Bill Cosby: Thief of the Middle Class


Image Source: geektress.com

Bill Cosby robbed my mommy.

Okay, the Cos’ didn’t travel to Maine and ransack our Brunswick home, or pull a strong-arm hold-up on my mom on the street. But still, Bill Cosby took money away from my dear hard-working stay-at-home mom.

I am still, to this day, waiting for my Picture Pages puzzle booklets and Mortimer Ichabod marker.

Remember Captain Kangaroo? Of course you do. Then you also remember Picture Pages with Bill Cosby, which was a regular feature on the show. I still know the theme song by heart:

Picture Pages!
Picture Pages!
Time to get your Picture Pages!
Time to get your crayons and your pencils!
Picture Pages!
Picture Pages!
Open up your Picture Pages!
Time to watch Bill Cosby do a Picture Page with you!

Yeah, it would have been time to watch Bill Cosby do a Picture Page with me, if he had ever sent me my goddamn Picture Pages puzzle booklets and Mortimer Ichabod marker. But he never did.

Thirty-odd years later, I have no idea what happened. My mom sent in our order (I’m pretty sure), having carefully filled in the order blank (I’m pretty sure). Our order blank went out in the mail (of course!), and…

All I know is that I spent many an afternoon hearing the voice of Bill Cosby and the robotic squeaks of Mortimer Ichabod on my TV as I stared out my living room window, hoping to see the mailman pull up with the coveted package: a squeaking Mortimer Ichabod marker of my own. And I spent many an afternoon being comforted by my mom after the mailman failed to deliver.

I’m sure Bill Cosby himself had little if anything to do with this malfeasance. (I can imagine the Cos’ mirroring Krusty the Klown’s mea culpa about putting his name on the disaster that was Kamp Krusty: “They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house! I’m not made of stone!”) I’m sure he was preoccupied and totally unaware.

Still, it was Picture Pages with Bill Cosby, not Picture Pages with Some Nameless Schlub Who Likes to Steal Money From Stay-at-Home Moms.

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22 comments
  1. I certainly remember Captain Kangaroo, but can’t seem to find picture page Cosby among my pile of memories. What a great example for anyone learning to write: take a single incident, shape it (decorate it with words or phrases), and top it with a whopper title (excellent). So many times, we wait for something monumental to happen before we write, when all along, it’s the little things that make life interesting. I just finished Stephen King’s “On Writing.” It reminds me of something he would write about.

    • What a great comment, Shelley, thank you so much! “On Writing” is a brilliant book. Glad to see you’re following the path.

  2. I have no recollection of that show, only Captain Kangaroo. Perhaps you’ll be one of those people who somehow has their long lost mail delivered 50 years later. The story of how the package finally made its way to your doorstep will be turned into a LifeTime movie, you will become rich & famous and share your wealth with all of your blog followers. I love that ending!
    I do remember begging my mom to mail in for things on the back of the cereal box…it’s seems so ancient now.

    • We are the cereal box generation, right? ;)

      • I remain in denial. I have flashbacks of cereal box mail aways, but they must be from one of my past lives. lol

  3. Geez, you and I are the same age and I have no recollection of this at all. Of course, we weren’t allowed television in my early years so perhaps I just missed it. Great post! I do remember sending off for many offers on the backs of cereal boxes and such – had the same feeling of anticipation waiting on the mail carrier to bring my prize! lol

    • Damn, I miss that feeling!

  4. Sandee said:

    I loooove that picture page song! It runs through my head every now and again. It’ll be part of my memory in my dying thoughts I think.

    • Oh yeah, that’s deep in our DNA.

  5. I had a Picture Pages book and the marker and I was HELLA pissed that my marker didn’t make that squeaky noise like Bill Cosby’s did. I’m still not over it.

    • Whaaa?!? I demand a recall!!! (And I still demand my own fully-squeaky Mortimer Ichabod!)

  6. Jennifer Watson Fells said:

    I had picture pages!

    • Lucky! Great to see you here, thanks!

  7. The Cos needs a lawsuit thrown his way. How many other children were blatantly robbed by this evil man? Who the hell does he…. Aw, that silly smile he makes at the end. I can’t stay mad at Cos.

    • JUDAS!!!!!

      • But I got 30 pieces of Cos.

      • Ouch… *grin*

  8. unfetteredbs said:

    Thanks for the flashback Brian. Captain Kangaroo was the keynote speaker at my college graduation.. how sad is that? haaa you know you are jealous.

    • YEAH, I’m jealous! Holy awesome!

  9. I never trusted Cosby. Now I see why.

    • You were right to be leery.

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