Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good morning Mr. Phelps

There's a special place in the heart for stuff that's unintentionally funny. So I'll always remember being a little kid watching American Bandstand that Saturday. Teenagers trying to dance to the "Mission Impossible" theme. Dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh, doodle loo, doodle loo... now how on Earth is anybody supposed to dance to that? It was very amusing to watch.

"Mission Impossible" was a quite popular TV show and I really enjoyed it, but even as a child I found unintentional humor in the very implausiblity of the whole thing.

Neglecting the show always started with top-secret guy getting his top-secret info, i.e. photos and the tape recorder that self-destructs in thirty seconds (Wal-Mart now sells many appliances with a comparable service life) in places that didn't look like first place I'd choose to leave top-secret stuff?

"Good morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it"...that always got me laughing. Even then I sensed there couldn't be a job in the world, not even in the US government where, "Naw, what else ya got?" was an acceptable answer. And that's just the first two minutes of the show. It got a LOT funnier after that!

The mission was always some third world guy either already doing the bidding of the evil Ruskies (who were never mentioned by name, but we knew) or about to be. Take the bastard down, in the name of all that's pure & sacred!

Mr. Phelps and his talented co-workers would approach the mission something like this usually? Make the bad guy think his dead grandfather is sending him messages about where is some fabulous buried treasure. He'll discredit himself, look like a total nut, and it's off to the salt mines for you buddy! Then his replacement will do exactly what he was gonna do for the evil Ruskies, I imagine.

I recall thinking as a kid, how odd! Couldn't we just send a lone sniper in, take the guy out from a quarter mile away? Certainly the killing would be blamed on a rival. Instead we get people crawling through ventilation shafts and Martin Landau peeling off plastic faces? Hmmm.

As an adult, I wonder were there missions that didn't go so well, and Mr. Phelps had to report to Nixon on?
"Well Mr. President, our plan was to get Pol Pot to believe extraterrestrials were communicating with him, telling him where was a fabulous buried treasure, but Martin's plastic face fell off and it was all downhill from there really."
"What is it with you freaks and this buried treasure crap? You're against me, you're all against me. Henry, put his name on the list, and I mean right now!"

dunh dunh dunh dunh doodle loo doodle loo...I still say it's an Impossible Mission, trying to dance to that tune.

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