen to the opening theme:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved Natasha and Boris! ML