Granddad used to love The Price is Right; he watched it every day. Well, he watched part of it every day. Usually by the time they spun the big wheel for the first time his head was tipped back in his chair, his mouth open and emitting a faint snore. Out cold until you tried to change the channel, at which point he would wake suddenly and exclaim, "Hey, put it back! I was watching that!" I loved watching The Price is Right with Granddad.
Now I watch it with my year-old son Abel, born eight decades after Granddad. Abel loves the spinning wheel and the flashing lights and the jumping people. Today he waved back, two-handed, at the smiling showcase winner as she waved at the cameras in celebration.
I love the camp. The outdated suits Bob Barker wears, the unwillingness to update the set, the vague Ron Burgundy-era sexism that requires slender, busty women to parade around in swimsuits...and high heels.
And I chuckle at the advertisements, shamelessly aimed at people born, well, eight decades ago. Wilford Brimley plugging Liberty Mutual for your diabetes meds. (When he says diabetes, it rhymes with "try a Cletus.") Lou Rawls smoothly suggesting Colonial Penn for life insurance, no medical exam required, and you can never be turned down! If there has ever been a man with a more impressive voice than Lou Rawls, I haven't heard him. Several different versions of scooters for the elderly, as if buying a motorized chair will enable you to play tennis with your granddaughter. And the oily funeral directors imploring the newly-bereft to do right by their lost spouse and employ the services of this or that funeral home. Usually about the time I get really creeped out, the show comes back on and I can blot out the thoughts of impending mortality. Of course, Abel doesn't have to think about this stuff at all.
We watch it every other week or so, and I always imagine what it would be like to watch it together with Abel's great-grandfather Knox. I'm sure they would have enjoyed each other immensely.