As the story goes — December 1, 2021

As the story goes

Don’t you hate when you find a recipe online or otherwise, only to find that the recipe sharer has also shared a seemingly never-ending backstory that’s sorta connected to said recipe?

Yeah, about that…

I tried two new recipes at Thanksgiving: cranberry sauce and vanilla pie.

Here’s the backstory on the cranberry sauce. I had tried the Thanksgiving staple twice during my lifetime. I’ll be nice and say I wasn’t a fan. But I had cranberries leftover from cranberry balsamic chicken – it was pretty good – so I thought I’d whip up some cranberry sauce for the person at the table who enjoys the dish.

When I searched for a recipe, I found a lot of backstories as well as recipes containing orange zest. I don’t do orange zest. I don’t like the taste and the process of extracting the zest makes my knuckles bleed. Thankfully, I stumbled across a paleo recipe on cookeatpaleo.com that features three ingredients – cranberries, orange juice, and honey.

Now, if you’re like me, you might be saying to yourself, “Self, what the expletive is paleo?”

According to our friends at the Wikipedia, “The Paleolithic diet, paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet consisting of foods thought by its proponents to mirror those eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era.”

Wikipedia further notes that adherents of the paleo diet avoid processed foods. This recipe (see below) calls for fresh orange juice but I’m not the type of gal who’s going to squeeze her own orange juice. Regardless, as promised, the cranberry sauce was super easy to make. It also tasted wonderful. I ate it warm, straight from the bowl.

I also ate the vanilla pudding, which filled the pie, warm and straight from the bowl. My bestie supplied that recipe. I don’t know why I hadn’t considered making a vanilla pie before this point of my lifetime. After all, I love the homemade vanilla pudding that goes in banana pudding. I love it so much that sometimes I make it without the benefit of nanners and wafers.

The vanilla pie recipe calls for a meringue, but I’m not the type of gal who makes meringue – or her own pie shells – so you’re on your own there. You should also know that I don’t think the vanilla pie qualifies for inclusion in the paleo diet.

Cranberry sauce

12 ounces fresh cranberries

¾ cup (fresh) orange juice

½ cup honey (or maple syrup)

Combine cranberries, orange juice, and honey in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, until berries pop and sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Cool completely and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Vanilla pie filling

4 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch or ½ cup all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon butter

Combine sugar and cornstarch, gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir two more minutes. Remove from heat. Slightly beat egg yolks. Gradually stir egg yolks into one cup of filling. Pour mixture back into hot filling. Bring to gentle boil. Cook and stir for two more minutes. Remove from heat and add in vanilla and butter. Pour into pie shell.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Turkey TV — November 24, 2021

Turkey TV

When it comes to Thanksgiving TV, no sitcom approaches the hilarity of WKRP in Cincinnati’s 1978 classic “Turkeys Away.” Most of the episode sets up the reveal and Les Nessman’s description of the parking lot carnage. The episode is available on certain streaming services and cable providers. If you watch every year or if you haven’t watched in years or if you’ve never watched, do yourself a favor this Thanksgiving and find it. You will laugh and laugh.

Everybody Loves Raymond also aired a few classic Thanksgiving episodes during the show’s nine-season run. There was the Thanksgiving Debra decided to serve a fish instead of a turkey. There was the year Marie decided to serve a tofu turkey. Then there was the year the Barones spent the holiday in Pennsylvania with Amy’s family. These exploits played out in 2003’s “The Bird.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with the show, Everybody Loves Raymond revolved around the aforementioned Barones, specifically Raymond, his wife, Debra, Ray’s intrusive parents, Frank and Marie, and his hapless brother, Robert. Robert dated and later married the aforementioned Amy.

I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t like the show because they consider it to be mean-spirited. I, on the other hand, consider it to be a documentary.

Of all the Thanksgiving episodes, “The Bird” is the best. Whereas the Barones are loud and obnoxious, Amy and her family are quiet and reserved. As you might expect, the two families clash on Thanksgiving Day.

Firstly, Frank is offended when he discovers that Amy’s family doesn’t own a TV. Things take a darker turn when a bird crashes into the house and Amy’s mom, Pat, takes care of it.

By takes care of it, I mean she kills it.

The Barones express outrage when mild-mannered Pat puts the bird out its misery. Debra, who had taken the children out of the room to prepare for a family pageant, returns to find the respective family members sniping at one another.

Next, Ray and Amy’s brother, Peter, (Schitt’s Creek fans will recognize the actor as the man who brought Roland Schitt to life) legit remove their shirts and … you just have to watch. You also should stay alert for an ironic line Frank utters at the end of the show. You can find Everybody Loves Raymond on various networks and Peacock TV.

By the way, although “The Bird” provides 22 minutes of brilliant TV, it’s not even Everybody Loves Raymond’s greatest episode. For that, you will need to watch “The Canister.” As you might expect, that episode is all about a canister. After you watch all the Thanksgiving episodes and WKRP’s “Turkeys Away,” find it. You’ll laugh and laugh.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Portrait of a man in red — November 17, 2021

Portrait of a man in red

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, which means people have been complaining about other folks’ Christmas decorations for almost a month. As I’ve mentioned before, I mind my own business when it comes to other people’s decorating timelines as well as when it comes to when they choose to start listening to holiday tunes.

Well, there was that one year someone in the general neighborhood kept his or her Christmas lights up – and turned them on – well into summer. That did make me turn my head on more than one occasion, but what really caused whiplash was when the neighbor took down the lights in late summer.

I will admit it was none of my business, but I will admit I was also perplexed. If you’ve already committed to more than half the year, what prompts you to go to the trouble of climbing a ladder and removing the lights in August?

Speaking of August…that’s around the same time of the year Hobby Lobby brings out their Christmas merchandise. That’s also the same time of the year I start asking this question: Is there really a market for portraits of Santa Claus?

I guess there is or the store wouldn’t stock them, but who buys a big ole portrait of Santa? Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of Santa. He spends the entire year making toys for all the good – and I suspect even the bad – boys and girls around the world. Then he somehow delivers all these toys in the span of one night. I know he gets help from Mrs. Claus, oodles of elves, and a team of flying reindeer, but there must be a bit of magic involved. And a few maxed out credit cards.

But that does not mean I want to hang a portrait of him inside my home.

I am not here to judge and, just as with the people who left their lights up until August, this is none of my business. Oh, but how those portraits fascinate me. Every year when I see them, my initial question leads to other questions like: What is the demographic of the Santa portrait purchasers? Are the purchasers parents who buy them for their younglings? If so, why? I know times change, but I don’t remember begging my parents for a portrait of Santa.

Do they keep the portraits up year-round? If not, do they remove a family portrait or a portrait of, let’s say, a fox chase to make room for Santa during the holidays? Do they do so to make Santa feel like he’s one of the family when he shimmies down the chimney on Christmas Eve?

Maybe I’ll ask Santa for answers to these questions for Christmas.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Hold that thought — November 3, 2021

Hold that thought

As you might expect from women of a certain age, my friends and I have been talking a lot about Capri Sun late

Although I can’t recall why, I’m the person who first introduced the subject into conversation. For some reason, I felt the need to tell my pals that I never mastered the fine art of opening pouches of Capri Sun.

Indeed, if not for my best friend, I would have died of thirst during my grade school years. You see, she stuck the straw into the pouch for me because no matter how hard I tried, I could not puncture that gosh-dern pouch. I’m not sure what I did for refreshment on days when she was absent from school. I guess I lapsed into dehydration.

Anyway, if I expected my friends to make sport of my failure, I was surprised. They never mastered the fine art of (correctly) opening a Capri Sun, either. One shared that her attempts result in the straw puncturing both sides of the pouch. Another said that when she does manage to open a Capri Sun, the juice squirts everywhere.

Feeling vindicated, I also shared with one friend that I struggle to use can openers. That’s why I am in favor of legislation requiring all cans to feature pull tabs. This friend said she could use manual openers but not the electric kind. That reminded me of a grudge I’ve nursed for decades.

I will not name names (in print), but dozens of years ago, I packed some sort of canned food for lunch. In the breakroom, my coworkers directed me to an electric contraption they called a can opener. I had never seen anything like that. It looked like something out of The Jetsons. I couldn’t figure out where to put the can or how to turn on the gosh-darn thing.  

My coworkers laughed and laughed and joked that my mommy must have always opened cans for me. Actually, it was my job to retrieve cans from the lazy Susan and open them with the can opener that doubled as the bottle opener or the can opener with two little rotating wheels. Not that I ever became proficient at using the openers, but I performed the task capably enough. I still do.

Anyway, my friend also said that she cannot open small cartons of milk. Oh, I can do that with ease. Not that I drink milk from a carton. Once, during my aforementioned grade school days, I drank milk from a carton. I did not like the taste and dozens of years later, I still refuse to entertain the notion of drinking milk from a carton.

