As all 7 of my regular readers already know, I am a child of the 70’s. I came on the scene in the summer of 1968, just as America was beginning its great slide into obscenity and decay, and race riots were burning through our cities, and our souls. As miserable as the 70’s seemed at the time, when viewed from the distance of 35 years people have a way of convincing themselves that it was a idyllic Eden. A simpler time, when our national enemies were clearly identified, boy’s did not wear hair gel, and only sailors and bikers wore tattoo’s.
This is how nostalgia works, and as this blog illustrates, I am nothing if not a junkie for nostalgia. It is the sweetest drug I know, more powerful than heroin, and twice as addictive.
But my childhood wasn’t all Sears tuffskins, and rubber toed Keds. Even now, looking back after 35 years, there are still some things about the 70’s that make my blood run cold. Yes, even in the idyllic confines of 20 Prospect, there were horrors too unspeakable to mention after sunset. I am referring, of course, to Sid and Marty Krofft.
The name still gives me chills. For those that are too young to remember, Sid & Marty Krofft were the producers of a string of children’s television shows so horrible, and terrifying, that I am reluctant to even list them all here. Like all abominations in my life they too hailed from Canada originally, but somehow made their way into the U.S. Television Industry, where some drug addled executive thought it was a good idea to let them unleash their bloodcurdling dreams on a generation of petrified children.
Nothing in my life has disturbed me more than the world of H.R. Pufnstuf.
Oh, the horror.
The plot of the show was basically this: A little boy is lured to a sinister island from which he can never escape. Once there, he is pursued by living trees, and an evil witch named “Witchiepoo”. You know, the sort of typically lighthearted plot that plays upon children’s darkest fears, and dresses them up in Day-Glo, psychedelic puppetry.
So began my life long fear and hatred of clowns and puppets. Evil creatures that I was convinced would not rest until they had stolen my soul and condemned me to eternal torment at the hands of their foam headed minions.
Was I alone in this pathological fear of H.R. Pufnstuf? Don’t even speak to me of Sigmund the Sea Monster, or Sleestak. At least the children in those shows had other human beings to console and protect them. Poor Jimmy had nothing but a talking, magical
hash pipe flute.
I have read that roughly 25% of all Generation Xers have been treated with antidepressants for depression and anxiety disorders. If there were any justice in this world, their medical bills would be paid from the coffers of Sid & Marty Kroftt.