Herman Munster, Cherry Sodas and other thoughts

Herman MunsterI have a confession to make internets. Herman Munster gives me the creeps. I’ve always hated him. His character just bugs. I’m not really charmed by the whole idea of a “lovable buffoon”. To me, buffoons are just annoying. Herman was always surprised and sad when “normal” people were afraid of him and when he broke mirrors just by looking at them. I felt very embarrassed for Herman, he was totally clueless as to how clearly repulsive he was. I would feel a tiny bit of sympathy for poor pathetic ugly Herman but my nice feeling would disappear as soon as he started throwing a fit when he didn’t get his way. Herman was supposed to be the head of the family but acted more like an oversized baby.

I was also enormously distracted by Herman’s makeup. The dark lipstick and heavy pancake on his face made it impossible for me to see anything else. Let’s not even talk about the neck bolts. Fred Gywnne was famously unhappy playing Herman Munster and maybe I was picking up on his discomfort. To this day I can’t stand the sight of black nail polish. it doesn’t matter who is wearing it, Adam Lambert, Elvira or Kate Winslet I see black nail polish and my mind screams “HERMAN”!

I’m not really sure why I find myself mulling over Herman lately. The Munsters was one in a long line of shows that were on TV after school when I was a kid. My brother and I watched them all. We were latch key kids. Him more than me because I was physically unable to open the door to the apartment by myself for a long time. I may have had a key but that didn’t mean that I could open the door. The lock was too tricky for me to figure out. I would get off the bus and then have to wait for him to get home to let me in. I’d go up to our apartment on the 2nd floor and sit on the fake grass doormat with the plastic daisy waiting for Mike until my butt went numb. I really don’t remember having any homework though I know that I did. It is all a big mish-mash in my brain now. I do remember that my parents always had a big bottle of red wine in the house. On family dinner nights my Dad would mix a little red wine with ginger ale and give it to me. We called it “Cherry Soda”. I guess he felt like he was doing the European thing and letting his 10, 11, 12 year old (?? see what I mean, brain mish-mash, Herman Munster-mash) have a little wine was his way of teaching me to be responsible with it. Except I remember being a little irresponsible with it and mixing my own Cherry Sodas when I was home alone after school. I made my own in a much bigger glass too. I don’t really think that I was consciously trying to get drunk, I liked the taste and the fuzzy way that they made me feel. I did that for a while and I don’t really remember why I stopped or when. I don’t think my parents noticed that the wine was missing from the big bottle in the fridge but if they did they probably blamed my brother for it.

I definitely watched too much TV as a kid and probably watch too much now. We had very little choice of what to watch and it taught me to watch stupid stuff that I didn’t really like, i.e. Herman Munster. During college and immediately afterwards when I was feeling very depressed, which was very often back then, I would binge on TV. I remember one day during my senior year of college where I spent the entire 12 hour day watching my little television alone in my room. It made me feel so guilty and stupid but I couldn’t stop myself. I can’t even think of what I was watching in 1988 or what was even on?? I’m much better with it now. I still watch stupid stuff on TV but only if I actually like it.

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