03 January 2008

Postcards from the mind: Flyspeck

Something I've been picking at for the last 27 years has been a parody of TV Guide. It began during the 10th grade (aye yi yi, when I was my son's age!!), and it was called TV Lied.

For the purposes of this dubiously satirical document, I created a virtual television market ... and gave it the name Flyspeck. It's in a hidden corner of Wyoming, tucked away in one of those bare rock mountain-like protrusions. Wyomingites (or whatever the hell all two dozen of her residents call themselves!) like to make fun of it, and disavow its existence. Flyspeck, truly, is the P.D.Q. Bach of cities.

But to know Flyspeck is to love it. Flyspeck people are fine folk. We're talking real fault-of-the-earth humanity. They proudly call themselves "Costume Jewel of Wyoming." Water from its Sewagee River goes into making Squirtz®, The Queen of Grapefruit Beers. ("From the land of doo-doo waters"). The Joseph H. Coorheiseribbon Brewing Company is Flyspeck's second largest employer, after Amalgamated Asbestos.

And Flyspeck boasts a full menu of television channels, aligned with a proprietary array of networks: NBZ, ABZ, ZBS, Pox and ZW (formed by the recent merger of The WasteBasket and Urban Punks Network). Add to that a few cable channels, programming to everything from sorority chicks to gangstas, and Flyspeck is TV heaven. Why, just last week an "As Seen On TV" Outlet store opened on its outskirts. People from Antioch all the way out to Cankersore Gulch (pop. -3) flock to this old building which, in finer days, once housed Wyoming's only Coward Johnson's, pink roof and all.

TV Lied began as several typewritten sheets, where I'd take a given day's TV listings and come up with take-off names and such.

From there it grew into an occasional "bound publication" ... The first came in 1985 (while drowning my post-breakup sorrows in ASU's computer lab at 2 AM on their Apple-II machines), then I did another in 1991, one more in 1995, and then the most recent 'issue', 2003. As the years progressed, so did the 'technology' used to create it. The '91 edition, for instance, was all dot-matrix printer. Man, talk about a long time ago.

Of course today, with the demise of TV Guide as we've known it (the local listings have long disappeared, and, with it, the fun of browsing all the different "editions" while traveling), much of the fun has gone out of this project.

The '03 edition was the most 'advanced.' I distributed copies to several of my good friends. Thanks to the internet, Google, and PhotoShop, I put together some fake advertisements for the "publication."

I never had any serious aspirations with TV Lied, it was just a way of having fun and blowing off some steam.

Here are a couple of the advertisements ... enjoy?

This was Emeril before Food Network discovered him; back in those days, he was whippin' up Swanson and Banquet TV dinners for his audience at the First Tabernacle Revolving Pulpit Studio where the BLT Gluttony Channel used to originate. His catch-phrase "BAM!" came about by accident; he was trying to cook up some ramen noodles one night, and a cockroach came scurrying across the kitchen island. He picked up his rusted spatula, and .... the rest is history.

And that's the latest news from Flyspeck. Where the men are crossdressers ... the women are their cousins ... and all of the children have a D average.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Flyspeckites Call Him 'God'" Gleck


nettiemac said...

Would you believe I still have my copy and enjoy reading it??!!

bolivar said...

Tal - I still howl with laughter every time I read your TV Lied magazines. Funny, funny stuff.