1. The Password Is “Caveat Emptor!”

    LIKE YOU, I’m a huge fan of the classic television series (and subsequent Milton Bradley home version of) “Password.”

    That’s why it was particularly difficult when I happened upon this on eBay last week…

    …and had to contain myself from telling you – all of you – about it. Because, frankly, I really wanted it. And I didn’t want anyone else bidding on it.

    But even if you, what, six regulars didn’t bid on it, surely one of Password’s other many fans (or Allen Ludden’s countless admirers) would have, and then where would I be? I’ll tell you where I’d be: In a ridiculous online pissing contes– …eh, bidding war trying to prove to some jackass I’m the bigger Password fan.

    And what would be the point of that? So there was only one thing to do: Forgo bidding on it and just take the plunge and click the Buy It Now button for $650.00.

    I didn’t do this lightly: I gathered the ol’ gang around the Christmas tree and had a Parsnips Family Meeting. I wanted everyone to know that by purchasing this, there’d be no money for any other presents and also the gas company would probably turn the gas off for a month or two. (But we live in Southern California! It doesn’t get that cold here!)

    The important thing, I told them, is that I’d already done it, so there was no point in arguing. (Or in the case of Jessica, screaming and crying. Those LeapPads are overpriced and overrated anyway – and why should she be learning at home what my taxes pay her stupid unionized teachers to teach her at school, right?)

    The fact is, I was making an investment in all of our futures. This was a piece of television history!

    Or at least it was supposed to be. You see, yesterday it arrived. (Express shipping in time for Christmas?  Another $45!)

    The thing is enormous – like 20″ wide by 30″ tall. And honestly, at first, it looked good to me. According to the auction description from eBay seller “kewlstuff4Uwow“, it’s a special board they made up for a week’s worth of Christmas episodes in 1972.

    I mean, look at that – this is something you’d expect to see on a 1972 episode of Password, during the week around Christmas, right?  Exactly – but then things started unraveling.

    Because part of the draw of this auction – what really made me plunk down that $650 with no hesitation – was that it came with five puzzles actually used on the show. Mm. 

    The first one? Well, here are the clues, or technically, “passwords”:

    Delicious. Marshmallow. Christmas. Dinner. Tradition.

    Any ideas? “Candied Yams?” Not quite. We’re looking for something a bit more specific:

    Aunt Helen’s Candied Yams.

    Okay, it’s a little troublesome that the puzzles are written by hand. I don’t remember it being that way on the show.  And “Aunt Helen”…? Well, I thought maybe it was a name brand popular at the time – maybe the sponsor.

    But then I took a look at the next puzzle.

    Passwords? McGovern. Hater. Missing. Two. Fingers.

    Lost? Don’t worry, I was too. Let’s reveal the answer.

    Besides presumably Aunt Helen’s husband, who in hell is Uncle Morty?! Also, how did he lose those fingers?

    It was becoming increasingly clear what was going on, especially when I finally realized what you figured out right away:

    That duuuh, Password never had themed puzzles. That started with its revival, Password Plus, in 1979 – a full seven years later than this puzzle board was represented as being from!

    Puzzle number three: Bills. Former. Wife. Drunk. Mishap.

    Contestant: “Is it That Time Lois Chipped Gram’s Wedgwood Gravy Boat?”

    Allen: “I don’t know, let’s see. For the game, is it That Time Lois Chipped Gram’s Wedgwood Gravy Boat?”

    Ding ding ding ding ding!

    Heavens to Dr. Reason A. Goodman, what have I spent my money on?!

    I would have been better off bidding on antique fishing lures!

    Great: almost seven hundred bucks with shipping for a completely misrepresented, worthless, amateurish, homemade, foamcore monstrosity created by some dipwad with an X-acto knife and a hot glue gun for  game time at some family gathering.

    Oh well, at least I have a fun story to tell.

    You know, much like Myrtle did after she saw local meteorologist Skip Patrick at Sambo’s.

    Some might say I was foolish to pay – based on a shady description and a few out-of-focus photos – over six bills for something from an eBay user that’d only been a seller for a week and a half, had eleven transactions, and a feedback rating of 68%.

    To those negative folks, I say “Screw you, all of you. You can all go to hell!” You see, I happen to believe in the basic good nature of people, especially at this time of year. That’s my trouble – sometimes I’m blinded by my own humble naiveté – and my love for Christmas, and all that it means.

    And don’t worry about Jessica – she’ll get her damn LeapPad. There’s a free toy giveaway at the church down the street for homeless kids this afternoon, so I sent her outside to play in the mud an hour ago so she at least looks the part.

    Posted by on December 25, 2012, 12:24 PM.

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