I would occasionally watch Rocky and Bullwinkle reruns as child, though their cleverness (as compared to the Hanna-Barbera crap I mostly liked) intimidated me a little. However, not long after I turned nine, I caught the R&B story arc in which everyone pursued the ruby yacht of Omar Khayyam: a little boat (more like a sailboat, as well as I can remember—I saw these episodes only once, over four decades ago) covered with rubies. I wouldn’t understand the “ruby yacht” pun until college; in the meantime, the story’s intricacies and momentum thrilled me immensely, made me feel mature for enjoying it, and—of course—distracted me from stressing out over the nonstop verbal and physical abuse I received at school from students and teachers, though TV in general (not just one show) probably helped. Without TV’s companionship, I might have turned into a druggie, like my sister, who endured much worse abuse (including the sexual kind). Unfortunately, as a self-proclaimed nonconformist, she eschewed what she called “the idiot box.” Conformity has its advantages sometimes.
Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews