Mom, where’s my picture?
That is your picture, Shana; I’m being paid in cartoons now! We can thank Nasir for this one.
Wow! Imagine, me as a cartoon!
I don’t have to imagine, you are nothing if not a cartoon. Where are all your announcements, other than the dreaded James Taylor concert at the Borgata, August 1st?
Are you sure you know how to get to the Borgata?
With any luck, we’ll drive right past it. I know exactly where it is, it’s in New Jersey–somewhere.
As long as you know where it is. At least no one died this month.
Actually, that’s not quite true; which, ironically, brings us to this month’s quiz! Anne Meara died. She was the wife of Jerry Stiller, of the comedy team “Stiller and Meara”. They made many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.
In the late ’80’s, Jerry Stiller was cast as Frank Costanza, George Costanza’s father, on the most popular sitcom ever, “Seinfeld”. I watch reruns of “Seinfeld” every night while I’m eating my midnight snack! For our quiz this month, I’ll be asking you to give me the constitutional remedies of George and Frank Costanza.
As you can see, Frank, played by Jerry Stiller, is often angry:
He starts his sentences off softly, but by the time he reaches the end, he’s yelling!
This is his son George played by Jason Alexander. George is Jerry Seinfeld’s best friend since high school.
Not surprisingly, George suffers from low self-esteem, self-loathing, and feeling like a failure. For half the series, George was unemployed and living with his parents. His parents are a constant source of embarrassment to him.
Our video clip is the famous “Festivus” episode. “Festivus” is a holiday Frank Costanza created to counter Christmas. “Festivus” is a huge embarrassment to George, but he was forced to go to the family “Festivus” celebration because instead of giving presents to his co-workers at Christmas time (George is also very cheap!), he gave out cards stating he donated, in their name, to a fake charity called the “Human Fund”! His boss, Mr. Kruger, found the whole thing suspicious; hence, George’s only option was to take Mr. Kruger to the disastrous Festivus holiday dinner at his parents’ house!
So, let me sum up the episode for you:
Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld’s neighbor, who’s a bit eccentric, asks Frank Costanza to explain the Festivus story to him. Frank is flattered and explains as follows:
“Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way!”
Frank continues with his recitation: “At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they’ve disappointed you over the past year!”
Kramer is totally on board! They run into George and Jerry in their favorite restaurant. Frank says to his son George:
“George, you’re forgetting how much Festivus has meant to us all. I brought one of the cassette tapes.” George is now horrified as Frank turns the cassette player on which reveals the following:
Frank: “Read that poem!”
George: “I can’t read it, I need my glasses!”
Frank: “You don’t need your glasses, you’re just weak, you’re weak!”
George runs screaming out of the restaurant after the tape starts playing. The scene shifts to the Festivus dinner at the Costanzas’. All are seated at the dinner table including George’s boss, Mr. Kruger.
Frank stands up to call the festivities to order:
“Greetings, new-comers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lotta problems with you people! Now you’re gonna hear about it! Kruger, my son tells me your company stinks!”
George is mortified. Frank continues:
“And now as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength.” Kramer is chosen for this honor but Kramer suddenly remembers he’s supposed to be at work! That leaves George, who, of course, is mortified–again!
“Until you pin me, George, Festivus is not over. Let’s rumble! Stop crying and fight your father!”
Now, to further assist you in identifying the constitutional remedy of George, I give you a second video, the “Bosco” episode. Bosco is a brand of chocolate syrup.
It’s for making chocolate milk or swirling over vanilla ice cream. “Bosco” is George’s password for ATM bank withdrawals. He won’t tell anyone what his password is, even Jerry, forcing Kramer to try and guess it. Kramer looks George over and says the following:
“We can throw out birthdays immediately–too obvious. And no numbers for you, you’re a word-man. Let’s go deeper. What kind of man are you…well, you’re weak, spineless, a man of temptations; but, what tempts you? You’re a portly fellow, round in the waistband, so what’s your pleasure? Is it the salty snacks you crave? No, no, no, no, no. Yours is a sweet tooth! Oh, you may stray but you’ll always return to your dark master, the cocoa bean! And only the purest syrup nectar can satisfy you; if you could, you’d guzzle it by the gallon! Ovaltine? Hersheys? Nestles Quick?” Before Kramer can get to Bosco, George runs out the door!
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