My mama and I are die-hard TV people. I have always loved television shows since I was a child. I have a memory of being 5-years-old and sitting down with my mama to watch “As the World Turns.” Sure that probably wasn’t the most wholesome thing for a kid to watch but it was the ‘70s and early ‘80s and nobody really gave any thought to how television affected children.
I loved it. The plots were funny and the characters so over the top. I grew up to be a soap opera-a-holic. I love them. I record them everyday. I watch them in my spare time or while I am folding laundry. I even mourned on the days that some of my favorites went off the air forever.
I watched kid shows too. I loved cartoons — Bugs Bunny, Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, Scooby Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, Hong Kong Fooey, The Jetsons, The Flintstones and Pac-Man. It was my Saturday morning ritual. Back then we couldn’t watch cartoons whenever we wanted like the kids today. The best cartoons came on between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. every Saturday morning. I had a standing date with the television and a bowl of Cheerios. I would sit in the dark and watch them at a low volume so I wouldn’t wake my parents up. I promise it was the best few hours of the week.
So you see how this has been ingrained in me to the point that sometimes it is fun to think about being in the shows I watch now. How cool would it be to play a character in Storybrook? I could be someone’s fairy godmother or maybe Flower from Bambi. There are all kinds of story lines that could add other layer to the twists the show has going on.
Or maybe I could be a guest star on NCIS? Mark Harmon would be the bomb to work with. I could be an agent, a love interest or maybe it would be more fun to become a victim. What a challenge it would be to lay on Duckie’s autopsy table in the cold room while he explains his findings to Jethro. I could just lie there, try not to breathe and admire Mark Harmon in the flesh. Wow, so much fun! If that worked out they could bump me to NCIS: Los Angeles or NCIS: New Orleans. I just know that Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Lucas Black and Scott Bakula would be excited to work with me.
You know, hospital shows are great to watch too. I could be anything there as well. It is to bad that “McDreamy” and “McSteamy” are gone but I can make do with the current characters. I could be Meredith’s new nanny. I could be a new intern but that is a little obvious. How about a friend of April’s from her high school? I might have a hidden illness and she finds it and makes me all better, all the while mending a broken part of our friendship from years ago. I really wouldn’t mind having a date with Alex or Jackson. Oh, how interesting it would be to learn all that hospital jargon! “We need an OR stat.” Oooh, how cool!
My getaways were mostly through the television. I could be anything. I would take a cruise on the Love Boat to reach Fantasy Island just to hear Tatoo say, “Da plane, da plane.” I was a line worker in the beer bottling plant with Laverne and Shirley. I was eating a burger and root beer float at Al’s diner when Fonzi met Richie. Hazzard County was a great destination to be to see Uncle Jessie fuss at Bo and Luke for wrecking another car. Then I could drive on in to the land of the rich and famous and to get my evil side out whether it was Dallas, Falcon Crest or Knot’s Landing. A good catfight in a luxurious pool would sure be fun!!
There were times I went to school with Arnold and Willis or maybe I got sent to boarding school to hang with Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie. Making stylish outfits was great when doing it with Denise and Vanessa especially when Rudy interrupted. And walking to school with Alex P. Keaton or Mike Seaver would be any girl’s dream.
My imagination is clearly very active and always has been but it gives me a lot of entertainment along the way. While reading this you may be thinking, “Whachoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis? I think instead embrace my quirkiness because I think it is “dynomite!” If you don’t I say to you, “up your nose with a rubber hose.” For now I want my readers to “live long and prosper” and know “that’s the way it is.”
“Good night, John Boy!”
Caroline Laster is an employee of The Bolivar Commercial. She may be contacted at