Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happiness...Whatever You Want It to Be...

I find myself in wholehearted accord with Ebenezer Scrooge’s ex-fiancé, Isabel, who sang, “Happiness is whatever you want it to be.” You blew it, really blew it. In fact, I thought I might just have achieved a moment of supreme bliss this very day—true happiness from my unique and arguably perverse perspective—when I stumbled upon a compilation of commercials from the late 1970s that aired on New York City local station WCBS-TV. The description of this video included an advertisement from a furniture chain called Frankart Furniture, which was scattered about the area in the 1970s. And I have been searching—wishing and hoping, and hoping and wishing—that the YouTube genie would one day grant me this rare find.

Alas, it was not to be. The commercial from yesteryear that would have supplied me with true ecstasy—where the head cheese Frankie Frankel goes toe-to-toe with salesmen who are “not up to Frankart standards”—was not in the mix. Life is fraught with such ups and down, I’ve discovered, but hope springs eternal. Tomorrow is another day

But it really is so: Happiness is whatever you want it to be. While this commercial mélange from the 1970s wasn’t exactly what I hoped for, it nonetheless titillated this nostalgia hound. A promo for crime reporter Chris Borgen! Wow! This spot alone brought me back to the grittier, crime-riddled days of my teens.

Ah, yes, riding the Number 1 train with my sister to see a movie in Manhattan called Heaven Can Wait, starring Warren Beatty, and a woman is robbed at gunpoint along the way. She freaks out and runs off into a station wailing for help. I hope she got it. Everybody else in the subway car just sits there with poker faces, not one expression of shock or concern. But please, cut me a little slack here. I wasn't yet sixteen, and wasn't about to chase after a man brandishing a handgun. We all just wanted to get moving again, I suppose, and we did in due time. I don't remember any police officer questioning people on the train about witnessing the robbery, or asking us for a description of the perpetrator. By the way, I saw Heaven Can Wait as planned and thought it wasn't half-bad. 

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