In memory of the greatest summer show ever

I don’t even have to work five days this week. I had Monday off. But the prospect of getting up tomorrow morning and going to work for another nine hours just doesn’t sound fun at all. Well, actually, the work part isn’t that bad, because the office is air-conditioned. Getting home in the evening, unfortunately, has become the most dreaded part of the day, because our apartment has absolutely no circulation. All the moisture got trapped here in the winter and produced an alarming amount of mold; now all the hot air has been sandwiched in.

This evening we actually swapped our bedroom and “office” (aka the room with my desk and all the papers I need to file). The bedroom faces a big bright light in the stairwell and we had to choose between using my mom’s handmade curtains to gain some measure of darkness, thereby suffocating and dying from heat, or keeping the window open and being kept awake by light instead of the temperature. The office window faces a lovely hedge, and even though it gets the last afternoon sun, it cools down quickly once we get a fan in the window.

Unfortunately, all this had to be accomplished by heaving our furniture and boxes around in the 85-degree apartment.

Kevin, being his usual helpful stuff, did all the heavy lifting while I was at work, but we did spend most of the evening staggering past each other with boxes in tow, knuckles dragging, avoiding even a reassuring hand-squeeze because then we would be even hotter.

I somehow managed to concoct stuffed shells for dinner (I know, right?) and we sprawled in front of the TV for an hour of mindless summer entertainment. My current favorite is “America’s Got Talent” (check out Prince Poppycock on Youtube, it will complete your life). Kevin enjoys “Wipeout,” but I think we both missed out on “Minute to Win It.”

Now I know summer TV is supposed to be mindless and fast-paced and unchallenging. It would be hard to figure out exactly what went down in “Lost” while baking in your underwear in front of a fan. The mind just can’t function at those temperatures. Hence, game shows requiring participants to clamber across spinning foam contraptions or empty an entire box of tissues in one minute.

But I’d like to take a moment to lament the loss of the greatest hour to ever grace the June-to-August screen, that homage to spandex-covered muscles, that pinnacle of athletic prowess, the show that gave the Everyman a chance to challenge giants: American Gladiators.

We congregated every week to watch this show. We rooted for Wolf, we mocked Titan’s fancy hair, we cowered before Crush, aka Gina Carano, who actually does fight and actually can kick everyone’s butt. We appreciated Hulk Hogan’s presence, because really, it was the kind of show the Hulk would hang out at. We debated which of the female gladiators were there because she was hot, or because she could actually beat people up. We were shocked when the female first-season winner reappeared for the second season as Jet, totally ripped and worthy of the title of Gladiator.

Seriously, look at that stomach.

And not one pestering thought crossed our heat-distorted minds.

But it only lasted two seasons, and summer just hasn’t been the same since. Where is Wolf now? And Titan? And that season 1 winner who looked like Neil Patrick Harris? And what about the season 2 winners, who never got the chance to become true Gladiators? And really, was “Wipeout” the best they could come up with to replace it?

Guess I’d better go read a book or something.


2 thoughts on “In memory of the greatest summer show ever

  1. All I can say to this post is that I’m still caught up by the Prince Poppycock video. Like, my mind sort’ve exploded there. I mean, is it bad if I think that guy is incredibly fabulous? Like, dude, he’s got an awesome voice and I love the stage presence and the makeup and the outfit and omg I need to find this guy and hang out with him.

    • That guy is absolutely the epitome of fabulousness. He probably won’t win the show, but dear Lord I hope he gets cast in some opera somewhere because he totally deserves it.

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