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.