You are looking at the admission ticket to a taping of the Mrs. Greenthumbs show, circa 1998. I know I have not discussed the circumstances behind attending that taping. I will now.
I was listening to CJCH one morning, back when Brian Phillips was the host of the Hotline. His guest for a bit was Mrs. Greenthumbs, a.k.a. Cassandra Danz. She would be in Halifax taping a new tv show, and was giving away tickets to a taping of said program.
I remembered her from various tv appearances; her passion for gardening was nearly palpable. How she ended up here taping a show is a mystery to me. But she did, and she was, and I managed to finagle tickets for Patricia and me.
We arrived at the Cinesite studios at the appointed time. We were shepherded to our seats. A producer came out and explained what the show was about (gardening, with some humour thrown in) . She also explained how we should behave during the taping. If Mrs. Greenthumbs said something even mildly funny, we were to laugh as if we had never heard anything so amusing in our lives.
The lovely Doris Mason played piano in the background of the set. She had a co-host, a guy in a green suit. Mrs. Greenthumbs came out and the taping commenced.
We laughed when we thought we should. I'd see the camera man pan around the audience. . They would later integrate the audience shots into other tapings to give the impression that there were hundreds of us, rather than dozens. I got into it, slapping my knees and shrieking with laughter; sometimes, I'd take my glasses off and wipe away pretend tears when the camera man panned by. One other time, I smiled at the camera and waved.
During a break in taping, Mrs. Greenthumbs hung around and pointed to some audience members to dance with her. I was one of the chosen men. We danced around the studio a bit (if you want to call what I do "dancing", which I don't. It's more like lurching around as if I were in great pain). She released me from my torture and I returned to my seat. At some point in the evening, she signed the above ticket for me. Her co-host, the guy in the green suit, signed the back. Maybe you can make out his name, but I can't.
I eventually watched a couple of episodes of the show. It wasn't very good. I never saw myself on tv, but others apparently did, making a damn fool of myself pretending to laugh my ass off. The producers must have realized that the show wasn't very good, because the second season was marginally better than the first. There was no third season.
Mrs. Greenthumbs died in 2002. She has been quickly forgotten, which is a shame, because she was a talented actress who found this gardening niche to work within, and made a good living doing it for years and years.
I kept the ticket she signed for me, pinned to the bulletin board at my work for years. Not sure why. It was an interesting night out, I guess, and unique enough an experience that I wanted to keep this one memento. When I left that job, I brought some personal effects home with me. This evening, as I was cleaning, I found the ticket and nearly threw it out, when I realized it could become a blog post, which it now has.
If you happen to catch a repeat of the show on some obscure cable network, and see a guy in the audience laughing himself into a fit of near apoplexy, then, yeah, it's me. You're not imagining things.
Mrs. Greenthumbs would like it that way.
P.S. T-4 days!
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