I remember this line. I didn't even watch the show back then, being much more into Star Trek, but everyone was talking about it. This was the glorious year of 1980, and by glorious I mean horrible. I was 11, in Jr. High (Jr=J.R. Me so clever), and really coming to grips with the fact that I just wasn't like any of the cool kids in class. Also, my mom made the mistake of buying me a white hoodie which I wore ever day for about a year and a half without really washing it much. Blech.
Anyway, JR. It is a weird fact that the Turkish parliament suspended early to allow it's members to go home and find out who did it. SPOILER ALERT in case you are watching a 32 year old TV show for the first time: it was his sister-in-law Kristin Sheppard, who was also his mistress and pregnant with his love child. Convoluted doesn't begin to describe the scripts back then. Kristin Sheppard was the daughter of Bing Crosby, and graduated high school at age 15. Smart move, in my opinion. She was also a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority at the University of Texas, Austin. The funny part about this was the Tri Delts were known as the hot, slutty sorority at my school, although that might have just been a lot of wishful thinking on the part of all the GDIs like me.
If you followed that last link to the Tri Delta website you might notice something unusual. They call their members Alumna rather than Alumni. This is actually 100% correct, and I applaud them for doing it correctly. The fact is, whenever you see one of those stupid license plates that says "University of Moronica Alumni" you know the driver is in fact an idiot in most cases. You see, the word alumni is the plural, masculine form of the word. The actual word for a single, male graduate is alumnus, and a female graduate is an alumna. So unless the car has two or more graduates, and at least one of them is male (in the case of mixed genders alumni is correct) than the holder is absolutely incorrect. Bravo, Delta Delta Delta.
You may well be wondering how I know this? The fact is in high school, rather than take Spanish or any other language that might have one day helped me in the world, I took three years of Latin. I think I was hoping to never have to speak it to anyone. Like most bad decisions in my life this lead to years of pain that I was too lazy and stupid to get out of. You see, the instructor was a malicious sadist named Mr. Balak, who looked suspiciously like Adolph Hitler. Not only did he look like Hitler, but he seemed to my troubled, teenage mind to act a lot like him as well. I'm not saying he was actually the son of Hitler, but I will say there is no evidence he wasn't.
The worst part about Mr. Balak was the book we had to translate for our second year of Latin. First year you got to translate Roman mythology, which is actually fun and interesting. Second year we were each handed a copy of Ceaser's Gallic Wars. You see, Ceaser, in addition to being a great general and eventual Emperor of Rome, was a long winded blow hard who like to write down everything he did. Some of it would be interesting battles and negotiations he was involved in. Some of it would be what he had for dinner the night before. That wasn't the worst thing, however. The problem is the Latin students all called it the Balak Wars, and I am the only student in the history of the San Clemente HS Latin class to make the mistake of calling it the Balak Wars on three separate occasions to Mr. Balak's face. I'd like to draw a curtain over the consequences of those episodes.
Anyway, Latin kind of sucked, but really helped me with my vocabulary SATs.
What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Dallas. JR was played by Larry Hagman, who also played Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeanie. He was also on a ton of other stuff, a lot of it kind of weird. What the hell was the DuPont Show of the Month? Or the United States Steel Hour? The Goodyear Television Playhouse? Kraft Television Theatre? Strange stuff. I guess they tended to avoid trying to place products in the show back then and just went for the title. The shows I have heard of include Sea Hunt, Love American Style, McCloud, the Streets of San Francisco, the Rockford Files, Banaby Jones, Knots Landing, the Simpsons, and Nip/Tuck. Kind of versatile, actually.
October 8th, 2011
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