On the way to Costco yesterday for the first time (hello amazing food samples, neatly folded stacks of Lilly Pulitzer little girl sundresses, and tubs of feta cheese, where have you been all my life?) I was checking out Twitter on my iPhone when I read that infomercial pitch man Billy Mays dying unexpectedly at his Tampa home. I Googled the news and read the story on TMZ, which proved to be a legitimate news source, something I never thought I’d say in all seriousness.
It’s hard not to shake one’s head in disbelief and feel some sadness over all the celebrity deaths that have occurred just in the past week. We don’t usually watch the news with the girls but we watched the first portion of ABC’s special about Michael Jackson. The girls were completely enamored with Jackson as a little boy, singing and dancing his heart out with the Jackson 5. Then I watched most of the special later that night about Farrah Fawcett and couldn’t help but cry during Barbara Walter’s touching interview with Ryan O’Neil. And who can forget Ed McMahon as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on the Tonight Show?
Miss C went through a phase in the winter of 2008 where she would practically run to the TV every time she heard Billy Mays’ amazing voice so I thought I’d repost something I wrote originally in January 2008 in honor of him. I haven’t told Miss C that Mays has also died, but it’s probably just a matter of time before she sees something about it on TV and I’m going to have to explain, yet again, that even famous people on TV die and go to heaven.
And I think I really will buy some Orange Glow, look up a few Charlie’s Angels episodes on YouTube, and dust off my old cassette tapes because Off the Wall was one of the first albums I remember listening to in full and I’ll never forget the middle school angst of performing a dance routine for PE class to Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough in front of my entire school because my teacher was some sort of sadist. That’s another story altogether.
Originally published January 2008:
During the bottomless pit of holiday downtime with its endless snacking, lack of routine, and overuse of the TV as a babysitter, Miss C became hooked on several “as seen on TV” products.
She insisted I buy the Betty Crocker cake decorating set so I could make her a flower cake for her birthday.
She ran to me one afternoon pleading, “Mommy come look, come look at this purse! Quick! Quick! You’re going to miss it! It holds everything and you can find anything!”
She begged for Moon Sand, with glitter no less. You could sell cardboard boxes to a 5-year-old girl if they came with glitter.
I blew all this off as a testament to the powerful allure of TV commercials.
Last night she was straightening up her room (she was prolonging bedtime but who am I to argue with her willingly cleaning her room) and I told her I might buy a bulletin board to display her photos and school certificates and other special papers.
“Mommy what’s a bulletin board?”
“Well, it’s a place to hang things like pictures and special school papers. We could hang one on the back of your door.”
“But how would you hang it? There’s no hanger there.”
“Well I’d get daddy to hang it up with a nail or something like that.”
She paused for a moment as her 5-year-old mind spun into overdrive. Her eyes grew wide as she had a revelation.
“Mommy! You need to get some Mighty Putty. It holds anything!”
That Billy Mays is one slick peddler.