We all have a few pop culture references that are so specific that we rarely say them out loud, knowing that they will fall on ears that don’t get them, yet so persistent that they haunt us time after time.
One of mine, and I think it too often, is:
Jerry: I was under the impression that you could win prizes or money. Not orphaned children.
It’s from the Mind Match skit from The State, a sketch comedy show that ran three seasons on MTV. The concept of the bit is that two games show contestants find themselves winning orphans they DO NOT WANT and start attempting, without much luck, to throw the quiz and stick the other person with the lonely souls.
Susan : Um, I have a very small apartment. I don’t know what I would do with four foster children.
Host: Well, figure it out because you’re their legal guardian and it’s time for Round 2, where the orphan points double.
What cemented this skit in my mind was the two years I worked in an independent video store in my hometown. A store so amazing that in 2018 it still exists. We had free range over what we showed/watched while working only limited by what others on staff could not stand to see again and decency (at certain hours decency not included) And we had a VHS compilation of The State ( The State and Stickers*…*stickers not included) which we often popped in.
Susan: I didn’t say anything. I mean, I didn’t answer. You must’ve-
Host: A smart move. A wrong answer could have cost you the lead. (Bell) Hey, that bell means it’s time for our Double Dare question! Jerry, how many of your orphans are you willing to wager?
Jerry: All- all of them.
Host: Hey, it looks like Jerry is looking to double his orphans. Susan, how many will you bet?
Susan: Well, uh, all of them.
And as much as The State is a beloved cult classic for for ages it wasn’t released in full only video or DVD because, as an MTV show, it used a lot of modern pop music they then couldn’t get the rights for….and the music/MTV combo meant that clips released to You Tube were cracked down on…and Mind Match never had the pop culture reach of, say, “240$ worth of pudding did.
So I don’t often say “I was under the impression that you could win prizes or money. Not orphaned children. “ but if the topic of orphans or gameshows or even winning comes up…I’m thinking it.
So when I opened up Dolly*Dolly Vol 20 and met Little Miss No Name.
There it was.
An Orphan. That quote.
In 1965 Hasbro asked itself, “What do little girls want?”…and perhaps knowing it wasn’t up for doing battle with Mattel’s fashion warrior Barbie and her additional purchases kingdom…answered “Orphan. Little girls want an Orphan to take care of.”
And they made an orphan. Nothing fancy or aspirational like Little Orphan Annie promisingyou’ll be scoped up and taken to bigger and better things. Not. A Keene-esque sad-eyed orphan among orphans. Fake dirt on her cheeks. No shoes. A patched burlap dress. A TEAR DROP. Her hand outstretched….for something. Anything.
Her box read, “ I need someone to love me. I am so tired and cold. please take me home with you and I will be yours to hold. I want someone to love me, I want to learn to play, please take me home with you and brush my tear away.”
And she was called Little Miss No Name.
From Dolly*Dolly Vol 20, pg23-24
My rough translations of….
Model: Little Miss No Name
Where is love?
Where is that person?
So, this world
We can see photons and phonons, right?
Shouldn’t we be able to hear where we’ll meet this person?
The sounds of wheels on London pavement.
The permeating ether of 1,000,000,000 years connects us.
I’ve spent my time the leader of loneliness and silence.
The wandering Oliver whispered in my ear
Have you found eternity?
The world I can see from my window, is this all there is?
Yes, really. This must be all that’s been created.
To make sure, I’ll slip away tonight.