Every morning after I make my coffee I turn on the computer to check out Cosmos Philly. Have you ever noticed how we Greeks are either dancing, eating or playing basketball? You have an Avgolemono soup article and a Greek basketball league that gets more coverage than the NBA.
I thought I was the food guy. F-A-G-O-P-O-T-I get it? Ok, I have to admit that there’s been more POTI than FAGE as of late but later rather than sooner I will eventually get to the food thing. Like every great writer I need to be inspired and think about it a little as I’m sitting at the Cafeteria for 8 hours (no not that cafeteria, the other one that serves frappe.)
I turn the computer off and turn to the tube. What a treat. Let me tell ya. I get the day’s news, sports, weather and soft porn all by an attractive fake blonde with breast implants and a tight white tank top with “SEX” written across her chest in BIG BOLD black letters (I kid you not).
Once the day’s topics are covered and out of nowhere, out comes Mr. Greek singer in tight white jeans and a white unbuttoned fitted shirt down to his belly button on stage singing KAIGOMAI-KAIGOMAI giati EFYGES KAIGOMAI KAIGOMAI and you have all these babes dancing tsifteteli with arms in the air and hip movements better than Demi Moore’s in the movie “striptease”. The cameraman doesn’t miss a beat as he’s taking close ups in HD that would cause soccer Moms in the U.S. to petition the station to fire him.
I always wondered why Cosmos Philly co-founder and videographer Vasili Keisoglou would leave a job like that and come to America to cover over weight 50+ Greeks attempt to play soccer and Greek league basketball. I will have to ask him next time I see him.
Mr. Greek singer then stops lip-singing but the stereo in the back continues with his voice without missing a beat. Dude, Milli Vanilli got in trouble for that but no problem here. He then goes on telling the host how he will be on tour of major U.S. cities come fall where Greek-Americans pay $175/ticket to listen to this guy sing KAIGOMAI-KAIGOMAI” and once it’s all over those of us who didn’t go to Atlantic City get to hear our friends and family members whine how it was a rip off and how this guy only sang for half hour.
As they’re partying on, the host says that there’s a news break and that we have a reporter on site that will tell us what happened. “Niko”, ti egine?” The reporter is holding a small canister and claims that a bomb was planted under a black Porsche Cayenne (Greece’s Honda Accord) and how it smashed the SUV’s windshield. I start yelling at the TV, “man, that’s not a bomb that’s a Coleman little propane tank used to warm water for girl scouts on camping trips”
I get frustrated change channels and go to the Today Show where Al Roker is saying… CLICK back to Greek TV where the non-meteorologist Goddess is saying “rain in Northern Greece” as she’s pointing to Crete “leaning” over the map of Greece.
As I’m sitting there sipping my coffee I start thinking at how things were in the 70’s for Greeks and what forms of entertainment our parents had. In Philly we had the SARIS RADIO PROGRAM I’m sure Chicago, New York and other Greek communities around the country had similar family Greek radio programming.
On Sundays we would all congregate at a house and around an EMERSON SOLID STATE (whatever that meant) radio to listen to 2-day old news from Greece. Once the sheep and goats started going “bbbbhhhhhheeee” and their bells started klanging all of the adults go around for about 2 minutes with their index finger on their noses going “SSSSHHHHHHEEEEEEE, VOULOSTE TO EIDHSEIS” and that included aunts and uncles that weren’t family members. The kids were only allowed to breath during this period.
I will never forget when my father spent 2 weeks salary to get a shortwave radio so that he could invite even more fake uncles and aunts over to listen to more… Greek news.
Once the news was over and done with, songs with wedding requests, “the beautiful bride Katina is dedicating the next song to the love of her life Petro”. and then the koumbaro would send the koumbara a song etc.
Greek entertainment didn’t end at 5pm, oh no. At night it was cinema time, where the Greek leventes would kick some serious butt. Papaflesas would wave his sword like a ninja and single handed a take down of the barbarians. Then there were the OXI movies where the palikari would take some time off and go to the Bouzoukia where he would drink and sing with the band for about half an hour.
Once the movie was over those in attendance would give a standing ovation similar to when the Greek pilot successfully landed the plane on a Greek runway. What great times. I feel sorry for today’s Greek-Americans because al they get to do with their I-pads and I-phones applications and Facebook is to “LIKE” places like Cosmos Philly. BORING!
Yes, the good old days, nothing but family, friends, polyester and high balls. I just want the good old days and my Greek TV.
My intentions here are not to offend anyone. I’m one of you and proud of my Greek heritage but I’m also a strong believer in using humor to reflect on our past, cope with misfortunes and to heal old wounds so that we can find the inner strength to carry on. Please take my column lightly, Thanks, CX.