“Razzle Dazzle” and “The Howdy Duddy Show!” Remember those TV shows from the distant past? You’d have to be in your 50’s to even know what I’m talking about. These were TV shows that invited classrooms of children to be on the air for a whole half hour! I was on Razzle Dazzle. And I was floored to hear that a friend of mine (Mark), was on it as well! Small world eh? We were just the usual mess of kids from grade two, fussing about in line, anticipating all the excitement of being on TV! Just a mass a confusion, which makes great camouflage.! I pinched a girl on her side and made her scream: “EeeeeK!” Everybody laughed!
Funny isn’t it? If I were the age I’m at now, I’d be shaking in my books, just from age alone! I’d certainly be sweating it out, wondering just what the entire world is going to do with an old, Fudd like me… As children, we felt none of that. Fearing the worst, is more of an adult pass-time I expect. So there we were, a mass of babble, when suddenly, this Clown comes walking out: “Hello boys and girls! Welcome to Razzle Dazzle! Let me see you wave your arms in the air and shout: “RAZZLE DAZZLE!” “RAZZLE DAZZLE!” Clown: “LOUDER!” Us: “RAZZLE DAZZLE!!!” I hate clowns… Everyone was stunned!
“Just like on the show. Ready? On three: “One… two…” See we all knew this is the instruction part that comes before the show, so we paid close attention. It wasn’t just that though… Most kids don’t like clowns close up! If you’ve ever seen the movie “IT” by Steven King, you’d know exactly what I mean. Most of you do anyway. We stood in terror, petrified as wooden decks. No one dared speak to the horrific looking clown!
So we learned what we were supposed to do, and when and everything. Then we were guided to a small stadium stand affair in The Studio, with three tiers (levels). I was on the top tier, right near the end, next to this pleasantly, plump guy at the very end. First, let me inform you. I wasn’t the nicest kid on the block! In fact I was in a gang! And we didn’t even name ourselves we were so bad!
So The Clown tells a story. And every time he’d tell an exciting part, he’d point at us, the camera’s little, red, light would turn on, we’d all stand up and shout: “RAZZLE DAZZLE” each of us with these stupid pom poms, flapping in the wind… And I can’t explain it really. It was just a funny picture I got in my head about national television, and I simply could not resist my next move.
The Clown said: “WHAT DO YOU SAY BOYS AND GIRLS?”, pointed at us, the little, red light went on, we all stood up, and I just bumped poor buddy beside me with my hip, and over the side he went, flopping onto the hard concrete below! Up went the Pom Poms and we all yelled: “RAZZLE DAZZLE!”
Here’s the funny thing; nobody said a word! Everybody acted as if the whole thing was normal! Buddy picked himself up off the floor, went to the first tier, climbed up to his spot beside me and HE never said a word! It’s as if they all decided to just except it as part of the act! Or like: “That’s just what kids do!” or something or other. Weirdest thing I’d ever seen up to the tender age of seven (7)…
And life went on for me in bewilderment… I thought I’d be punished for sure! And poor buddy! I’m sure it was no picnic for him. I’d apologize, if I could just remember his name. “HELLO? IF YOU’RE OUT THERE AND READING THIS, I’M SORRY OK?”
The moral? We’re still kids inside. And kids don’t wear masks. They are who they are: WYSIWYG. When was the last time you let the little, boy/girl out? When was the last time you went out and just jumped over puddles for instance? Don’t do it in front of people, they’ll lock you up! I don’t want to encourage people to pull out their old cap pistils, go out side and play. Just a reminder that we need to insert a little play into our lives. Not Malicious play, like my childhood story.
Just take a break from the strain sometimes. I like to play: “Mahjong”, just cuz when I do, I know I’m getting good observational exercise for my mind, and at the same time, I’m not thinking about anything but the game which, quite frankly, is really giving my mind a rest; (WITH A TIME LIMIT!) freeing me up to be the little, boy in me once again. You’ll even capture innocence from time to time! You won’t suddenly go stupid or something… It’s a really beautiful feeling you try to, and wish you could, hang onto forever….
P.S. WARNING: I’m all grown up now.