Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Very Brady Nightmare

     As a kid, there wasnt' too much scary stuff swimming in the after school TV muck of Woody Woodpecker, Tom & Jerry, Roger Whittaker record commercials, or Gilligan's Island and Brady Bunch re-runs.  Well, truthfully, the Brady Bunch was actually scary on multiple levels. One level was it's irritatingly saccharine nature, which is beyond compare, and the other being two certain episodes that to a child my age, were from some nasty corner of hell.

     First of all, you have to realize I was a kid.  Maybe 5 years old when the two episodes I'm about to speak on crossed my transom.  Still, shell-shocked from a glimpse of "The Exorcist" I had snuck as I passed the living room a couple days prior, I was primed for being spooked.

      One episode featured the Brady Girls seeing a ghost that was slide-projected by the boys in an effort to scare them.  Primed for revenge, they dared the boys to sleep in the attic where they beheld an apparition whispering "I need air" as it clawed its way out of a storage trunk.  Unfortunately for me, I had missed the "slide controversy" and the revenge plans, and just saw the attic events unfold.

      I was petrified.

      The other episode featured the guttural moaning of a tortured spirit that could be heard throughout the Brady household that horrified me to my very marrow.  Later, after running from the room, I learned it was yet another plot, a tape recorded sound (these Bradys were 70s tech whizzes of some sort) played by the kids.  This was for the express purpose of frightening away potential buyers of the place, as the kids just couldn't fathom leaving that awesome spread, what with it's orange kitchen, see-through living room stairs, and astro-turfed backyard.

  I am quite convinced that if I were to re-watch these episodes today, they would be laughably bad. There's no reason to think otherwise.  They would join movies and shows like so many I had seen in my youth, that upon return viewing as an adult (term used loosely) were nowhere near as cool, scary, or as exciting as they were when I was a kid.  But you know what?  I think I'll leave them as they are, crawling around somewhere in my memory with a 'fear marker' on them.

     Because I think that's pretty cool.  Brady Bunch-induced PTSD.

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