Yes, I can even hold a grudge against cartons of milk.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Talking horror and humor with the Halloween fan base — October 27, 2021

Talking horror and humor with the Halloween fan base

Talking horror and humor with the Halloween fan base

Halloween Kills, the latest installment in the film franchise that started in 1978, was released last weekend. Even in years when there’s no new Halloween movie, it seems like people start watching the flicks around Labor Day.

In recent years, they’ve been posting photos and videos of themselves and/or others engaging in frivolity with people dressed like Michael Myers, the masked murderer made famous by the movies.

These postings made me ask myself, “Self, when did Michael Myers become a wacky sidekick? Isn’t he supposed to be scary?”

Although I’ve seen the original Halloween, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Michael. I’m not a fan of horror movies. Real life is horrific enough for me. Besides, I can’t suspend belief when it comes to horror films. For example, I wonder what Michael does the rest of the year. Where does he live? How does he support himself? Does he terrorize a different town on every major holiday? Or is he a good, law-abiding citizen who’s triggered by Oct. 31? Trust me, dude, I can relate.

Anyway, my ignorance led me to seek out a couple fans of the Halloween movies and/or of horror films in general. That number doubled. Simmer down. It could have been more. Fans of the Halloween movies are everywhere.

But that doesn’t mean they – or horror fans in general – agree on all things Halloween.

Take the original movie, which features Michael escaping from a mental institution, where he had been held since age 6 for stabbing his sister to death, and returning to Haddonfield to terrorize Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

“For its time, it was considered to be absolutely terrifying,” explained Halloween superfan Bradley Damron. “There is an actual argument to be made that it was more of a suspense film than straight up horror. It is not a film that hits you over the head with buckets of blood. In fact, it is a fairly bloodless film. When you think of slasher movies, this one popularized so many of the tropes that seem so stale to audiences today. In fact, they were pretty stale by the mid-‘80s, but they were fresh and new in 1978. Add in John Carpenter’s incredible score, and you could feel the suspense and tension all throughout the film. The impact of that score can’t be overstated. People know the Halloween theme. It’s a part of pop culture at this point.

“There are audio recordings of audience reactions in 1978, and I don’t hear many screams like that when I go see modern horror movies. Halloween was not the first slasher movie like many claim, but it was the most influential one by a mile. It spawned so many clones, including Friday the 13th, which was blatantly made to rip off the first Halloween. Without Michael Myers, there is no Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Ghostface. And it all goes back to how that audience reacted in 1978.”

Horror movie fan Jennifer VanHoose has a different take. “Having lived through that era, (I) saw the movie when it first came out. It was mildly scary.”

VanHoose, however, doesn’t describe herself as a slasher movie fan.

Halloween superfan Trina Wakeland and her brother grew up watching slasher movies. Whereas her brother gravitated toward Friday the 13th, she stuck with Halloween. Wakeland is such a fan of the franchise that she has a tattoo of Michael on her leg. Hence her status as a superfan.

“I’ve been a Halloween fan my whole life so I guess you could say it’s kind of sentimental to me. (The tattoo is) like a reminder of where horror actually started from.”

Halloween fan Trina Yeary has two Michael Myers dolls.

“I love the setting of the movies – the small town, the era. It’s classic,” Yeary said.

Her comment about the setting pleased me. I don’t remember much about the original movie, but I remember appreciating the atmosphere set by director John Carpenter and the way the movie felt and looked.

Yeary continued, “(Michael) is so creepy without trying. With Michael, slow and steady wins the race. Michael both creeps me out and evokes empathy, though I cannot for the life of me rationalize why.”

VanHoose explained that the Halloween movies written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie introduced a backstory of Michael as a bullied, abused child. (She also said she felt there was no need for these remakes to have been made.) Perhaps that helps explain some viewers’ empathy for Michael? Or maybe the empathy was created by the creepy mask that nonetheless makes him appear sad?

Regardless, Wakeland and Damron are not here for any of these explanations.

“I feel as you shouldn’t be able to relate and have sympathy for his character,” Wakeland said. “The 2009 Rob Zombie (movie) gave you too much backstory and gave Michael Myers every scenario as a kid to grow up and become a psychopath – killing animals, broken families, and bullied at school. I just feel like the John Carpenter film gave you more chills because he has a blank face, doesn’t talk, and you have no clue why he is doing what he does.

“What’s so scary is this is a real guy. (He’s) not immortal and is impossible to kill.”

