June 5, 2006

The Mash Theory: A Breakdown



Imagine the scene: Dusk. You are a young child anxiously awaiting your parents' return from work. You are slightly lonely, but mostly bored. You've been enjoying your Charles in Charge reruns all afternoon when suddenly the creepy melodies of the M.A.S.H. theme song fill the air. The TV screen takes on a distinctly greenish tinge. You shudder.
You have just experienced the Mash Effect/Affect.

That insidious feeling of olde timey discomfort and sepia-toned sentimentality perhaps best describes the MASH theory. But the shudder can take oh-so-many forms.

Some common MASH catalysts:
- The Andy Griffith Show (that god-forsaken whistle)
- The Spin Doctors: "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong"
- Richard Marx: any song
- Goodwill thrift stores, especially on a hot day
- Christmas day after all the presents have been opened (esp. between the ages of 10-15 yrs. old)
- Counting Crows: "Mr. Jones"
- Berkeley houses with faded political stickers in the windows
- Babies "R" Us
- Art Cars
- Candy Ravers
- Sunday afternoon TV when only football and Short Circuit 2 are on
- Bob's Big Boy (and most '50s-themed diners)
- Precious Moments figurines

Coined in late 1997, the MASH Theory originated in Santa Barbara, CA and is now widely used by sufferers coast-to-coast, from SF to LA, from New York to New Jersey.

21 comments:

Sweet Old Henry McGee said...

This is genius. I'd add Hayward to this list.

Triscuit said...

good work ct.

you are everything not-mash.

jamie flam said...

This has been a long time coming, Cristy!

I would add "Being 12, hanging with your friend and his parents as they drive around looking for hotels in which to hold your friend's Bar Mitzvah reception." Oh and it is Sunday and hot as shit.

Anonymous said...

it's erin and i'm not a member of the blogorati, however, i'd like to add to the list:

hallmark stores.

Anonymous said...

i'm adding: jade, cycle 6, antm. SO mash! it's molly btw.

Baby Momma said...

I've got some M*A*S*H moments as well. If I could only pull myself out of this languid feeling of ennui to remember what they are...

Cristy said...

i would also like to add "nag champa" incense to the list

Will said...

the grim tick of the "60 minutes" clock on a sunday evening. it's just counting the boring minutes until you have to go to school again.

laurin said...

please note that anything with michael landon, especially highway to heaven, is mash. also, most anything your grandmother would find "fun" on televison like murder she wrote, matlock, the theme from the andy griffith show, etc. cristy i'm so proud you have now introduced mash to the www. spread the word people.

Anonymous said...

yo gusto tu blog

* the mama's family song means i've been in the house all day... and i dread the fact i waisted the morning and afternoon (and as granny would say, "you need to go outside and get the stink blown off you.")

~j. keith van rappin~

C said...

The Greatest American Hero
Scooby - Dooby Doo
Hee Haw
Green Acres

All mash as well!

pleaj said...

What about hardware stores on a Sunday afternoon? But not the big ones, just old ACE stores and stuff like that.

I'm still trying to get my head around this.

Cristy said...

Pleaj! That's weird. Eric was just saying that Pastime Ace in El Cerrito is pretty mash. So, yes, I would say that such excursions would qualify. For me, it's childhood trips to Home Depot on a Sunday. And trips to the dump -which is a post all on its own.

dj L.A. said...

cristy, this is joey. okay. i don't know if we've had a conversation about this or not... maybe it was with alissa. but when i was like 5 and the mash theme would come on the t.v. in the living room, i would run into my bedroom, slam the door and hide my head in my pillow so i couldn't hear the song. i did that every time.

to this day, when i hear the song... i get nauseous.

thank you for this blog. i will read it daily.

LMJR said...

Cal Worthington & his dog Spot.
Also, any LA heads recall 'Family Film Festival' on Sundays...I think on channel 5? They'd show mad Pippi Longstocking joints and it was crazily MASH

Cristy said...

oh my god. cal worthington and those sing-along commercials are ridiculously mash.

and while i love the *idea* of pippi longstocking, yes, i have to agree that pippi on the family film festival is total mash overload. always on sundays, always on KTLA.

Anonymous said...

deep blue something: "breakfast at tiffany's"

Anonymous said...

I would scream everytime the MASH show came on, or if I heard the theme as my husband clicked through the channels. I would say "Get it off!". He would just look at me like I'm nuts. I couldn't pinpoin why it bothered me...

I'm glad that there are other people out there like me!

forster said...

id like to add the feelings of

1. watching the allana myles "black velvet" video while laying on the couch during a hot summer vacation afternoon,

2. a hot dry camping trip at lake cachuma

Kalliope said...

This blog is brilliant. Just added it to my blogroll.

Martian Death Ray said...

How about The Lawrence Welk Show or does this fall under "Disturbing"?