Over the weekend at my parents’ house, my mother discovered I’d never seen an episode of Mission Impossible or Gunsmoke. For some reason, I always headed out to play as soon as Bionic Woman finished, leading to some crucial deficiencies in my cultural literacy. My dad streamed an episode of both popular shows from Netflix for my perusal. My mother was right. Watching the iconic tape recorder self-destruct to the background of the recognizable theme was important to see and gave more meaning to many spoofs I’ve enjoyed. And seeing the revolving drama that entertained a generation for twenty seasons as Dodge City came in peril and was rescued by Matt Dillon, Doc, Kitty, and Festus was necessary for a literate American.

It made me nostalgic for the times when larger groups of people were bonded by similar entertainment. I remembered my favorites: The Dukes of Hazzard and Family Ties, Different Strokes and The Cosby Show, Little House on the Prairie and Wonder Woman. I remembered those rare occasions when the problems were too big for one episode and — just when the suspense was at its greatest — those infamous words sprawled across the screen:

To Be Continued

Arggghh! I felt jipped. They hadn’t delivered. The producers had done me wrong. They used me, suckered me in to watch their commercials and finish the story. Even though it was obvious everything would turn out okay, I still had to find out how.

That’s the way I feel about my life today.

Like a big TO BE CONTINUED has been slapped across it.

I received another eviction notice from a new bank that still claims a sale took place. The new bank says they are the new owners.

I guess my house has been shuffled along. I wonder if the old bank unloaded it when they discovered they had never bought it.

It’s a mess.

I have no desire to pack. Then, I long to bolt. Leave immediately. Pack up and go live somewhere, anywhere but here. Have you ever wondered why that prisoner makes that stupid, mad dash for freedom, and the guards lower their rifles, and take a careful bead on the figure flying toward the fence, and then BOOM, he’s down? I’ve always wondered why? Why did he try to run? It was silly. It was stupid. It was suicide. But I feel the pressure now, the urge to break free, to feel the air of freedom right before…

I won’t do it. I’ll wait patiently. I won’t break for it yet. I’ll write the letter to the new bank, insisting they haven’t bought anything because it was never sold.

The waters just get muddier.

Paul called on the 4th. He wants to move to Bend and substitute until he finds something.

Okay, I said.

Rosie, Elsa’s volleyball coach called today. “I’m so excited for Elsa to play. She’s such an excellent athlete. I know how to pick them out. I want her to set part-time for varsity and play jv to gain experience. We got tenth in nationals and a sophomore got a full ride ($40,000 a year) scholarship to __________.”

Okay, Rosie, I say.

Obviously, these two ideas cannot coincide.

But I’m just going to wait. I’ll wait patiently while it all hangs in suspense … TO BE CONTINUED.

And now for a word from our sponsors …

Would any of you like to buy a sewing machine? I have two and I don’t even use one so I really don’t need two, but I do need cash, so maybe we could come to a little agreement?

I also have a Volvo stationwagon that seats seven and gets better gas mileage than most other cars that seats the same number. Anyone interested?

I have a refridgerator, a stove, and a dishwasher … stainless steel… lovely.

Cordless phones? Walkie-Talkies?

Stay tuned in tomorrow at the same time for the grand finale to Will She Stay or Will She Go?

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