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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Let's Do Lunchbox

It started with this Tim Blair column in the Bulletin. Near the end, he proposes a new TV show, Bring the Bakhtiaris back from Afghanistan!. (The Bakhtiari family, allegedly fleeing political repression in Afhanistan, sought asylum in Australia. There were a number of difficulties with their case -- for one thing, they were evidently Pakistanis, not Afghans, and I believe some of the kids did some dumb things. They became a cause celebre among Australia's extensive Caring Community. They were eventually sent back to Pakistan.)

So I was thinking that's too long a name, they should just call it Bakhtiari, and could have a catchy repetitive theme song like the old Daktari show. In a fit of nostalgia, I googled up Daktari, and found (er, but not at that site) that it was produced by Ivan Tors, who produced the other beloved nature/adventure series Sea Hunt, Flipper, and Gentle Ben.

But he also did a series I'd never heard of, Men into Space, which starred William Lundigan as Col. Ed McCauley. Here's the IMDB listing.

Wow! I'd been looking everywhere for Col. Ed McCauley, just not lately. Sometime in the 1980s I bought a lunchbox featuring Colonel Ed McCauley: SPACE EXPLORER! I think I bought it for twenty-five or maybe fifty cents -- that's cents. It's listed here for $378. That's dollars. More if you have the vacuum bottle (which mine does not). Of course, that's for one in mint condition, and mine is not.

Wish I'd been able to see that show. It was the subject of an AIAA dinner with speaker David Levinson last year, at the Ramada Inn in dear old Sunnyvale. He was to show two episodes. Man, I'm sorry I missed that.

The Lunchbox Pad has photos of some interesting lunchboxes, and the history of the beast. Part II shows both Hogan's Heroes and Star Trek lunchboxes. Wow!

I know I had several lunchboxes when I was a kid, I just don't remember what they were. The only one I remember for sure was an Archies lunchbox. I wasn't particularly fond of the Archies, it was probably just the best of the available lunchboxes at the store that day.

I had a vinyl lunchbox at one time. I don't remember the picture, but no one could forget the aroma of a garlic baloney sandwich, marinated for four unrefrigerated hours in vinyl fumes. I took garlic baloney because the garlic helped stave off the bacteria for a few minutes more. Occasionally I took peanut butter, which also soaked up the vinyl perfume nicely, and which would be a capital offense these days. Probably garlic baloney is too, as it is offensive to the sensitive undead-American community.

Ahhh, childhood. Smells like...lunch.