Thursday, June 15, 2006

Come Very Close

Yesterday, after the dentist, after the Gap, I still had some fight left in me, so I went to the yarn store. I go through obsessive periods of knitting, followed by months of not picking up the needles. However, since one of my cousins is about to pop out another baby, I thought I should pick up some yarn to make a gift for the little one.

So last night, as I began the tiny little alpaca baby sweater, I put on my favorite podcast, Catalogue of Ships. Usually an episode of Catalogue of Ships lasts ten minutes, but for Episode 28 the guys did a 45-minute long off-the-cuff, unproduced episode that most listeners hated, so don't go listen to it. However, about halfway through the podcast the guys mentioned me, which was the greatest thing that has ever happened in the history of Cupcake and podcasting. I swear I'm not being a delusional teenager here, Michael said, "Who was that nice woman [sic] who wrote to us today? Nancy. Cupcakes," and then they talked about me for five seconds, maybe ten. My eyebrows shot up and a noise of joy escaped from my throat.

How excited was I to be mentioned? Well, in my head I flashed back to being in the third grade and standing in the house where I grew up. I'm talking on the beige rotary phone in the kitchen to Kristen T. who invited Meghan O. and I to go see a New Kids on the Block concert. In Providence. On a school night. The excitement I felt at that prospect is a close comparison to the thrill of hearing my name on Catalogue of Ships.

This reminds me of a story that my father told me. I've asked my father about this story many times but I never remember the specifics, so don't quote me on the details. When my father was a kid, every local television station (of which there were three) had a locally produced show for children. These kiddie shows usually played in the afternoon between school and dinner time. Mr. Sweep had a television show on Chanel 10. Mostly the show consisted of cartoon clips and some patter by Mr. Sweep.

Stick with me, this is where it gets good. Now, parents would go out and buy a new toy for their kid. Then they would write to Mr. Sweep, 'please say hello to my son Richard. I bought him a toy truck and it will be hidden under the green chair in the family room'. So, one day you would be watching television and Mr. Sweep would say, "I have a very special message for one ov my tv viewers. Richard Cupcake of Providence, come very close to the screen, I have a special message just for you. Richard, I was at your house last night doing some sweeping and I left you a new toy truck under the green chair in the living room." Then the kid would run to the green chair, look underneath and find the toy.

Now, this story blows my mind for three reasons. First, Just imagine being a seven year old kid. You're watching TV and all of a sudden, the host calls out to you. He knows your name and where you live. You approach the televsion screen, lean in and he tells you where to go to find a new toy hidden in your house. Second, you go to the hiding spot and find a brand new truck. And third, the reason Mr. Sweep knows this, is because he stopped by your house last night just to do some sweeping and maybe shoot the shit with your parents while you were sleeping. Unbelievable. People, this is must-see t.v..

Now, I have a very special message for one of my readers. Queenie, lean in very close to the screen. I was at your house last night borrowing some sugar for a cupcake recipie and I left you a present in the refridgerator. It's a box of wine!


Joshua said...

Who's ship of , wait, who's Catalogue of Ships?

Michael said...

Catalogue of Ships is a weekly podcast that has never, ever, been compared to the New Kids on the Block prior to this blog posting.

NancyPearlWannabe said...

I totally did not remember Mr. Sweep until I just read this post. It was right up there with Zoom and the Banana Splits.

Queenie said...



Joshua said...

Ah, thanks Michael!

Cupcake said...

You remember Mr. Sweep? Huh. According to the article, (the only metion of Mr. Sweep I could find anywehre on the Internet), the show ran from 1960 -61. Either you're really old, that show was syndicated like crazy, or someone else had the good sense to copy that formula.

Queenie: lucky guess.