Monday, September 28, 2009

83. Bismuth


The Pepto-Bismol Hour

Hey, kids! What time is it?
It's Pepto-Bismol Time,
Pepto, Pepto, Pepto
Pepto-Bismol Tiiiiiiime!

Ah, the classic television shows of the Fifties! Remember the Pepto-Bismol Hour? Sure you do! With Peppy the Clown, and the Pepto-Bismol Kids, and of course its genial host, Guy Adventure. Once a week he'd put on a pith helmet and become The Adventure Guy, and lead the Pepto-Bismol Kids on an action-packed safari on Planet Bismuth. Which may have been just a few unconvincing papier-mache boulders against a painted desert backdrop, but it sure seemed good enough for us, you betcha!

And how about their alien sidekick, Pinkie? All together now: Gleep-gleep! Did you remember to touch your nose and cross your eyes? Good.

Everything on the show was pink—Pepto-Bismol pink. You couldn't see that on TV of course, because the show was in black and white. But every now and then there'd be an item in the Coloroto section of the Sunday paper, with all the Pepto-Bismol Girls in their frilly pink dresses and the Pepto-Bismol Boys in their trim pink suits. It was that kind of attention to detail that made the show so great.

Okay, so the cartoons weren't much of a much. Kids used to have nightmares about those motionless giant bottles with human lips crawling on their cartoon faces like worms. But cut them some slack. This was years before Clutch Cargo—they were just ahead of their time.

And the dancing chickens! Buck-buck-buck-a-buuuuuck! Yes, of course they were just a line of feather dusters on a stick—that was the joke! Still, the same skit on every single show … it did begin to wear after a while.

It was educational, too. No, really! Remember all that stuff about how Pepto-Bismol was made from bismuth and how it soothed the stomach by … ? Yeah, me neither. So I guess it wasn't really educational after all. But its intentions were good.

Guy Adventure did put on a little weight in the later years. Hell, the man was a blimp. But he never gave up. Remember that big mustache he grew and how he dyed it bright pink? Boy, it really gave the parents something to think about!

Oh, the memories. So sweet, so precious. They don't make television shows like that anymore!

The EPA won't let them.

© 2003 by Michael Swanwick and SCIFI.COM.

No comments:

Post a Comment