Years ago, in the days of syndicated/UHF television you could find lots of local character in local commercial-spots. Usually running on Saturday and Sunday’s, or late-night on all the other days when advertising was cheap and you had to do some very far-out things to be considered memorable among the sleepy-eyed public, half paying-attention.
You know– lots of “instant-credit” auto-lots, or even national “rent-to-own” chains and every kind of low-down service and “fix” for the low-down and undependable, livin’ large or best trying to, in hoc to “the company store” or at least those “Quick-Cash” loan places.
You name-it, they got ’em.
Late-night television was a veritable zoo, and you had to make a name for yourself by acting ridiculous or coming-up with a memorable “hook” to get people talking. If life is full of hurdles and paper-work and accredited institutions, what better way for “the fast-fix”, as Beetlejuice “got your number”.
In this world of worlds, everything has “its marked-value” and money doesn’t just fall from the sky– as everything takes work, converted into currency, and lay your money-down. Skimp cheap, and you get lousy quality. But put in the time and research– with a little extra money, and get “better value” as “everything is a hassle”, isn’t it?
When you think about, “it’s expensive to be poor” by the time you do the whole run-around, and endless-waiting. . . . . . and before this becomes a beggar’s sales-pitch (– which I vowed I’d never do) take comfort that there’s always a snug spot to settle-down and work on this blog for fractions of a penny’s worth, all but paying for it with just the bare price of electricity.
Creativity is cheap, and you could see Lydia up on the third-floor of a house painting pictures with her room and living-space, off to the side. The smell of pastels and construction-paper with a blanket spread on the floor to catch the falling paint-drops as it’s a veritable observatory, give me “the moon and the stars” as she creates art and watches old movies on a dusty VCR.
A little scene, a little vignette– and I think of these old commercials broadcasted through the in’s and out’s of old haunts, as it’s always working-class energies and starving artists in the hot mingle of spring, or even an ordered pizza. The streets are hard-bitten, but the lifestyle “honorable”– if not, a bit chaotic with trash trucks and getting kids to school.
The old joke about “Attention: K-Mart Shoppers” as it’s always a orange cart, pushed-along draped with clothing, bath towels, and other domestic necessities as Lydia, too would shop there to get her starving artist’s worth.
A lifestyle, like borrowing books from the library and living practically. And if you know “what it is”, Lydia buys discount “Shasta” soda– that comes in all manner of mango/mixed/kiwi flavors as you buy the six packs, four to a broad-box, and carry them inside with your tote bag and easel.
Maybe I’m thinking of a scene, say– from about 25 years, ago as near-recent memories becomes actual pre-smartphone history as it seems, “not long ago” and how the world has evolved in different directions.
But mind you, this– these funny local commercials will always be around, somewhere. For it’s the spirit of small-time money-woes and “QUICK-CASH” down on Martin Luther King. Blvd as the stained-glass chandeliers sway in the name of local city character.
Where else, but St. Louis– as this town will figure in to my creation and what every writer needs is “a sense of place”. For the best town I know, thanks for visiting– and we’ll be back soon with more.