“Michael Myers was always meant to be a force of nature,” Damron said. “He’s evil because he’s evil. He kills because that’s what he does. In fact, the original film was going to be called The Babysitter Murders until producer Irwin Yablans suggested that it take place on Halloween night. This was about evil lurking on a night that many consider evil. Rob Zombie tried to stray away from that with his reboot. He tried to explain too much, and I feel that chipped away at what made Michael Myers special originally.”

I asked Damron about people who consider Michael to be funny. While he acknowledged that some people find slasher villains funny, he added, “Michael Myers is savage and cruel. He does not feel mercy or remorse. There is no hesitation when he has the chance to kill. There is no overall message with him. He is evil in its purest form.”

A factor that led me to write this post and to talk to fans of the movies was my interaction with folks who do find the movies and Michael Myers humorous. I also checked in with them for this piece and they again identified as Halloween fans who watch the movies for comedic effect.

They, as a whole, described the movies as over-the-top and wondered how viewers could take them seriously, what with Michael showing up out of thin air and being shot and stabbed and falling off buildings only to pop back up, they said.

VanHoose alluded to this as well, describing Michael as having become campy, and each installment as being “more and more ridiculous.” However, she also said she did not find the movies funny at all. And Damron said Michael is “never funny.”

Assuming the folks I know had never seen the first movie, which is considered a classic and has a more serious tone, I interrogated them about which movies they had seen. All of them but the newest one, they said. Surely, they don’t consider the first movie – the classic – to be a laugh fest? Yes, they do.

Of course, they have their favorites. They don’t care for anything related to Halloween that doesn’t feature the Michael Myers character. They are also not fans of the Rob Zombie flicks. (Does anyone like those movies?) They also made it clear – repeatedly — that even though they view the movies as comedies, they are fans who really like and really enjoy the flicks.

Oh, and even though they don’t find the Halloween movies scary, they do find other media scary.

Okay. Give me an example.

Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack, one offered.

Happy Halloween!

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Lock it up — October 20, 2021

Lock it up

Last week, I shared what, if not for my quick reflexes, could have been a smoothie-making accident. At story’s end, I promised to explain what happened when I attempted to remove the base from the blender and, later, clean the contraption.

Here goes.

I could not remove the base from the blender. That surprised me because, earlier, when I took the blender apart to see if it worked, the base removed with ease. But once my less than smooth smoothie had been prepared, the base would not budge from the rest of the blender.

No matter how much effort I expended, that gosh darn base refused to move a millimeter. Knowing I needed to apply some traction, I pressed one foot against a cabinet, held the blender in my hands, and tried to turn it.

It didn’t work.

At that point, just when I decided to give up, my tired eyes rested on the base. It featured two icons – one represented locked, the other unlocked.

You know where this is going.

I picked up the base, turned it in the direction of the unlocked icon and, voilà, the base was no longer attached to the blender at large.

My problems were not behind me. Once I emptied the less than smooth smoothie from the jar, I had to clean the jar and my nemesis, the blade. (You might remember from part one that the blade literally rose in the air and twirled around my kitchen when I took the blender apart to see if it worked, and then pressed the on button whilst it was apart. Spoiler alert: It worked.)

It might not come as a surprise that I couldn’t separate the bottom cover – where the blade lives – from the jar. I checked. There were no icons. I cleaned it the best I could and then took it to the Goff Estate.

As soon as I walked in with the jar, the snickering began. They hurled such remarks as “Isn’t that an important part of the blender?” my way.

When I explained my predicament, my sister, Pam, with smugness dripping from her every pore, reached out her hands.

She couldn’t pry it loose, either.

Ha!

She gave it to my niece who quickly solved my problem with a turn of her hands. I returned the still-borrowed jar to my home, cleaned it, and made another less than smooth smoothie.

About those less than smooth smoothies … I think they taste fine, but they are a tad thick. My niece has seen them and agrees. As we discussed this at the Estate, my siblings pipped up, admonishing me for not including milk in my smoothie recipes.

As you might recall, before I started my smoothie-making endeavor, these same siblings assumed I planned to make peanut butter smoothies. No one said a word about milk. No one offered advice. But now they’re smoothie-making experts?

I’m sure these experts would have noticed the unlocked icon, too.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Smooth operator — October 13, 2021

Smooth operator

If I hadn’t fallen to the floor and covered my major arteries, you could be reading a story with a catchy headline like “Raccoon woman injured in freak smoothie accident.”

This near-tragedy almost happened because I needed to add more fruit to my diet. After all, it is so hard to find good, reasonably-priced berries this time of year.

Someone suggested smoothies. I conferred with someone else, who patiently explained that I couldn’t simply dump berries or other fruit into a blender and call it good. I would need to include yogurt, nuts, spinach, etc., to keep from lapsing into a coma.

As I didn’t want to lapse into a coma, I added nuts and yogurt to my shopping list and asked my mom if I could borrow her blender. When I shared my plans to make smoothies with my family, both my sisters assumed I intended to get a head start on my holiday baking.

Firstly, I have never participated in the making of peanut butter smoothies. Secondly, I abhor peanut butter. Thirdly, that would be one heck of a head start.

Anyway, as I transported the blender through the Goff Estate, I noticed that a part was missing from the lid. My brother and a sister advised me to affix duct tape to said lid to prevent ingredients from splattering around the kitchen.

A few nights later, I decided the time had arrived. I dumped walnuts, fat- and flavor-free yogurt, and mixed berries into the blender. I affixed duct tape to the lid, plugged the blender in, turned it on, and pressed the smoothie button.

Although it made a noise, nothing noteworthy happened.

I turned the blender off and on a few times. Still nothing noteworthy happened.

Then, I removed the jar, aka the thing with the handle, from the base. Most of the ingredients had packed into the jar. There were but few nuts around the blade. So, I hardly thought once about turning on the blender with the blade exposed.

I was super pumped to see that the blender worked. Indeed, the blade literally started rising in the air and twirling around the kitchen.

That’s when I fell to the floor and covered my major arteries.

Seriously, if my reflexes had been a tad slower, my life could have been made into a horror movie titled “When small appliances attack!”

The blender didn’t decapitate me, though. And as there were but few nuts around the blade, I had minimal cleanup. Then I put the blender back together. This time, something noteworthy happened when I pressed smoothie.

That first night, the taste could only be described as adequate, but it improved over time. I’m not sure if one should eat leftover smoothie or eat a smoothie with a spoon, but you live your life and I’ll live mine.

Anyway, the fun continued when I tried to remove the base from the blender and, later, clean the contraption. Tune in next week for part two of as the blender blade turns.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Constant craving — October 6, 2021

Constant craving

I eat goat cheese.

Yeah, I know that might seem like contradictory behavior from someone who’s so cheap she’s been known to crawl around on public floors to pick up change. But I splurged a few months ago on some goat cheese at the Trader Joe’s – a store that’s not nearly as expensive as I was led to believe – and I’ve been hooked since.

For those of you who’ve never sampled goat cheese, don’t expect me – a writer – to be able to describe the taste. Just know that it’s good. And not cheap.

When I finished off the TJ’s goat cheese and crackers, I headed to the Food City. After I located a container of goat cheese, I made my way to the cracker aisle in search of a cracker boasting no taste.

You can only imagine my happiness when I located Crav’n Flavor brand water crackers in said cracker aisle. Firstly, if you’re looking for crackers with no taste, look no further than water crackers. Secondly, I had never heard of this Crav’n brand, but the water crackers appeared to be on sale. I dern-near knocked the Food City associate down as I grabbed two boxes.

I could not have been more pleased with the goat cheese and water crackers. I hoped the water crackers weren’t priced outrageously the next time they made their way onto my shopping list. I would have to crawl around on a lot of floors to pay for the regularly priced goat cheese and outrageously priced water crackers.

Nevertheless, I went on with my life. In fact, I decided to make a cheesecake. (I like cheese.) But I needed graham crackers for the crust. As I don’t keep the item on-hand, I asked my family members if I could bum a cracker…or sleeve of crackers. My brother offered a sleeve but added that it wasn’t a brand name.

That seemed like an odd thing to say to me, a known proponent of store brands, but I decided he must have heard about the goat cheese. Anyway, when he brought me the graham crackers, I immediately noticed they were in a Crav’n box!

That’s right!

As it turns out, Crav’n is a Food City store brand!

I’ve since learned that the water crackers weren’t on sale. They’re always inexpensive. I’ve also seen Crav’n cookies and crackers at the Super Dollar. According to Food City’s website, the Crav’n brand includes frozen appetizers and snack rolls. I have not seen those products with my own eyes, though, so we’ll have to take the website’s word.

One can only hope Crav’n offers goat cheese, too.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Hashing it out — September 29, 2021

Hashing it out

As I’m sure all of you know, Sept. 27 marked National Corned Beef Hash Day.

