Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Look, It’s A Happy Tree!

Today reminded me of those cold winter days from childhood when school is closed an you have free reign of the house. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I was able to make it to work this morning with little difficulty. It may have been a slow journey with idiots on the road that don’t know how to drive in the snow but those same people can’t drive when the roads are clear so it wasn’t much of a difference.

While I was not able to partake in such lack of activity, the white landscape made me recall such memories. Many of you remember those same mornings watching Bob Barker put some shady moves on his beauties (by the way, happy 90th Bob) just before ABC news at noon would tell you that Armageddon is upon us and we should all start coming to terms with our life and our G-d. But that was just a fleeting thought from those antsy days. The real entertainment didn’t begin until the afternoon.

When were much younger those afternoon hours were filled with cartoons or Sesame Street or a stroll through Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. A few years later it turned into Gilligan’s Island and Hogan’s Heroes mini marathons with the occasional sojourn with the Addams Family or the Munsters. But, inevitably, there was a time during those school days when there was a show so fascinating that you could watch episode after episode until the sky turned dark.

Some of you may not remember but Bob Ross was like snow day crack for those of us of a certain age. For some reason we could watch him paint, yes I said paint, for hours at a time. Happy tree after happy tree we could never understand the appeal but, at the same time, couldn’t take our eyes off of the screen. It all seemed so easy but we didn’t, at least those of us with an absence of artistic ability, know how to do it. We may have tried from time to time but our trees seemed more like a Dali inspired Rorschach test rather than happy.

But, years later, I think I have finally figured out why it was, and to a certain extent still is, so entertaining… it is a legal mellowness. Simply watching this guy for thirty minutes will get you high by association which makes sense because he seems higher than Jim Henson when he created Fraggle Rock during every episode. That is the only explanation for the fact that “happy trees” seeming like a logical description. This might be why the “just say no” campaign was so successful at the time… everyone was watching Bob Ross on PBS and didn’t need it.  

So, if you need to mellow, sit down and relax. Light a scented candle, grab a pile of snacks, and
watch Bob Ross. I can feel my eyes getting blood shot already. Just make sure you don’t have to drive anywhere for at least twelve hours afterward of you might find yourself being one of those idiots on the road that doesn’t know how to drive.