Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Sitcom of HM's Life

Let's take a walk down memory lane. Except, it's MY memory, so
I'll give you a piggy-back ride. Stop kicking. This is as fast as I can
go. We're about to visit one of my favorite TV shows: Designing
Women. It's the later years, after Delta Burke was kicked off for
being too fat for TV. Here's Jan Hooks, post-SNL, playing Carlene,
Charlene's little sister. Carlene has just left her car-salesman hubby,
Dwayne Dawber, and has rented her very own apartment in a bad
part of town. Hey, the ladies are having a slumber party. That
Carlene sure knows how to throw a party. Hot dogs off the hibachi,
lawn chairs for furniture, air mattresses to sleep on, leg wrestling
and a phone call to the Queen of England for entertainment. Why,
the gals don't even mind that one of them has to drink out of the
'spit glass' from Carlene's bathroom, or that one of the air mattresses
is actually a blow-up doll from the bargain bin, or that Anthony
Bouvier shows up with Bernice and a Barbie Doll suitcase. Let's
see...where was I going with this memory?

Oh, yeah. Carlene said she had always pictured her life as a sitcom.
She whipped out her guitar, and played the theme song she'd already
written. Which makes me think: My life could be a sitcom.

I already have the kooky husband, and the smart-mouthed children.
Our neighbor the LandStealer is a source of conflict. I've had some
good, entertaining work experiences. I have a wacky friend, Mabel,
and others from way-back-when like Betty, who can be a composite
of several people. My Hillbilly Mama is a thrifty ol' gal. For Sweeps
Month, I can have a flashback to the college year of living with the
lesbians, or the time I applied for a job with the Board of Probation
and Parole, and they asked me about my arrest record as a crack
wh*re. Yep. I have enough material. Let's see what happens in the
first episode, shall we?

The title of my series will be: THAT'LL LEARN YA!


Thanks Giving Week

Hillbilly Mom has issues at work. On the way to school, she sees a
plume of black smoke rising from her teaching town. "I hope it's not
one of my student's homes," she thinks. As she crests the hill, she
sees that the smoke is coming out of her school. The principal says
to move all the kids to the gym, which is in a connecting building.
He tells the teachers with upstairs classrooms to run upstairs and
open their windows--there has been a problem with the furnace.
Hillbilly Mom runs up and opens all her windows. She can hardly
find the door and the stairs to go back down, what with all the
black smoke flowing up the stairwell. It burns her lungs. She gets
back down to find out that they should now go back and CLOSE
the windows. Back she runs, through the black smoke. A volunteer
fireman sets up a big fan at the main door to try to pull the smoke
out of the building.

While waiting 3 hours for the smoke to clear enough to resume
classes while pretending nothing out of the ordinary happened,
HM and her cronies discuss one of their biggest fears: that
something will happen to them at school, and the 16-year-old
volunteer firemen will try to resuscitate them.

Cornelius, the firstborn son, has issues in Kindergarten. His teacher
has given him the choice seat next to the incubator, home of future
baby chicks. She asks each child in turn to tell what they want
Santa to bring them for Christmas. The teacher is a bit taken aback
when Cornelius answers: "A fax machine." Toward the end of the
episode, the baby chicks have hatched. Cornelius is not pleased.
"Don't you like sitting where you can watch them?" HM asks.
"No. I hate it. All day long, it's nothing but CHEEP CHEEP
CHEEP! I can not get anything done! They are SO annoying--
just like those kids." The teacher refers Cornelius to be tested for
the Gifted Program "That's one of the signs of a gifted child," she
tells HM. "All the other kids annoy him so much."

Jebediah, the second-born, has trouble at preschool. "I am worried
that Vicki is going to kill Mike." HM quizzes him. "Now honey, why
would you be afraid your teacher is going to kill her husband?"
"Wellllllll...because she said, 'I'm going to kill Mike if he bought
that pontoon boat!'"

The Hillbilly Husband has injured himself trying to unhook the 5th
wheel camper from the pickup. "I had it all unhooked. I was trying
to get the hitch out of the bed, and it slipped. It landed right on my
big toe. I think it's broke." HM has none of it: "I told you to go get
Buddy to help you unload that thing. Drive yourself to the hospital.
I'm watching the Rams."