Then again, dear readers, you might be asking yourselves, “What the expletive is corned beef hash?”

If you’re asking yourself that question then, unlike me, you were not forced to endure The Little Rascals’ short film, All About Hash.

When I was a wee lass growing up on the Goff Estate, we watched The Little Rascals as we waited for the school bus to lumber up the holler each morning. We might also have watched The Three Stooges, but I wouldn’t swear to that in court.

I will swear in court that I never enjoyed the Stooges or the Rascals. But what could I do? I didn’t control the TV. Furthermore, we had only five channels. What else were we going to watch?

Regardless, the aforementioned hash episode has stayed with me. According to my memory, Darla was upset because her parents argued every week about…hash. It seems her mom made hash out of leftovers and her dad just could not deal.

My memory wasn’t entirely reliable. When I researched the episode for this-here post, I learned it was Mickey’s parents who argued about…hash. But when the rascals put on a radio show – I am not making that up – to teach Mickey’s parents a lesson, Darla played the mom. So, I did remember Darla being upset about…hash.

At the time, I had no idea what they were carrying on about. All these years later, I still don’t. Our friend, Wikipedia, didn’t have much information on corned beef hash, but a website called Days of the Year offered up this on the topic:

“This is a meal that became popular throughout and after the Second World War. Because of the rationing that occurred during these years, fresh meat was very limited in availability, which resulted in corned beef filling the gaps. Cooks used their creativity, experimenting with leftovers, spices, and herbs to make different dishes. Nothing was wasted during these years, with stretching meals a main priority.”

The website added that there are no rules when it comes to making corned beef hash and encouraged cooks to get into the spirit of the World War II era and use whatever is in their refrigerators and pantries.

As a fan of leftovers, I encourage that, too, but I will not be making hash anytime soon. I have also never had corned beef. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it. I thought I had, but I was thinking of dried beef, which comes in a jar that’s not much bigger than a container of Vick’s. (By the way, my adorable great-niece calls Vick’s “gray rub.”)

Anyway, I’m semi-obsessed with meat that comes in jars. But I guess that’s a different post for a different day. Wonder if there’s a Meat in Jar Day?

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

Follow the leader — September 22, 2021

Follow the leader

Last week, as I enjoyed the opening Sunday of the NFL season, I used the facilities during a station break. As I did so, I thought I heard snippets from The Who song that served as the theme from the original CSI blaring from the TV.

I didn’t give the matter much thought. Indeed, I went on with my life and continued enjoying football.

Later, when I wandered into the kitchen during a station break, I again heard the familiar tune. I made it back to the living room to catch sight of the words, CSI: Vegas, flashing on the TV.

“Hmm,” I said to self, “isn’t CSI already on a streaming service? So why would they be playing ads for the show nowadays?”

The Vegas aspect most puzzled me. The original show was known only as CSI. It was never marketed along with the city in which it was set. I consulted my niece, Sierra, who was equally puzzled. If only there existed a way for us to research the matter. Thankfully, I remembered the existence of the Internet and typed in CSI: Vegas. This is what I read on the Wikipedia:

“CSI: Vegas is an upcoming American crime television limited series that is set to debut on CBS on October 6, 2021. It is a sequel epilogue of the long-running series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and will be the fifth series in the CSI franchise. The series is set to star William Petersen…”

Oh! My! God!

William Petersen is returning to my life as Gil Grissom!

Dear readers, that is all we CSI fans need to know. We can go ahead and set those VCRs to record CSI: Vegas.

For those of you who have never watched CSI, Grissom was the graveyard shift supervisor for the show’s first nine seasons. My sister, Pam, and her family were also intense CSI fans. We still discuss favorite and/or emotional episodes. We mourned Grissom’s departure. I stayed with the show until a certain late-season character chased me away, but it hadn’t been the same since Grissom bid the lab farewell. His rational attitude grounded the other characters, who could be judgmental jerks, and the storylines, which could be a tad unbelievable.

Anyway, whilst watching an episode of 48 Hours mid-week, I accidentally stopped fast-forwarding during commercials. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I finally got to see a CSI: Vegas commercial. It features Jim Brass – yes, that Jim Brass! – and Sara Sidle – yes, that Sara Sidle! During the commercial, Sara says that every crime the lab investigated is now under review. (Why? I guess we’ll have to tune in to find out.) A forlorn-looking Sara also wonders what they could do to solve this mystery.

The commercial ends with Grissom delivering his signature line.

They’ll follow the evidence.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.