Today's blog features excerpts from another conversation with MathGuy.
MathGuy: Other than having different brothers and sisters, how would your life have been different if Mike Brady were your dad?
Gleno: A gay guy?
MathGuy: Pretend it's the TV person not the actor. [shakes head]
Glen: I'd say that the tremendous surge in confidence that I finally developed in my middle-late twenties would have developed by the time I was 16. That attribute alone likely would have afforded me far more opportunities to grow and succeed. I was afraid of my own shadow until a few years after I graduated from Norwich.
MathGuy: Interesting. Mike was a clean cut professional, but his sagely advice always seemed to be delivered after the fact. He did not seem to do much pro-active parenting. The kids had a ton of freedom to come and go as they pleased. Carol was a stay at home mom, however they still needed a full time, live in maid. I think Mike and Carol did a good job, Cindy and Bobby, notwithstanding. I would have liked to be in that house. Cousin Oliver would have had to go. But having Davy Jones pop over to sing a song would have been a cool story at school.
Gleno: I know neither of our dads brought our families to either the Grand Canyon or to Hawaii.
MathGuy: Not once.
Gleno: But you raise a very good point. Mike was a reactive parent. It was almost as if he felt he had already done the work of raising his kids, or that they were just naturally well behaved and now he expected them to just "be good." He could always be found sitting at his drafting board working away, waiting to dispense advice. Do you remember that episode when one of the kids came in and said, "I'd like to try something," and he replied, "Ha, You? You're not good enough"? Never happened.
MathGuy: In one episode, a tube containing Mike’s architectural drawings was swapped with a tube containing a poster. Unfortunately, one of the kids left the tube with the drawings on an amusement park ride. Instead of Mike being furious, they rallied the troops and retraced their steps until the problem was solved. Everyone laughed at what almost happened (including the clients that Mike left in the conference room) and they all went out for a milk shake.
Most of my problems wrap themselves up in 30 minutes or less as well.
Gleno: I be happy if my life simply had fewer commercial interruptions.
MathGuy: None of their problems ever carried over to the next week. Mike and Carol really taught them to let the past go. I think they smoked alot of pot.
Gleno: If they did, then maybe we should too. It might help make our lives as simple as theirs.
MathGuy: No matter what any of the kids did, the parents always knew exactly what to do in order to fix the problem and laid out a plan for everyone to follow. They were like combat officers.
"Okay, Greg killed some guy named Kevin. Greg, you go take a shower and burn your clothes and shoes. Get Sam to dig a grave behind the old Hanson place. Marsha and Peter, you wrap the body in plastic and get it to the hole. Bobby, you help Alice clean the crime scene. Jan and Cindy need to organize a talent show that will be so good that everyone will forget Kevin ever existed. Mom and I are going to smoke some crazy weed, and we'll all meet at the malt shop at 7:00."
Gleno: Dude, that's awesome.
How would you and your life be different if your dad had been Mike Brady?
MathGuy: I would likely have thought I was just as good as the next guy, so I would have tried and did things from the time I was 6. I would have been confident and balanced. There's a good chance that I would have been a leader in high school, done well in college and gone off to be successful starting at age 21.
Gleno: Yeah... that's what I feel about me too.
MathGuy: I do not live in the past, but I certainly wish I could do a lot of things over again.
Gleno: In that house, you'd be accustomed to an environment of peace and stability. That place was a garden where good things grew and successes were harvested weekly. It would not be any "big deal" to have formed a life of great success and satisfaction for yourself. That's just what you do naturally.
MathGuy: Second generation professional.
MathGuy: Sometimes I feel like to much of my life is a cautionary tale. "Hey kids, here's what I shouldn't have done…"
Gleno: Did Mike Brady ever speak those words? No. He did not.
MathGuy: It would have been a nice touch if Mike's brother “Rich” was a drunk. Rich has to flop at the Brady house when his wife Mary kicked him out. Bobby's piggy bank mysteriously disappears, and Jan catches Rich taking a leak in the plants beside the big stairway in the living room. The cops have to drag Rich out of the house and Mike slips into a depression. His job performance slips. They need to let Alice go.
That kind of story line could have kept the show current for decades.
I could write for TV.
Gleno: You are a truly gifted individual.