Thursday, May 20, 2010

Behaving abnormally

Here's another extended snippet from my "growing up in the 60s" book. I'm a student at UCLA and it just turned 1969.

By now the “Generation Gap” had been trivialized to where ABC had a prime time game show with that theme. ABC also had THE MOD SQUAD, a group of hippie crime fighters.

1969 meant a new year, new quarter, and new language. Obviously I couldn’t make it through two more sessions of Hebrew. Even non-Jews got better grades. And no one said I had to take three quarters of the same language. So I switched to Italian.

I had heard it was easy. And it was… until the scandal broke out the second week.

Apparently several teachers’ assistants had been sleeping with female students and giving them A’s. Their justification that it was a romance language didn’t wash. The result: Outrage by the department with a vow to make Italian the hardest language in the history of academia. By week three I would have slept with the TA’s for even just a passing grade.

I also took “Abnormal Psychology”, which proved helpful years later in dealing with actors. One of the assignments was to do some inappropriate behavior in public and study everyone’s reaction. I went to the Corbin Bowl, a place that held so many wistful memories for me. Ann Jillian and I had had a couple of bowling dates there in the 8th grade. Don’t laugh. I got to see her with her shoes off.

My abnormal behavior was this: I’d step to the line, ready to roll, and then at the last second I would move laterally a few feet and bowl in the next person’s lane. At first they were very nice. The experiment ended after four times when they tried to wedge my head in the ball return.

One classmate chose to urinate on the front steps of the administration building. He said people just walked by as if it were normal. I always thought as a snapshot of campus life in the late 60s that was the perfect image.


Tim said...

I wish I could forget Linc's quote from the promos when told he could avoid jail by becoming a crime fighter: "I don't fink out no soul brothers!". Every time I see Clarence Williams III it pops into my head.

A. Buck Short said...

Got ya beat. I was a pin boy at the Jewish Community Center (they bowled from right to left). Later replaced by a machine that did everything I did, but 10 times better. The sad thing, Ann Jillian went out and got one (sorry Woody, but I really was a pin boy).

OK, time for an apology regarding your previous BOBlehead HOPE post. My bad. Sorry, what I meant to say was “That’s wild, really wild!” But I’m lost without my bobblehead Barney McNulty..

Yes folks, check out the interview with the “King of Kue” and find out how Hope’s 600lbs. of cue cards per monologue were enough to counterbalance the camera and sound boom weight on a USO C-130 transport (1:47). How to score cardboard in France and even Sweden (:58 ). The progression of cue card font size with Mr. Hope’s advancing age and declining vision (10:52). Gen. Westmoreland’s account of how the collapse of a cue card stand saved the entire Hope troop from their appointment with a Viet Cong car bomb -- 4” of cardboard will stop shrapnel (13:05). That Groucho had all his ad libs carded on “You Bet Your Life" – including alternates adaptable to any situation (24:58). Yes, I know, I hate to burst your bobble.

Oh, and speaking of bubbles, bobbles and bright shiny beads – John Bubbles of the Buck & Bubbles dance team, on tour with Bobo (17:40).

Ann Margret

gih said...

You can not see it actually on a person's face, a behave person depends on how he deals with other people surrounds him and even to his family. There are a lot people looks so good or kind and or a behave one but the real character is very naughty, ugly, bad, etc.

Wallis Lane said...

Ah, the Corbin Bowl. As a Valley ex-pat who returns home occasionally, it's comforting to drive down Ventura Boulevard, see that Googie sign, and realize there's at least one business from my childhood that's still standing.