Back at school with HM. The faculty is having a pot-luck dinner
for a teacher who is about to retire. It is supposed to be a surprise.
While waiting for Teacher to arrive, first lunch shift digs into the
feast. HM puts what she thinks is a cheesy casserole on her plate.
She steers past the loaf of store-bought bread and the can of corn
warming in its own juices on the stove. She leaves her delicious
Oreo cake alone, so that others might partake of its goodness.
Then they see the sign: "Remember, second lunch shift has to eat,
too." She and her cronies are incensed! "Why didn't they just draw
a big fat pig and label it First Lunch Shift?" It is the start of bad
blood that will last for years.

Teacher walks in, and everyone yells, "Surprise!" Teacher drops
to the floor in a faint. A call is put out to 911. The 16-year-old
volunteer firemen get the call on their pagers, and respond. HM
and her buddy Fran look at each other like, "Oh! The HORROR!"

Later, HM fills in her buddy Mabel on the events of first lunch shift.
"What did you like best?" "I don't know. But I had the WORST
thing I've ever put in my mouth. I wanted to spit it out on my plate.
It was some kind of mushy creamed corn thingy. It almost made
me vomit." "Hmm...my friend Elective Teacher made a corn
casserole." HM waits for the ground to swallow her.

At the end of the episode, just before the credits, issues resolve.

Fran tells HM, "That'll learn ya to retire before you get too old."
HM: "Thank goodness Pignose is going to graduate before I get
that decrepit."

HH tells HM, "That'll learn ya to talk about somebody else's cooking.
HM: "Thank goodness there were two corn casseroles. I pretended
it was the other one that was so bad."

HM tells HH, "That'll learn ya to be so hard-headed and try to do
everything your way."
HH: "Thank goodness I can have surgery and get a pin put in my
big toe to repair the break."

OK, so I don't throw as good a party as Carlene. I may not have
blow-up dolls, but I have the story of the penny-smelling stalker,
the touchy-feeler, the 'I understand Letourneau' gal, the secretary
with an embalming license, french-kissing preschooler...OK, these
may not exactly lend themselves to sitcom plots. And I guess this
is really supposed to be fiction. So I will have to change every-
thing in Episode One.

Since my show will be cancelled after the first episode, I have not
even bothered with a theme song.


Blogger Rachy said...

It does feel like a little bit watching a sitcom when I read your site. There is always something funny happening and your outlook is so dry and witty.

You would definitely make it past the first episode so you had better hurry up on the theme song.

Suggestions anyone?

11:43 PM  
Blogger LanternLight said...

"Like sands through the hourglass ... so are the days of our ...." whoops, taken already.

With the fire and all, I thought we were in Kindergarten Cop for a mo.

7:11 AM  
Blogger MrsCoach2U said...

I guess I'll have to get another satellite channel in order to watch your show! I absolutely loved Designing Women, they just don't make shows like that anymore!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Redneck Diva said...

Wow, I think it'll work!! It's about something, not nothing like Seinfeld, it's got the precocious child, the quirky best friend (Is Mabel quirky? I wouldn't know, but she seems like she could be quirky.) and you could throw in Fitty and it'd be perfect!!

Work on that theme song - you could be famous!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Chickadee said...

I would write a letter of protest and picket in front of the network if the show was cancelled.

The story of Cornelius in Kindergarden cracked. me. up. That almost sounds like something my husband would say as a kid. LOL.

And I loved Designing Women. I watched the reruns on "Old Lady TV" Lifetime all the time too.

My favorite episode was the Tornado one. Where the ladies had a very hen-pecked nerdy husband stop by, and the hillbilly old man with his jug of moonshine got the henpecked nerdy man drunk. And the henpecked man got arrested for indecent exposure.


12:07 PM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

Well...just in case...I'll try to think up a theme song. Or rip one off from somebody else.

My Hillbilly Mama used to watch Days of Our Lives. That hourglass fascinated me. The show, not so much.

I agree. Of course, it helped that I was a hillbilly and all, and that Charlene was from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where I lived for a year as a child.

Oh, yes. Mabel is quirky. And I forgot the villain to end all villains--FITTY! And I KNOW I could come up with a better theme song than Seinfeld. Not that there's anything wrong with his...

Thank you for your loyal support during the imaginary cancellation of my imaginary show.

And now you've reminded me of some other favorite episodes...Like when Julia gets her head stuck between those railings in the stair bannister, and when they get audited and it's RAY DON from the cruise, where Julia made a big speech starting with "I'd like to thank you, Ray DONNNNNNN..." Oh, and the one where Anthony takes Consuela's citizenship test, and points out that he has 'extremely large ankles.'

7:54 PM  

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